Travel Gadget Reviews

This HappyFlyer is a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast with a passion for travel. She will be writing about her interest in travel gadgets and sharing her best travel tips and unique perspective on travel and other experiences.

Made a Car Rental Booking Mistake:  Is it truly non-changeable and non-refundable?

When it comes to travel, my general advice is to always book the flexible (cancellable) rate, whether it’s a hotel reservation or a car rental.  This offers the maximum flexibility if plans change or if unexpected things happen. The only exception is if there are substantial savings with the prepaid rate and you are close enough to the travel dates to know that you won’t be making any changes. Car Rental Booking I need to book a car rental for upcoming travels spanning multiple states.  I was also multi-tasking, making hotel bookings and securing those reservations with a credit...

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Hotel Review: Staying at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Oak n’ Spruce Resort, Massachusetts

When I travel, I usually like to focus on the attractions at the destination.  With COVID-19, this isn’t quite possible with closures at major attractions.  Last month, with an IHG free night certificate, I booked a stay at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Oak n’ Spruce Resort, located in Lee, Massachusetts. When people think of resorts, the all-inclusive resorts at popular vacation destinations like Hawaii, Florida, Vegas or ski resorts in Colorado are typically what comes to mind. I have been wanting to visit the Berkshires, a rural region in the Western part of Massachusetts, for some time. This...

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Musing: Clouds

Clouds. I always liked clouds.  Especially puffy, cotton-like clouds (known as cumulus clouds). When the pandemic hit last year, everything grounded to a halt. As restrictions began to ease, I got more opportunities to take walks and explore local parks and open spaces in a socially distanced way. And I remembered how much I like looking at the skies. And clouds. I think looking at vast space in front of me always reminds me of the bigger world out there.  It always helps to put things in some perspective. And you don’t know what kind of clouds you might...

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Omaha Steaks or Kansas City Steaks: Which is Better?

I don’t usually order food online.  With the recent stay-at-home advisory and Amex sync offers, I decided to try out two online steak retailers for the first time. Omaha Steaks or Kansas City Steaks? I didn’t order in a way where I could compare apples with apples, but it was still enough to make up my mind in terms of which ones I like better. For Omaha Steaks: I ordered the Omaha Steaks Burgers and the Top Sirloins. For Kansas City Steaks: I decided to try out the gift pack of Filet Mignon and Kansas City Strip Steaks. From...

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom: What I saw during my last visit (photolog)

Disney World is taking steps towards reopening its parks, although a date has not yet been set. The last Disney park I visited was Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  I visited during the holiday season, so the crowd was big and lines were long. How the world had changed since.  I am glad I visited when I did, because I don’t have plans to visit anytime soon.  That was true even pre-COVID-19. I took quite a few pictures along the way, but I never got around to sharing them, until now.           We watched one of the...

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Hilton to Extend Expiration Date for Weekend Night Rewards

Hilton Honors sent out an email earlier today notifying its members that those with an expiring Weekend Night Reward will automatically have the expiration date extended.  No additional action is required. When I called Hilton Honors just last week, they only allowed for an exception of a 2-weeks extension. This latest update is very good news in light of all the travel plan changes and cancellations due to COVID-19.  For those who have an expiring cert, you now have until August 31, 2021 to use your reward certificate. Good move on offering flexibility, Hilton. (Other programs should take note,...

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Passengers on two cruise ships are under quarantine due to Coronavirus

This probably isn’t the kind of adventure that passengers expect when they sign up for a cruise. Currently, passengers on two cruise ships are under quarantine.  The Princess Diamond and the World Dream are anchored off Japan and Hong Kong, respectively. There are at least 10 passengers who have been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus on Princess Diamond. The Diamond Princess is anchored off the coast of Yokohama, near Tokyo, with 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers — including 428 Americans — on board. The second ship, the World Dream, is docked at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise...

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A Passenger Got Kicked Off a Flight For Wearing a Gas Mask

American Airlines removed a passenger from a Dallas to Houston flight on Thursday night, after he wore a gas mask onto the plane.  He was escorted off the flight after he refused to take off the mask. One curious detail from the accounts of other passengers:  His gas mask didn’t have a filter.  This would make it difficult for him to breathe in it.  It’s a prime example of why face masks may not be as effective if they aren’t worn properly. While coronavirus has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global health emergency, the...

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Why is it called the Coronavirus and Tracking Real Time Updates

The World Health Organization (WHO) had just declared the coronavirus outbreak a “Global Health Emergency“, as the number of confirmed cases continued to rise. There is also a lot of fear on how best to handle cases to prevent further spread.  Just today, there were news that a cruise trip was being quarantined in port city of Civitavecchia, near Rome, Italy.  There were at least 6,000 passengers and 1,000 staff on board. (Update: the two suspected passengers were tested negative for the coronavirus). Many airlines have also cancelled flights amid the outbreak. There are two things of personal interests...

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6 Things To Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

When people think of Orlando, they usually think of these major attractions first: Disney World Resorts, Universal Studios, Sea World Orlando/Discovery Cove, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and Legoland Florida Resort. There are certainly other things to do in the area besides the theme parks.  I wrote about a few of them already, but I thought I’d include them in this list. 1.  Visit the Largest McDonald in the World Did you know that the “World’s Largest Entertainment McDonald” is located right in Orlando? It’s conveniently located at  6875 Sand Lake Road (off of International Drive).   Since I always...

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