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British Airways Visa 10% Discount Extended Through 2018!

I’m a big fan of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. I applied for it earlier this year, and it has helped me to earn lots of Avios. The card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule (meaning that you can potentially be approved even if you’ve opened more than five new card accounts in the past 24 months), and it offers a generous sign-up bonus of up to 75,000 Avios upon completing minimum spend, as follows: Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within the first three months Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after spending a total of $10,000 within the first year On top of that, the card has some unique features that make it worth holding onto long term. Among these features is the ability to earn a Travel Together Ticket. Cardmembers receive this if they spend at least $30,000 in purchases on their card in a calendar year, and then they can book an award ticket for two people, and don’t have to pay the Avios for the second passenger — instead they just have to pay the carrier imposed surcharges and taxes, which are still significant. Still, for an international first class redemption this can represent a good deal. There’s one other awesome perk to this card — specifically, you can receive 10% off the cost of airfare on British Airways for roundtrip travel originating in the US in any cabin for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation. The catch is that as of now this offer has been set to expire on December 31, 2017. Per View from the Wing, the good news is that this has finally been extended. While the terms haven’t been updated, the British Airways Visa 10% discount is now pricing out for flights in 2018. My assumption is that this has been extended through December 31, 2018, though the schedule hasn’t gone out that far yet — as of now this is available through the end of the schedule. In order to take advantage of this offer, just enter code CARDOFFERU on the booking page in the “Promotion code” section. Note that there seems to be a new version of the British Airways website (which I find to be awful), and on that I can’t find where to enter the code, so I recommend using the old version of the site. The best part is that the British Airways Visa 10% discount can be stacked with the AARP discount of up to $200 per ticket, to score a great deal on a transatlantic flight. While British Airways’ business class isn’t my favorite, it’s a product that’s often tough to say no to at the price. Anyone planning 2018 travel using the British Airways Visa 10% discount? Source link

LP Pathfinders: video of the month, November 2017

Dallol Lake found in Danakil depression, Ethiopia ©Einat Klein Photography / Shutterstock Every month, we curate the best blog posts and Instagrams from our Lonely Planet Pathfinders. This month we’re featuring a video by Hanna and Zach from Handzaround who have captured stunning footage of Africa’s diverse landscapes. ‘Africa’s Afar Triangle is famous for the Danakil Depression, Erta Ale Volcano, Salt Lake Assale and Dallol. The temperatures and altitudes in this part of the world are some of the planet’s most extreme. We trekked to the volcano and spent four days exploring the Danakil Depression. The temperatures were unbearable and the whole trip was a challenge, but the landscapes were out of this world.’ Afar Triangle – Handzaround Hanna and Zach’s video perfectly captures the magic of east Africa’s diverse and stunning landscape. Featuring a mixture of sweeping drone shots, first-person footage and timelapse, we feel as though we’ve been along for the adventure. Hat tip to them both for some top-notch editing skills. Thank you to all the Pathfinders for their submissions this month — the standard was high! We particularly enjoyed a trip through Iceland with The World Pursuit while We Tour the World took us on a leg of their journey through Lesotho. Keep your eyes on our Thorn Tree forum where we’ll post the next submission call-out. Find out what else our Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Pathfinders video playlist and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Source link

Top Activities in The Middle East For Adventure Junkies

Be it bungee jumping off a building’s hundredth floor, scaling craggy mountains, or riding crazy roller coasters, there’s a certain appeal to thrilling adventures that get some people hooked on the rush. Your senses are on high alert, your heart is pounding, maybe you’re scared, maybe you’re not, but you feel oh so alive. It’s little wonder that some people will go above and beyond to seek out activities that trigger that heightened excitement. If you’re one of them, you’ll probably always be on the lookout for a way to get that specific high anywhere you go. The Middle East has always been a little bit mysterious and intriguing, with its brand of intermingling cultures and rich history. It’s perfect for curious travelers looking for an adventure. These days, the modern and natural marvels of the region are garnering attention as up-and-coming spots for adrenaline junkies to convene in. If you feel like daring yourself to tick off this list, Wego, the top travel search website in the Middle East and UAE, will help you find the cheapest flights and hotels in the region. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on any of these activities in the Middle East designed to get your heart rate soaring. Via Ferrata, Oman Combining Oman’s dynamic topography with its magnificent vista, via Ferrata in Jebal Akhdar is the dream adventure. Via Ferrata is a mix between rock climbing and hiking: the protected climbing route here will be traversed by climbers attaching themselves to the cables stretched across the mountainside, while using a waist harness and steel clips. You’ll have to grip the steel cables and trace your way along the cave opening, one clip at a time. As you make your way through, the course snakes around jagged rock formations, adding to the challenge and excitement. Perched 2,000 meters above sea level in the Al Hajar mountain range in Oman, Via Ferrata is the highest in the Middle East. Not only is it a great chance to test your stamina and nerves, it’s also an exhilarating way to take in the view of Oman’s great canyons from a unique vantage point. Skydiving above Palm Jumeirah, UAE It’s almost impossible to have a list of adrenaline-soaked activities without mentioning skydiving. If you relish the feeling of your insides somersaulting, jumping out of a plane from any skydiving spot will do. But for something extra, head over to Dubai, where skyscrapers seem to always be in a competition to be the tallest. You’ll be guided by experienced instructors here, although daredevils might be tempted to opt for solo skydives. The Palm Zone near the iconic Palm Jumeirah Island is a particularly popular drop zone. The spectacular view itself will make the leap from an altitude of 4,000 meters almost feel like nothing at all. Canyoning at Wadi Mujib, Jordan When in Jordan, awe and excitement are almost a guarantee. The ancient city of Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea are the top highlights to explore, but have you ever heard of Wadi Mujib? Located just east

Delta Is Offering Discounted Business Class Award Tickets To Europe

Delta offers a monthly SkyMiles flash sale, and they just shared the details of their latest one. Often these sales are just for domestic economy travel, so this one is pretty exciting, since it’s for longhaul international business class travel. Hopefully some of you can take advantage of this one. Through this flash sale you can book roundtrip business class award tickets on Delta between the US and Europe starting at just 98,000 SkyMiles. The basic terms are as follows: Book by 11:59PM PT on Thursday, December 14, 2017 Travel between February 1 and May 21, 2018 Roundtrip travel is required Only valid for travel on Delta “metal” between the lower 48 and Europe According to Delta, this sale is valid for travel in the following markets: Belgium Ireland • Brussels (BRU) • Dublin (DUB) Czech Republic • Shannon (SNN)* • Prague (PRG)* Italy Denmark • Rome (FCO) • Copenhagen (CPH)* • Milan (MXP) France • Venice (VCE)* • Paris (CDG) Portugal • Nice (NCE)* • Lisbon (LIS)* Germany • Ponta Delgada, The Azores (PDL)* • Duesseldorf (DUS) Spain • Frankfurt (FRA) • Barcelona (BCN) • Munich (MUC) • Madrid (MAD) • Stuttgart (STR) • Malaga (AGP)* • Berlin (TXL)* Switzerland Greece • Zurich (ZRH) •  Athens (ATH)* United Kingdom Holland • Edinburgh (EDI)* •  Amsterdam (AMS) • Glasgow (GLA)* Iceland • London-Heathrow (LHR) • Reykjavik (KEF) As a point of comparison, ordinarily Delta charges 70,000 SkyMiles for their cheapest one-way business class awards, so this is a significant discount over their normal pricing, so assuming you can find eligible flights, this is like saving 30% on a business class award. This is definitely a good use of SkyMiles, given that they’re getting less valuable. However, there are plenty of loyalty programs where this is close to their regular price. If you already have SkyMiles then by all means redeem this way, but before you transfer Amex Membership Rewards points (for example), consider the other options. Aeroplan charges 55,000 miles for one-way business class to Europe, and if you book a roundtrip they’ll even allow two stopovers, so for many that could be a better value. Still, if you have SkyMiles and are thinking of going to Europe in the spring, this is a great opportunity. Does anyone plan on taking advantage of this SkyMiles flash sale? (Tip of the hat to Andrew B) Source link

Looking Back on 2017: A Rollercoaster Year

These round-up posts are a great way for us to finally reflect on the year that has just passed by. When travelling around, moving from country to country, events and memories start to blend together. By physically sitting here and writing about the year that’s about to end, it’s a great opportunity for me to think about all that Nick and I have experienced, and accomplished in 2017. Since 2012, I’ve created these wrap-up posts: 2012 was “A Very Memorable Year” 2013 was “A Year of Firsts” 2014 “Started and Ended With Mexico” 2015 was “A Year of Spontaneity” 2016 was ” A Year of Big Decisions” For this year, there are numerous ways I could describe it: exciting, adventurous, emotional, rocky…, but I think the main term that is appropriate for the year is “roller coaster”. It was definitely a year of ups and downs. Actually, I could also call this article the “year of miles” because we took so many flights, trains, buses and car rides! Sipping on some coconuts and watching sunset in Canggu Bali This was our travel route this year: Argentina -> Uruguay -> Argentina -> Chile -> Argentina -> Turkey -> Scotland -> England -> Greece -> Kyrgyzstan -> Thailand -> Indonesia -> Canada -> Indonesia -> Japan -> Mexico 2017 started out in South America… Argentina Argentina is an incredibly diverse country filled with deserts, glaciers, jungles, cities, and the ocean. This was where we spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and we had high hopes for the bustling capital city of Buenos Aires – a place we thought would delight us with its tango dancing, delectable steaks, and overall city vibe. But, unfortunately, we were underwhelmed during our month long stay and had a love / hate (dislike) relationship with Buenos Aires. You can read more about our feelings on the city here. Thankfully, we were not disappointed with the rest of the country of Argentina whatsoever! We went on a 10 day road trip through the desert and wine region of Salta, including Cafayate, Cachi, Purmamarca, Tilcara and the salt flats. The scenery during that trip was unbelievable, and the wine was superb. Happy New Year!! We were the only ones to countdown to midnight in Buenos Aires…but oh well READ MORE: Travelling Salta: A Culture-Rich Region of Argentina Road Trip in Northwestern Argentina: Salta to Cafayate Road Trip in Northwestern Argentina: Cafayate to Tilcara and the Salt Flats Cafayate – It’s All About The Wine! We also checked out the university city of Mendoza, which is most famous for its wineries (ever heard of Norton and Trapiche?) and the nearby Aconcagua Mountain, which is the highest mountain outside of Asia. Argentina is home to Patagonia, which offers beautiful mountain landscapes, dazzling glaciers and awesome hiking opportunities. We visited this southern part of Argentina and explored El Calafate and El Chalten, both offering stunning natural wonders. The hiking in El Chalten was awesome! By this point, we had experienced the capital city, the deserts, the wine region and Patagonia. But, we weren’t finished yet. Last up was the Lake District, a popular destination for

Weekly Review: December 9, 2017

Hello from Mexico City! After spending a few days on Easter Island, we’re now spending some time in Mexico City, which is my first time actually visiting the city in over a decade. We’re having a great time, and the food has been outstanding. This really must be the best food city in the world. Nom nom nom. On the points & travel front, this week we learned that Alaska and Air France-KLM are cutting ties, Lufthansa won a Skytrax 5-star award, Delta eliminated free checked bags on some transatlantic trips, we learned about the future of Marriott’s credit cards, and more. With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog: Featured Stories 10 Travel Gifts We’d Love To Receive Shopping is hard, particularly for those of us who like to maximize deals and earn as many points as possible during the gifting season. For our Holiday Gift Guide this year, we’ve tried to curate a range of practical items at compelling price points, including some of our favorite presents to give and receive. And, since OMAAT is all about maximizing value, we’ve hunted for the best prices, and included some notes on how to stack offers. From road warriors to aviation geeks to luxury-aficionados there’s something for everyone on your list! Skytrax Has Lost All Credibility With Their Lufthansa 5-Star Ranking This week we learned that Lufthansa received a Skytrax 5-star rating, making them the first non-Asian airline to receive that ranking. Ultimately I don’t put too much weight into Skytrax rankings and at times I question their methodology and conflict of interest, though usually I find their rankings are at least within the realm of possibility, even if I personally disagree. However, the more I read about Skytrax’s self-proclaimed methodology and about Lufthansa’s ranking, the more questions I have. 9 Good Credit Cards With Little Or No Minimum Spend Andrew is currently working on meeting the minimum spend on The Platinum Card®, and is still about a month away from hitting the $5,000 mark. As he notes: The Amex Platinum has the highest minimum spend of any card I’ve applied for all year, and I specifically planned to apply toward the end of the year so holiday expenses could help me reach $5,000 in spend relatively quickly. Meanwhile, I’ve been considering what other cards I might want to apply for while I’m trying to meet the Amex’s minimum. It’d have to be a card that doesn’t have a large minimum spend requirement of its own. I’m sure others sometimes find themselves wondering how to juggle budgets with minimum spends, so here are a few decent options that might fit the bill (pun intended). TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos Why The Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Still The Ideal First Credit Card To Get The Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Not Subjected To 5/24 Amex Offer: Save $60 On A $300+ Hilton Or Curio Stay Aegean Is Offering A 40% Bonus On Purchased Miles Details Of IHG’s 2018 Accelerate Promotion Why This Might Be A Great Time To Apply For The SPG Amex 9 Good Credit Cards With Little Or No Minimum Spend United Is Offering Up To A

LP Pathfinders: top posts from November 2017

This month’s blog round-up includes a photo diary of trekking the Annapurna circuit © Nicram Sabod / Shutterstock From high-altitude festivals to sunken cities, November’s blog post round-up is an eclectic mix of engaging travel yarns spun by our globetrotting Pathfinders. Islas Uros: Lake Titicaca’s incredible floating islands – Dave McClane For those of us who’ve never visited, Lake Titicaca’s floating islands exude something of a mystical aura. In this blog post Dave lifts the veil and takes an honest look at the experience of visiting these fabled islands, detailing their fascinating history and the day-to-day life of the Uros people while also touching on what he calls the ‘Disneyfication’ of the attraction to bolster touristic appeal. During his many adventures Dave has road-tripped through the Salar de Uyuni, partied at Rio Carnaval and surfed the dunes of the Sahara Desert. Follow his blog at Livin’ it up in Laya at the 2017 Royal Highlander Festival – Alex and Sebastiaan A compelling subject matter set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most lauded travel destinations usually spells a recipe for a tasty blog post, and Alex and Sebastiaan’s photo essay certainly hits the spot. Informative and colourful, the post details the pair’s experience at the Royal Highlander Festival, a celebration of nomadic traditions in the mountainous northern region of Bhutan, and – with help from beautiful accompanying imagery – provides a glimpse into the world of these remote communities at their most uninhibited. Alex and Sebastiaan are a backpacking couple who get their kicks travelling to offbeat destinations. Follow their blog at A guide to introvert travel in an extrovert’s world – Kate Beveridge A good blog post places you firmly in another traveller’s shoes – whether they be trekking boots or diving fins – granting the reader a new perspective on travel, but sometimes the point of view need not be of any intrepid adventurer to be insightful. Kate’s guide to introvert travel is perfect reading for the less socially-inclined traveller, but equally of interest to the gregarious backpacker, helping the more rowdy among us to understand the behaviours of ‘quieter’ travellers they may meet on the road. Kate writes about living and travelling with mental illness in an attempt to help end the stigma around the topic. Follow her blog at Annapurna circuit in 100 pictures – Javi Lorbada They say a picture tells a thousand words, and with this article Javi lets his photography skills do most of the talking. Documenting one of the world’s great treks in 100 arresting images, Javi leads readers along the twists and turns of Nepal’s beautiful Annapurna mountain circuit. The mix of brooding landscape shots and portraits of smiling locals is enough to leave anyone contemplating dusting down their old hiking boots and hitting the trail. Born in Madrid, Javi wants to share his passion of photography with the world. Follow his blog at Kayaking over the sunken city of Kekova, Turkey – Macca Sherifi Tightly focused and expertly crafted, Macca’s account of kayaking over the submerged city of Kekova in Turkey is reminiscent

9 Good Credit Cards With Little Or No Minimum Spend

I’m currently working on meeting the minimum spend on The Platinum Card®, and I’m still about a month away from hitting the $5,000 mark, after which I expect to get 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. The Amex Platinum has the highest minimum spend of any card I’ve applied for all year, and I specifically planned to apply toward the end of the year so holiday expenses could help me reach $5,000 in spend relatively quickly. Meanwhile, I’ve been considering what other cards I might want to apply for while I’m trying to meet the Amex’s minimum. It’d have to be a card that doesn’t have a large minimum spend requirement of its own. I’m sure others sometimes find themselves wondering how to juggle budgets with minimum spends, so here are a few decent options that might fit the bill (pun intended): JetBlue Plus Card I’ve been meaning to pick this card up for a while. The JetBlue Plus Card offers 30,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 spend in the first 90 days. The card also has no foreign transaction fees and offers a 10% rebate on points every time you redeem them for a flight. It also is a “chip + pin” card, which makes it extra easy to use abroad. I’ve heard anecdotally that Barclaycard only lets you have two or three of their cards at once, so plan out whether you’d like this card, the AAdvantage Aviator card (see below), the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, or one of their other cards. If you live in or near a city where JetBlue has a hub (like New York, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, etc.), I’d definitely recommend applying for this card. It has a $99 annual fee, not waived the first year. You can redeem TrueBlue points for flights on JetBlue’s Mint business class IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card I already have this card, otherwise it’d be a no-brainer. Getting a free night at any IHG hotel worldwide every anniversary you have the card is a steal. The icing on the cake is the 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. Better yet, the annual fee is only $49, and it’s waived the first year. If you don’t already have this card, you should consider picking it up. Avianca Vuela Visa® Card The great thing about this card from Banco Popular is that there is no minimum spend – you get the 40,000 LifeMiles bonus after your first purchase. Also, many people report receiving a 60,000 bonus (instead of the advertised 40,000) when entering the code AVSPWE on the application. LifeMiles are one of the most lucrative points currencies for Star Alliance premium cabin redemptions. The annual fee is $149, not waived the first year. AAdvantage Aviator Red Card This card is just like the Vuela Visa in two ways: It has an alliterative name It requires no minimum spend: you get 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase and pay the annual fee ($95) Sometimes it can be tricky to find a good redemption option for AAdvantage miles, but they certainly do

LP Pathfinders: top Instagrams from November 2017

November has seen our intrepid Pathfinders snapping shots in the most mesmeric of locations, from icy caves to the sizzling heat of the Jordanian desert. Here’s the five images that stole our hearts this month. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland A post shared by Natasha & Cam in Portugal <img src="" alt="" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> (@theworldpursuit) on Nov 5, 2017 at 3:48am PST ‘Giant’s Causeway is an amazing and natural landscape formation in Northern Ireland! It was the first stop on our road trip. This magical and unreal place is filled with 40,000 basalt columns, which is a result of an ancient volcanic eruption, and in our opinion is a must-see in Northern Ireland.’ – Natasha and Cam, @theworldpursuit Why we like it: The Causeway Coast is our top Best in Travel region to visit in 2018, and so naturally we were blown away by Natasha and Cam’s dramatic shot of the Giant’s Causeway being lapped by North Atlantic waves. Formed as a result of a volcanic eruption, the Giant’s Causeway has captured imaginations for hundreds of years, but this image proves that its mystery endures.    Wadi Rum, Jordan   A post shared by Yulia Denisyuk (@insearchofperfect) on Nov 26, 2017 at 6:21am PST ‘Wadi Rum is a remote, vast and still desert on the outskirts of southern Jordan. What makes it remarkable? It’s the whimsical landscape of wind-beaten rock formations jutting into the red earth as if they were giant ships sailing across an unearthly ocean. At sundown, the desert fills up with the golden light of the most ethereal quality. Best views of the radiance are found at a peak of your own.’ – Yulia, @insearchofperfect Why we like it: Who wouldn’t want to wind down to an evening like this? Yulia’s image perfectly captures the sun setting over Wadi Rum, creating a beautiful mixture of orange hues when combined with the famous sandstone mountains. These pretty swanky looking tents provide a focal point within the frame, as well as a smidge of contrasting colour. Catedral de Mármol, Chile A post shared by Timothy Cohen (@timdavhen) on Nov 6, 2017 at 8:12am PST ‘The General Carrera Lake is the second biggest lake of South America, the first one being Titicaca. Its turquoise glacial waters are crystal clear, and have carved caves in these islets over time. The light bounces into the cavities and the waters, displaying some enchanting lighting and colour effects on the walls. The experience is always different because both the light and water level of the lake are continually changing. The water itself can vary from deep blue to turquoise, depending on the weather and the time of year.’ – Timothy, @timdavhen  Why we like it: With his beautifully framed shot, Timothy allows us a sneak peek beneath the surface of a glacial lake, and wow, is it worth seeing! The countless shades of blue and turquoise, the shimmering reflections of the icy walls and the haunting stillness of the water create a stirring sense of wonder.   Arizona, USA A post shared by Olivia Christine Perez

6 Must-See Natural Attractions in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

When you mention “Dubai” and “Abu Dhabi”, most people will conjure up images of glittering concrete jungle, beautiful artificial islands, or trails of luxury. After all, the two popular emirates in the UAE are homes to growing clusters of skyscrapers and man-made marvels; chief among these are the iconic Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Yas Island, and more. If you’re the type to always seek out destinations with natural attractions, don’t discount Dubai and Abu Dhabi just yet. Of course, the steel beauties and the overall atmosphere of opulence are magnetic, helping to draw more than ten million visitors last year alone. However, that’s not all Dubai and Abu Dhabi can offer. These destinations also home to natural areas that are mostly pristine, untouched by man or machine. At the very least, the greeneries, the desert, and the wildlife create an interesting contrast to the sleek images that the two cities present to the world. Wego, the top travel search website in the Middle East and UAE, will help you get to these top natural destinations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by offering cheapest prices for flights and hotels around. After ticking off this list, you might even leave with a fresh view of the two futuristic cities. Wadi Ghalilah, Dubai Ever thought about climbing the Stairway to Heaven? Yes, you can. Technically located in Ras Al Khaimah, Wadi Ghalilah is easily reached with a car ride from Dubai. The so-called Stairway to Heaven is a mountain trail that links a village in Oman with Ras al Khaimah. Clocking in at 1,500 meters climbs, it beckons experienced rock climbers and mountaineers with its steep rocks, narrow paths, and winding cliffs. Needless to say, this hike is not for everyone. But if you have the stamina and the sensibility to stay safe until you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacularly thrilling view and perhaps some bragging rights. Don't Forget Your Travel Insurance! No matter where in the world you are planning to travel, make sure to have insurance before you set off on your adventure - it's the one thing you should always pack. World Nomads is a popular insurance choice among backpackers, travellers and adventurers. Just enter your information below to get a FREE quote. Safe & happy travels! Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Abu Dhabi This compact wetland reserve on the outskirt of Abu Dhabi attracts more than 200 species of migratory birds, which you’ll get to observe comfortably from the bird hide. The star here is the flamingo population, numbering in thousands, so much so that the reserve is also known as Flamingo City. The protected-area site comprises of several habitats, from freshwater and saline lakes to dunes, shrubs, and trees, all catering to different natural inhabitants. Al Wathba also provides walking trails so you can explore the diverse ecosystems. This is a must-see on your Abu Dhabi holiday! Big Red, Dubai Travel down Dubai-Hatta highway toward the desert and you’ll spot Mars on Earth here in the form of the aptly named Big Red sand dune, locally known as