Tuesday, September 27, 2016

When Business Class is not Enough

After 10+ years of saving frequent flyer miles to take a business class trip as far as the points will go.

Now I find that business class can often be not better than premium economy.  But that may only be on particular aircraft.

Delta to Seattle:   butt numbing seat, yes better than the back of the plane but NOT worth $400

Korean Airlines:  First leg, only 2 customers in business class!   No first class customers.  A delightful crew. Up in the air on time, lunch within 15 minutes!

Waiting for leg 2 in Korea.   I was encouraged not to go to the business class lounge, it is 'too far'.
The Narita airport KA lounge was not as nice as the Starbucks store.  Food wrapped in plastic, terrible coffee and almost nothing else.  
KA lounge in Korea is bigger.  Menu is better if you are ready for hot food, but little fruit and salad.
Can I please have an apple?
Good desk space, free wifi and some quiet

Great airport:  Bigger than a mall
Offers FREE showers
Has 'relax' lounges, where people sleep until the next flight

Now there are separate classes for lounges!  
Don't try to go to the First Class lounge you will be sent to the 'other location'.

The check in lines are separated
The seating is separated
The lounges are separated
Even asking a question at the airline desk is separated by 'class'

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Are you angry when you can not travel?

After being on the road 6 months last year it has been very difficult to sit still for several months.

Amazing that the feeling is anger that I am not out there seeing and doing things but left to do paper work or yard work.

Today some of the simple beauties that do not require international travel became visible.

Not the glitter of diamonds in Amsterdam.................

 Not an exotic sea animal.............

Not a famous garden in Europe

But enough to change my mood and now am back at the computer searching for a trip to Japan

Monday, June 6, 2016

Never Leave Home without.......

Everyone packs what they 'think' the will need or can't live without for a month or longer.

Over the years there are a few items that are always in my bag.

1.  Zip Ties or you may call them plastic ties

They come in all sizes and lengths.  You can find them at hardware stores, the dollar store and Home Depot.

I carry a few in all sizes.   Best use is to:
1.  attach your luggage tag to your bag.  Often tags have buckle closures and are easily removed
2.  lock you suitcase (use a thin tie).   You MUST have a scissors or even a nail clipper will work, to cut the tie when you want to get into your suitcase  (this can work with a purse but annoying if you need something quickly
3.  secure your bag to an overhead rack on the train or bus.   This will prevent someone from a grab and run.
4.  my BEST use of plastic ties was when i lost the button to my pants at an airport in Italy.   There were no stores in the airport.  I did not have a belt.   So, attaching several ties together I made a belt for myself.  This gave me time to get into town and look for a button replacement (another story ref:  how difficult this was)/
Again, this is a situation when you want to use the WC.
Standard silver tape or one of the many fashion printed tapes available

2. Duct Tape:

Easy to pack flat once you remove the cardboard center this magic tape has repaired a shoe when a trip on a cobblestone tore some of the sole off my shoe.  I was in a small town and it took some time to find a cobbler.   Actually there are only a few I know of in my city I live in.

Duck tape can repair a tear in a suitcase
Use as a link remover since I often take only dark colors with me on any trip.
I have not tried this but you can tape your bag to an overhead rack if you plan to nap while traveling.  Just remember the scissors when you plan to alight!

3. Color copy of my passport:
Hotels still ask for your passport when checking in.  I now can give them a copy so I don't have to remember to pick up my passport later in the day.   I have ONLY had a problem with this idea when checking into a convent hotel in Italy where they wanted to see the original.  

4.  Back up pair of eyeglasses and eyeglass repair tools
If you wear glasses to read anything as I do, you know how important this is.  I bring a copy of my prescription in the event I find really 'cool frames' that I might want to purchase.
After breaking the frames on my glasses last year and finding no 'fix while you wait' facilities in Florence, Italy, I always carry a back up pair.
And the repair kit will let you replace any lost screws.  On one occasion I did have a piece replaced at an optical store.   Lovely shop in Sorrento near Piazza Tasso.  When I asked the cost, he didn't want any payment!  Wow.  For repairs in Florence there is a shop near the corner of Piazza Santa Croce (to the left facing the church) with a lovely couple who may have worked there for decades.   He has a work shop where repairs are made but NOT on the weekends.

4.  Small sewing kit and spare button.    Not always easy to find in a new town.

What are your NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT items?

*note:  I found the larger supermarkets in Italy often carried a number of items that might be helpful to a traveler.