Best Travel Deals and News – July 13, 2010 – Visit Kenya, 10 Ways to Travel Europe Cheap, Giving Birth Abroad, Expiring Frequent Flier Miles

by brian on July 13, 2010

Travel news and deals of interest to YOU from around the Web compiled and edited by

If you know any great travel stories or tips we all should read, please send it to me and I will put an acknowledgment of your contribution in the posting.

20 Reasons to Hate the Airlines
From loyal reader Karen

Airline travel has become mass transit. You’ll hear many talk about the good ole days when air travel was a luxurious, elitist type experience. No more. Anyone who has a few hundred dollars can fly thousands of miles. The safety of flights is better than it has ever been. And yet there are things that the airlines can do to make the experience even better. HATE is a pretty strong word, but some of the items on the list would probably garner that reaction from you.

Giving Birth Abroad: Setting up Your Child with a Second Citizenship

I’ve always wondered how it worked if you gave birth outside your home country. Is the child automatically a citizen of that country? Dual passports? What happens if the child is born in international airspace? Is the child a citizen of the first country the plane lands in? Wouldn’t it be nice if she/he was just a citizen of the world and could go anywhere unhindered? I know, I know, wishful thinking in the world we live in….

Travel Video of the Week
Deep Fried Snacks in Taiwan 鹽酥雞
Can you ever go wrong frying something? It’s really simple to stick a piece of food in scalding hot oil. Every society does it. But just like everything else, every culture does it differently. Taiwan has their own deletectable fried treats the next time you find yourself in Taipei. Remember, everything in moderation folks, especially fried foods.

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone your frequent flier miles are expiring

Seems like the airlines do everything to NOT let you know when your miles may be expiring. Without being proactive and calling to find if and when your miles may expire, you could be at their mercy, begging and pleading to get those hard earned miles back. If you’re a frequent flier junkie and accumulate miles like other people collect comic books or stamps, call the airlines every 6 months just to check on your status. Whether by accident or intent, sometimes you don’t find out in time.

10 ways to travel Europe for under $1000

They mentioned Couchsurfing but not hostels. Many of you are still wary of hostels, especially the shared room aspect of it. Remember you can find a hostel and get a private room with an ensuite bathroom. You don’t need to share a bathroom and get a place where you can lock the door. You get the best of both worlds: privacy and cheap prices.

8 signs of travel burnout

I could relate to this story. I’ll give you another sign of burnout.

Not knowing where you were the night before.

I decided to leave Rome and come home. I was passing through Heathrow after leaving Rome and first stopping in Amsterdam. The border agent at Heathrow asked me a simple question:

“What country where you in last night?”

I could not remember.

If someone put a gun to my head I could not remember. I stood there for 5 minutes while he named off countries and I said I wasn’t there.

I’m surprised he didn’t pull me aside for more questioning. I probably would have done that if I was in his shoes. A traveler who suddenly can’t remember where he’s been in the last 24 hours is a plot out of a movie…or something more ominous. He looked at me, took mercy and let me get on my flight to JFK.

It’s then I knew it was time to go home…or at least stay in one place for two weeks without passing through an airport terminal.

The Credit Card Choice: Miles or Points?

From the article:

While there is no perfect travel-rewards card for everyone, cards that offer points instead of miles might be a better option for people who aren’t particularly loyal to a single airline since points can usually be redeemed on many airlines.

10 Death Defying Rooftop Hotel Pools

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore combines the fears of many – a fear of heights AND a fear of water – with an infinity pool 55 stories up. How many pills do you have to pop before you consider stepping into this pool?

Cathay Pacific Has Big News: In-Flight WiFi and iPad Connectivity to Come

I love this trend. But the next question always is: How many power plugs do you have on these planes to support all the devices I could potentially use?

Oh yeah and I’m still waiting for the first case of air rage over a crazy conversation using Skype while flying…

Walking With the Herds in Kenya

Remember, hippos kill more people in Kenya than any other animal. Ummm, not sure how you’re going to use that info, but I thought you needed to know that.

Moroccan architecture

Brought back memories of Marrakesh.

Bonus Travel Video
Jambo! Welcome to Magical Kenya
I always advocate people investigate the countries of Africa for their vacation plans. I liked the video posted and I thought you might like to see it too. Since the violence after the Kenyan elections in 2007, I haven’t heard much news about the country, good or bad.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan July 13, 2010 at 7:44 AM

I think they don’t mention hostels because the additional cost of staying at hostels would probably push your budget WAY up especially if you’re getting these private rooms. They may be cheaper than hotels, but I wouldn’t call them cheap by any means.

Then again, I’m of the backpacker budget bracket.


brian July 14, 2010 at 6:43 AM

Thanks for posting Megan! But like everything else, things are relative. A $30 hotel dorm in Tokyo or New York or Paris is much ‘cheaper’ than a hotel room in one of those cities. I know hostels was the major reason I was able to travel for so long so I’m always an advocate for them. Plus alot of people will never be comfortable sleeping on a stranger’s couch even if the cost is 0.

A private hostel room may not be cheap but for many it is the right tradeoff between inexpensive and privacy/safety/comfort.


Dave and Deb July 17, 2010 at 12:34 PM

I’m with you Brian. We can’t get into couch surfing. It is great for the younger generation, and maybe many others, but just not for us. I would rather have a private room in a hostel for a little bit more money.
But I completely understand trying to save money any way they can.


brian July 21, 2010 at 8:53 PM

I think the private room in the hostel is the way to go, especially as a couple. The best of both worlds : the privacy of the closed locked door and the savings vs. a hotel room. Plus all the great people you meet. Hostels were meant for interaction. You go to a hotel, get in the elevator and go to your room. No one ever needs to know you were there. Some folks would prefer that, but I think you miss out on alot.


jess2010 July 20, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Love those deep fried foods! Great video. You should check out Taiwan’s crazy toilet restaurant:


brian July 21, 2010 at 8:47 PM

There’s a toilet restaurant in Hong Kong too! Some friends actually went there. Why this appears to be an Asian phenomenon I do not know.


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