Category Archives: The Basics

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

It seems so simple – passport = travel to other countries.  I mean, I can make a reservation from JFK to Moscow on Expedia snippity-snap and take some pictures in Red Square should I so wish, right?  RIGHT?

Not really.  That fancy passport is pretty awesome, I’ll agree.  It is a ticket to quite a lot of interesting places and experiences.  But sometimes it takes a little more than showing up with a smile and a blank page waiting for a stamp.

A WHOLE PAGE?  It takes up a whole page?  That's expensive real estate right there!
A WHOLE PAGE? It takes up a whole page? That’s expensive real estate right there!

It takes… *cue O Fortuna*… a VISA!  American citizens can visit 172 countries without a visa or with a visa upon arrival.  The rest of them take some legwork, and a few of them have some very onerous requirements.

And what about those countries?  

Continue reading Oh the Places You’ll Go!

Mommy Wars in the Sky

You get to the airport barely before the recommended two hours and head to the check-in desk.  You tried to plan ahead and checked in online, but there are bags involved.

Bags tossed onto the magic belt, you head toward security.  On the way there, your child finds two pieces of chewed gum under a trash-can lid, touches the floor approximately 97 times, grabs a stranger’s pant let thinking it’s you and then howls in – what?  fear?  rage? At this point you don’t know and are quickly reaching the don’t care point.

Lugging the carry-on and a child(ren), you head toward the security line, where you wait.  And wait.  And wait for someone to take embarrassing pictures of you and single you out for extra touching.  While in line, your child wiggles along on the floor, sometimes singing, sometimes crying.  The snotty nose makes an appearance.  A strange smell starts to waft around the line, and you make knowing motions toward the elderly person with the walker ahead of you to try and deflect suspicion.  You know it is your child, but you can’t exactly leave the line to take care of the problem.  And everyone is staring at you with great hope that you will not be on their flight.

Welcome to flying with children.  You’ve now completed the easy part.

Continue reading Mommy Wars in the Sky

Get Me OUT of Here!

Anyone with kids is well acquainted with the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days that accompany life as a parent.

It’s not that there aren’t nasty days when you don’t have kids, it’s just that when the nasty days show up post-kid you have to factor them in to your reactions.   This single fact is probably why those of us with a few mosquitos in tow don’t take off to recharge when those hideous days rear their inevitable heads.

How on Earth can you take off for a trip to recharge with THIS going on?
How on Earth can you take off for a trip to recharge with THIS going on?

Continue reading Get Me OUT of Here!

SkyScanner Makes It Easy to Find Cheap Tickets to Random Destinations

Most of us have probably had the thought:  “I don’t care where we go, I’ll just see where I can get great prices.”  That sounds great, until you’ve spent six hours on the Ryan Air website and you still don’t have a plan.

Enter SkyScanner.  While it is like most other travel search sites, it has some features that make it especially appealing to me.  First, you can enter your destination as “Everywhere.”  Second, you can search for fares over a month, which is awesome if your plans are flexible or even semi-flexible. Continue reading SkyScanner Makes It Easy to Find Cheap Tickets to Random Destinations

Make it Cheap!

Round trip business class tickets to Europe - with miles - $200.  Cheap travel is awesome.
Round trip business class tickets to Europe – with miles – $200. Cheap travel is awesome.

Last year I visited six European countries and three African countries.  I also visited four American states, one of those for the first time.  It was fun.

It would have also been very, very expensive if I didn’t have a few tricks up my sleeve for just such occasions.

Continue reading Make it Cheap!

On Airlines : British Airways

Disclaimer:  We use British Airways a lot, and we have a rather large point balance with them.

BA flying all majestic-in-the-skies
BA flying all majestic-in-the-skies

Why, you may ask, do we have a large BA point balance instead of using those beautiful little things to purchase more travel?

Continue reading On Airlines : British Airways

Cape Town!

I love Cape Town.  I can’t even express how much I love Cape Town.  Whenever the subject of Cape Town comes up, I feel like those old Muppet Show snippets with Animal running around chanting, “WOMAN!”

Except I’m chanting, “CAPE TOWN!” of course.

So I think I might have been one of the most excited people in the world to see Cape Town in the number one spot on the New York Times list of 52 Places to Go in 2014.  Cape Town is one of the most amazing, kid friendly, inexpensive, and breathtakingly gorgeous places our family has ever been – and it is SUPER easy to get there.

Continue reading Cape Town!