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The Best Business Class Airline Miles Can Buy

The Best Business Class Airline Miles Can Buy

I’ve never flown International First Class. I tend to strive for Business Class. I know what kind of Travel Geek am I? All the Travel Bloggers out there seem to drool over the idea of a first class experience. The reason being is simply because, except for United & British Airways’s 777 (avoid those two like the plague)

Or you might get stuck in one of these they call Business Class ——->

I’ve never felt the need for more room or better service. I don’t need someone kneeling at my side every five minutes asking what they do for me.

Deep down, I’m dying to experience Cathay’s Best Bed in the Sky, Singapore Suites or even take a shower on Emirates and Etihad! But for now we’ll go with the former 🙂

Before we give you our top three. make sure to Sign Up for these 3 Points Programs! That way you’ve already taken one step towards enjoying a business class seat 🙂

So here are some of my best business class experiences I’ve ever had.

EVA Air
Toronto Canada to Taipei, Taiwan

Royal Laurel (Business) is the highest class on EVA so you have their full, undivided attention, it may also have been because the business class cabin was nearly empty.  Either way, I’ll take it. One of the best long haul flights I’ve ever been on. Quiet cabin, superb, attentive service but not too in your face. Oh, and the flight attendants practically knelt before us when they speak to us. Must be a Taiwanese thing. EVA’s amenity kits, especially the case they come in, are pretty awesome. The contents are all standard but the presentation is what takes the cake.

The only negative of the flight is that the Captain did not make ANY announcements.  Not before, during or at the end of the flight. All the announcements were made by the flight attendants. IDK why I cared but I just found it a bit weird.

Fun Fact: EVA Air has a few airplanes that are all decked out in Hello Kitty gear.

Japan Airlines 787 Sky Suite
New York JFK – Tokyo Narita

Not all 787s have the Sky Suite! So check HERE to make sure your route features the JAL Sky Suite.

If you’re traveling solo, opt for the window seat. It’s almost completely private. Seat is one of the most comfortable I’ve sat on. One of the greatest features of the suite is the entertainment screen and handset where you can order your meal/snack/drink anytime during the flight! Service was impeccable.

Fun Fact: Did you know that you can book the JAL Sky Suite for only 60,000 AAdvantage miles each way?

 

KLM 787 World Business Class
Amsterdam – Salt Lake City

KLM’s World Business Class IMHO is the elite of the european carriers. Not first class (that honor goes to Air France and Lufthansa.) But as far as Business Class service, I just loved my flight on KLM.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂

Fun Fact: KLM is the only airline (that I know of) that gives each business class passenger a gift (pictured below) at the end of the flight.

 

So there you have it. My three favorite Business class products. (That I’ve flown) Other great business class include Singapore Air, ANA, Virgin Atlantic, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific (I did fly them but felt EVA Air was better) Qatar, and Korean Air.

Here is one card that can get you a one way ticket in any of those business seats: Chase Ink Preferred will net you 85K Chase points that can be transferred to United (for booking on EVA) to Flying Blue (for booking on KLM) and to Singapore Air as well!

Destination Friday: Hilton Prague, Czech Republic

Destination Friday: Hilton Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a vintage city oozing with history. If you want a idea of what the medieval times looked like, this is your city. In fact Prague used to be the heart of Europe all the way up until the late 1800s. Plenty to see and marvel at. Spend at least a day day in the old quarter and soak in its nightlife. Meet people from deep in Asia as well as well as all over Europe.

Much has been already written about visiting Prague so this review will focus on the hotel.

The Hilton Prague (not to be confused with the Hilton Old Quarter) is just a couple minute walk from the Florenc train and bus                  station. So vey accessible from the airport. If you don’t have a lot of luggage I recommend the Regio Jet bus from the Airport to Florenc. It costs only 2.60 EU each way or 65 Czech Dollars.

The Hotel is gigantic. It almost takes up an entire square block. When you walk in you’re greeted by its atrium lobby which will make you forget about the aging but beautiful architecture all over Prague.

Atrium at Hilton Prague

There are several Bars and Restaurants on the Lobby and Mezzanine Levels and there is a shopping mall right across the street. The highlight however is the Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar.

Ok now for the Room. King Deluxe Executive Room. Room 7064 about 5 minute walk from the elevator lol.To be honest, it’s a typical Hilton room with a gorgeous river view of Prague. Here’s what it looks like and here was my personal greeting 😉

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Four Tips To Book Hotel Rooms Like A Pro

Four Tips To Book Hotel Rooms Like A Pro

Four Crucial Hotel Booking Tips!  Also check out How to Book Airline Tickets like a Pro

So I’m a sucker for hotel status. I just having an edge wherever I go. I want to get the best room, best service, and I don’t want to have to wait in line like everybody else. I know I’m a spoiled brat.

While you shouldn’t go crazy to earn hotel status, if you’re staying  in hotels more than 10 nights a year, you should definitely make it work in your favor.

So first decide which hotel chain works best for you. I wrote up about it extensively HERE.

Rule #1: Always book directly from the Hotel’s website. Unlike Airline tickets Hotels know where you booked your room and they punish you for not booking it with them as they assume you won’t be loyal to their brand anyway.  So unless it’s a stand alone hotel (i.e. boutique or non chain hotel) don’t bother with Hotels.com or Orbitz.com.

Rule #2: Even though you’re booking through the Hotel’s website, make sure to check Ebates and TopCashBack to see if they offer any cashback for the hotel chain you’re booking with.

Rule #3 Discount codes! Most hotel websites have a AAA rate. Not always cheaper  but worth checking. Hilton offers an MVP corporate rate that can be accessed HERE. Here is a comprehensive list of Hotel corporate codes. Please use them at your own risk.

Rule #4: Hotel prices fluctuate very often. So always keep on checking for lower rates. Even after you book! Most hotel reservations are cancelable up until 1-2 days before you check in. For e.g. in NYC during the week you’ll see prices above $400 for simple mid level hotels. But if you wait until the day of to book it goes down exponentially.

Destination Friday: Hilo, Hawaii

Destination Friday: Hilo, Hawaii

Let’s continue our Destination Friday! Each week, we’ll be sharing an awesome, under-rated, vacation destination!

This week: Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo – a DoubleTree by Hilton

Located on Hawaii’s Big Island. Hilo is the less popular side to its rival Kona. Having been to both I really believe Hilo is the most underrated city in Hawaii. While most of us think of Pristine sandy beaches, tiki torches and Mai Tais when visiting Hawaii, let me introduce you to Volcanos, Lava tubes, incredible zip lining, steep mountain cliffs and yes beautiful beaches.

So the Grand Naniloa is probably the only decent option in Hilo, only 2 miles from Hilo airport. Stunning ocean and bay views! Plus it can be had for less than 40,000 Hilton points a night! You can earn 80,000 points just for signing up for the no annual fee Hilton American Express Card.

Room tip: Get the King Corner Ocean View Room! You’ll love it, the views are stunning!

How to get there: Airport code ITO about a 3 minute taxi ride to hotel. United is the only airline that offers direct flights from LAX. The only other way to get there would be to connect in Honolulu or Maui via Hawaiian Airlines.

A round trip from mainland US to Hilo on United will run you 45,000 miles on United 60,000 on Hawaiian.

Expert Tip: Use Singapore Air miles to book on United for only 35K round trip or Korean Air Miles to book on Hawaiian for only 30K Round Trip!

American Express Membership Rewards is a Transfer Partner of Singapore Air and Chase Ultimate Rewards  is a Transfer Partner for Korean.

How to book: Support us by using our Orbitz Link. Or you can sign up for the super awesome Amex Business Platinum (We’ll earn 15k points if you sign up) and use your points to transfer to Hawaiian airlines or book the hotel using American Express Travel.

My Top 5 Activities:
(Disclaimer: I can’t vouch for the safety of any of these activities. Do them at your own risk. We do NOT get commission for these activities)

Recommended amount of time to stay in Hilo? 5 days.

Have questions? Need assistance? We’d love to hear your comments and help you reach this awesome destination.

Destination Friday: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Destination Friday: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Let’s restart our Destination Friday! Each week, we’ll be sharing an awesome, under-rated, vacation destination!

This week: Le Meredian Chiang Mai Thailand

This hotel is the perfect oasis to base your exploration of Northern Thailand. It’s situated right in middle of the action and near the night bazaar. Most of all, it’s beautiful and affordable. Free night awards start at only 7,000 points! Earn 25KStarpoints by signing up for Starwood American Express

Room tip: Get upgraded to the suite! You’ll love it. SPG Platinum’s get access to the Club Lounge.

How to get there: Airport code CNX about a 5 minute taxi ride to hotel. Thai Airways (United and Star Alliance Partner) is probably your best bet in getting there. Bangkok Airways (Japan Airlines Partner) is another option. From the USA, consider Cathay Pacific (American Airlines Partner) to Hong Kong and connect to Cathay Dragon (Also American Airlines Partner.) Business Class on Cathay Pacific will run you 60K AAdvantage Miles each way.

How to book: Support us by using our Orbitz Link. Or you can sign up for the super awesome Amex Business Platinum (We’ll earn 15k points if you sign up) and use your points to book the hotel using American Express Travel.

My Top 5 Activities:
(Disclaimer: I can’t vouch for the safety of any of these activities. Do them at your own risk.)

Recommended amount of time to stay in Chaing Mai? 3-5 days.

Have questions? Need assistance? We’d love to hear your comments and help you reach this awesome destination.

Six Things I Learned From Going Viral

Six Things I Learned From Going Viral

What a week it’s been. So while in a NYC Juno (Uber’s New Competition) I wrote a facebook post about our recent travel experience, more specifically an incident that took place on the flight home.

This is what it looked like ———> Facebook Post that went viral

Before I knew it, the post was getting LIKES and Comments like I’ve never experienced before. And yes, I manage four different social media pages (not including The Travel Geeks ;)) that are quite popular. But I’ve never seen anything like this.

I then had to shut off my phone for Shabbat and when I turned it back on the following evening it was exploding with messages and notifications. The post had been Shared over 200 times (it’s been shared 1100 times since then) with over 1500 LIKES. Mind you, I only have like 650 friends (at least before this story.) The story eventually was shared all over social media to over 100,000,000 people collectively. (That’s not a typo.)

Over the last week, the story was shared on Yahoo.com, CBS’s Inside Edition and dozens of popular blog sites. Pop Sugar and Little Things to name two of them.

I made sure to take note of what was happening so I can share it with you guys sometime. So here goes.

1. Help 

Always keep an eye out how you can help a fellow traveler. Don’t be a hermit lost in your own world. Nice people are becoming more and more rare these days. Be one of them. You’re traveling on a plane, staying in a hotel with hundreds of other fellow travelers. Being helpful goes a long way. Trust me. It will come back around to help you one day.

2. Lead

When there is a crisis, any kind of crisis, be a leader. Look for ways to solve the problem instead of escaping from the problem. While most people on the flight were digging for their ear plugs or noise canceling headphones, Rochel was worried about the child. What can she do to help him.

3. Capture

From a complete social media mindset, always be looking for potential memories. If a scene inspires you, capture it. That way it won’t just be a one off inspiration. Truth is, wanting to remember the beautiful scene is what inspired me to take a picture. Now that picture inspired millions. Oh and I’m a terrible photographer.

4. Share

Ok this is going to sound preachy. But instead of (or in addition to) showing off your latest Thai cuisine or sunset photo of you walking aimlessly down the beach — #chillin, think of what really inspires you and share THAT. Notice the difference in reaction that will surely follow.

5.  Tell

Stories! paint a picture, connect with your audience and your friends. We’ve all been a plane with a screaming child. We all know those thoughts that run through our heads in between the shrieks. Boom, I have your attention. Now let me tell you something amazing that happened.

6. Message 

There always needs to be message. Something practical, a takeaway, a “Do THIS.” My observation was “when you offer your hand in love and acceptance, miracles will follow.”