Rapid Travel Chai: The World Less Traveled - Frequent Traveler University Tampa 2013

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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.

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Rapid Travel Chai: The World Less Traveled - Frequent Traveler University Tampa 2013

  1. 1. “That's never leaving Eliteistan, the rarefied, and to some degree monotonous, world in which the wealthy walk from business-class cabin to town car to top-tier-but-still-chain-because-they-know-it-and- get-points hotel to Starbucks… …sometimes you just want to veg out and read on the beach. But we travel to travel, to see new things, get out of our routines and expand our brains.” In Praise of Wandering “Over There” by Fuzz Hogan, Slate “That's never leaving Eliteistan, the rarefied, and to some degree monotonous, world in which the wealthy walk from business-class cabin to town car to top-tier-but-still-chain-because-they-know-it-and- get-points hotel to Starbucks… …sometimes you just want to veg out and read on the beach. But we travel to travel, to see new things, get out of our routines and expand our brains.” In Praise of Wandering “Over There” by Fuzz Hogan, Slate
  2. 2. The World Less Traveled Stefan Krasowski Rapid Travel Chai
  3. 3. Itinerary Why The World Less Traveled? Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali Would You Go To… North Korea Saudi Arabia Haiti Why The World Less Traveled? Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali Would You Go To… North Korea Saudi Arabia Haiti ©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 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 The World Less Traveled? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. Rome in Africa or Rome in Rome? Colosseum, Rome Colosseum, El-Jem, Tunisia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Photo by jimmyharris, flickr
  7. 7. And While You’re in Tunisia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. How to Get to Tunisia? 2 hour flight from Europe – easy for FTU-ers! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved …and more! Inspired Star Wars Sandcrawler
  9. 9. Jesuits and Germans in Paraguay ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Deserted UNESCO Jesuit missions German yerba mate farmers Itaipú Dam + +
  10. 10. How to Get to Paraguay? AA nonstop from Miami or Latin American airlines Overland from Argentina (Iguazú Falls or Posadas) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved American Airlines Miami – Asunción inaugural flight
  11. 11. Thin Red Line in Solomon Islands ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. How to Get to Solomon Islands? Virgin Australia from Brisbane, Australia Combine with Great Barrier Reef Trip Book award via Delta, Virgin America/Atlantic or Singapore, not Hawaiian (limited to LAX flights) Retired DJ flight codes in Jan ‘13 so all flights now VA and bookable for Delta ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Virgin Australia from Brisbane, Australia Combine with Great Barrier Reef Trip Book award via Delta, Virgin America/Atlantic or Singapore, not Hawaiian (limited to LAX flights) Retired DJ flight codes in Jan ‘13 so all flights now VA and bookable for Delta Edson’s Bloody Ridge
  13. 13. Cons and Pros ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  14. 14. Cons Red tape (visas) can be a hassle Some destinations unavoidably expensive Standards vary…a lot, especially at hotels Stress…especially with companions ©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
  15. 15. Awards can do a lot, but not everything Delta or United to Saipan or Guam Freedom Air to Tinian $84 - $261 Rental SUV $50 = Driving North Field, B-29 Superfortress Base ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Delta or United 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
  16. 16. Pros 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 ©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
  17. 17. Go West in Dominican Republic ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  19. 19. Air Awards Point A to B awards are easy Points A to B to C to ∞ awards are hard Get the trip you want, a simple roundtrip is not a sin Codeshares may not be bookable Check airline partners beyond alliance Point A to B awards are easy Points A to B to C to ∞ awards are hard Get the trip you want, a simple roundtrip is not a sin Codeshares may not be bookable Check airline partners beyond alliance ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  20. 20. British Airways Avios Partners + ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved +
  21. 21. Avios are Miles Aspirin Short flights earn few miles and can be very expensive Africa, Canada, Pacific, South America flights Transfer bonuses from Amex MR, not Chase UR ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  22. 22. Continental Island Hopper Can’t bear to call it ‘United’ Join missionaries, military, dignitaries and islanders String together 2-day layovers for next flight! Don’t forget Yap and Palau (Koror) Can’t bear to call it ‘United’ Join missionaries, military, dignitaries and islanders String together 2-day layovers for next flight! Don’t forget Yap and Palau (Koror) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  23. 23. Palau and Peleliu ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  24. 24. Pohnpei ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  25. 25. For Obscure Airlines OneTravel for hard to ticket airlines Get reservation record AND ticket number ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  26. 26. Hotels Have Partners Too ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  27. 27. IHG Rewards Hotels Anywhere The opportunity is for non-chain hotels, but since this is FTU ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Compared to 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
  28. 28. Would you go to… ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  29. 29. Would you go to… Go/no go ethical dilemma Government ≠ People ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Mt Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar (Burma) in 2010
  30. 30. Would you go to… Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  31. 31. Would you go to…Muslim countries (if you are non-Muslim) Are you comfortable feeling really outsider? Women: will you wear a head scarf or abaya? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered, ‘Muslim countries’ defined as countries with majority Muslim populations Are you comfortable feeling really outsider? Women: will you wear a head scarf or abaya? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered, ‘Muslim countries’ defined as countries with majority Muslim populations ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  32. 32. Would you go to…Muslim countries (if you are non-Muslim) Wide diversity – Morocco to Indonesia Be low-profile and modest Women – pros and cons of the attention Israeli stamps in passports Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered, ‘Muslim countries’ defined as countries with majority Muslim populations Wide diversity – Morocco to Indonesia Be low-profile and modest Women – pros and cons of the attention Israeli stamps in passports Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered, ‘Muslim countries’ defined as countries with majority Muslim populations ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Al Batinah, Oman
  33. 33. Would you go to…Dictatorships Will you accept that money will go to the government? Will you take care to not compromise locals? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered Will you accept that money will go to the government? Will you take care to not compromise locals? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
  34. 34. Would you go to…Dictatorships Often safe for tourists that follow the rules Covert journalists, missionaries, etc beware Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered Often safe for tourists that follow the rules Covert journalists, missionaries, etc beware Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Baku, Azerbaijan
  35. 35. Would you go to…High crime countries Will you take precautions or take risks? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered Will you take precautions or take risks? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Copán, Honduras
  36. 36. Would you go to…High crime countries Get out to the countryside Avoid drug traffic routes Daylight is your friend Party somewhere else Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered Get out to the countryside Avoid drug traffic routes Daylight is your friend Party somewhere else Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Suchitoto, El Salvador
  37. 37. Would you go to…‘Failed States’ Is it a ‘failed state’ for tourism? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered , ‘failed states’ is a nebulous term, see the annual Foreign Policy Failed States Index Is it a ‘failed state’ for tourism? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered , ‘failed states’ is a nebulous term, see the annual Foreign Policy Failed States Index ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe
  38. 38. Would you go to…‘Failed States’ Lack of government vs lack of safety Armored car approach vs low key Know your contingencies Read Little Bunch of Madmen by Mort Rosenblum Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered , ‘failed states’ is a nebulous term, see the annual Foreign Policy Failed States Index Lack of government vs lack of safety Armored car approach vs low key Know your contingencies Read Little Bunch of Madmen by Mort Rosenblum Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered , ‘failed states’ is a nebulous term, see the annual Foreign Policy Failed States Index ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Dhaka, Bangladesh
  39. 39. Would you go to…Conflict zones What is your motivation? Will you endanger yourself or others? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered What is your motivation? Will you endanger yourself or others? Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved WWII Monument, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  40. 40. Would you go to…Conflict zones Widespread vs localized conflict Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered Widespread vs localized conflict Disclaimer: these are broad stereotypes, every country and trip should be individually considered ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Southern Sri Lanka in 2010
  41. 41. Rapid Travel Chai Guide to Culture in One Slide Rapid Travel Chai Guide to Culture in One Slide ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  42. 42. Don’t Be These Guys Wearing shorts Flippantly wearing local hats At least shirts have sleeves ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Aussie football fans in Oman Wearing shorts Flippantly wearing local hats
  43. 43. North Korea ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  44. 44. Can You Go? Yes, it is legal Plan at least 1 month ahead Now open year-round Mass Games not planned for 2014 Agency handles visa and does not need your passport What if something happens? Call Swedish Embassy, Jimmy Carter or Dennis Rodman Yes, it is legal Plan at least 1 month ahead Now open year-round Mass Games not planned for 2014 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
  45. 45. Agencies Must book with an approved agency: Koryo Tours: the pioneer with lots of options big bus tours or $$$ small group Uri Tours: new player, more boutique smaller groups Both have interesting theme tours like Uri golf tour Itinerary set in advance and difficult (for you) to change But itinerary will change and guides do their best Consider private tour for more local interaction Must book with an approved agency: Koryo Tours: the pioneer with lots of options big bus tours or $$$ small group Uri Tours: new player, more boutique smaller groups Both have interesting theme tours like Uri golf tour Itinerary set in advance and difficult (for you) to change But itinerary will change and guides do their best Consider private tour for more local interaction ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  46. 46. 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 ctizens still an issue Koryo Air is cheaper and the full experience Air China is Star Alliance, I’ve never seen awards to FNJ… 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 ctizens 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
  47. 47. The Guides If you break the rules, your guides will pay No freedom of movement without guide Guides loosen up a bit when you build trust Be reasonable in requests Be considerate on sensitive topics If you break the rules, your guides will pay No freedom of movement without guide Guides loosen up a bit when you build trust Be reasonable in requests Be considerate on sensitive topics ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  48. 48. On the Ground You are guests in their house You see what they want you to see, and a bit more Mobile phones now allowed – local SIM $$$ Try being disconnected – finally a relaxing vacation! You are guests in their house You see what they want you to see, and a bit more Mobile phones now allowed – local SIM $$$ Try being disconnected – finally a relaxing vacation! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  49. 49. What You See - Monuments ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  50. 50. What You See - DMZ ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  51. 51. What You See - Glimpses of Daily Life ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  52. 52. What You See – Mass Games (next in 2015) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  53. 53. What You See – If It’s a Holiday ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  54. 54. What You See – Party Time! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  55. 55. Saudi Arabia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  56. 56. Can You Go to Saudi Arabia? Muslims welcome Jews officially not unwelcome, but… Women not welcome alone (unless business) Tourists not welcome without $$$$$ group Transit visa (thanks UPGRD Matthew http://bit.ly/11uCx9K) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Muslims welcome Jews officially not unwelcome, but… Women not welcome alone (unless business) Tourists not welcome without $$$$$ group Transit visa (thanks UPGRD Matthew http://bit.ly/11uCx9K)
  57. 57. His and Hers Transit Visas Bribed my wife with 2 nights at Park Hyatt Dubai Follow the official process first Then go with the flow Took me 4 trips to Saudi Consulate in NYC Must prove need to transit 24 hours single-entry easiest, multiple/72 hours possible Without visa, transits cannot leave airport ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Bribed my wife with 2 nights at Park Hyatt Dubai Follow the official process first Then go with the flow Took me 4 trips to Saudi Consulate in NYC Must prove need to transit 24 hours single-entry easiest, multiple/72 hours possible Without visa, transits cannot leave airport
  58. 58. Then Go Abaya Shopping ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  59. 59. How to Get to Saudi Arabia Get the full experience with Saudia, easy Delta award Marriotts are category 4 – use up your certs ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  60. 60. Who Can Hack their Way into the Royal Terminal? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  61. 61. Riyadh – Dusty Capital ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  62. 62. Jeddah – Ornate Old Town ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  63. 63. Haiti ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  64. 64. This is the Haiti We See in the News ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  65. 65. This is Who Goes to Haiti ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  66. 66. Haiti Was Once Fabulously Rich Richest colony in 18th century 50% of France’s GNP in the 1750s Now Haiti needs your tourist dollars ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Anchor of Columbus’ flagship Santa Maria
  67. 67. How to Get to Haiti Easy awards on American and Delta (ATL, JFK, MIA) Continue to France via Guadeloupe on Delta/Air France Overland from Dominica Republic difficult ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Tortug' Air
  68. 68. Reality Check Infrastructure is still patchy Safety is an issue – comparable to Central America ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Cap-Haïtien Airport in 2012
  69. 69. Cap-Haïtien and Citadelle Laferrière 1-hour flight from Port-au-Prince, charters from Florida Hostellerie du Roi Christophe ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Coastal ruins
  70. 70. Cap-Haïtien and Citadelle Laferrière ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  71. 71. Port-au-Prince City is buzzing on the ruins ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved No more tent city City is buzzing on the ruins
  72. 72. Hope ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  73. 73. Fun ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  74. 74. Make a Difference ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  75. 75. You have the tools You have the opportunity You are the travel 0.001% What will you do? You have the tools You have the opportunity You are the travel 0.001% What will you do? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  76. 76. Thank You stefan@rapidtravelchai.com @rapidtravelchai rapidtravelchai.com ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved

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