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.

Hotel Review: The Nicest Library At The Renaissance Washington D.C.

Background: To attend the BAcon Conference, a BoardingArea conference to help polish up my blogger skills, I found a great rate at the Renaissance Washington D.C., right across the street from where the convention was held at the Marriott Marquis. I snagged a Priceline Express Deal for $76 a night for the weekend. Short Review With Scores (Out of 5, 5 being the best): My Overall Score: 4 5: Excellent, Highly Recommend 4: Very Good, Solid Choice to Consider 3: OK, Check other options before booking 2: Below Par, Try to Avoid 1: Terrible, Run far away Rooms: 4/5 Service:...

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Buyer Beware: Texas de Brazil “Gift Cards”

Texas de Brazil is a churrascaria (Brazillian steakhouse) restaurant chain with over 40 locations, most of them being in the United States, with a couple locations around the globe. I recently dined here and bought some discounted gift cards, but was hit was a surprise as I tried to pay for the bill. Sam’s Club and Costco occasionally offer gift card deals for many restaurants, and Texas de Brazil is one of them. On the surface, it looks great! A $100 gift card for only $79.99 (sometimes even $69.99). BUT BUYER BEWARE: Unlike many of the other gift cards...

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College Dorm That Is A Three Star Hotel

Dorms. When most people think about dorms, they picture small cramped quarters, communal bathrooms and a dingy atmosphere. This is why I was pleasantly surprised when I did a dorm tour at UCLA. A little bit of background, UCLA has four different types of dorms- Classics (small, communal bathrooms, no AC), Deluxe (bigger, AC, communal bathrooms), Plazas (AC, private/shared between 2 room bathrooms) and Suites (large, living room, 2 bedroom with one bath, no AC) The dorm that I got assigned after months of waiting was a Plaza Double – Private Bath, which is arguably the nicest dorm offered here at...

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Flight Review: Is Virgin America still as hip as before?

Background: For my trip to Hawaii, I had to find a flight home as I booked a one way on Hawaiian there. Virgin America has the cheapest flight back from Maui to LA, so I snagged a $219 one-way home. A major plus is that I have Virgin America Silver Status (due to status match), so I got preferred seating (front of the main cabin) and one free checked bag. At the Airport: Check-In was really quick, as there was no line for the First/Main Cabin Select/Elevate Silver/Gold Line. TSA at Maui Airport was actually quite crowded on a Saturday...

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Review: Beachfront Bliss at the Westin Maui

Background: To explore the Island of Maui, I booked the Westin Maui Resort for a three night stay. I was attracted to choose the Westin as the Hyatt was the same price, but the Westin included self-parking in its resort fee, whereas the Hyatt did not. And the resort fee is already $30, and the Hyatt wanted an extra $18 for self parking and $28 for valet. No thanks! Short Review With Scores (Out of 5, 5 being the best): My Overall Score: 3.5 5: Excellent, Highly Recommend 4: Very Good, Solid Choice to Consider 3: OK, Check other options...

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Review: 15 Minute Flight to Paradise

Background: For my September Hawaii Trip I planned to visit the 2 major islands I haven’t been to yet, Maui and the Island of Hawaii, more commonly known as the Big Island. So, I decided to go to the Big Island first and Maui second. Flights from Kona (Big Island) to Kahului (Maui) were available on propeller planes and Hawaiian had flights with the Boeing 717. I opted for the larger B717 and booked Hawaiian. Flight Details: Hawaiian Airlines 299 Kona (KOA) to Kahului (OGG) Cabin: Economy Seat: 6E Aircraft: Boeing 717-200 Scheduled Departure: 1:26 PM On Time Scheduled Arrival: 2:00 PM On Time The Flight: Short...

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Review: Relaxation on Hawaii’s Big Island at the Fairmont Orchid

Background: To explore the Island of Hawaii, more commonly known as the Big Island, I stumbled on the Fairmont! What really sealed the deal for me was that the Fairmont had a five piece bathroom while the Hilton and Marriott in nearby Waikoloa did not and they were all about the same price ($200 a night). Plus, with a Fairmont you can expect a half notch better with a 4.5 Star class while Hilton and Marriott’s are more of 4 Star hotels. I think the reason the Fairmont was cheaper than usual was because the pool was under renovation during my...

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New! Another 500 Free Virgin America Elevate Points With Email Sign Up

There’s a new Virgin America promo to earn 500 free elevate points. Virgin America is offering 500 free elevate points if you just sign up to receive emails about Virgin Sport. Virgin Sport is technically still a secret according to the email: “Oh, and shhh . . . Virgin Sports is still a secret. But just for a few more miles.” It seems to be a movement to support events such as cycling, running and in general active lifestyles. The terms and conditions are as follows: “Offer valid until September 30th, 2016. Only one email address is allowed and only one...

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Review: Hawaiian Airlines to Big Island on an A330

Background: For my September Hawaii Trip I planned to visit the 2 major islands I haven’t been to yet, Maui and the Island of Hawaii, more commonly known as the Big Island. So, I booked Hawaiian Airlines to fly into Kona, the major airport of the Big Island. They are the only airline to operate a wide body jet to Kona International Airport. Hawaiian uses the Airbus A330 on this route. It is a seasonal route, and this nonstop isn’t on Hawaiian’s schedule anymore. At the Airport: Check-In was quick at LAX, with practically no line. Hawaiian operates from Terminal 2,...

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Hotel Review: Off Strip Luxury At the M Resort Las Vegas

Background: I’ve stayed at the M many times, and they are consistent in providing a nice solid 4.5 star experience. They have a special for Southern California Residents for 30% off the Best Available Rate, which often knocks the price per night under $100, even on some weekends a rarity in Vegas for 4.5 star luxury. Plus, the M does not charge a resort fee unlike most Las Vegas properties. Short Review With Scores (Out of 5, 5 being the best): My Overall Score: 5 5: Excellent, Highly Recommend 4: Very Good, Solid Choice to Consider 3: OK, Check other...

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