Lucerne Day Trip

Maybe Liechtenstein – Part 4 (February 2017)

I love taking trains!  Maybe not as much as Sheldon (BBT reference), but I still think it’s such a fun way to travel.  Luckily Switzerland seems to share my option.  The train system in the country is fantastic!  After deciding to take a last minute day trip to Lucerne,  we booked some super saver tickets.  You can only book these on the app or online so it’s a good idea to check there first.  Unlike normal tickets, you’re locked in to a specific train but get a really good deal.  You can find more information on the SBB website.

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Great views coming in to Lucerne on the train.
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Zurich

Maybe Liechtenstein – Part 3 (February 2017)

I left Paris and hopped on my Air France flight to Zurich (still a part of my points ticket) and I got a chance to visit the Air France lounge for Schengen flights.  Unfortunately it was far away from my gate since the one closest to my gate was under construction.  The lounge was still a nice place to relax before the relatively short flight.  There were lots of drink options, including bottles of Evian, wine, and liquor, and a decent selection of food and snacks.  My flight was nothing too special, due to the short duration and the fact that “European Business Class” is just regular seats with the middle blocked out.

After a short hop from Paris, I arrived in Zurich slightly before my friend, who was coming from a connecting flight in Amsterdam.  There was some crazy weather and most of the flights that day had been cancelled, except for hers luckily!  I tried to meet her at the gate, but the plane ended up being diverted to the auxilary gates with a bus ride to the terminal.  We ended up meeting at baggage claim to pick up her luggage.  Of course, she made the flight but sadly her bag did not, due to a super tight connection.  After filing the appropriate paperwork, we were off to Zurich. Continue reading

A Canadian in Paris

Maybe Liechenstein – Part 2 (February 2017)

As I mentioned previously, I’ve been to Paris many times, but it had been a while since I spent more than a day there.  I ended up having the equivalent of three full days there (midday Monday to midday on Thursday) and I tried to fit in as much as possible.  Much of my time was spent running around between monuments, and finding delicious vegan restaurants to try.

Although Paris has a pretty decent metro system, I decided to walk most places.  I always enjoy walking around a city if I can since it gives me a much better sense of the city, and sometimes you stumble upon fun surprises.  Luckily the weather cooperated and although it wasn’t sunny, the overcast sky gave the city a cozy mood.

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Homeless for 2 months…

As I sit here in the final stages of cleaning my apartment, I’m realizing it really hasn’t looked this good since I moved in.  But why am I cleaning it?  Because I’m subletting my apartment to help fund my travels for the next two months.

After looking at my Calendar for September and October, I realized I’d be lucky to hit double digits of days I’m actually in Vancouver.  Since it kinda bothered me that my place would just be sitting empty most of the time, I decided to embrace the nomad lifestyle and put everything in storage (aka other people’s houses) and see what I could accomplish in two months. Continue reading

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Points

I get asked often how I travel so much, but really there’s no simple answer to that.  It’s a combination of many things: keeping an eye on flight deals, searching message boards, taking crazy routings, and last but certainly not least, using points.  Points tickets have allowed me to make some spectacular trips, but I do spend a great deal of time trying to optimize them.

For many years I was a loyal Aeroplan customer, part of the Star Alliance network.  However, after continued devaluations of the program, and the fact that United was the partner in the US, I made the jump over to Alaska Airline’s Mileage Program.  Although the program is not part of an alliance, they have many great partners you can redeem on.  I feel that this program is the best for me in terms of point redemption opportunities, but everyone is different. Continue reading

3 ticket, 6 fights, and 56 hours…

In order to get a good deal on tickets, I’m willing to fly a bit out of the way; okay a lot out of the way.  My flight home from Sweden was not only long, but ended up being longer than anticipated.

The journey started out decently.  I found a cheap flight to Istanbul on AtlasGlobal which arrived late on the Saturday night, with plenty of time to make my connection.  Since these were two separate tickets I wanted to allow for a lot of time in case something went wrong; luckily, it didn’t.  AtlasGlobal is a discount carrier based in Turkey, but they are much better than any other “discount” airline I’ve flown, such as EasyJet or Ryan Air.  The flight from Stockholm to Istanbul was on time, and fairly pleasant.  With free food, free drinks, and a row to myself, it was a lot better than many flights in North America.  I will say that someone was allowing their children to run up and down the aisle, jumping on seats.  Some people just have no clue.  I was close to saying something, but then the drink cart came by and blocked them in the back of the plane for a while… and the wine also helped. Continue reading

Flashback Friday: First Trip to the UAE

November 2015

Warning to my friends: if you move somewhere, I will come visit you.  This is not an empty threat.  Some friends who had relocated to Dubai found this out first hand 🙂

After a late arrival (or early morning depending how you look at it) my friends picked me up at the airport and I promptly crashed for a few hours to catch up on sleep.  After waking up and reorienting myself, it was off to explore Dubai Marina (the area where my friends lived)! This, of course, included a stop at Starbucks. Continue reading

Heading to Stockholm

So if you remember from one of my previous posts (Stockholm for a Whole Week!) I had a trip planned to visit my friend in Stockholm; well I’ve finally gotten around to typing up our adventures!

Firstly, the trip over went fairly well.  I made all my connections, got to check out a number of lounges and made it to Stockholm just under 24 hours later 🙂  My voyage started bright and early (well not really that bright) in Vancouver as I had booked a separate ticket down to SFO to start my international trip.  Luckily I was upgraded on my SEA-SFO flight (thanks Alaska!) and got a few other surprise things (free Starbucks card!) which made this a great start to my trip.

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The long road home… via Japan.

My original plan was to fly home from Melbourne via LAX.  I was very excited because I’d manage to score a first class ticket on Qantas!  Unfortunately, with my change in plans, I ended up having to cancel the ticket 😦  So instead, my flight home ended up taking me back through Japan on Japan Airlines (known as JAL), luckily in Business Class.  the best part about it is that you get to skip the lines at the airport! Continue reading

A Weekend in Europe

I’ll cover more details of my travels later, but since everyone thinks I was crazy for doing it, I though I would add a blog post about what I did the other weekend.  In Europe.

Yes, it’s been pointed out to me a few times that going all that way for a long weekend is a bit ridiculous; however, I knew it would be later in the year and I wouldn’t have that much vacation time left, so I took a 4 day weekend and ran with it.

Dinner in the UK

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