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Old 06-18-2017, 01:17 PM   #61
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Been retired for over 4 years now. I was United Platinum while w*rking. Now I am a grunt. I still have 500k miles to use, but today that is only 1 good Business Class trip for 2 internationally.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:37 PM   #62
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The only downside for us is length of flight. Often our elapsed time, two or three flights to get to destination, is anywhere from 18-23 hours.

Sure, I miss the perks of business travel. Lots of points accumulation, upgrades, airport lounges, hotel floors, etc. But the absence of these benefits do not in any way cause us to limit our travel.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:37 PM   #63
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We just did KLM flights from Amsterdam, what a wonderful checkin process they have, compared to our O'hare system.
The actual flight, was jammed up tiny economy seats, with the tv screen so close to your face it was almost too close to focus.
However, the food was pretty good, and the free wine handed out really smoothed the ride.

Next time though, I think I will spring for a more expensive seat than economy, as it was pretty cramped sitting there for an 8 hour flight.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:29 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by brett View Post
Sure, I miss the perks of business travel. Lots of points accumulation, upgrades, airport lounges, hotel floors, etc. But the absence of these benefits do not in any way cause us to limit our travel.
When I feel like it, I get a day pass at whatever airline lounge is handy. It works out better than an annual membership to one particular airline's lounges since you can't always find one (or an affiliated one) when you're stuck in an airport for a few hours. Very calming in the midst of beeping carts and blaring announcements outside.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:52 AM   #65
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When I feel like it, I get a day pass at whatever airline lounge is handy. It works out better than an annual membership to one particular airline's lounges since you can't always find one (or an affiliated one) when you're stuck in an airport for a few hours. Very calming in the midst of beeping carts and blaring announcements outside.
+1. Stepping away from the cacophony for an hour or two can make an okay trip a great one.

Also, as a military retiree, I also will sometimes use USO lounges (and donate while there). The ones I've used are comfy, quiet, and well stocked.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:10 PM   #66
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When I feel like it, I get a day pass at whatever airline lounge is handy. It works out better than an annual membership to one particular airline's lounges since you can't always find one (or an affiliated one) when you're stuck in an airport for a few hours. Very calming in the midst of beeping carts and blaring announcements outside.
+1 Except we went ahead and got a membership. We're flying a lot this year and have some long layovers at hub airports. I went ahead and got the membership (happy early Father's Day to me), while my wife was skeptical about it. After the first time in the lounge, we felt more relaxed and refreshed. Nothing beats stepping out of the lounge 5 minutes before the plane boarded (gate happened to be next to lounge that first time). I think my wife enjoyed it more than I did.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:29 AM   #67
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1- I'm tired a lot.
When I fly to another time zone I am tired from the flight, then I'm tired from the jet lag, and when I finally do begin to adjust to the different time zone i fly back home and have to readjust all over again. I'm also finding that as I get older my body doesn't adapt as quickly anymore to these sudden changes, so it is taking me a good 7-10 days to feel normal again. Since I'm traveling around every 6 weeks it feels like I am now tired almost a third of the time.
DW and I love to travel, although with MIL's death last December and FIL's declining health, our travel opportunities, even being early retirees, have been significantly curtailed.
However, a "trick" I learned during our international travels, especially with a 26+ hours travel from Hawaii to Italy and back 2 to 3 times a year, is to take Melatonin for 3 straight days before my flight...and take them when it would be bedtime at my destination. So with HI and Italy being 12 hours apart, I would take melatonin for three days before my flight at 1000 hours (10:00 AM). I find traveling east makes jetlag more of an issue...but on my last flight from HI to Italy, I flew in on Saturday morning, and by Monday morning, we were jetting off to Amsterdam with no jetlag issues. This trick works for me...worth a try if you suffer from jetlag.

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The downside is that I can only hold mail for one month. I have two kids nearby so each month, one kid will pick up my mail.
I made friends with my mailman and he can hold my mail for longer than 1 month...just another way to go about it.

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Our long-trip threshold is three weeks. By then we are ready to go home. At the halfway point of a longer trip we schedule a down day with little or nothing scheduled. A good time to relax and recharge.

Re getting sick it happens. We carry generic Imodium, generic Sudafed, and ibuprofen plus azithromycin or some other 3-day antibiotic blast for the occasional gastric excitement. The latter requires a prescription and your doc can tell you about options there, but I'm sure he/she will give you the scrip.
DW and I feel the same way about length of travel...3-4 weeks at a destination would be about what we prefer and by then we are ready to head back home. Being a home gardener, I always "worry" about my plants.
We also include Imodium, Sudafed, Nyquil and Tylenol in our packing list...not so much antibiotics, although prior to a trip to the Philippines and Singapore recently, we were actually referred by our Primary Care Provider to a Travel Clinic and the doctor there reviewed our shots to make sure we have the adequate immunizations for our destinations and prescribed certain medications that we took with us (mainly for addressing traveler's diarrhea and such).

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On our last two tours, one to the East Coast, and the other to the Canadian Rockies, we went with Tauck. They are more laid back, dining is choice of menus, hotels are Fairmont or equivalent.
Yes, they are more expensive, but you get what you pay for. Since we are cutting back on traveling, we can take fewer more expensive trips and stay within our travel budget.
DW and I normally prefer not traveling with a group, although for a trip with multiple flights and destinations/countries, we are considering an outfit like Tauck. I've heard some good and bad things about them, so the research continues. I will look at Tauck for a trip we are planning to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos.

Although we can afford it, we have yet to travel in style by splurging for business or first class for those long international flights, or even from here in HI to the mainland USA...guess old habits (that allowed us to RE) die hard.

I have to share an anecdote I heard from a fellow traveler while we were in Europe. He said "Europeans think 100 miles is far, while Americans think 100 years is long"...pretty much sums things up.
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:13 AM   #68
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Back in 1985 I was flying so much on Pan Am (remember them) that they offered me a deal. For $600 I bought a lifetime pass to their airport "Clipper Club" lounges. Fabulous deal, but no longer quite so useful when I moved in 1989 to a city where the only practical option was Delta.

Then when Pan Am went under, Delta bought most of it. One day in 1991 I got a nice letter from Delta telling me that my old Clipper Club lifetime pass was being converted to its Delta equivalent.

When they merged with Northwest and changed their system again, I got another nice letter saying I had been grandfathered again. So for $600 I've had 32 years (and counting) of airport lounge access. Probably the best deal I've ever made.
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