Rapid Travel Chai: International Travel Bootcamp - Chicago Seminars 2013

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Rapid Travel Chai International Travel Bootcamp at the Chicago Seminars, October 2013

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Rapid Travel Chai: International Travel Bootcamp - Chicago Seminars 2013

  1. 1. International Travel Bootcamp Stefan Krasowski Rapid Travel Chai
  2. 2. Itinerary Planning Tips Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Who Am I? I lived in China for 8 years I work in international business I plan obsessively I travel fast I come back exhausted My wife is the opposite ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. My Dream Trip My Wife’s ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. Who Are You? You have more miles than some nations… …what matters to you? The flight? The hotel? The destination? The people? The food? What else? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. What Do You Want in this Session? Planning? Tips? Cut the crap – gimme miles! Hold on, dinner before dessert…let’s roll! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. Planning ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. Where to Go? Explore outside your social media bubble Consider offbeat and offseason Yamamoto’s Bunker, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. Where to Go – UNESCO Sites Jesuit missions and German yerba mate farmers, Paraguay ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. Where to Go – Traveler’s Century Club Anne of Green Gables & lobster suppers, Prince Edward Island, Canada ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. Air – Research Wikipedia’s airport and airline pages ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. Air – Passes If you think awards are confusing and frustrating… Passes come and go, often Complicated booking Gotchas abound ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  13. 13. Air – Booking Find flights on ITA Matrix Locate booking options on Hipmunk ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  14. 14. Air – Budget Airlines skyscanner.com and whichbudget.com Price all the extras Know the airport – where in ‘London’? Know the terminal – Malaysian remote LCCTs Air Asia is awesome ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  15. 15. Air – Obscure Airlines OneTravel for hard to ticket airlines Get reservation record AND ticket number ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  16. 16. Air – China Flights China domestic flights have full-fare set by government Full-fare free to change flight and even airline!* Global sites only price full-fare tickets China sites price discounts: ctrip, eLong, travelzen Payment process can be a hassle *Can be a challenge, easiest to attempt at airport ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  17. 17. Air – China Flights Expedia $212 eLong $111 ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. Rail – Where? East Asia and Europe Overnight trains save time, save hotel Photo by alantankenghoe, flickr ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  19. 19. Rail – How? Advance web bookings can be difficult and/or deceptive Deutche Bahn for schedules Multiple stations in cities – search each Rail Europe $131 ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved SCNF $81
  20. 20. Rail – Passes Research, compare, cost alternatives May need to purchase before arrival (e.g. Japan) Swiss Pass 2nd Class is $298 for 4 days – yikes! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  21. 21. Bus – Where? ‘Executivo’ business class services in South America ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  22. 22. Bus – Tips Beware the near empty bus that is ‘leaving soon’ Your stuff will be either with you or with someone else Prepare for heat, prepare for cold Be a camel ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  23. 23. Taxis - Tips Beware taxis hanging out at hotels Hail taxis that are moving If the locals use radio taxis, you should too Taxis for day trips are impromptu guides ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  24. 24. Taxis – India India’s airport government prepaid taxis: Cheap and safe Don’t exit the airport! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  25. 25. Driving Exhilarating or stressful? Know your companions Driving on the left is surprisingly easy International Driving Permit (IDP) is an annual pain What to do in hitchhiker countries? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  26. 26. Rental Cars – Booking Booking sites often ‘location not found’/’sold out’ Try rental agency websites …but status is often worthless Try AutoEurope (not just for Europe) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  27. 27. Rental Cars – Gotchas Ayers Rock: 100 km fee + $0.23 per km! Riga, Latvia: $43 to pick up at 8 pm! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  28. 28. Rental Cars – Insurance Credit card CDW exclusions – Ireland, Israel, Italy and more Citi ThankYou & Dividend Platinum Select True worldwide CDW Get a certificate of coverage Chase Ink & others may be worldwide 11/1 – stay tuned Insurance often mandatory, sometimes included Supercover expands coverage/lowers deductible ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  29. 29. Hotels Don’t stress – too many options Chain hotels…are chain hotels trip advisor for brainstorming Local hotels at hotels.com Mom & Pops at booking.com Don’t be afraid to walk-up Alternative accommodation ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  30. 30. Tips ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  31. 31. US Passports Get the large passport book Get a passport card for land & sea & backup ID Enroll in Global Entry/NEXUS/SENTRI and add to airline profiles for TSA PreCheck Have scans and copies ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  32. 32. Duplicate US Passports Great for frequent travelers who need visas Easy process Only valid for two years ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  33. 33. Visa Requirements for US Citizens 166 countries Visa Free or Visa on Arrival Sources: Henley & Partners, Wikipedia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  34. 34. Visas for US Citizens Embassy websites are getting better travel.state.gov is reliable Specialist visa agents vs big generalists like CIBT 10-year India and 3-year Russia tourist visas Must pay Argentina reciprocity fee online in advance Yes, you need a visa for Australia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  35. 35. Money – Cash Cash is still king – be like a first date, crisp and clean Carry a cheat sheet of fx rates Change money on arrival, not departure Avoid Travelex!!! Traveler’s checks are dead Schwab debit card – no fx fee + ATM reimbursements ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  36. 36. Money – Credit Cards Card acceptance still low outside upscale bubble Logo in the window may only mean local cards Chip and Signature cards work most of the time Chip and Pin cards for heavy Europe travelers – Andrews FCU, PenFed (FlyerTalk list: bit.ly/195PoQS) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  37. 37. Handy Credit Card Benefits Chase – several cards have trip delay coverage Diner’s Club – lounge access, airport shuttles in Brazil Discover – accepted all over China via UnionPay ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  38. 38. Tech Prepare to be offline Unlocked phone + local SIM card Encrypt – TrueCrypt Get a VPN – WiTopia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  39. 39. Insurance Insure yourself, your trip, or your stuff? Annual or per trip? Credit cards often insure your trip and your stuff I insure myself – GeoBlue Trekker Choice annual plan insubuy.com, travelinsurancecenter.com ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  40. 40. Health CDC Yellow Book cdc.gov/travel Know scientific names of your meds (aspirin = acetylsalicylic acid) Plan ahead for vaccines Malaria pills pros and cons International Certificate of Vaccination ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  41. 41. Yellow Fever ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Source: CDC Yellow Book 2014
  42. 42. Safety The Rapid Travel Chai ‘3 Ds’ of Travel Safety Don’t be: Drunk Drugged Debauched Especially when you don’t speak the language or know the legal system ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  43. 43. Luggage Backpack = maximum flexibility, bag never leaves you Wheeled = less flexibility, more comfort Backpack/wheeled convertible = good at nothing Checked luggage = asking for trouble ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  44. 44. Packing Unless going to the moon, you are not going to the moon Go to onebag.com ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  45. 45. Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  46. 46. Elite status Carry all your frequent flyer cards Carry hard copies of key benefits Expect disappointment…and pleasant surprises Airport VIP Lounge, Livingston, Zambia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  47. 47. British Airways Avios are Miles Aspirin Short flights earn few miles and can be very expensive Fill in gaps on itineraries Africa, Canada, Pacific, South America flights ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  48. 48. Check Non-Alliance Partners, Too + ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  49. 49. Some offbeat flight awards Star Alliance: Copa in Central America (with United complementary upgrades) Ethiopian from Washington D.C. for Africa Turkish flies 100+ countries OneWorld: Avios, Avios, Avios SkyTeam: AeroMexico for Central America and even Europe and Asia China Eastern + China Southern for trips around Asia Delta seasonal JFK flight to Prince Edward Island, Canada Tarom for Eastern Europe ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  50. 50. Continental Island Hopper I can’t bear to call it ‘United’ Join missionaries, military, dignitaries and islanders String together 2-day layovers for next flight! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  51. 51. Palau and Peleliu ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  52. 52. Pohnpei ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  53. 53. Air France KLM Caribbean Hopper Visit Caribbean on the way to Europe Avoid Delta: positioning flight to Miami to pick up Air France ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  54. 54. Dominican Republic and Haiti ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  55. 55. French Guiana and Suriname ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  56. 56. Hotel Awards Expand to Carlson, IHG, Best Western, Choice Hotels International locations often much better than US Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Executive Lounge
  57. 57. Hotels Have Partners Too ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  58. 58. IHG Hotels Anywhere Conserve cash when no chain hotels available, or even stay at competitor chains Hilton Chicago O’Hare: 30k IHG points vs 40k Hilton points (fluctuates by rate) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  59. 59. Earning Miles at Local Hotel Chains Local chains often earn miles – Delta alone has 29 partners! Hilton HHonors Worldwide Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Marriott International InterContinental Hotel Group Accor Hotels Best Western International Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Choice Hotels International Hotel JAL City Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Langham Hospitality Group The Leading Hotels of the World Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group MARITIM Hotels Millennium Hotels and Resorts New Otani Hotels Nikko Hotels International Okura Hotels & Resorts Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts Parkroyal Hotels & Resorts The Plaza Hotel Prince Hotels & Resorts La Quinta Inns & Suites The Ritz-Carlton® Rotana Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces Worldhotels Wyndham Rewards ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  60. 60. Thank You rapidtravelchai.com stefan@rapidtravelchai.com @rapidtravelchai ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved

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