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International Travel Bootcamp 
Chicago Seminars 2014 
Stefan Krasowski 
Rapid Travel Chai
First, A Little Story 
A man took his wife and mother-in-law to Disney World 
He used Amex PRG for 3x on airfare 
It was O...
Itinerary 
Planning 
Tips 
Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Who Am I? 
I lived in China for 8 years 
I work in international business 
I plan obsessively 
I travel fast 
I come back ...
Where Have I Traveled? 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
My Dream Trip 
My Wife’s 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
How I Spent This Week 
9-island Caribbean hopper 
Delta: 35k for JFK-Grenada, return St Lucia-EWR 
LIAT: 50k US Bank FlexP...
Before 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Then 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
After 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
A Lot of This 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
A Little of That 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Who Are You? 
You have more miles up the wazoo…what matters to you? 
The flight? 
The hotel? 
The destination? 
The people...
What Do You Want in this Session? 
Planning? 
Tips? 
Cut the crap – gimme miles! 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Planning 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Where to Go? 
Explore outside your social media bubble 
Consider offbeat and offseason 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Rese...
Where to Go – UNESCO Sites 
Jesuit missions and German yerba mate farmers, Paraguay 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserve...
Where to Go – Traveler’s Century Club 
Anne of Green Gables & lobster suppers, 
Prince Edward Island, Canada 
©Stefan Kras...
Thorn Tree Forum for Destinations 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Air – Research 
Wikipedia’s airport and airline pages 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Air – Passes 
If you think awards are confusing and frustrating… 
Passes come and go, often 
Complicated booking 
Gotchas ...
Air – Booking 
Find flights on ITA Matrix 
Locate booking options on Google Fights or Hipmunk 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Righ...
Air – Budget Airlines 
skyscanner.com and 
whichbudget.com 
Price all the extras 
Know the airport – 
where in ‘London’? 
...
Air – Obscure Airlines 
OneTravel for hard to ticket airlines 
Get reservation record AND ticket number 
©Stefan Krasowski...
Air – China Flights 
Global sites only price full-fare tickets 
China sites price discounts: ctrip, eLong, travelzen 
Expe...
Rail – Where? 
East Asia and Europe are great for rail 
Overnight trains save time, save hotel 
Photo by alantankenghoe, f...
Rail – How? 
Advance web bookings can be difficult and deceptive 
Man in Seat 61 and Deutsche Bahn 
Multiple stations in c...
Rail – Passes 
Compare & cost pass options and alternative transport 
May need to purchase before arrival 
Swiss Pass 2nd ...
Bus – Where? 
‘Executivo’ business class services in South America 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Bus – Tips 
Beware the near empty bus that is ‘leaving soon’ 
Your stuff will be either with you or with someone else 
Pre...
Taxis - Tips 
Beware taxis hanging out at hotels 
If the locals use radio taxis, you should too 
Taxis for day trips vs gu...
Taxis – India 
India’s airport prepaid taxis: 
Cheap and safe 
Don’t exit the airport! 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Rese...
Driving 
Exhilarating or stressful? 
Driving on the left is surprisingly easy 
International Driving Permit (IDP) is an an...
Rental Cars – Booking 
Booking sites often ‘location not found’/’sold out’ 
Try rental agency websites 
…but status is oft...
Rental Cars – Gotchas 
Riga, Latvia: 
$43 to pick up at 8 pm! 
Ayers Rock: 
$0.23 per km 
after 100km! 
©Stefan Krasowski,...
Rental Cars – Insurance 
Many Chase and Citi cards now cover ALL countries – 
get certificate of coverage (Ireland, Israel...
Hotels 
Don’t stress – so many options 
Chain hotels…are chain hotels 
Local hotels at hotels.com 
Mom & Pops at booking.c...
Tips 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
US Passports 
Get the large passport book 
Get a passport card for land & sea & backup ID 
Enroll in Global Entry/NEXUS/SE...
Second US Passports 
Great for frequent travelers who need visas 
Easy process 
Only valid for two years 
©Stefan Krasowsk...
Visa Requirements for US Citizens 
166 countries Visa Free or Visa on Arrival 
Sources: Henley & Partners, Wikipedia 
©Ste...
Visas for US Citizens 
Check embassy websites 
Check travel.state.gov 
Specialist visa agents vs big generalists 
10-year ...
Money – Cash 
Cash is still king 
Traveler’s checks are dead 
Carry a cheat sheet or app for fx rates 
Schwab debit card –...
Money – Credit Cards 
Logo in the window may only mean local cards 
Chip and Signature cards work most of the time 
Chip a...
Handy Credit Card Benefits 
Chase & Citi – trip delay coverage 
Diner’s Club – cheap lounge access 
Discover – accepted in...
Tech 
Unlocked phone + local SIM card 
T-Mobile – unlimited data & text to 120+ countries 
Encrypt – TrueCrypt 
Get a VPN ...
Insurance 
Insure yourself, your trip, or your stuff? 
Credit cards often insure 
your trip and your stuff 
I insure mysel...
Health 
CDC Yellow Book @ cdc.gov/travel 
Know scientific names of your meds 
(aspirin = acetylsalicylic acid) 
Plan ahead...
Yellow Fever 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved 
Source: CDC Yellow Book 2014
Safety 
The Rapid Travel Chai ‘3 Ds’ of Travel Safety 
Don’t be: 
Drunk 
Drugged 
Debauched 
Especially when you 
don’t sp...
Luggage 
Backpack = maximum flexibility, bag never leaves you 
Wheeled = less flexibility, more comfort 
Backpack/wheeled ...
Packing 
Unless going to the moon, you are not going to the moon 
onebag.com packing strategy 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Righ...
Miles and Points 
Beyond Cathay J to Bali 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Elite status 
Carry all your frequent flyer cards (e.g. Star Alliance lounges) 
Expect disappointment…and pleasant surpris...
Some Offbeat Star Alliance Awards 
Copa in Latin America (with United upgrades) 
Ethiopian from DC to Africa 
Turkish flie...
United Micronesia Island Hopper 
Join missionaries, military, dignitaries and islanders 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Res...
Palau and Peleliu 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Pohnpei 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Some Offbeat One World Awards 
Avios, Avios, Avios – fill in gaps on itineraries 
Use for Canada, South America, Africa, I...
Always Check Non-Alliance Partners, Too 
+ 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Some Offbeat SkyTeam Awards 
Delta seasonal flight to Prince Edward Island, Canada 
AeroMexico for Latin America and even ...
Lemurs in Madagascar 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Thin Red Line in Solomon Islands 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Air France KLM Caribbean Hopper 
Visit Caribbean on the way to Europe 
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have hoppers, t...
Dominican Republic and Haiti 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
French Guiana and Suriname 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
Hotel Awards 
Consider Carlson, IHG, Choice Hotels 
International locations often much better than US 
©Stefan Krasowski, ...
Hotels Have Partners Too 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
IHG Hotels Anywhere 
Conserve cash when no chain hotels available, 
or even stay at competitor chains 
Hilton Chicago O’Ha...
Thank You 
rapidtravelchai.com 
stefan@rapidtravelchai.com 
@rapidtravelchai 
©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
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Rapid Travel Chai: International Travel Bootcamp - Chicago Seminars 2014

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Rapid Travel Chai International Travel Bootcamp at the Chicago Seminars, October 2014

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Rapid Travel Chai: International Travel Bootcamp - Chicago Seminars 2014

  1. 1. International Travel Bootcamp Chicago Seminars 2014 Stefan Krasowski Rapid Travel Chai
  2. 2. First, A Little Story A man took his wife and mother-in-law to Disney World He used Amex PRG for 3x on airfare It was October 2012 Hurricane Sandy rolled in to New York They had a LONG Disney vacation Chase /Citi trip delay coverage vs earning 3x Cards and miles are a start, but don’t lose sight of travel ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Itinerary Planning Tips Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. Who Am I? I lived in China for 8 years I work in international business I plan obsessively I travel fast I come back exhausted My wife is the opposite ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. Where Have I Traveled? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. My Dream Trip My Wife’s ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. How I Spent This Week 9-island Caribbean hopper Delta: 35k for JFK-Grenada, return St Lucia-EWR LIAT: 50k US Bank FlexPerks for $1,002.90 ticket Corsair: Citi Prestige 11,071 points for $149 ticket flyMontserrat: $189 in cash money ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. Before ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. Then ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. After ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. A Lot of This ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. A Little of That ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  13. 13. Who Are You? You have more miles up the wazoo…what matters to you? The flight? The hotel? The destination? The people? The food? What else? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  14. 14. What Do You Want in this Session? Planning? Tips? Cut the crap – gimme miles! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  15. 15. Planning ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  16. 16. Where to Go? Explore outside your social media bubble Consider offbeat and offseason ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Yamamoto’s Bunker, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea
  17. 17. Where to Go – UNESCO Sites Jesuit missions and German yerba mate farmers, Paraguay ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. Where to Go – Traveler’s Century Club Anne of Green Gables & lobster suppers, Prince Edward Island, Canada ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  19. 19. Thorn Tree Forum for Destinations ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  20. 20. Air – Research Wikipedia’s airport and airline pages ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  21. 21. Air – Passes If you think awards are confusing and frustrating… Passes come and go, often Complicated booking Gotchas abound ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  22. 22. Air – Booking Find flights on ITA Matrix Locate booking options on Google Fights or Hipmunk ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  23. 23. Air – Budget Airlines skyscanner.com and whichbudget.com Price all the extras Know the airport – where in ‘London’? Know the terminal – Malaysian remote LCCTs ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  24. 24. Air – Obscure Airlines OneTravel for hard to ticket airlines Get reservation record AND ticket number ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  25. 25. Air – China Flights Global sites only price full-fare tickets China sites price discounts: ctrip, eLong, travelzen Expedia $212 eLong $111 ©Stefan Krasowski, AAllll RRiigghhttss RReesseerrvveedd
  26. 26. Rail – Where? East Asia and Europe are great for rail Overnight trains save time, save hotel Photo by alantankenghoe, flickr ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  27. 27. Rail – How? Advance web bookings can be difficult and deceptive Man in Seat 61 and Deutsche Bahn Multiple stations in cities Rail Europe $131 SCNF $81 ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  28. 28. Rail – Passes Compare & cost pass options and alternative transport May need to purchase before arrival Swiss Pass 2nd Class is $298 for 4 days – yikes! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  29. 29. Bus – Where? ‘Executivo’ business class services in South America ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  30. 30. Bus – Tips Beware the near empty bus that is ‘leaving soon’ Your stuff will be either with you or with someone else Prepare for heat, prepare for cold ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  31. 31. Taxis - Tips Beware taxis hanging out at hotels If the locals use radio taxis, you should too Taxis for day trips vs guides ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  32. 32. Taxis – India India’s airport prepaid taxis: Cheap and safe Don’t exit the airport! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  33. 33. Driving Exhilarating or stressful? Driving on the left is surprisingly easy International Driving Permit (IDP) is an annual pain ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  34. 34. Rental Cars – Booking Booking sites often ‘location not found’/’sold out’ Try rental agency websites …but status is often worthless Try AutoEurope (not just for Europe) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  35. 35. Rental Cars – Gotchas Riga, Latvia: $43 to pick up at 8 pm! Ayers Rock: $0.23 per km after 100km! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  36. 36. Rental Cars – Insurance Many Chase and Citi cards now cover ALL countries – get certificate of coverage (Ireland, Israel) Insurance often mandatory, sometimes included in rate: • Canada rates include liability • Mexico/Central America require adding liability • Basic CDW included in Europe – Supercover enhances • Temporary licenses (Caribbean, Kuwait) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  37. 37. Hotels Don’t stress – so many options Chain hotels…are chain hotels Local hotels at hotels.com Mom & Pops at booking.com Alternative accommodation ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  38. 38. Tips ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  39. 39. US Passports Get the large passport book Get a passport card for land & sea & backup ID Enroll in Global Entry/NEXUS/SENTRI and add to airline profiles for TSA PreCheck Have scans and copies ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  40. 40. Second US Passports Great for frequent travelers who need visas Easy process Only valid for two years ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  41. 41. Visa Requirements for US Citizens 166 countries Visa Free or Visa on Arrival Sources: Henley & Partners, Wikipedia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  42. 42. Visas for US Citizens Check embassy websites Check travel.state.gov Specialist visa agents vs big generalists 10-year India and 3-year Russia tourist visas Must pay Argentina reciprocity fee online in advance Yes, you need a visa for Australia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  43. 43. Money – Cash Cash is still king Traveler’s checks are dead Carry a cheat sheet or app for fx rates Schwab debit card – no fx fee + ATM reimbursements Avoid anything Travelex!!! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  44. 44. Money – Credit Cards Logo in the window may only mean local cards Chip and Signature cards work most of the time Chip and Pin cards for heavy EU travelers (Diners Club) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  45. 45. Handy Credit Card Benefits Chase & Citi – trip delay coverage Diner’s Club – cheap lounge access Discover – accepted in China via UnionPay, Japan via JCB ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  46. 46. Tech Unlocked phone + local SIM card T-Mobile – unlimited data & text to 120+ countries Encrypt – TrueCrypt Get a VPN – WiTopia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  47. 47. Insurance Insure yourself, your trip, or your stuff? Credit cards often insure your trip and your stuff I insure myself – GeoBlue Trekker Choice annual plan Annual or per trip? insubuy.com, travelinsurancecenter.com ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  48. 48. Health CDC Yellow Book @ cdc.gov/travel Know scientific names of your meds (aspirin = acetylsalicylic acid) Plan ahead for vaccines Malaria pills pros and cons International Certificate of Vaccination ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  49. 49. Yellow Fever ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Source: CDC Yellow Book 2014
  50. 50. Safety The Rapid Travel Chai ‘3 Ds’ of Travel Safety Don’t be: Drunk Drugged Debauched Especially when you don’t speak the language or know the legal system ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  51. 51. Luggage Backpack = maximum flexibility, bag never leaves you Wheeled = less flexibility, more comfort Backpack/wheeled convertible = bad at both ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  52. 52. Packing Unless going to the moon, you are not going to the moon onebag.com packing strategy ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  53. 53. Miles and Points Beyond Cathay J to Bali ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  54. 54. Elite status Carry all your frequent flyer cards (e.g. Star Alliance lounges) Expect disappointment…and pleasant surprises ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Airport VIP Lounge, Livingston, Zambia
  55. 55. Some Offbeat Star Alliance Awards Copa in Latin America (with United upgrades) Ethiopian from DC to Africa Turkish flies to more countries than any airline, 100+ United now partners with Azul for Brazil ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  56. 56. United Micronesia Island Hopper Join missionaries, military, dignitaries and islanders ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  57. 57. Palau and Peleliu ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  58. 58. Pohnpei ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  59. 59. Some Offbeat One World Awards Avios, Avios, Avios – fill in gaps on itineraries Use for Canada, South America, Africa, Indian Ocean, Australia, Pacific and Russia Example: Sri Lankan several daily flights to Maldives ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  60. 60. Always Check Non-Alliance Partners, Too + ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  61. 61. Some Offbeat SkyTeam Awards Delta seasonal flight to Prince Edward Island, Canada AeroMexico for Latin America and even to Europe/Asia Gol in Brazil and to Brazil from Orlando Air France to Madagascar and Indian Ocean China Eastern/Southern + China Airlines to Asia Virgin Australia to Solomons, Christmas & Cocos Islands Saudia for overflowing award space ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  62. 62. Lemurs in Madagascar ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  63. 63. Thin Red Line in Solomon Islands ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  64. 64. Air France KLM Caribbean Hopper Visit Caribbean on the way to Europe British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have hoppers, too ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  65. 65. Dominican Republic and Haiti ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  66. 66. French Guiana and Suriname ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  67. 67. Hotel Awards Consider Carlson, IHG, Choice Hotels International locations often much better than US ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Executive Lounge Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai
  68. 68. Hotels Have Partners Too ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  69. 69. IHG Hotels Anywhere Conserve cash when no chain hotels available, or even stay at competitor chains Hilton Chicago O’Hare: 30k IHG points vs 40k Hilton points (fluctuates by rate) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  70. 70. Thank You rapidtravelchai.com stefan@rapidtravelchai.com @rapidtravelchai ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • coquitoday

    Oct. 23, 2014

Rapid Travel Chai International Travel Bootcamp at the Chicago Seminars, October 2014

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