Good and bad ways to redeem airline miles

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Things used to be simpler: you’d earn miles, find availability for a ticket to Hawaii or Key West, book it an enjoy free flights starting at 25,000 miles roundtrip inside the U.S. As technology continues to improve our lives and make things simpler, airlines have chosen the opposite path, making their loyalty programs so complex that experts like me are needed to make the most of them.

A classic case in point is using your miles for flights. (more…)

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

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San Juan del Sur beach

Put Nicaragua on your travel to-do list for 2015. Sometimes unfairly known as the “poor man’s Costa Rica”, the country has a lot to offer every type of tourist, with the added benefit that it’s less expensive and less crowded than much of Costa Rica. The beaches are stunning, the surf is outstanding, and the infrastructure is better than you’re expecting. (more…)

Beware new hotel cancellation policies at Hilton, Marriott and Starwood

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Beware new hotel cancellation policies at Hilton, Marriott and Starwood - Featured Image

Even occasional travelers are familiar with the wide range of rates a hotel offers for each type of room. Typically the lowest price – the one that draws you in – is a prepaid and nonrefundable rate that you have to book in advance. More flexible rates, which usually don’t require a deposit up front and allow late cancellation, inevitably cost more. It’s a rule of the travel industry that paying more buys you flexibility, whether for a flight or a hotel stay. (more…)

British Airways devalues Executive Club

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British Airways devalues Executive Club - Featured Image

There’s a trend among airline frequent flyer programs, and it’s not to the benefit of most travelers. Last year we saw major changes at Delta and United as they greatly reduced mileage earning on discount economy tickets.

American has not joined that club, and won’t in 2015. But the devaluation trend has now spread across the pond to AA’s Oneworld partner, British Airways. (more…)