Rapid Travel Chai: Opening Doors to Hidden Countries at Frequent Travelers University Seattle 2014

2,269 views

Published on

Tips and destinations for visiting overlooked countries that are among the most spectacular destinations in the world. Where to go, how to get there using frequent flier miles, and what to see.

Published in: Travel
0 Comments
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,269
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1,171
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Rapid Travel Chai: Opening Doors to Hidden Countries at Frequent Travelers University Seattle 2014

  1. 1. Opening Doors to Hidden Countries Stefan Krasowski Rapid Travel Chai
  2. 2. Before We Start If you want to be an idiot…do it at home …and don’t tear up visas at immigration ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Itinerary Why How Where ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. Why Hidden Countries? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. French Canada or France in Canada? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Photo by Gord McKenna ,flickr St. Pierre & MiquelonMontreal, Quebec
  7. 7. How to Get to St. Pierre & Miquelon? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved United or Air Canada to St. John’s, Newfoundland Drive to Fortune and take the daily summer ferry
  8. 8. Tourist Hordes in Rome or Rome in Africa? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Photo by jimmyharris, flickr Colosseum, Rome Colosseum, El-Jem, Tunisia
  9. 9. And While You’re in Tunisia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. How to Get to Tunisia? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved 2 hour flight from Europe – easy for FTU-ers! Inspired Star Wars Sandcrawler
  11. 11. Cons and Pros ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. Cons ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Red tape (visas) can be a hassle Some destinations unavoidably expensive Standards vary…a lot, especially at hotels Stress…especially with companions Andaman Islands, India
  13. 13. Awards can do a lot, but not everything ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Delta or United award to Saipan or Guam Freedom Air to Tinian $84 - $261 Rental SUV $50 = Driving North Field, B-29 Superfortress Base Enola Gay Loading PitAir Ops BuildingFreedom Air
  14. 14. Pros ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Every day is off-peak Enjoy breathtaking sights without crowds No tourist industry = few tourist scams Authentic interaction with locals Make a difference with your dollars Learn “You went where?” bar stories to tell Kyrgyzstan
  15. 15. Dominican Republic’s Tourist East ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Photo by Marlene lls, flickr Photo by Larry Armstrong, flickr
  16. 16. Dominican Republic’s Quiet West ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  17. 17. Tips ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. Second US Passports Great for frequent travelers who need visas Easy process Only valid for two years Longer validity in 2015? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  20. 20. Visas for US Citizens travel.state.gov is reliable Land borders – may not have visa on arrival or allow foreigners 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
  21. 21. Tech Unlocked phone + local SIM card T-Mobile – free data & text to 120+ countries Encrypt – TrueCrypt Get a VPN – WiTopia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. Yellow Fever ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Source: CDC Yellow Book 2014
  25. 25. 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 The Rapid Travel Chai ‘3 Ds’ of Travel Safety
  26. 26. Rapid Travel Chai Guide to Culture in One Slide ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  27. 27. Don’t Be These Guys ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Aussie football fans in Oman Wearing shorts Flippantly wearing local hats Their shirts at least have sleeves
  28. 28. Where to Start? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  29. 29. Where to Start? Explore outside your social media bubble Consider offbeat and offseason ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Yamamoto’s Bunker, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea
  30. 30. UNESCO Sites Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and Sanchi Buddhist Monuments, Bhopal, India ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  31. 31. Traveler’s Century Club Anne of Green Gables & lobster suppers, Prince Edward Island, Canada ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  32. 32. Thorn Tree Forum for Destinations Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  33. 33. Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  34. 34. British Airways Avios are Awesome Redeem for short, expensive flights Fill in gaps on itineraries Africa, Canada, Pacific, South America flights ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  35. 35. Check Non-Alliance Partners, Too ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved +
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. United Micronesia Island Hopper Join missionaries, military, dignitaries, and islanders ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  38. 38. Palau and Peleliu ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  39. 39. Pohnpei ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  40. 40. 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
  41. 41. Haiti ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  42. 42. French Guiana and Suriname ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  43. 43. Air Where the Awards Don’t Go ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  44. 44. Air – Research Wikipedia’s airport and airline pages ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  45. 45. Air – Booking Find flights on ITA Matrix Locate booking options on Hipmunk ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  46. 46. 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
  47. 47. Air – Obscure Airlines OneTravel for hard to ticket airlines Get reservation record AND ticket number ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  48. 48. Air – Passes If you think awards are confusing and frustrating… Passes come and go, often Complicated booking Gotchas abound ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  49. 49. Hidden Countries ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  50. 50. Americas ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  51. 51. Moonscapes in Bolivia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved La Paz
  52. 52. How to Get to Bolivia? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Avianca or LAN to La Paz Santa Cruz has AA and more but no Uyuni flights Overland from Peru at Lake Titicaca Lake Titicaca
  53. 53. Bolivia Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Visa on arrival at all points of entry ($135) Land transport is very rough – fly to Uyuni Uyuni tour is high altitude and physically difficult La Paz – Uyuni bus breakdown
  54. 54. Otherworldly Salar de Uyuni ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  55. 55. Jesuits and Germans in Paraguay ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Deserted UNESCO Jesuit missions German yerba mate farmers Itaipú Dam + +
  56. 56. How to Get to Paraguay? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved AA nonstop from Miami, or Latin American airlines Overland from Argentina (Iguazú Falls or Posadas) American Airlines Miami – Asunción inaugural flight
  57. 57. Paraguay Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Visa required – on arrival for air only ($160) Major cities have safety issues – stay in German towns Need land transport – only domestic flight is Asunción to Ciudad del Este (Brazil border) Asunción Airport
  58. 58. Europe ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  59. 59. Divided Cyprus ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved 4th-century BC Tombs of the Kings, Pafos
  60. 60. How to Get to Cyprus ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Larnaca and Paphos served by many airlines Turkish-controlled Ercan served mainly from Turkey Onurair Istanbul-Ercan
  61. 61. Cyprus Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved No issue going in/out Turkish-controlled territory Bringing rental cars across is difficult – rent on both sides Divided Nicosia
  62. 62. Soviet Land in Transnistria ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Batman Lenin
  63. 63. How to Get to Transnistria? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Fly to Chisinau, Moldova on Austrian, Tarom, Turkish Bus to Terespol (avoid Russia through-trains) Transnistria border
  64. 64. Transnistria Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Moldova permits tourists to visit with no hassle Visa on arrival process subject to whim Extremely little English spoken Wedding Party
  65. 65. Africa ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  66. 66. Zimbabwe – Zambia – Botswana Triangle ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Victoria Falls
  67. 67. How to Get to Victoria Falls? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved BA Avios to Victoria Falls or Livingstone from Johannesburg Star Alliance: South African or Ethiopian Day tour to Botswana’s Chobe National Park Everything but the lions
  68. 68. Victoria Falls Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Zimbabwe’s tourist industry is fine, despite the economy Visa on arrival for Zambia & Zimbabwe, free for Botswana Colonial Victoria Falls Hotel & Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Hotel
  69. 69. Bargain French & Lemurs in Madagascar ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Luxury for $100/night
  70. 70. How to Get to Madagascar? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved SkyTeam: great availability on Air France & Kenya Airways Lemurs in Andasibe
  71. 71. Madagascar Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Visa on arrival (free) Road network is dreadful Great value hotels and French cuisine Countryside around TanaThe capital Tana
  72. 72. Middle East ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  73. 73. Iran Loves Americans ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved At least the people do!
  74. 74. How to Get to Iran? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Europe and Middle East carriers fly to Tehran and more Land entry from Turkey (US/UK may have issues) Lake near Shiraz
  75. 75. Iran Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved US/UK citizens must book agency tour with guide Expect 2-3 month visa process, apply at Pakistan Embassy Iranians are cosmopolitan and very friendly to Americans Watch Rick Steves Iran Lecture: http://bit.ly/1lgelmT Home decoration expo
  76. 76. Iran Mosaic ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  77. 77. Iran Mosaic ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  78. 78. Rising Iraq in Kurdistan ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Gali Ali Beg Canyon, north of Erbil
  79. 79. How to Get to Iraqi Kurdistan? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Fly to Erbil or Sulaimaniyah on Austrian, Lufthansa, Turkish and the Middle Eastern carriers – great award availability No viable land borders Boom town Erbil
  80. 80. Iraqi Kurdistan Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Visa on arrival, not valid for travel to rest of Iraq (free) Very safe, but still Iraq, so be alert Cash economy, don’t rely on ATMs or credit cards Entrance to many buildings
  81. 81. Is the Saudi Arabia Transit Visa Dead? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Transit visa (see UPGRD Matthew http://bit.ly/11uCx9K) Matthew reports the transit visa may be dead – stay tuned
  82. 82. Where I Really Want to Go: Socotra, Yemen ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Remote, safe island off the coast of Yemen Photo by Konrad Chudzik,flickrPhoto by Martin Sojka,flickr
  83. 83. Asia Pacific ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  84. 84. Serene Bhutan ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Tiger’s Nest
  85. 85. How to Get to Bhutan? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Get to New Dehli, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Singapore Connect on national carrier Druk Air Druk Air
  86. 86. Bhutan Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Must book with tour agent who arranges visa on arrival Government all-inclusive rates based on group size Peak months single person tour US$290/day Last (departure) day free Guides in required traditional dress
  87. 87. Himalayan Idyll ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  88. 88. Turkmenistan the Wacky ‘Stan ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved The Gates of Hell
  89. 89. How to Get to Turkmenistan? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Star Alliance Lufthansa and Turkish; OneWorld S7 SkyTeam China Southern from Ürümqi for Silk Road trips Azerbaijan by ferry, Uzbekistan by land Neighborhood MiG in Mary
  90. 90. Turkmenistan Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Tourist visa requires guided tour and long process Transit visa is guide-fee but lots of restrictions Average summer temperatures 100⁰F+ My guide in 130⁰F+ heat in non-AC Soviet jeep to Gonur
  91. 91. Edifice Complex ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  92. 92. WWII Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Mount Austen / Gifu
  93. 93. How to Get to Solomon Islands? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Virgin Australia from Brisbane, Australia Combine with Great Barrier Reef Trip Award via Delta, Virgin America/Atlantic or Singapore VA retired DJ flight codes in Jan ‘13 so all flights now bookable for Delta Edson’s Bloody Ridge
  94. 94. Solomon Islands Practicalities ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved No visa required Transport to outer islands unreliable Need clan permission for some sites – guide is useful Honiara Hotel children’s pool
  95. 95. Thin Red Line in Solomon Islands ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  96. 96. North Korea ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Victory Day Parade, 60th anniversary of Korean War Armistice
  97. 97. Can You Go? Yes, it is legal Now open year-round Agency handles visa and does not need your passport What if something happens? Call Swedish Embassy, Jimmy Carter or Dennis Rodman ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Mansudae Grand Monument detail
  98. 98. How to Get to North Korea? Typically must get yourself to Beijing: 2-entry visa if train or visit other Chinese cities 72-hour stopover if international flights only Train entry/exit for US citizens still an issue Koryo Air is cheaper and the full experience Air China is Star Alliance, I’ve never seen awards to FNJ… ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Air Koryo
  99. 99. Agencies Must book with an approved agency: Koryo Tours: the pioneer with lots of options big bus tours or $$$ small group Uri Tours: new player, more boutique smaller groups Consider private tour for more local interaction ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  100. 100. What You See - Monuments ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  101. 101. What You See - DMZ ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  102. 102. What You See - Glimpses of Daily Life ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  103. 103. What You See – Mass Games (next in 2015) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  104. 104. What You See – If It’s a Holiday ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  105. 105. What You See – Party Time! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  106. 106. Thank You stefan@rapidtravelchai.com @rapidtravelchai rapidtravelchai.com ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved

×