Currently Browsing: Departure Lounge

Lead the Way: A Review of the Sygic Navigation App

I’m the kind of driver who uses Google Maps to navigate around my hometown. I have a poor sense of direction and never quite trust myself that I know the best route. Having just arrived in Malta with a rental car generously provided by the MTA, you can only imagine how overwhelmed I was at the idea of not just driving on the left alongside reportedly erratic drivers, but also navigating sans... read more

And I’m Off! Summer in Europe, Here I Come…

By the time you read this, I’ll be impatiently waiting in line at immigration in London, clutching the passport I’m so excited to put back into play after four and a half months stateside. This trip kind of crept up on me, and while I’ve dropped hints about where I’m headed I haven’t given you a proper travel plans update since my rough sketch of how I imagined 2014 would... read more

Meet Me at Gate 32B: A Review of The Stopover App

As a frequent traveler — and one who often goes for price over convenience — I spend a lot of time in airports, and a lot of time enduring long layovers. I’ve spent ten hours crouching outside Starbucks in Lima’s arrivals area, spent a sleepless night staring at the ceiling in Heathrow’s hallowed terminals, and clocked more hours than I can count over layover and flight delays... read more

How @Citi Screwed Me Out of a Flight to Bangkok

When I signed up for the CitiBank Aadvantage credit card, I looked forward to writing a glowing report of how I earned a free flight across the world via an amazing promotion. Instead, I’m writing about a credit card company taking advantage of its customers — specifically, how Citibank screwed me out of 30,000 Aadvantage miles using deceptive and sneaky tactics. In late August, I opened an... read more

Peru Packing List Update and a Giveaway

My Peru and Ecuador packing list was a detailed confession of my overpacking addiction. Unfortunately my proposed support group, tentatively titled Yes In Fact I do Need Both Styles of Jeggings Thanks For Asking never came to fruition and along the way I grudgingly admitted that in certain categories I would have been better off packing lighter, or just differently. I’ve got ninety nine problems and... read more

My Peru (Over) Packing List

The secret’s out: you guys know I’m a serial overpacker. As I prepared for my South America adventure, starting with at least two months in Peru, I briefly fantasized that this might be the trip. The one where I pack like one of those people, those people who travel the planet for years on end with little more than a quick-dry tee-shirt and three pairs of seamless underwear. I’ve read... read more

My Peru Itinerary

I don’t usually set off for a country with a developed itinerary. Sometimes, things are scheduled more or less to the minute, like my eight days in Iceland. Sometime, my plans for five months in Southeast Asia can be summarized as — and I don’t want to overwhelm you here with how detailed this is — “go to Southeast Asia for five months.” There are a few reasons why... read more

Move over, Skype — There’s a New International Calling App in Town

When I first heard of Rebtel, the new budget international calling service, I think I shared most people’s initial reaction — um, don’t we have Skype for that? But then I reflected on the evils of monopolies — and I’m not talking about the board games. Competition is healthy in every market, and so I was pleased when Rebtel asked me to poke around their service and write a... read more

Managing Money Abroad: Updated Edition

I haven’t paid an ATM fee or a foreign transaction fee in years. Hand my hard-earned money over to a bank, when I could be treating myself to pisco sours and pedicures? No thanks! As promised in my recent Peru Planning post, here is an update to the Managing Money Abroad post that I wrote back in 2011. Amazingly very little about my system has changed since — I put a lot of hours back then into... read more

The Departure Lounge: Peru Edition

Guys, are you ready for the biggest mega-post ever about my Peru planning? It’s been a while since I really complained posted about all the behind-the-scenes preparations for long-term travel. While nothing is guaranteed I expect to be abroad for six months, and then take a month or two to travel overland from California (where I’ll re-enter the US) back to New York. Things became official when... read more

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