Carry On Luggage

My 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers

My 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers

a camera in christmas lights
Posted: 11/25/19 | November 25th, 2019

Travelers can be a fickle group of people to buy gifts for. We’re constantly coming and going, we usually don’t carry a lot of stuff with us, and no two travelers are alike so finding the perfect gift for the traveler in your life can be tricky.

While a plane ticket is never a bad idea (I’m a window seat in case anyone is thinking of getting me one), I’ve put together this ultimate holiday gift guide for travelers as there’s a lot of great travel gear out there these days that helps people travel cheaper and better.

Even me, the gear-adverse traveler, likes a lot of this stuff!

This is stuff I actually think is super useful. No nonsense. No fluff. Just the best gifts for intrepid travelers and globetrotting nomads!

Table of Contents

Gifts Under $25
Gi… Read More

How to Experience Cuba on a Budget

How to Experience Cuba on a Budget

a classic pink car in Cuba on a busy street
Posted: 11/28/19 | November 28th, 2019

As a Cuban-American, Talek Nantes has had a lot of experience traveling around Cuba. There’s a lot more to the country than just all-inclusive resorts! In this guest post, she offers some an in-depth breakdown of how to travel around Cuba like a local.

I’ve been traveling between Cuba and the US since I was born. (Actually, even before I was born: my mom came to the States when she was pregnant with me. I like to say I was made in Havana and born in the USA.)

As a Cuban-American who wrote a book on the country and runs tours there, I’ve made it my mission to share my appreciation for Cuban culture with everyone who wants to experience it.

People frequently ask me if Cuba is expensive.

It doesn’t have to be. It can be quite an affordable place to visit.

From obvious tried-and-t… Read More

Two Citi Expedia Credit Card Offers

I’d never heard nor seen these two cards before but the terms and conditions on getting approved caught my eye right away. Note the language only talks about other Expedia Voyager Cards:

Expedia+ Points Bonus Offer is not available if you have had any Expedia+ or Expedia+ Voyager card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Citi has fairly strict rules on repeating a bonus on a card. If the card is so little well known, many of you may qualify for a new and different card with these.

The better offer is now increased on the Expedia + Voyager card to 50,000 points after $2000 of spend in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $95. You also receive an annual credit of $100 for airline incidentals.

The points work out to a value of about .7 cents each or $350 of credit on an Expedia booking, less the annual fee. The value is more if you have elite status with Expedia or are booking a VIP Hotel where the points are worth 1.4 cents each. They also offer a… Read More

What’s the Best Way to Share Lounge Access With My Spouse or Family Member?

“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

More and more credit cards these days are offering some form of airport lounge benefit, often in the form of a Priority Pass Select membership. While most cards will allow you to bring in a couple of guests or your immediately family free of charge, there isn’t an easy way to transfer your membership to a spouse or family member if you’re traveling separately. TPG reader Chad wants to know what his best options are for sharing his newfound lounge access with his wife …

I recently opened the Amex Platinum card and my wife is looking to take advantage of the airport lounge benefits on her upcoming business trip. Should I add her as an authorized user on my account? Let her take my card and hope they don’t check the name too closely? Or simply open one up in her name? She was also targeted for t… Read More

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Virtual Mailbox Services ReviewVirtual Mailboxes: How to Receive Mail while Traveling
Digital Nomads

How do long-term travelers and digital nomads receive mail or packages while traveling? I use a virtual mailbox service that allows me to scan and forward my mail internationally.

I’ve been working as a digital nomad for the past 9 years, basing myself in multiple countries or simply living out of my backpack while traveling.

Currently, I’m living as an expat in Italy.

Yet I have a virtual mailbox with a physical address in San Antonio, Texas.

Using this service, any incoming mail or packages is photographed, which I can then view through an online dashboard.

From there, I can decide to scan the contents (letters), forward the mail/package… Read More

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Best Virtual Mailbox Service For Travelers & Digital Nomads

Virtual Mailbox Services ReviewVirtual Mailboxes: How to Receive Mail while Traveling
Digital Nomads

How do long-term travelers and digital nomads receive mail or packages while traveling? I use a virtual mailbox service that allows me to scan and forward my mail internationally.

I’ve been working as a digital nomad for the past 9 years, basing myself in multiple countries or simply living out of my backpack while traveling.

Currently, I’m living as an expat in Italy.

Yet I have a virtual mailbox with a physical address in San Antonio, Texas.

Using this service, any incoming mail or packages is photographed, which I can then view through an online dashboard.

From there, I can decide to scan the contents (letters), forward the mail/package… Read More

What I’m thankful for: 12 travel blessings this Thanksgiving

I have enjoyed a blessed life. There is really no other way to describe it. This fortunate existence did not derive from a privileged financial background but rather from a combination of good family, good friends, good health, a good hometown environment and a positive outlook on life. In other words, I have drawn a royal flush in the things that can truly make or break a person’s quality of living.

This good fate has even stretched its propitious tentacles into our travel experiences.

Even when I was a youngster, our family trips were favored with good weather and lasting memories. Our vacations stood in stark contrast to a relative’s sojourns that seemed to always include rain and the travels of a family friend that were usually more travails than treasures. As a young adult and through my now-senior status, my journeys have usually had ideal conditions and pleasant outcomes.

(I am not overly superstitious but I will admit that, when writing this … Read More

The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

The biggest trend I’ve seen in the points and miles game — ever since I’ve been blogging — is that airlines and hotels have consistently been devaluing their programs and increasing the number of miles and points needed for flights or award stays. There are still sweet spots in each program where you can find value, but the dynamic pricing, fuel surcharges and other costs of booking award flights and stays have gotten ridiculous in some instances. In the wake of all of these airline and hotel loyalty program devaluations, the fixed-value and transferrable currencies you can earn with credit cards have become even more valuable.

I currently hold more than 20 different credit cards, but the product family that I’ve been the most loyal to over the years is Chase. There are two main reasons: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are incredibly flexible and valuable and Chase offers a very pair-able lineup that allows you to maximize both your earning and redemption … Read More