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Second Cities: The best destinations to visit from Amsterdam

Welcome to TPG’s Second Cities series, where we help you find amazing places that are only a couple of hours away from your original destination. This way you get the most out of your itinerary and visit less-popular or less-frequented destinations that deserve more attention.

Roughly 20 million visitors descend on Amsterdam each year to tour world-class cultural attractions like the Rijksmuseum, pedal across picturesque bridges alongside the city’s iconic canals and bask in that feeling the Dutch call gezellig. (Loosely translated as “cozy,” it’s fundamental to the culture of the Netherlands and you’ll hear the word used everywhere.)

All those people arriving in Amsterdam, however, means that overtourism is real in this beautiful European city. After you navigate the crowds to see what you’ve come to see in Amsterdam, hop a train out of the city to check out these interesting second cities.

Utrecht

With stairs that descend from street level to ca… Read More

What to do on Greenland’s west coast

What to do on Greenland’s west coast

The Arctic holds a certain mystique for intrepid travelers. The ultimate adventure, it can sound daunting and inaccessible, but nowadays you don’t have to be a legendary explorer like Amundsen and Rasmussen to see it. There might not be a direct flight from your nearest major city, but the legwork to get there is worth it. Especially if you’re going to Greenland’s west coast.

Although Iceland has been hogging the spotlight of late, its hulking neighbor deserves more attention than it gets. Travelers who want to have a truly rugged Arctic experience, without vying for waterfall Instagram pics with dozens of tourists, should head to Greenland. If you’re willing to endure a layover or two — connecting through Iceland or Denmark — you’ll be treated to an unspoiled Arctic environment steeped in rich indigenous tradition. <… Read More

How to Choose a No-Annual-Fee Card

Many credit cards yield awesome benefits, but those perks frequently come at a cost: $95 annual fees are not unusual, and in some cases the fee can escalate to $450-595. For a true points and miles enthusiast with many credit cards, having a few with no annual fee can help keep expenses down. Like other types of cards, no annual fee cards are not created equal. Here are some of the key things to look for:

Cashback: If you believe that cash is king, it’s possible to earn between 1-5% back on a variety of cards, which can add up to a hefty sum at the end of the year. It’s important to do your homework, though. Some cards will limit earning to specific categories, and others will cap the earnings you can achieve in those categories. If you make the right choice, this can be one of the simplest ways to maximize your benefits.

0% interest on transfers and purchases: To get the most out of the points and miles hobby, it’s best to pay your balances in full every month. … Read More

My Relaxed Valuation of Points and Miles

I’ve been asked to come up with my values for each of the types of points and miles we strive so hard to collect. I know some of my fellow hobbyists can quote you values down to the tenth of 1 cent and clearly explain and justify why “X” point is worth _ and “Y” point is worth just a little bit more. I like to look at miles and points as a way to obtain experiences and not have to pay cash out of pocket. If I accomplish that simple goal, I’ve won.

That being said, though I certainly understand that we should be earning and obtaining points at a price per point far below any reasonable redemption gives us.

There certainly is validity to the notion that every good points collector has the opportunity on any credit card transaction to earn 2% cashback from a simple cash back card. And that leads many to value a transaction as a loss if they don’t earn at least 2%. I never worry about that though as every new card welcome or … Read More

How to Hit the Jackpot on American Airlines Miles

There’s no better way to quickly accumulate a stash of points or miles than to apply for a credit card with a hefty signup bonus. Occasionally, competition between banks provides consumers with an unexpected bonanza. One such opportunity is the American Airlines credit card market shared by Barclays and Citibank.

When US Airways merged with American back in 2015, the new mega-airline was faced with a challenge: Barclays was the exclusive issuer of US Airways cards, while Citi had the sole rights to AA. After much negotiation, a compromise was reached: both banks were allowed to continue issuing cards, but Barclays could only market theirs in airports and on board flights. That distinction has almost disappeared by now, and the Barclays AA cards are promoted widely on the web.

If you have a good credit score and haven’t applied for a slew of credit cards lately, you’re in a position to quickly gain a large pile of AA miles. Before you do so, though, how valuable a… Read More

Best ecovillages to volunteer

Best ecovillages to volunteer

Ecovillages are like bright spots in all the darkness. While most of the world struggles to find solutions to the causes of our worldwide illnesses, ecovillages are communities who are entirely dedicated to eliminating them by being sustainable in four categories: social, ecology, culture, and economy. The ultimate goal is to create models which could, in theory, be scaled up to much larger groups of people. Travelers who would like to be part of a movement that could lead to a brighter future for the planet — and the human species along with it — have many options to choose from as there are ecovillages all around the world. Here we have selected seven ecovillages that invite volunteers to support their mission and learn how to change the world for the better.

1. Findhorn Foundation, Scotland
<img src="https://d36tnp772eyphs.cloudfront.net/blogs/1/2019/10/Fin… Read More

Last Chance: Incredible IHG Card 125K Bonus

Last Chance: Incredible IHG Card 125K Bonus

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a fantastic hotel credit card that just about everyone should have. For those of you who don’t yet have the card — for whatever reason — you’re in luck, because since early August the card has been offering its best ever bonus for a limited time.

I’ve written about this bonus several times, but this is a reminder that this is your last chance to be approved for this card with the current bonus — the increased offer on the card will end on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, so tomorrow is the last full day you can apply for the card with this bonus. This is stated clearly on the application.

I fell under the 5/24 limit a couple of weeks ago, and I was so excited about that because it meant I could apply for this card. I did t… Read More

The Best Ghost Tours in Edinburgh

The Best Ghost Tours in Edinburgh

A black and white photo of the historic architecture of Edinburgh
Posted: 10/5/2019 | October 5th, 2019

When it comes to spooky cities, Edinburgh takes the cake. It’s often considered one of the most haunted cities in the entire world — and anyone who has been will be hard pressed to argue!

When I was there a few years ago, I took part in some of the city’s many ghost tours. And there are a lot to choose from!

Regardless of whether you believe in ghosts or not, these tours take you on an adventure that not only teaches you a part of Edinburgh’s history but also leaves you feeling just a little “weird.”

Or, if you are like me, scared shitless.

While I hate horror movies because I always find them too unbelievable, as Alfred Hitchcock said, a good fright comes from what people don’t see or know.

When I finished my ghost tours, I… Read More