The New Travel Thread: Now with write ups in the OP

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jax Teller, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. CoastalOrange

    CoastalOrange Well-Known Member
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    Finally got around to booking flights and of course it's going to be a bitch getting back. Is a 1hr layover in Amsterdam (flying in from Manchester and flying out to Detroit) enough time? What is customs like within the EU?
     
  2. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
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    If they'll let you book it they think you can, but knowing how many flights go from Amsterdam to Detroit even if you missed it there's multiple a day.
     
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  3. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    Added Belize to the end of my trip

    So after Africa we'll fly to NY spend a weekend there head to a friends in Boston for the next weekend and then fly to Belize then home.


    Any write ups/tips/recommendations on Belize?
     
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  4. Where Eagles Dare

    Where Eagles Dare The Specialist Show On Earth
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    Guns
     
  5. Det. Frank Bullitt

    Det. Frank Bullitt God Bless Texas
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    Depends on what you want to do.
     
  6. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    Que?
     
  7. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    Well I will definitely be diving, looking into spearfishing and fly fishing as well.

    Debating real hard if I want to make the trip all the way to the San Ignacio area for the Mayan Ruins. Also I've heard Belize is having a problem with seagrass similar to Tulum/Cancun.
     
  8. Where Eagles Dare

    Where Eagles Dare The Specialist Show On Earth
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    That's a poster who went
     
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  9. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    Oh lol I missed the tag completely, thought I was going a gun range in Belize.
     
  10. BayouMafia

    BayouMafia cool enough to not quite see it
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  11. Handcuffed

    Handcuffed TMB OG
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    anyone have tips for booking award travel? i'm trying to use my alaska miles to book first class on qantas or cathay pacific to head to sydney (or sydney with a long hong kong stopover if via cathay pacific) for new years next year. nothing is available and they said to just call back every couple of weeks. is that really my best bet here?
     
  12. Arkadin

    Arkadin inefficiently efficent and unclearly clear
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    Like Dec 31 2020?
     
  13. BayouMafia

    BayouMafia cool enough to not quite see it
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    You can sign up for miles accounts on one of those airlines and then check on their sites rather than call, but otherwise there’s not really a better way
     
  14. harvey birdman

    harvey birdman Ha ha! Last laugh.
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    Just got back from Amsterdam and Paris. I recommend going when the weather is warmer. I am a Floridian though.
     
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  15. PJP3

    PJP3 Well-Known Member
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    You’re looking for probably the hardest destination (oz/nz) at the most difficult time of year (xmas/nye) in the cabin w least availability to book with miles, so its already unlikely you find anything, but your best bet is to sign up for the premium version of expert flyer and set up alerts for what you want and be ready to book immediately if it comes available. Expert flyer is a pay service but may be worth it for you in this case. Most award tickets become available like 330 days before travel, then again a couple weeks before, so if theres nothing available now, you probably wont find anything available till right before your trip, if at all.
     
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  16. Weedlord420

    Weedlord420 Jabooty Football
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    I reckon heaps of tourists attempt at booking Australia for the new years mate
     
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  17. Arkadin

    Arkadin inefficiently efficent and unclearly clear
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    Not enough abbreviations, starting with the obvious Aus
     
  18. BamaNug

    BamaNug GUWOP
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    heaps has become part of my regular lexicon and I ain't apologizing.
     
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  19. BamaNug

    BamaNug GUWOP
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    Ethiopian Airlines :ohdear:

    They're one of the most reliable (local) carries on the whole continent
     
  20. FriendsofJtyler

    FriendsofJtyler I strenuously object
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    I flew them last year and was a little worried but it was a pretty solid experience.
     
  21. BamaNug

    BamaNug GUWOP
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    I took multiple domestic flights with them while over there, and also used them to fly in/out of the country. It was better than some US carriers, I was pleasantly surprised. But I also imagine it varies a lot plane-to-plane and pilot-to-pilot.
     
  22. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    Was looking at taking them for some of my flights around Africa, in an out of Nairobi specifically didn’t really have a set date just looking at prices and what not. Feels weird, sad stuff.

    Wonder what the cause is, that’s a second crash for these brand new 737 Supermax 8’s in a few months.
     
  23. gordon bombay

    gordon bombay magician's alliance enthusiast
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    Anyone been to Antigua? Headed there in April for a week, TIA
     
  24. Arkadin

    Arkadin inefficiently efficent and unclearly clear
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    Rare deal to both Tokyo and Bangkok on 5* airline ANA. (Note if you're only interested in one of these cities, roundtrip fares are ~$100 cheaper to just Bangkok but ~$800 more expensive to just Tokyo.)

    Finding availability on this is a bit tricky so be sure to read the How to Book section.

    Here's a sample of how this deal works:

    Flight #1 (May 14): New York to Tokyo
    Flight #2 (May 21): Tokyo to Bangkok
    Flight #3 (May 28): Bangkok to New York
    Total price: $652

    No bag fees, etc.

    All prices are for roundtrip flights and in USD unless otherwise stated.
    TO:

    Bangkok (BKK)

    Tokyo (HND)

    Tokyo (NRT)


    FROM:

    Houston (IAH) - $673

    New York City (JFK) - $652

    New York City (LGA) - $670

    Newark (EWR) - $653



    WHEN: For NYC, scattered availability May 2019 and January 2020. For IAH, May and August 2019, and January 2020
    NORMAL PRICE: $1,300+
    AIRLINE(S): ANA, United
    BUY BY: We think these fares will last 1-2 days
     
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  25. Det. Frank Bullitt

    Det. Frank Bullitt God Bless Texas
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    I recommend San Ignacio, a way to experience the actual Belize most people live in. Take the bus line for about $6 US from Belize City among the locals. No AC, and actually old US school buses on my legs. I found it quite relaxing, tbh. Nothing super special about the ruins, but enjoyable with our tour guide, who was provided in tandem with our horseback tour from a neighboring ranch. Any questions, fire away.

    I dove a couple times but I forget the outfitters. I can look it up if you cant find one you are happy with. Both were fine.
     
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  26. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
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    Da nang airport domestic side so much nicer than ho chi Minh domestic its wild

    Also when booking didn't realize hue airport looks identical to hue airstrip from the god damn war
     
  27. CoastalOrange

    CoastalOrange Well-Known Member
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    Flying out to Cuba tomorrow morning. Will be there for 5 days. Pretty excited.

    Only thing that has me a little stressed is not having the cell phone or credit card safety blanket.
     
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  28. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman
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    Anyone switching flights based on the 737 MAX problems?

    Southwest is doing it for free
     
  29. tjosu

    tjosu This is kind of like the breakfast club, huh?
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    Isn't it always free to change flights with them? Or you mean they're not imposing the fare difference if it's more?
     
  30. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman
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    No fare difference
     
  31. tjosu

    tjosu This is kind of like the breakfast club, huh?
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    Hadn't seen that announced. Fortunately for me being in a smaller market, I've never flown on a MAX. The fact that the EU has grounded them makes me a little cautious, I'd at least consider changing if I had the need and the option
     
  32. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman
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    I checked all my upcoming flights and I'm not on any either but I'm worried it'll impact schedules too
     
  33. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    Definitely carry extra cash even more than you think you need. (You will pay like $50-100 just getting on the plane to Cuba). You may not need to convert it all but it’s a good safety net. Also use what you have left in Cuban Pesos to buy cigars and shit when you leave cause it’s absolutely worthless when you are outside of Cuba
     
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  34. CoastalOrange

    CoastalOrange Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, am taking more cash than I want to and leaving $200 sitting in my AirBnb for emergencies of any kind. Thankfully we have been able to pre-pay for a number of items and already purchased our visas so that extra $95 is already done.
     
  35. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    For sure that’s a good plan. I think a box of 12 cigars costs around $50 from the factory, also the dark Havana club rum is fantastic. Where in Cuba are you going?
     
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  36. mc415

    mc415 Hella
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    When I went many moons ago I left my cash in a safe and took only what I needed a day, but Cuba was so safe no issues at all
     
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  37. CoastalOrange

    CoastalOrange Well-Known Member
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    Staying in the Old Havana area and mainly sticking to the greater Havana area. We are doing a cooking class, visiting Hemingway's house, walking over near Plaza de Armas, Fabrica del Arte, Fusterlandia, and a horseback riding tour in Vinales. We have one day still pretty open and one morning open. Any suggestions?
    Every single person we have spoken with have said how safe they felt while in Cuba. Not that I ever assumed it was some hot bed of criminal activity but it's been interesting to hear nonetheless.
     
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  38. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman
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    Trump just grounded all 737 MAXs
     
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  39. mc415

    mc415 Hella
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    From what I remember from 15 years ago the Military museum was was amusing so you can see Castro’s famous yacht the Granma there in a glass case, the Che building is pretty cool, cigar and rum tours were fun, we also hired a little scooter taxi thing to take us out to the beaches which was really nice and fun (not the safest) ride out...........best restaurants will be the paladares which is essentially someone’s living room.......check out Hotel Habana Libre that was fun for mojitos and amazing views
     
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  40. ksim14

    ksim14 Well-Known Member

    The walk around Plaza de Armas is cool, different vibe from the rest of the city it’s definitely around the wealthier part of town. Like Mc said you feel safe, still keep your wits about you as always but I never felt sketched. (To be fair I also went with two dude friends so I didn’t have as much to worry about)

    Glad you said Fabrica Del Arte as that was by far my most enjoyable evening out in Havana. Art show, mixed with a runway show, with a concert plus mojitos and food. Art and runways aren’t my normal cup of tea by any means but it was definitely cool and a lively (younger) crowd when I went.

    There’s a jazz club La Zorro, from old Havana you would have to take a car to go. A line forms in the evening so you’d have to go a little early to get a good seat. Maybe get a drink at the hotel Nacional overlooking the sea/melacon prior. Not a must see but if you are looking for options something to keep in mind.

    Viñales was touristier than I expected, but the valley is pretty don’t get cigars from the tours there get them from the actual factory in Havana, better quality and you’d atleast have the box as a souvenir.


    Most importantly in my opinion, find a local you can talk to and just ask them about life in Cuba, living under communism, etc. That was always the most interesting part to me.
     
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  41. LSU90

    LSU90 Well-Known Member

    Booked for Vienna next Dec. 11-22. Hit me with or point me to the must do's in and around Vienna then besides Christmas markets.
     
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  42. Det. Frank Bullitt

    Det. Frank Bullitt God Bless Texas
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    ALL of the Christmas markets. Loved Vienna's tbh. They might have like 4 or 5

    Edit: Drink all of the gluhwein. seriously. "Soccer Tort" was not worth the hype.
     
  43. Jimmy the Saint

    Jimmy the Saint It's like the Weimar Republic in that place
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    Went last summer. I'll write some recommendations up when I get a chance.

    11 days there is a long ass time to spend just in Vienna.
     
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  44. LSU90

    LSU90 Well-Known Member

    Going with wife's family so didn't really have a say on the home base and length of stay. We have an Airbnb right in the middle of town and a lot of stuff will be done with them but they are up for anything. Wife and I can do whatever we want otherwise for the most part. Even open to traveling to nearby city or something for a few nights. Please give all the suggestions you can especially since we will be there for such a long time.
     
  45. Arkadin

    Arkadin inefficiently efficent and unclearly clear
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    I'd train to Salzburg or budapest
     
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  46. LSU90

    LSU90 Well-Known Member

    Wife and I hit Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels last Christmas and New Years and drank about 20 gallons of gluhwein at the Christmas markets. Any further recs (food, shit to do, bars, markets, day trips, etc)? Not the biggest palace/museum guy and I see they have a lot of those :/
     
  47. Det. Frank Bullitt

    Det. Frank Bullitt God Bless Texas
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    I can't do winter w/o it now. I have found it in liquor stores and also in my grocery store (seasonally; I've never looked outside of winter) and have aunt/uncle based in CZE. They have brought back mix and also canned versions for me.

    Took some to Breckenridge earlier this year and was quite nice when walking around in ~20 degrees. Reminded me of Vienna, which is actually where I first had it.
     
  48. Jimmy the Saint

    Jimmy the Saint It's like the Weimar Republic in that place
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    Bratislava is an hour away by train. You can see pretty much everything there in a day. If you're not a palace/museum guy your options are a bit limited though. Old Town has some good bars/restaurants and you can just wander around. I second Budapest, I'm sure Salzburg is great as well but we didn't make it there.

    I really enjoyed seeing Schonbrunn Palace and the Hofburg but I'm a big history buff. There's a zoo near Schonbrunn if that interests you. Honestly, besides the markets and eating/drinking I'm not sure there's much else in Vienna that will interest you. It's a nice city but I was ready to leave after 3 days.

    I'll post some bar and restaurant recommendations when I'm home later.
     
  49. AptosDuck

    AptosDuck Pedantic Hausfrau

    We stayed on Krugerstrasse just east of the Oper two years ago, right next to the Museum of Music, which is supposedly really cool but we didn't make it there. Figlmuller is kind of a local icon for schnitzels; they've got three or four restaurants in the old town now, but reserve ahead to get the original one, it's worth it. My kids actually thought that their schnitzels weren't as good as mine, less tasty, but the waferthin veal is something that I've never mastered. 12Apostelkellar is also a cool place to eat, just north of the Stephansdom, a complex of underground cellars dating back centuries that's been made into a restaurant. You can get dinner there, or just sit and drink and eat aufschnitt all day, if you like.

    Hotel Sacher has the sachertorte, but I prefer the doboschtorte. You can try Demel on the Kohlmarkt for those. Best doboschtorte I ever had was on Castle Hill in Budapest, but you're probably not going that far.

    Danube day trips are a fun way to spend a day. Probably a little cold, but the cruises from Melk (nice abbey) to Krems/Spitz/Durnstein can be very scenic.

    Salzburg is only two hours away. Hallstatt is a little longer trip because you have to transfer at Attnang-Puchheim to get on the puddlejumper to Stainach Irdning, but that train trip has plenty of Salzkammergut beauty. Bad Ischl, Gmunden, Hallstatt, etc. We always stay in Hallstatt for a few nights when we're over there, Gruner Baum is right on the square and the water; Simony is cheaper, right next door, but every floorboard and bedframe squeaks.
     
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  50. dahldennsull

    dahldennsull Living in the best state
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    LSU90

    wife and I LOVED salzburg. Imagine it's amazing at christmas time too
     
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