Tag: Travel Saving tips

We came in for a landing with this amazing scene out of our airplane’s window… we could not get off fast enough! We had always heard so much about the Great Barrier Reef and now we were finally here, almost. We stayed on Hamilton Island which is close. No matter where you stay there is a bit of a boat ride to get to the heart of the GBR.
The view from our room…. lovely! Marissa said she could stay here forever.
It didn’t take Dale much time to train the birds off our deck. And we call him the bird man because…?
Watch how he gets them to do what he wants.


Marissa drove in Australia and now she was going to take the helm of the Cameraman off Hamilton Island. Do you think I was really scared? Watch how she does below.


So relaxing!




They offered a quick course on HOW to work the Cameraman but of course, Dale being a guy, would never ask for instructions. This time he was right, perhaps.
Traveling Saving Tips: 
1- Because Hamilton Island is such a tourist hot spot and pretty small you have just a few options for food but most are expensive unless you eat at the cafe or fish house. We did that for two meals but the rest of the weekend we cooked in our condo. WE spent as much on food at the little grocery store as you would on just one or two dinners out. Great savings!
2- Where ever you are traveling, see what activities are offered and price around to find the best prices. We took this Cameraman out for an hour and paid the lowest price… it was more then enough time for us. We also rented Kayaks for 1/2 hour. 
3- We rented a golf buggy for a day which was cheaper then renting for just a few hours at almost the same cost. This way we were able to explore the entire Island, which we found did not take us too much time after all.
Some breathtaking New Zealand scenery along our journeys.
We love tidbits of travel information from locals. We were told of a Hot Water Beach where you can dig your own ‘Hot Tub’ in certain parts of the beach where the volcanic tubes heat the water from underneath but …. you need to wait until low tide, so this only works at certain times of the day… but you need to dig deep, trying not to let the cold ocean water in…. but you have to have something to dig with… we were up for the challenge. We were headed to Matamata so we took a little detour, isn’t that what travel is all about?




We stopped in the little town of Tairua close to Hot Water Beach for something very important… food. We not only had food but we had a culinary experience at Manaia! Everything was incredibly fresh, gourmet, and hit just the right spot.


We needed towels for our beach visit so we stopped after lunch at an ‘Opt shop’ (better known to us as a 2nd hand store) which you can find all over Australia and NZ — 4 towels and two bowls later (to dig the sand) — total cost $4.


Dale kept digging by himself while others did the same until they all started working together. That is when it all came together.


We had to keep adding to the edge nearest the water to keep that cold ocean water away but then that was half the fun.


This was the best multi-country community hot tub ever. Our time was spent enjoying conversations with many new friends.
Travel Saving Tips:
1- Ask locals about activities that they enjoy in the area you are visiting. On this particular day, we had the Hot Water Beach recommended to us and we were not disappointed. Better yet it was FREE… a bit off our path but worth a little extra gas.
2- We did not want to pack towels with us to NZ so we bought some at a local ‘Opt Shop’. We bought 4 towels and 2 bowls to dig in the sand (otherwise they charge you to rent one at the beach) … all for $4. Never be afraid to buy items from a 2nd hand stores when you need something that might be only used a time or two, you can’t beat the prices.
Bribie Island Hire Hut and Tours was fantastic to rent from and the staff is entertaining… thankfully that was not an extra charge! We enjoyed paddle boats and zegways (sometimes even hands free). If you are ever on Bribie Island you have to stop by and tell them ‘Traveling U’ sent you.
Dale has been the only one to ride a Zegway previously, so the girls pretty much squashed his entertainment by not doing anything too crazy. He was sure we would get super scared so he filmed us in hopes of having a great YouTube video… but life sadly does not work as planned sometimes. Lucky for the girls.


Does Marissa look scared? Too much fun is more like it!
We couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Was 1993 really that long ago?


Who wouldn’t like a little friend like that on your shoulder?
A few days later the weather was so warm and inviting we decided to canoe out in front of our Brisbane house. It was just shy of an hour when we finally decided to come in because we kept getting high-centered on the sand banks. Marissa decided to just get out and play, why not? She kept us laughing for quite a while……Free entertainment.


Marissa having a Yoga moment (literally).
This weekend market “Eat Street Markets” had wonderful nibblies, treats, crafts, and very innovative foods for sale. Dale found one thing he had to try.


This “Croi-muffin” was half muffin and half croissant rolled in chocolate accompanied by a syringe filled with more chocolate (Nutella no less) that you inject into the decadently sinful dessert. Important:  You must love chocolate to eat  this! 
Travel Saving Tips:
1- We always look for local outdoor markets to join in a little fun without spending a wad, unless YOU find lots to buy when you attend.  
2- We found the Bribie Island Hire Hut and Tours just by driving to the Island and seeing a spot that we thought would be perfect to explore, talked to the tour company, and they were able to get a great deal on our activities – their prices seemed much less then other tours we had seen.
3- Never be afraid to ask the locals for ideas on the best places to go and how to get the most for your money.
Featherdale wildlife sanctuary here we come again. On the way to the blue mountains we stopped for a little Kanga love.
Really Marissa? The poor frog.


There is nothing like having a kangaroo love you – even if it is just for your food!
This koala was awake and active… we think he is looking for more food.


What is better then food and friends!
This cute baby sure loved hanging out with Marissa.
Marissa and Keaton enjoying some Kanga time (check out their video).


Marissa would do ‘almost’ anything for Chocolate… that is all this furry kangaroo had to say and he got a big kiss.
We were headed to the beautiful and famous Blue Mountains, but once there it was rainy and foggy. We could hardly see across the street but we were here and wanted to try and see something. We went to the parking area of the Blue Mountains and we couldn’t even see well enough to see where to park, which meant the mountains definitely were not going to be seen as they were covered in a blanket of white mist. After a lunch in town and no sign of a change in the weather, we headed back home to Sydney, sadly missing the iconic Blue Mountains. 
Travel Saving Tips:
1- Most beaches never cost but parking does. Quite often and especially in foreign countries, it can be expensive, as much as $12 an hour. To help eliminate or at least reduce the cost we try to find a parking spot that is a bit farther away… a little walking isn’t a bad thing either, it justifies the ice-cream or gelato you buy on the way back to the car.
2- We had looked at various tours for the Blue Mountains that started about $85 and went up from there, most were around $135 although there were higher priced ones too. These did include a coach ride there and a few stops on the way. If you were here by yourself and did not have a car, this might be the way to go. But there are 5 of us and we did have a car so it made sense to drive ourselves. Think how much $ we saved between all of us AND it was a good thing we didn’t sign up because the Blue Mountains we not to be seen anyway. Very often you can “COPY” a trip outline yourself and do it for much less.
3- BUT there are times you must spend the $ on doing an activity where you are visiting. While visiting Paris, we wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower and after spending all the $ to get here, we should do the activities that are most important to us. In Rome we visited the Colosseum and Vatican.
Our great friends from Chicago came to visit. We started our vacations together in China when they joined a tour we were hosting. The next year we met in Island Park, Idaho for some great snowmobiling with a few families. Now they came to visit us in Australia. We can now say we have vacationed on 3 continents together. We couldn’t wait to see what the next week together would hold.
Keaton and Debbie had arrived early that morning… how do they look so awake and rested after such a long flight? They do have their own secret for that but we will let them share it:) We knew that they needed to stay awake as long as they could and then they would acclimate better to the new time. With that said we planned moving activities, so why not walk to downtown Sydney with the outdoor market, street performers, and lots of fresh air.
Dale and Debbie to see if they could take on a new look…. they opted to not keep these for good. Thank goodness!
This contortionist was not only nibble but she was hilarious. We stood for over 15 min. watching her on the pier by the Sydney Opera House in the distance. 




We ended our long day by taking them for a traditional New Zealand meal. The local LDS ward in Sydney was having a family dinner with the big NZ meal cooked underground as it is traditonally done.




This delicious traditional New Zealand meal is called the ‘Hangi’ which means Earth Oven. Historically the Maori’s used this method of cooking meat and vegetables in the ground which gives it a smokey taste. We were lucky enough to experience the full meal cooked just as it was traditionally done. Everything had a wonderfully smokey taste. As they say, “Kaore te kumara e korero motona ake reka”.
Travel Saving Tips:
1- We planned the day of activities with our friends that would not cost anything (while trying to keep them awake and moving all day because they had just flown in that morning – the best way to beat jet lag is to get on the same sleeping schedule of the country you are in). We walked around downtown to some outdoor markets, watched the entertainment on the pier by the Sydney Opera House, & a ‘Hangi’ dinner at our local church. FREE.
2- Keaton is quite the sailor (Yep, at 16) and because ‘Sailing on Sydney Harbor’ was on his bucket list we were able to join. Debbie looked for different offers on various sites such as Groupon, etc… to find the best price to hire out a boat. You can also just google discounts and see what comes up.


Business friends who have quickly been added to our list of friends invited us to dinner. This was Marissa’s first time meeting them…. she was soon drawn in with Helen’s stories and delightful talk along with Peter and his quick humor. Helen and Peter might want to watch out as Marissa could easily ‘adopt’ them!
As we were just getting ready to leave the table next to us was served this Gigantic Goliath plate of seafood. As I was talking with them in taking the photo, I told them I would come back next week to see if they had finally finished (notice that all their phones were out taking photos of this onsite delight) or stomachache hangover.
Brunch with our new friends, Summer and Cherry was delightful. Of course, I am always thrilled to receive beautiful flowers which adorned our apartment for days along with some yummy juice to accompany our Brunch Spread. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, although most of the time now I do a green smoothie as no one at my house really eats breakfast, so it is nice to have others over so I have an excuse to cook and EAT a big breakfast.
That evening we walked down to Coogee Beach for a little father daughter swim and snorkel, I was just getting over a bit of a cold so I bravely volunteered to take the photos…
…while Dale checked out the available fish.
Marissa braving the semi-cold water to check out the underwater wonders with her Dad. 
Gladly she did not see any sharks which can sometimes be seen here but they are the more calm and docile type but you definitely do not want to touch the Blue-Ringed Octopus which often hide in the rocks as their bite can be fatal. Who knew you might need to worry more about an octopus then a shark?
Marissa has cooked for a few times each week for us. Tonight she chose to make ‘Kung Pao Chicken’.
We are not just bragging because we can but this was much more flavorful and delicious the the Chinese restaurant we ate at (SHHH… don’t let them know). We tried to see if we could pass on the recipe, and she was happy to as she found it on Pinterest. You can check Marissa’s Pinterest or TravelingU Pinterest:
Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang (Chinese black vinegar) or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 10 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted*
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. Mix the soy sauces, Chinkiang, broth, sugar and corn starch and set aside.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and saute until just about cooked and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chilies and peppercorns and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the sauce mixture, bring to a boil, add the chicken, green onions and peanuts, remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil.

* If you are new to Sichuan peppercorns you might want to start with 1 teaspoon and build up to the full tablespoon that I go with.

Travel Saving Tips:
1- Cooking at home can save you a tremendous amount of money. Marissa made this Kung Pao Chicken which was delicious and cost much less then going out for dinner (although it is nice having someone else to do the dishes).
2- We often try to find activities that won’t cost us anything… or maybe a small amount, if needed. We brought our snorkel gear with us to Australia because we knew that we would have many opportunities to use them, and we have. Marissa and Dale took the evening to snorkel around a little cove off the beach by our home in Sydney. Cost? $0 – This is our favorite word – FREE!
We now get to find out what life will be like living 15 min. from the beach. Marissa is not sure she is up for this challenge BUT she is willing to take this challenge on! 
Now that it is a week after our arrival and we have both had a ‘bit’ too much sun, we are taking a break from the beach for a few sad days. We wanted to spend almost everyday down here exploring as much as we could. Though some days were just finding that happy place by taking a short nap with some music on while listening to the waves hit the shore.


Dale found this wonderful ‘Beach Bath’. We all went for a ‘dip’ (a bit more Aussiness jumping out) one afternoon. Dale checked out the snorkeling in this area of Coogee Beach while Marissa and I slowly reveled in the extremely cold water before finally just taking the plunge. Because the tide was coming in rather quickly it kept pushing us farther and farther so we finally hopped out once we were able to finally stop laughing…. we just got the giggles and couldn’t stop.
The laughing just intensified when we returned to our apartment and found that the key for our place had fallen out of Dale’s pocket on the beach – somewhere. It was now dark and Dale had to climb to get to our 2nd story window. Marissa and I were holding our breath as he climbed so we forgot to get a photo. You will just have to use your imagination (Yep, it was as ‘Spidermanish’ as you can get, without the suit).
Beautiful Coogee Beach.


The view of the Women’s Beach Baths which is insanely gorgeous and serene, we just needed to be strategic on which direction we aimed our camera since many women like to enjoy the freedom of not having males there…almost anything goes.


We finally took Marissa to see the infamous ‘Sydney’. We wandered through all the historical streets close to  the wharf, amongst all the architectural beauties that bless this gleaming city. We found a little seaside outdoor market at the “The Rocks”. 
Dale has always felt unstoppable, so why not try the hottest chili  “Carolina Reeper Pepper” sauce? 100 times hotter then a jalapeño, supposedly the hottest pepper, even more then the Ghost Pepper. After Marissa and I stopped laughing we could finally be of assistance: running for a drink, grabbing some bread to help ease the heat, and of course, taking a video:)! Which he has banned us from posting. Heartbroken.


Marissa receives credit for this pano of one of the world’s most famous icons and cities. She is taking orders!

Travel Saving Tips:
1- All of our beach experiences so far have been Free including all the beach baths EXCEPT the Women’s Beach Baths… it is an outrageous 20 cents – what a deal!
2- We didn’t have to pay for anything on our fun filled day in Sydney except our bus fare to get there (and lunch-see #3). It is much easier to do this then fight traffic, find a parking place and pay the exorbitant amount of $ it costs to park downtown.
3- For lunch we did decide to eat in Sydney. As you walk through town notice which restaurants offer daily specials. Last time we were here we happened upon this classically old European style building by the wharf which offers a few $10 meals, so we ordered two and shared. They were big enough that two was plenty for the three of us.
Now that Dale was back from a quick trip to Perth, we were off for another weekend of touring and fun. After driving for a little over an hour to reach the beach house, we were thrilled as we opened the door and saw our lovely surroundings for the weekend in Torquay… maybe we should stay a little longer, such as a week or two? We can dream. 
We were excited to get a small dose of the surf culture in Torquay, because we have so much talent when it comes to surfing (ok, maybe just watching surfing but that is a talent in itself right?).
Torquay is the start of The Great Ocean Road, birthplace of iconic brands such as Rip Curl and Quicksilver, and home to Bells Beach, which is one of Australia’s most famous surfing beaches.
On our way to see the 12 Apostles we decided to take a detour to a beautiful lighthouse. Anyone in the market for a new house? This lively piece of art and home sits on the top of the hill next door to a beautiful lighthouse and overlooks the ocean. The view must be incredible from the back deck…. we will just have to wonder on that one.
Marissa and Dale were both taking a photography moment so I loved capturing them as they were lining up for the perfect shot. The love of photography has certainly been passed down through the family. Only Dale likes taking pictures of things more then people and I constantly love giving him a hard time for that…. but if I didn’t who would?
The 12 Apostles (another FREE activity) should probably be renamed to 10 Apostles as two have crumbled to the sea below. These majestic sandstone rocks, rising from the truly stormy sea surrounding them are so alluring it is hard to stop taking photos. 
They will only allow you to look at these from a walkway far above the ocean floor but we really wanted to see them from the beach… unfortunately not an option unless you want to scale down the cliff wall (Dale thought about it -we know this shocks everyone:).


The difference in lighting really changed how they look. Take a look at how rich and beautiful the first photo looks, that is more true to what we witnessed.
We are surrounded by baby Emu’s!

 By Torquay they had an Aboriginal Center (also Free) you can browse through their gift shop where most of the items were made by Aboriginals and the proceeds go back to them. They truly like dots. Dale had his eye on a Didgeridoo, a wind instrument developed by the Indigenous Aboriginal Australians, to be precise and there were a few that looked interesting. If you buy one, then you have to learn to play the Didgeridoo which is much more difficult than it looks. Apparently it is like blowing bubbles in your drink with a straw (blowing out with your mouth) and breathing in at the exact same time…. hummmmm.


At the Aboriginal Center you could walk out back and see many named plants that could help almost any ailment, if you know how to use them, this was very interesting to me. In addition to the variety of native vegetation, we got up and personal with these cute Emu’s which quickly made friends with us.

Apparently this handsome fella (Dale or the Emu:) wasn’t afraid of getting his photo taken or maybe he just wanted a kiss?

This guy wanted to bite of Dale’s shinny ring, he tried and tried.
Marissa wasn’t so sure she wanted to get that close to the cages and then the Emu figured out how to get a little closer to her… he just stuck his head out of the fence. Smart guy.
We decided that we were heading to the beach as Dale wanted to try his hand at surfing, even though he had never attempted it before. To keep the water out, the collar was quite tight around his neck and he HATES the feeling of anything that tight around it. He kept moving the neck piece away from his throat as it felt like someone was trying to strangle him. Marissa and I were on the floor in hysterics because it was so entertaining. Can you feel the love?!
Knowing that Bells Beach was internationally known for it’s surfing I decided (single handedly that we should go there for Dale’s very first surf). This would be like never skiing before and taking the lift to the top of the mountain to the hardest Black Diamond, because skiing is skiing, right? 
Dale protested a few times stating that he might want to try something a little more tame for his first time and I kept pushing on about going to this amazing beach.  We found out differently (1/2 way down the stepped walkway that descends hundreds of feet) when a few of the surfers coming up said that it was, “quit dangerous” or “you should have some experience”, and that there was no beach for us to have a lunch at so we turned around and made made our way to another beautiful beach in the area.
Dale was grateful to try on a calmer surf. You can see him heading for the wave in the distance.
Dale was really sad he missed trying out! 
Travel Saving Tips:
1- Wherever you travel look for Free places to visit. For this trip The 12 Apostles, the Aboriginal Center, and going to the beach (the beach house where we were staying had the wet suit and surf board) were all Free.
2- Buying food at the local farmers market or grocery store can save you from eating out.
3- Look for houses, apartments, etc… to rent instead of getting a hotel room. Not only do you get a greater feel of the place you are visiting but you will have a kitchen to cook your own food and generally have lots more room to move around in. It is usually less then the cost of a hotel. Check with: airbnb and VRBO  or in our case, we talked to some locals who had a place and let us stay at an incredible rate. Don’t be afraid to put it out there, you will be amazed at the opportunities that come your way.
We decided we needed another weekend adventure that involved some cute little Australian animals… and what could be better then a few little baby penguins? We had no idea what we were in for.  We hoped to see some but not like this!
We drove out to Phillip Island with the intention of watching the penguin parade but we had no idea we would be seeing them ‘up close and personal’.


Once are arrived at the island we had a few hours to spare so we checked out the visitors center and rode down to a little beach close to where the Penguin Parade takes place.


After hiking around some of the shoreline, catching a few sprays of the ocean, spotting a few wild kangaroos, and seeking a few shells we then stumbled amongst hundreds of baby penguins waiting in their burrows for their mothers to return from the sea.


It was an incredible site!!!
Dale captured these Kangaroos in mid-air… they almost look like they are flying!


Amongst the shoreline we found so much natural beauty we could hardly tear ourselves away to get to the Penguin Parade. Besides, after seeing all these baby penguins up close, we almost didn’t go to the Penguin Parade. 
But our ‘Chauffeur’ was ready and willing to drive us to our next destination. Marissa was excited to have a few minutes to drive like an Aussie but who really looks more scared?
The Penguin Parade is truly remarkable as you watch hundreds of adult penguins swim then waddle up on the beach for their nightly strut back to their babies and burrows. After spending an exhausting day at sea looking for food – they are back. It is really inconceivable to us that they return home every night at almost the exact time, day after day. Apparently they have a built in time clock that is always right on time (I could certainly use this some days!). When you go to their website they actually have a count down as to how many hours and minutes until the penguins arrive.
As we stated before we weren’t sure if we wanted to watch the parade because we had already seen so many baby penguins BUT this was a great way to not only witness the amazing natural spectacle and help support what they are doing to preserve their natural habitats. This is a non-profit organization that does much to take care of the penguins and give them refuge but it also controls the masses of people that come to see them so that their homes are not destroyed. 



Because we did not leave until after 9 pm we arrived much later then we wanted at our fun little hotel… The Fish Creek Hotel.
Built in 1939 this gem from the past has a great garden area surrounding it with picnic tables and lots of grass for kids to roam. We actually stayed in the little hotel units in the back which where clean, comfortable and inviting.  Unfortunately because we arrived late and left early we were never able to sample food from their scrumptious lunch or dinner menu. We would highly recommend you stop if you are near by as they use fresh local produce and seafood, as often as possible. This charming place is only 25 min. from the gates of the next part of our adventure….Wilsons Promontory
Travel Saving Tips:
1- For the Penguin Parade were able to get a 20% discount but we already had found a coupon for 20% off at a local hotel. Most hotels have travel books with coupons for the areas where you are staying – even if you are not staying in a hotel you can stop and see what pamplets they have to offer. They are free to anyone.
2- We found that the most exciting part of our day was walking on the beach for FREE and watching all the baby penguins and wild kangaroos. No cost for this ‘tour’.
3- Always ask when you call or arrive at a hotel and want to know pricing, “Is that the best you can do?”. We LOVE this question (which we got from a great friend of ours, Richard Paul Evans), we have saved thousands of dollars over the years!

We stopped at our daughters for dinner and one last moment with our little grandson but as we tried to start our car…. the optimum word, tried, it would not. We found a tow company and car shop as our son-in-law whisked us away to the airport. We took a deep breath and realized we had made it in time.

We have been so busy making sure we have everything we needed for our extended stay in Australia that we didn’t really sit to relax until we were at the airport and couldn’t do anything but wait for our plane. It actually was refreshing…. Yep! The airport was refreshing and relaxing. 

Delta actually handed out treats and water while we waited as a thank you for flying the “Friendly Skies”.

The first leg of our trip… L.A. here we come!
We just got the bad news in L.A. that the inflight entertainment system was not going to be working for our flight to Australia… no problem, it’s only a 15+ hr. flight. Yikes! I know, what great adventurers we would have been.
While boarding the plane one of the attendants said that it looked like they got it fixed. Do we look a little excited?
That was until the captain came on and reported that there was MORE bad news, not only would the inflight entertainment not work, it also included the reading lights, charging stations, etc….  Now we really needed to think deep for entertainment!

We safely arrived in Sydney…. that is the most important part, right?  Just in time to board our 3rd and last flight to Melbourne. We love the service on Virgin Australia (and they have entertainment, if you download their APP beforehand, which Dale had). 


The ride to Melbourne was smooth flying …. until we reached the ground and found that we were the only passengers standing there wondering where our luggage was and everyone else was gone. Oops, somehow they didn’t make it on our flight. It was about this time that Marissa started wondering about our ‘blessed’ day of flying when the wonderful people at Virgin Australia felt our pain and offered us food vouchers while we waited. This wasn’t all bad as we checked in for our rental car, got a bite to eat and PUFF the luggage was there – that was rather quick. Now off to our new ‘pad’ for the first month of our Australian stay.

We put a lot of thought and searching into finding the apartments (and areas) that we would be staying in. It was great to have Marissa so excited about the art deco decor! 
Here is the outside of our back veranda. So hiply fun!
The first night in Melbourne we took a Tram to the city to enjoy some street performances after all that sitting on the plane and most importantly…. we needed to stay awake, we had to keep walking! 
Where was this guy when we needed entertainment on the flight?
On the way home from our Valentine’s Dinner we found a secret little walkway to our new house. What a way to end a ‘romantic’ dinner and walk……with Marissa:) 
Actually we are really thrilled to have this time with Marissa before she spreads her wings (as she is turning 18 in a few weeks). This is a last for us and we want to cherish all the time we have together. We feel blessed!
Travel Saving Tips:
We talk a lot about using frequent flyer programs to help with the cost of airline tickets. Last year Delta announced their new and improved for 2015 frequent flyer program. Here is a side by side comparison for the same flight last year and this year:
2014 – SLC to LAX – Base Miles ; 590 MQD (now needed for medallion) $75
LAX to SYD – Base Miles – 7487; MQD – $946
2015 – SLC to LAX – Base Miles 200 MQD – $40
LAX to SYD, Base Miles – 2535 MQM – $507
They have not only made it more difficult to become a Medallion member by adding MQD and then only counting less than half the dollars spent, but they also give you less than half the miles flown. Right now we would say that Delta has the worst Frequent Flyer program in the industry.
AAdvantage seems to be leading the pack right now with the most customer friendly program. ‪#‎delta‬ ‪#‎skymiles‬ ‪#‎americanairlines‬‪#‎aadvantage‬