11/24/2013 20:15:23 PM
This is not your typical market as Westerners would see it but is 'normal' in China. Those who disapprove of the consumption of K9 fare are forewarned to steer clear. There was a cafe beside the market serving 'fresh dog meat' but we did not partake.
11/23/2013 20:31:50 PM
No, this is not another rant like this one. This is simply a strange sight I saw today as I was out for a stroll near my old office. There is something weird ala science fiction-esque about it to me, but then I am a bit of a weird mad scientist me-se
11/15/2013 20:04:47 PM
The years spent on this side of the pond have meant my
10/27/2013 22:38:23 PM
It's hard to believe it's been four years to the day since we were here and a lot has happened since then.
10/20/2013 21:11:06 PM
I was watching the Amazing Race on TV and they were in Norway and my missus asked were we ever there so I had to check the stash of photos and sure enough we had gone for a weekend to Oslo on Ryanair while we were in London. Let the record state we w
10/04/2013 21:52:07 PM
Sounds like a joke but it's not! This is a legitimate offer while it lasts.
09/28/2013 21:22:48 PM
Please excuse the following rant, but the gargantuan amount of credit card affiliate links (e.g. you click my link - I make commission) being pushed down readers (deep) throats on travel blogs has surely reached critical mass. If the links were bette
09/23/2013 08:45:46 AM
After the mother of all horror bus trips we finally arrived in Luang Prabang. I forgot how beautiful it was until revisiting the photos recently. I can now say it was all worth it although I might not have been so sure after the weary ride to get her
09/15/2013 22:09:23 PM
It's been while since I mentioned a deal / hack and in fact there haven't been too many good ones of late but there is a great AMEX promotion right now for anyone who has a ShopRite grocery store near them. The deal is as follows:
Get $30 back as a
09/08/2013 22:28:12 PM
I will always remember Vietnam for what seemed like a near death experience when trying to cross the street with 200+ mopeds coming at you at full speed.
08/24/2013 14:02:14 PM
I went back to the ol' sod for a week recently and was fortunate to have great weather (a rare occurrence in Ireland). The missus snapped plenty of photos as we were walking around my local area (Raheny) and we ventured into the city center quite oft
08/03/2013 21:31:38 PM
07/26/2013 21:17:43 PM
Late November / early December tends to be a bargain to fly from NYC to Dublin, Ireland.
07/02/2013 01:00:05 AM
It was a brief but rewarding visit to this
06/27/2013 23:01:02 PM
Bangkok is a lot more civilized since I first visited the polluted sprawling mess in 2004.
06/25/2013 23:30:03 PM
We deserved a little treat as bus weary backpacking road warriors so we headed to the Four Seasons resort outside Chiang Mai which did not disappoint.
06/22/2013 19:58:27 PM
While headed to North of Thailand, we visited the Karen hill tribes (Long Neck or Padong) who originally lived in Myanmar (Burma) but now occupy a rather tacky touristy village near Chiang Mai and sell souvenirs while still demonstrating how life use
06/14/2013 22:42:48 PM
As one of Thailand's most popular and most expensive islands, my best advice here is to arrive off-season where the good hotels will negotiate for nightly rates. We originally planned on staying at a Lonely Planet recommended dingy backpackers for US
06/07/2013 00:00:08 AM
Made famous by the James Bond movie 'Man with the Golden Gun' Khao Phing Kan is a big tourist draw for it's signature mushroom rock. It was fun but a tad tacky touristy for our liking. I would have loved to have trekked this area about 20 years earli
06/04/2013 01:30:03 AM
The real gems are the islands near Ko Phi Phi reachable by long boat (small narrow one engine boat) where the turquoise water and pristine white sand beaches are spectacular. The island of Ko Phi Phi itself is a victim of it's own success and disappo
06/02/2013 00:07:40 AM
I've noticed AA are now aggressively offering upgrade offers as you book online.
05/29/2013 20:57:20 PM
Langkawi, aka the Jewel of Kedah is a beautiful group of islands off the West coast of Malaysia. This was a welcome splash of beach isolation after the hustle and bustle of KL. It's a tad (x 5) more expensive than it's Thai island cousins in the Nort
05/27/2013 21:14:36 PM
What do you think about bringing babies into airport lounges? Today we took the wee man into the United Airlines lounge in Boston as we had a 3 hour layover and I have a bunch of free passes which get you free beer and wine and a measly selection of
05/23/2013 18:57:19 PM
We flew Boston to Dublin last week on Aer Lingus using Avios points which is a points bargain and avoids fuel surcharges. We had our 9 month old son with us so were very happy when we got the bassinet seat where the wee man was able to sleep in this
05/05/2013 23:30:05 PM
KL is a food lovers paradise with a fusion of multiple Asian cuisines, Indian, Chinese, Thai to name a few but Malaysia has stamped it's own twist on these classics. The Petronas towers are the most infamous landmarks and the city has an average temp
04/30/2013 23:30:02 PM
I've been on several trips to Singapore and was never disappointed. It has an interesting mix of East meets West with
04/26/2013 19:13:10 PM
For all the
04/25/2013 22:08:22 PM
Travel in Asia can be a little chaotic at the best of times and space is a premium luxury not often afforded to budget
04/20/2013 16:01:43 PM
We visited the impressive 9th century Hindu temple compound (one of the largest in South East Asia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site). There was a local school tour where the kids obviously didn't have much interaction with pasty face westerners like
04/14/2013 22:08:54 PM
The more time I am back in the 'comfort' of the West the more I think about the pleasure of the East which was not so comfortable at the time. Here are some pics / vid from Indonesia.
04/08/2013 03:00:09 AM
This spectacular active volcano in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, was one of the highlights of our trip to East Java, Indonesia.
03/31/2013 23:30:02 PM
Guangzhou, China is not exactly on the main tourist trek but anyone in retail will be more than familiar with this industrial city.
03/28/2013 01:00:06 AM
More video from my brief travels in China. This one is from Beijing in 2009. This shopping street is good for people watching and a pre-dinner drink (plenty of western style restaurants
03/26/2013 22:23:24 PM
Similar to the deal I got last year this comes thanks to Mr Pickles - Book a w/e car rental with AVIS and ensure a Friday night pick-up using code 'tuea002' for 2 free Reward Weekend Days and you get your rental for free or just taxes. I just tested
03/22/2013 22:36:34 PM
It's that time of the year again when thousands of people from all over the world descend upon Hong Kong for the party of the year. I was fortunate to take part in this crazy-fest in 2009 and 2010.
03/21/2013 05:00:01 AM
China does have a lot of people, no doubt. This video is from a trip to Shanghai in 2009 when I lived in Hong Kong. Despite the crowds, it had a very Western commercialism feel about it. Globalization in action..
The photo below is from the gl
03/18/2013 22:13:56 PM
I was checking the availability of flights for NYC to Dublin in late May using Googles
03/15/2013 16:25:47 PM
Numerous hotels and travel booking sites offer a
03/10/2013 20:17:20 PM
I received this targeted offer in the post today. 15,000 miles for $750 x 3 months = $2250 in spend using your existing US Airways Mastercard. Not exactly a bargain but good for those trying to top up miles. Added to the 40,000 mile sign up bonus for
02/28/2013 21:32:20 PM
From an Xmas trip many moons ago - This is what Italy looks like in Winter - enjoy!
Tags: .Amalfi Coast - Italy..
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02/12/2013 22:03:44 PM
I've been a tad snowed under recently (literally and figuratively) with work and weather and thus have had little time to post to the blog but fear not - I'll be back..
I dug myself out of this mess in 25 minutes. It's my first time having to shovel
01/25/2013 06:00:10 AM
My wife and son are finally home and flew (Business Class) from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Newark, New Jersey on United flight UA846 a few days ago (January 19th). The outbound flight was great but the return not so great. I splurged 117,500 miles
01/21/2013 21:30:13 PM
My wife and son were to stay in Buenos Aires for another two weeks after New Year, but I needed to return to work in New York. I typically max my vacation time by flying home on the latest possible red-eye and going straight to work but on this occ
01/04/2013 09:31:23 AM
Perfecting this is no easy process. Wood is the preferred fuel to burn until the embers are broken down and orange. Timing the cooking of the lomo (tenderloin) takes practice. The chorizo (spicy sausage) takes on a delicious smokey flavor. Add ice
01/02/2013 16:50:31 PM
Prices have increased considerably since I spent a year here back in 2007 to 2008. Back then it was relatively cheap to live here in comparison to the USA or EU. Assuming you had modest savings in a strong currency like Dollars or Euros you could l
12/29/2012 21:42:39 PM
I am the worlds biggest skeptic on services that claim to offer unlock codes for iPhones since Apple lock down the system pretty well. Unlocking means you can pop any SIM card into your phone so you can use it with any mobile carrier you want. Wh
12/27/2012 09:19:11 AM
A lot of point junkies never seem to get around to using their hard or easy earned miles. I splurged a lot of miles to fly the missus and wee lad in first class on the eleven hour direct flight from Newark to Buenos Aires and it did not disappoint.
12/24/2012 11:39:50 AM
I started this blog as a way to keep a journal of my sabbatical year in Buenos Aires back in 2007. Now I'm back (for 2 weeks) but you wouldn't think that looking at our check-in bags.
I will update my Cost of Living in Argentina shortly. HAPPY HOLIDA
12/19/2012 01:00:06 AM
I wanted to add a few more cards and more importantly points before year end so I applied for and was approved for not one but two no annual fee Citi Hilton credit cards offering 50K bonus points each after $1500 spend within 6 months (see details on
12/17/2012 01:00:15 AM
I haven't applied for any credit cards recently in fact I've been closing accounts where the annual fee became due. I decided to start a credit card churn last month so first application was for the no annual fee Amex Hilton for 40K points for $750 s
11/29/2012 15:35:06 PM
To get there you can walk from Waikiki (40 mins) or get the public bus (15 mins) or drive to the base (10 mins).
Once you reach the base it's a fairly easy 2km hike to the top. The view is quite exceptional
11/26/2012 00:18:37 AM
Aloha! For a direct flight on United from Newark to Honolulu $420 is cheaper than what I paid on my first visit to Hawaii back in 1999. Back then you had to change planes in Los Angeles.
This time it was eleven hours straight. With a three month old
11/13/2012 22:24:46 PM
More easy money from Amex
1. Register your Amex card(s) here on November 18th - 24th (limited entries so hurry)
2. Get a $25 statement credit for spending $25 at one of the merchants listed in your area
3. T&C here
4. Repeat for each card / authori
11/09/2012 21:16:57 PM
We drink, we burp because we are men. My wee son and I share a six pack.....
10/31/2012 21:20:45 PM
Observations from Hurricane Sandy
The hurricane itself is not as bad as the chaos that follows e.g. flooding, and power cut.
The power cut itself is not as bad as the chaos that follows e.g. no public transport, no shops or restaurants or any busin
10/29/2012 22:56:10 PM
Yesterday I lived on a street
Tonight I live on a river.
Tags: .Hurricane Sandy in NYC..
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10/18/2012 20:42:35 PM
I have posted many Amex promos but this is the quickest freebie $25 you are likely to ever get. (valid thru Dec 31st 2012)
1. Click here and register (sorry - US residents only)
2. Link a Bank account, Debit or Credit card (recommend debit card for instant bonus)
3. Load $25
4. Get $25 dollars as a bonus (instantly with a dr/cr card)
Tags: .$25 Amex Serve promo..
If you like what you've
10/01/2012 22:43:20 PM
The Topguest hack is pretty much done. Almost everyone checking in on a regular basis is having their account suspended with no hope of re-activation. Ah well, it was good while it lasted. I netted about 100K points in total for my account and my missus. How did you do?
Tags: ..Ding Dong - The Deal is Dead!..
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09/21/2012 11:17:58 AM
There are currently a few options to do this already which is most unusual so soon after a new iPhone release. They typically get shut down pretty quickly so act fast to avail of the opportunity. The way this works is someone adds your phones IMEI to Apples white list which registers your phone for use on any GSM network. Right now it's only available for AT&T and a few more carriers in UK
09/08/2012 17:35:15 PM
Unlocking means you can use your phone with another carrier (especially useful when you travel to save on expensive roaming charges) Not sure if this is just a glitch so probably won't last long so head over here to the AT&T unlock portal to unlock your iPhone even if it's still under contact. I recently unlocked my iPhone 4 because it was out of contract (I had it more than 2 years) but now it
08/30/2012 23:26:57 PM
If you are maximizing your points by applying for credit cards (which I recommend for those with good credit) then you need to keep track of your credit reports by the 3 major credit bureaus. This helps you keep track of when someone has checked your credit report to determine your credit worthiness e.g. a bank will do this when you apply for a credit card. If you have too many inquiries then
08/23/2012 19:58:36 PM
This is such a simple hack it's almost too good to be true. Netflix offers 2 plans in the USA and mostly just 1 (streaming) overseas.
1.) DVD via post or..
2.) Unlimited Online streaming.
After sign-up - the online streaming requires you to login with an email address and password.
You can can login on multiple devices at the same time. Here's the hack. If you or a friend has signed up for
08/20/2012 15:41:28 PM
I've been a wee bit tied up with a new arrival in our household. This young man arrived earlier this week and is likely to keep me busy for a while. I can't complain however as he's a pleasure to deal with!
Tags: ..Paddy n' B-A-B-Y..If you like what you've read, why not subscribe to updates click here
08/11/2012 23:18:54 PM
This hack has been around for some time and is still going strong. Most carriers are no longer offering unlimited data but it is still possible to get in on the deal. The USA has a very restrictive cell phone market. If you want a smart phone (Blackberry, iPhone, Android etc) so you can browse the web and check email you typically get locked into a 2 year contract and have to pay ~$30 per
08/03/2012 23:11:35 PM
Go to one of these malls - buy a $50 mall gift card with your synced AMEX card - get a $10 statement credit. Repeat steps for each Amex card you own - e.g. stock up now on Xmas gift cards for your local mall - I love AMEX!
Tags: .Travel Hacking - Tip #28 - More AMEX Giveaways..If you like what you've read, why not subscribe to updates click here
07/29/2012 22:56:08 PM
This hack is kind of a no-brainer for most people but having an unlocked GSM Quad band phone while traveling overseas saves you a small fortune in cell phone roaming charges. You arrive at your international destination and purchase a local pre-paid SIM card for ~$5 and top it with some credit and pop it into your phone and youre calling local destinations at the local rate and friends and
07/26/2012 22:33:28 PM
This photo was from the top floor of one of the office buildings I work in. It has an outdoor balcony where the wind was gale force despite the blue sky.
07/15/2012 23:00:31 PM
Update: Snooze ya lose - Deal is now Dead :-(
I previously mentioned price errors which you have to avail of ASAP that gave me $20 per day Hertz rentals in NYC for 9 months. Today there is a bargain due to a computer glitch at United for a Business Class flight to/from USA - Hong Kong / China for just 4 miles + $30 tax - Get it while you can because it won't last long. More details from Gary
07/12/2012 23:05:28 PM
UPDATE: Following up from here - Very happy to report that a phanthom 'no show' booking just posted (took 3 days and I was sweating) for Country Inns for 44K points +4K bonus for being a silver member = 48K Carlson for $90 in Florida location - YMMV - am sure there are cheaper options.
This little hack = ~1 night in Top Tier Europe / Asia Carlson Hotel for up to $500+ per night aka BARGAIN!
07/10/2012 22:02:08 PM
Following up from Part 1 I was on the lookout for a better location that wouldnt break the bank but would impress Mrs Paddy in BA and still score another 50K points. The Radisson website was limited to a petite room for $138 incl tax for their midtown Lexington Ave location with no options for a larger room or free perks like parking etc.
The Radisson website also required a 2 night
07/08/2012 20:46:07 PM
I think I may have discovered a little loophole to allow anyone to get the bonus points without even checking in (assuming you register at the links here first). The T&C say no shows dont qualify but my recent experience says otherwise.
A few weeks ago, I availed of a 30% promo and booked a stay at the cheapest Radisson I could find near where I live. I did this so I could collect 50K
07/03/2012 22:28:05 PM
1.) American Express are giving away more FREE money ($30) here for syncing your AMEX card(s) and making a total of $150 in purchases at 3 locations in Washington D.C. before 07/31 (for those not in DC - online purchases at some of these merchants on this list will count e.g. call to purchase a gift card at a restaurant for a future visit)
2.) Buy an Amex prepaid Gift card here and load $50
06/29/2012 22:34:13 PM
When I lived in Hong Kong I was fortunate to live in a nice furnished apartment with a view of the spectacular harbour but unless I wanted to look out the window all the time my home entertainment options were limited because the TV selection was pretty awful. I was completely dependent on the internet for catching up on the best shows. I wrote about free TV a few years ago. Even though its
06/26/2012 02:00:07 AM
With traffic and security issues, I like to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare these days. This means I spend more time waiting for a flight than I would normally like so I prefer to wait in comfort. I dont travel in business or first class as much as I used to, but I did get to use the airport lounges for free twice this year thanks to this simple hack and now so can you by
06/23/2012 22:04:09 PM
As I mentioned before American Express love to give away money. Their latest offering is a variation on the Small Business Saturday deal. If you live in or near Boston, Philadelphia or Chicago or will be travelling there on or before July 04th you can get a $10 statement credit (i.e. $10 for free!) by doing the following:
1. Register your AMEX card(s) at the relevant links below
06/19/2012 17:42:39 PM
Quite often a new product launch offers a generous sign-up bonus to generate hype/buzz. This is one such case and is easy money. Order a NetSpend Debit Prepaid Mastercard which you can use practically anywhere that accepts cards as payment and load $40 to the card and you get a $20 bonus. Refer friends and family and both YOU and THEY get a $20 bonus. It doesn't get much simpler than that!
06/13/2012 23:37:14 PM
This isn't exactly breaking news but American Express seem to love giving away money e.g. here so it would be down right ungrateful not to accept - right? A few months ago they were giving away a $25 Amex pre-paid card (up to 3 per person) if you bought a $25 pre-paid card (that was $75 for free per person). I got 2 for me and 2 for the missus.
If you didnt get in on the bonus back then don
06/10/2012 13:13:39 PM
This hack is pretty simple but you need to have an American Express card. I have 9 AMEX credit cards so I collect 9 x times the bonus. AMEX offer so many deals like this you must get at least one card to take advantage. The idea here is simple
1. Sync your AMEX card and twitter account here
2. Repeat with each AMEX card you have (you can sign up for additional Twitter accounts using the gmail
06/10/2012 12:38:18 PM
I had a number of comments and emails about the Auto Foursquare Check-in hack so I've updated the original post to clarify a few things:
- United is a separate link outside of Topguest so slightly different rules apply.
- Hilton check-ins are limited to Doubletree properties
- Wyndham check-ins are limited to Wingate properties and must use a specific loyalty member #
- You need to
06/10/2012 12:08:01 PM
As I mentioned here, this is an easy 100,000+ points but since some reward sponsors are getting wise to the hacks e.g. the gmail hack, I recommend you take a few precautions and play it safe by opening some new accounts (which I will detail below). It adds a little extra setup time to this hack but this should minimize the chance of being flagged, as I was, for flouting the T&C for earning too
06/09/2012 10:50:31 AM
UPDATE: YOU CAN NOW AUTO CHECK-IN on FOURSQUARE
Topguest partners with foursquare and a number of travel partners (hotels and airlines) to award points for check-ins with your smartphone. e.g. register with Topguest and connect your foursquare account and you get 50 points when you check in with foursquare at or near a Hilton hotel. Topguest offers many check-in bonuses so you could
06/07/2012 21:56:12 PM
I have not been traveling much lately and have not even churned credit cards for a while so my point earning opportunities have been less than usual but Ive earned a LOT of cash back and THOUSANDS of points with purchases e.g. the numerous American Express promotions that have been running. Shopping portals offer the potential to double dip. You get a discount and/or points for using the
06/05/2012 11:34:07 AM
Just stumbled upon this sign a few blocks from where I live. I guess it's OK for humans and cats?Check out some more classic signs here
05/31/2012 21:01:13 PM
This is from part of my Central America trip to Panama a few years ago. There is a restaurant and bar at this site where you can get a splendid ceviche and a cold beer as you watch the ships pass thru the strategic canal.
Tags: ..Weekly Photo - Panama Canal..If you like what you've read, why not subscribe to updates click here
05/28/2012 18:00:05 PM
Here is a fairly simple way to get 100,000 free miles / points by just opening a brokerage account. Fidelity are offering a 50,000 mile sign up bonus with either United or American airlines for new brokerage accounts if you deposit a mere $100,000 ouch! You get another 50K Delta miles for being an existing Fidelity customer.
So if you dont have that kind of cash lying around dont worry
05/27/2012 21:09:47 PM
There are numerous options for exchanging points and miles from one program into another e.g. Starwood and Ultimate Rewards points have numerous transfer options to airline and hotel points. With these and other transfer options, sometimes the exchange rate is great and sometimes its not so good e.g. with points.com but when you need extra points to get that coveted award its important you
05/26/2012 21:58:05 PM
Did you know that when you book an award flight (i.e. with miles) on many of the big airlines you can get an extra free one-way flight? I had no idea until fellow travel hacker Scott Grimmer brought it to my attention. The general idea is to be creative with the use of permitted stopovers and open-jaw bookings.
Rather than me trying to explain the process its probably much easier if you
05/15/2012 17:36:31 PM
A work colleague is on a cruise right now and sent this pic from the ship...
05/14/2012 22:02:13 PM
Im a little hesitant to publicize this hack in case the rewards sponsor pulls the plug. The invite I posted on my recent travel hacking article was inactivated by the sponsor within 24 hours but I think Ive found a way whereby this hack should remain safe if you follow my rules.
This new hack was brought to my attention by a reader (thanks Jim) a few weeks ago. I got a little lazy and greedy
05/10/2012 20:38:48 PM
This is a commuters nightmare most of the time but makes for a great photo!
05/07/2012 21:48:47 PM
Many hotels offer bonuses for staying at their properties and most require registering for the bonus even if you are already a member of their loyalty program. A mattress run describes the process of staying in a specific hotel just to qualify for a specific bonus. It can be very worth while.
Most of the deals can be found here
e.g. One of the best mattress run promos Ive benefited from is
05/06/2012 22:51:13 PM
e-Rewards is a rewards program that gives money (sort of) for taking online surveys. You sign up by invitation only thru a partner / sponsor. If you have signed up for e-mails with your frequent flier account there is a good chance there is already an invitation in your inbox already. Here is an invitation for e-rewards with a bonus 250 US Airways Dividend Miles if you complete just one survey
05/01/2012 22:48:28 PM
This is from a recent stay in Atlantic City. We stayed in the Sheraton and used points so it was technically a freebie. At night the city looks impressive but it ain't no Vegas!
04/29/2012 13:30:30 PM
This hack is not going to get you a lot of points but is great for keeping accounts active and thus prevents your miles/points from expiring due to inactivity. I lost 70,000 United points a few years ago by having no activity on my account. That will never happen again. Some of the points from this hack can be used at points.com to count as a US Airways Grand Slam hit (more about that in a
04/27/2012 10:34:59 AM
The space shuttle Enterprise flew by my office just a few minutes ago on top of a 747 jumbo jet. I managed to snap a photo with my phone camera.
04/18/2012 21:21:56 PM
This is just a few blocks from where I live and makes for a nice stroll after work.
04/15/2012 00:30:43 AM
I was instructed by a higher power to rekindle my passion with hiking. This is a 30 minute drive from where I live.
04/14/2012 20:53:33 PM
Me: Bless me Father for I have sinned.
04/14/2012 00:00:04 AM
I applied last week for the Chase Freedom credit card which had a limited offer (the best I have seen for this card) for 35,000 points or u$d350 cash back bonus after spending just u$d500 within 3 months.
04/08/2012 10:47:54 AM
This is more luck and perseverance than a hack.