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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Swiss Pass changes for 2018

With all of the travel I do to Zurich I always keep an eye on changes for the Swiss Pass - it's my preferred way to travel within Switzerland.  Hopping on and off trains with no set schedule is the best way to travel!  It helps the pass gives you unlimited options for the duration you chose.

I was pleasantly surprised to see an update to what is covered by the pass - some great changes as far as I'm concerned since I frequent the Jungfrauoch region - from myswissalps.com:

Hello travelers,
If you're already planning your trips for 2018 you might be interested in the below changes, as of January 1, 2018
Changes for Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Travel Pass Flex holders:
  • The Schilthorn cableway will be free (currently 50% discounted)
  • The Stanserhorn funicular and cableway will be free (currently 50% discounted)
  • The Engelberg to Brunni cableway will be free (currently 50% discounted)
  • The Kräbel to Rigi Scheidegg cableway will be free (currently not included)
  • The Pilatus cableway and cogwheel train will be 50% discounted (currently free)
  • The Schynige Platte cogwheel train will be 50% discounted (currently free)
  • The FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich will be free (currently not included)
New pass prices:
  • Swiss Travel Pass 2nd class: CHF 225 (3 days), CHF 270 (4 days), CHF 398 (8 days), CHF 485 (15 days)
  • Swiss Travel Pass 1st class: CHF 358 (3 days), CHF 429 (4 days), CHF 631 (8 days), CHF 765 (15 days)
  • Swiss Travel Pass Flex 2nd class: CHF 259 (3 days), CHF 310 (4 days), CHF 445 (8 days), CHF 532 (15 days)
  • Swiss Travel Pass Flex 1st class: CHF 412 (3 days), CHF 493 (4 days), CHF 706 (8 days), CHF 840 (15 days)
  • Swiss Transfer Ticket 2nd class: CHF 154
  • Swiss Transfer Ticket 1st class: CHF 247
  • Swiss Half Fare Card: CHF 120
  • Swiss Family Card: free
The Schilthorn cableway!  I love it.  It's usually very expensive to visit the top and now its free!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Best European Train trips...but where are the Swiss options?

One source I tend to watch for great travel ideas is Conde Nast - they typically highlight good deals and also off-the-beaten-path destinations.  One recent write-up caught my eye since I really enjoy train travel throughout Europe:

European Train Trips

There's a mention of the Eurail pass that connects Switz to Italy, but where are all of the neat Swiss trains??

Bernina Express?  Map option here.

Glacier Express?

Jungfraujoch? (my favorite area...Gimmelwald!)

William Tell? (Gotthard Panorama Express)

Most of these routes can be experienced via the Swiss Travel Pass, available also by Rail Europe.  This is usually my preferred way to travel which saves on rental car parking and logistics.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Great deals from Newark to Rome in Spring 2018 - $190 ow

I haven't had an opportunity yet to fly Norwegian Air - they're not typically part of the normal routes I frequent and admittedly my focus is usually on points and miles accrual that help maintain my status for free checked bags and seats.  For the record I'm not opposed to flying them.

While watching flights recently in/out of Newark I was pleasantly surprised to see a Norwegian Air flight arriving from Rome...what?!  There's a direct flight from Newark to Rome??  I was intrigued.  I did some research and wow - there are some great deals to Rome this spring from Newark:

The calendar has great deals as low as $190 one way...a short weekend, you say?

I'd be willing to try Norwegian for a $460 flight roundtrip to Rome!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Doha Food...an experience!

So many possible places, not enough time.  This is how I normally feel when traveling abroad and don't have an opportunity to visit all of the restaurants and eateries that are top-rated.  I usually do a search on Tripadvisor to see what is being highly ranked and then compare to hotel/AirBnb options and mass transit.  Usually there is a train available!  In many cases, though, walking is the best option to experience the neighborhood culture.

On this trip to Doha, I was able to add a few new places to the restaurant list.


One of the top-ranked restaurants in Doha, Morimoto is a sushi bar with main dining options that do not disappoint.  In fact, I would say it's one of the more memorable dining experiences I've had in my travels.


Located in Souq Waqif, this Moroccan restaurant has traditional selections including lamb and chicken.  I tried the lamb kofta which was not too spicy with excellent flavors - the price is reasonable given the prime location.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Doha Days

It's been a bit since I was in Qatar - my last extended visit was to work on my doctoral research with the students and administrators at Education City.  So much has been happening there in between, the most recent being the blockade initiated by surrounding GCC countries.  I'm encouraged by the stance Qatar has always taken about being willing to be open to communication and discussion.  Hopefully the other GCC countries come around to talking as well and end the blockade.

No complaints for this trip...the weather was beautiful (80 and sun each day) and the opportunity to walk and visit places such as Souq Waqif and Villagio could not be passed up:

Construction is still present throughout the West Bay though it was just as easy to call or find a Karwa to get around.  Thinking back, I feel that it is easier to find a taxi then I previously remember.  And if you'd rather not find a taxi, you can also call an Uber!  In some cases the Uber is cheaper per destination...glad to have the option.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Landed Doha!

For the next few days (through Monday) I'm excited to be back in Doha.  It's been far too long, truthfully...I've had it on my list to fly back and reconnect with the schools and individuals from my research and I'm planning to do that while onsite. 

Skipped out just in time to miss the Eagles parade in Philly...congrats to them!  I'm not at all complaining about the weather either...77 and sun.

For this trip points and miles again facilitated the journey; British Airways Avios and AA miles used with business class on Qatar Airways for the way home.