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Europe

Surveying Scotland: Introduction

Two kids creates more than twice the work. That holds true for regular life and travel. Nonetheless, we took it upon ourselves to travel to the United Kingdom to celebrate our son's first birthday. Just kidding, it's just when we were free. As always, we paid for the majority of our flight with points. We even booked our first transatlantic flights in coach for the first time in five years. Slumming it! Just kidding, I'm just practicing what I've been preaching in my family travel hacking guide. Read below for details of what we booked and the thought process behind it all. I wrote about booking our flights to the UK awhile back. Man, can't believe I booked this trip back in August 2015. Either way, Delta availability still remains [...]

Award Booking Tips overheard at FT4RL

So I made a rookie mistake presenting at FT4RL - too many slides! I had to rush through a few of my points on booking awards so I thought I'd share some of them here, along with a few other tips shared by the group. Nothing earth shattering here, but some good tips nonetheless. There is coach award space to Europe still available this summer I didn't do an exhaustive search, but as far as I could tell there is quite a bit of award space available to Europe this summer. I searched the three main legacy carriers for four people to/from various US cities to various European cities and there was quite a bit of coach availability. My main point here is this: if you want to travel to [...]

Lazy Weekend in Lyon: Kid Friendly Activities in Lyon

On our short trip to Lyon, we opted to leave our daughter - we just figured it would be more fun that way. But as a parent, I now naturally find myself constantly looking at destinations through the eyes of a parent. As far as cities go, I found Lyon to be super kid-friendly. Was that just me missing M? Yeah maybe, but I think like many French cities, the green spaces and walkability are great for kids. Here are some things we did that I wish we had brought M along for. I didn't mind doing most of them as an adult, either! Parc Tete d'Or I know I wrote about the Parc Tete d'Or already, but it really deserves special mention. For starters, it's a beautiful green space [...]

Lazy Weekend in Lyon: Michelin Starred Meals at La Mere Brazier and La Remanence

One thing Jess and I don't get to do as parents is go out for fancy meals, so we decided to binge while in Lyon sans the little one. The city is known for its food, after all, and is home to sixteen different Michelin starred restaurants. As I've said in the past, I'm not averse to spending money - these restaurants obviously weren't cheap, so we definitely ate into our savings from the flights a bit. I personally thought the experiences were well worth it so thought I'd share some of our experiences. Both restaurants were about a twenty minute walk from our hotel, par for the course in our hotel experience. La Mere Brazier (2 stars, Lunch) I've decided to go in order of quality instead of chronologically. [...]

Lazy Weekend in Lyon: The Hilton Lyon, Parc Tete d’Or, and Salon du Chocolat

Hilton Lyon Normally on a short weekend location is the most important factor for a hotel for me, but on this trip I wanted to make sure we had breakfast too. I ended up booking a 100 Euro/night rate at the Hilton Lyon. We were put on the executive floor and given executive lounge access due to my HHonors Gold status (still 100% on executive lounges outside of the USA). The room was small but comfortable, nothing to write home about pro or con. There was a really nice view of the Parc Tete d'Or from the hotel - supposedly one of the largest parks in Europe. Breakfast was simple but satisfying, generally just eggs, bacon, sausage, and an assortment of continental breakfast type foods. During happy hour and "sweet [...]

Lazy Weekend in Lyon: British Airways First Class and the Ghost Terminal at Heathrow

Thanks to our changed flights, we departed from Boston at 7:45 PM instead of 3:00 PM, which was great because we got to spend a few extra hours with our daughter. After saying our goodbyes, we made our way to the airport by around 6:00 PM. Since we slept for most of the flight, I'll only touch upon British Airways first class in brief here (and go into some more detail for the return). The executive summary is that despite some quirky design choices it's a really nice first class product that I'd be happy flying more often if there weren't any fuel surcharges. But alas, there are. After checking in at the airport, we made our way to the British Airways First Class lounge in Terminal E. The First [...]

Lazy Weekend in Lyon: Introduction

Last week my wife and I spent a quick long weekend in Lyon, France with a nice little layover in London to boot. It wasn't the cheapest trip, but it was some much needed R&R away from the little one. I haven't seen a lot of stuff out there about Lyon, so hopefully this trip report will remedy that. I decided not to do it live because I needed the rest - hopefully it won't take me too long to finish! Before we get to the fun stuff, a little bit about how we got there. Flights: British Airways First Class Boston to Lyon Back when US Airways switched to Oneworld there was a small window of time when you could book British Airways tickets without fuel surcharges. We took advantage [...]