...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Place of the Day: Meteora

If you're looking for a unique adventure, visiting the monasteries that are part of the Meteora area of Greece may be something to put at the top of your list when travel resumes in earnest!  


Located near Thessaly, Greece, there are several different monasteries that are possible to visit based on different access and tour options.  The Monastery of St. Stephen seems to be the easiest one to start, though I wouldn't necessarily rule out the others if you have a few days open.  Housing several cathedrals and a chapel, the primary cathedral at this monastery dates back to the 16th century.

Access to Greece may be the best via train or bus with numerous options from Athens International Airport to Kalabaka direct.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Cards in my wallet right now (2022)

Happy New Year!

The ongoing pandemic has posed many challenges though for my current card lineup things stayed relatively stable. I'm hoping for the same in 2022 based on current offers.

Cards in my Wallet:

Chase Sapphire Reserve - one of the best earning cards with 3x points for travel and 3x for dining

Chase Freedom - Quarterly bonus categories give 5x points and pairs with Sapphire

Chase World of Hyatt - 4x Hyatt points per stay make this one of the best for hotel stays, 2x for restaurant/transit

Chase IHG Rewards Club Select (no longer available) - Platinum Elite status plus free night every cardmember year

Chase United Mileage Plus Select (no longer available) - 3x miles on United purchases plus EQM, 2x gas/grocery/dining + Star Alliance purchases

Chase Biz Plus (replaced with Business Preferred) - 5x points at office supply and phone, 2x on gas station and hotel

Chase Biz Cash - 5x points at office supply and phone, 2x points on gas stations and restaurants

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless - 6x points at Marriott properties; 2x all other purchases; No Foreign Transaction Fee

Chase British Airways - 3x Avios on BA purchases; 2x on hotels; No Foreign Transaction Fee

Citibank Premier - 3x points on travel including gas stations; 2x on dining/entertainment

Citibank AA Biz Platinum - 2x American Airlines miles on purchases plus free checked bag and priority boarding; 2x on gas stations

Citibank AA Mileup - 2x American Airlines miles on flights, plus 2x miles for grocery purchases, No Annual Fee

Citibank Double Cash - 2% cash back on all purchases, though the transfer option to Citi ThankYou Points makes this card strong for all non-category spend, No Annual Fee

American Express Hilton card - 7x Hilton points on stays, 5x points dining/gas/grocery, 3x all other purchases, complimentary Silver status, No Annual Fee

American Express Hilton Surpass - 12x Hilton points on stays, 6x points on dining/grocery/gas, 3x points on all other purchases; complimentary Gold status

Discover It card - 5x points/cash on quarterly bonus categories, link to Amazon.com purchases, No Annual Fee

Bank of American Alaska Airlines card - 3x miles on Alaska purchases, $99 companion fare

I still value many of these for the no annual fee, and others have perks/free nights that make them excellent to hold. 

Are you looking to upgrade any specific cards this year?

Sunday, December 5, 2021

New Rules to Enter Switzerland start 12/6

Starting tomorrow, additional rules will go into effect to visit Switzerland - up until now, US Citizens only needed to complete the necessary arrival form and show completed vaccination.  

From the Embassy site:

As of December 6, 2021 – Tightening of entry rules: testing for arrivals

§ On arrival in Switzerland, people over age 16 must present a negative test result (rapid antigen or PCR test). This also applies to vaccinated and recovered persons.

§ Everyone (also children) must complete the entry form. This also applies to vaccinated and recovered persons.

§ Those entering Switzerland must report to the cantonal authority immediately: Contact details for the cantonal authorities.

§ In addition, a PCR or rapid antigen test must be conducted between day 4 and 7 after entry. The cantonal authority must be informed of the result of the second test and the number of the entry form must be sent.

If you are staying in Switzerland for less than four days, you do not have to take a second test and only show a negative test result upon entry.

I'm curious to see how long these requirements remain in effect.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Genealogy trek to Glarus

My recent genealogy discovery prompted me to think about how best to visit the town where our one ancestor branch was confirmed - Glarus is a relatively short train ride from Zurich so I figured a day trip might be possible.  I was fortunate to have a little extra time prior to my conference start and decided to utilize my train pass to quickly visit the town and church. 

When I checked the register for gravesites, the names listed confirmed this was the correct location.

There is still genealogy work to be done and I'm excited about the history for this branch!

Monday, October 25, 2021

ILA Geneva 2021

ILA Geneva has been excellent - it's always a fun time to be back in Switzerland, and even more so when you are meeting with others about leadership in practice and academia.  The CICG Conference center is only a few tram stops away which makes participation even that much easier.  I chose to go with an AirBNB again for the first portion of the trip near Rue des Parquis - this part of the city is excellent with many shops and dining options. 

It was also fun to catch up for a bit with Paige, Cheryl, and Fabi - congrats to Fabi on her new book!

Can't wait to be back again soon.