Takeoff To Travel

Hi everyone! The travel bug hit me at the age of eight on my first flight and ever since then I’ve loved planning vacations for my friends and family. I’m a recent college graduate who has a goal to try out new hotel chains and sample the many airline cabins out there. Having been both a city boy and living in the suburbs, I love traveling to all destinations both big and small.

My Alitalia Flight Got Cancelled, Got A Refund 4 Months Later!

Background: In December 2019, I planned a Europe Trip for July 2020. Due to COVID, I obviously wasn’t planning to take this trip, but I didn’t proactively cancel any of the flights I had booked because I wanted the airline to cancel them first so that I could get a full refund rather than a travel credit. My first leg to Europe was thankfully booked on points, and I was able to cancel and receive a refund of my American AAdvantage Points. I wrote about my cancellation experience and it was pretty easy. I saw my miles return back...

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Earn a Free Night with $4000 in Spend on the Hyatt Credit Card Plus 5x Amazon/3x Grocery

Yesterday I received an email from World of Hyatt regarding my Hyatt Credit Card that stated: This season, the holiday shopping you do for others, plus your everyday spend, can mean an exclusive gift for you – a free night at an unforgettable category 1-4 hotel. That’s on top of the free night you receive on your cardmember anniversary. Use your Hyatt Credit Card from October 27 through December 31, 2020, and enjoy a free night after spending $4,000. Register by November 30, 2020. I think receiving a free night certificate after spending $4,000 on an existing credit card...

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Park MGM Las Vegas Reopened Yesterday Smoke-Free

Yesterday, the Park MGM Las Vegas welcomed guests back for the first time since March. But with an added twist. The resort opened up smoke-free. Park MGM Las Vegas becomes the first casino-resort on The Strip to do so. Vegas is all about options. With the reopening of @parkmgm as a smoke-free destination, we’re glad to be able to provide a new option for guests looking to have the same Vegas experience in a smoke-free environment.https://t.co/NagksxSHbg pic.twitter.com/LdPDMFkh1i — MGM Resorts (@MGMResortsIntl) September 30, 2020   Despite being the first resort on the Strip to go smoke free, this isn’t...

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Vegas Buffet at Wynn to Close Indefinitely on Sept. 7th

Background on Wynn Buffet Closure: Earlier in June, I wrote about how The Buffet at Wynn was the first buffet on the Las Vegas Strip to announce reopening since all resort buffets were closed due to COVID-19 concerns. The buffet was more like a hybrid of a traditional full-service restaurant with the experience of an all you can eat buffet. Similar to the main dining room of a cruise ship. Possible Return In The Future: Just two months later, Wynn has announced that the buffet will be closing its doors indefinitely on Monday, September 7th at 8pm, at the...

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Complimentary Hotel Review: Encore Las Vegas

Background: In February, I booked a complimentary stay at the Wynn Las Vegas due to the Wynn Slots App game! Now, it’s a bit harder to get free rooms as you have to pay about $200 to be eligible in booking a complimentary room. Before, you didn’t have to pay at all, and to this day I’ve spent around $30 on the app. You can also get buffets from the app as well. For my February stay, I asked at check-in to be placed into Encore Las Vegas instead of the Wynn and they were nice enough to grant...

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Complimentary Hotel Review: Wynn Las Vegas

Background: I’ve been lucky enough to stay at the Wynn Las Vegas a few times over the past year due to the Wynn Slots App game! Now, it’s a bit harder to get free rooms as you have to fork over $200 to be eligible in booking a complimentary room. Before, you didn’t have to pay at all, and to this day I’ve spent around $30 on the app. You could also get buffets from the app as well (before the COVID situation). Disclaimer: I stayed at the property in January of this year before the COVID-19 situation worsened....

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Review: Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Business Class to San Diego

Background: I was heading down to San Diego in February to visit friends, and was planning to take Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner from Irvine to San Diego. I’ve been on the Pacific Surfliner before, taking it from Los Angeles Union Station to Santa Barbara. It’s a nice experience and helpful in avoiding LA traffic. Additionally, the Irvine Station allows for free parking for 72 hours, so I could park there and avoid paying over $50 in parking at my San Diego downtown hotel. It was $12 to upgrade from Value Coach to the Business Class offering, for a total of...

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Penthouse Review: Signature at MGM Grand Las Vegas

Background: A couple friends and I were going to Vegas to celebrate a friend’s birthday during the MLK Long Weekend. Having stayed at most of the hotels on the Strip, I always wanted to try the Signature at MGM Grand and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity with a group of friends. The reason for that is because the One Bedroom Balcony Suite is 900 square feet has a kitchen and 2 full bathrooms. And to top it all off, it was only $170 a night including the resort fee, which was quite the deal for a...

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Executive Suite Review: Marriott Irvine Spectrum

Background: My friend was coming down from Seattle, and we needed a night in the Orange County, California area before taking the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner to San Diego the next day. In trying to find a hotel, I remember a relatively new hotel opened in the Irvine Spectrum area, and rates were $120 a night. So, the Marriott Irvine Spectrum was booked! Disclaimer: I stayed at the property in February of this year before the COVID-19 situation worsened. Suite Night Award Upgrade: Since my friend is a Platinum Elite member, he had a Suite Night Award to apply. The...

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Suite Review: THE US GRANT San Diego

Background: About 2 years ago, I stayed in a standard room at THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection hotel and really enjoyed my stay. So, I was really excited to return back on my weekend visit to San Diego. My friend and I arrived in San Diego Saturday morning on the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak and walked from the train station to the hotel which only took about 10 minutes. Disclaimer: I stayed at the property in February of this year before the COVID-19 situation worsened. AMEX FHR Benefits: My friend has the AMEX Platinum Card, so we booked the...

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