Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

BLUF: 2020 has been quite a year! This year, I flew 54,664 miles which includes one international trip and quite a few US-domestic flights, almost all for work. This is fewest miles I’ve traveled in about a decade.

Today’s ALL HANDS focuses on my 2020 travel.

What a year! That’s definitely the understatement of the century. It’s been a while since I’ve posted for Glenn and TMFF. My apologies for going silent since April, but even with the quarantine and the days upon days of telework, finding the motivation to write about travel was still pretty difficult. Then, in late June, my work at the US Department of Veterans Affairs began to pick-up, and in early July, I was back on the road. Work travel has been almost non-stop since then with prepping for trips and closing out trips taking up a lot of my time and energy.

As Glenn and I have mentioned before, TMFF is NOT our primary job nor do we rely on it for income. It’s a labor of love, and sometimes more labor than love. Originally, I had plans to revisit some trips in a multitude of AARs, and while I has a streak of three posted, I completely ran out of steam. I’m sure many folks felt the same as quarantines and shelter-at-home orders continued throughout 2020.

Still, as telework days melted into each other and more time was spent in front of the TV binging all that precious and new streaming content, putting together a travel blog entry kept falling lower and lower on the priority list.

Enough whining, let’s get to some travel data.

In 2020, I flew only 54,664 miles. In 2019, I flew 163,951 miles. That’s only 33% of the miles flown this year compared to last year. That’s quite a drop: Thanks, COVID! LOL!

For leisure travel, back in Jan 2020 (when we were all fat, dumb, and happy about traveling) I made a trip out to the West Coast to enjoy some Alaska Airlines First Class comfort and visit Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle. Plus, I visited the new Paine Field airport (PAE) north of Seattle. The newly opened concourse building houses two main gate areas with mountain chalet décor. It was a fun stop on my coastal tour.

Also pre-COVID, I had leisure trips to Asheville, NC and Toronto, Canada. Both were great visits and worth going back too. Though, I would say Asheville is a pretty small town, so a return visit for me is probably not likely. However, the beer and the BBQ were excellent as was the visit to the famed Biltmore Estate. As for our February trip to Canada, it was pretty great. Any excuse to visit our friendly northern neighbors and inject some maple syrup into my veins is high on my list!

In March 2020, we took our first, and only, intercontinental trip of the year. Back in Spring 2019, Qatar Airways was having an awesome business class deal to announce their new Montreal to Doha route on a QSuites-installed Boeing 777-300ER. I picked up two roundtrip tickets for $2000 each on the Montreal-Doha-Bangkok route. Granted, I had no idea where we’d be in March 2020 (we were due to depart Germany during the summer of 2019), but I figured where ever we were in the US, getting to Montreal would be a pretty easy feat.

So on 29 Feb, we flew IAD-YUL and spent the night at the in Marriott Airport Montreal. It was a very nice stay. While COVID news was still limited to China, South Korea, and Italy at the end of February, we were pretty confident our visits to Ho Chi Minh City, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok would be uninterrupted or affected by COVID. Originally, I had planned this trip to included Seoul and Chengdu. As COVID restrictions were beginning to pop up in China and South Korea, I smartly altered these stops.

If you’ve read about how Qatar Airways’ QSuites are the “best business class” then you’ve only heard part of the rave. Qsuites, the actual seat, is amazing. So much room and with the closing door, you really have a tiny apartment. However, when you couple the comfortable suite with Qatar’s outstanding services (e.g., dine-on-demand, hefty meal and a snack menus, a full complement of wine and spirits) it is like riding in First Class. My international First Class experience have been on SWISS, Japan Airlines, and Thai Airways, and those were amazing experiences. Qatar’s QSuites equaled if not surpassed those given how new their 777 was.

That whole trip was amazing. Vietnam is an awesome destination; the people and the food are terrific. This was also our first visit to Chiang Mai which included that famed Thai hospitality and food. Plus, any chance to get to Bangkok is a good thing!

It was about in mid-March when the whole world began closing borders and flights started canceling. Luckily, we made it back to the US before the country closed down. As COVID raged on, I canceled our June 2020 trip to Australia and our Nov/Dec 2020 trip to Japan. Sad to have to cancel those, but we weren’t going anywhere due to COVID and certainly not on an international trip.

Work’s policy was to test us post-work trip, so I ended the year with a cool baker’s dozen (13!) of COVID tests. While I didn’t get used to the nasal swab, I at least knew what was coming. When work travel started back up in July, I saw very empty airports and airplanes. Though, by the time of my final trip in Nov, planes and airports were full again. When available, I would purchase the upgrade to domestic First Class to allow for more room and just being around fewer people. Since I had to travel, I tried to be as safe as possible.

I’ll save my 2021 leisure travel plans (yes! I actually some!) for another All Hands.

Many of our readers have PCS’d during this dynamic time and many continue to be stationed all over the world. On behalf of Glenn and me, we hope everyone in the TMFF family continues to remain safe and vigilant during the pandemic.

Thank you for allowing me to be part of The Military Frequent Flyer team!

Happy 2021!

Happy Travels!

Vr,
Albert

Albert Guerrero, USAF, Ret.
“Let’s Travel Farther, Together!”

Follow my travels on Instagram: @albert_traveler

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So what makes this an informed analysis? Most of me fellow Boarding Area bloggers know my military level, but let’s just say I am a senior leader. What many do not know is that I am a senior leader at the Army Corps of Engineers. That coupled with the fact that my daughter is a resident doctor working in New Orleans, makes me pretty informed about the Covid crisis. I still go to work each day on the deserted streets of D.C. because the Corps of Engineers is a key part of our national response. I am learning more about pandemics than I could ever have predicted.

Disclaimer: None of what is written below constitutes the official view of the U.S. Government or military. These are strictly my personal views and opinions.

Quite a few of the blogs I read try to put the perspective of this pandemic in terms of 9/11 which I think falls quite a bit short. A better analogy is that this is Pearl Harbor. We have just been attacked by a vicious enemy which we knew of, but didn’t prepare enough against. We know there are going to be years of sacrifice and toil, but we vow to beat it in the end. American and other nations will turn their industrial might towards beating the enemy regardless of cost. This is a fight for survival and cost is not something to weigh the fight against. THIS IS WAR. We will fight and many will fall in the battle, but we need resolve to see this through. This is a long fight and we will win some battles, but lose others, and the people need to have confidence that in the end we will prevail.

I see a lot of misinformation out there, even amongst my fellow bloggers and other media; I want to put that to rest. Let’s start with some basics.

What is a global pandemic?

Pandemics have been a part of all human history. People are all educated on the Black Plague which killed 25% of the population in Europe. These used to ravage populations up until the period just before most of you were born. As a personal example, my father was rendered a paraplegic by the polio epidemic of 1952 due to his volunteering to help in a polio ward prior to going to medical school. The 1952 epidemic killed over 3,000 and paralyzed over 20,000. We have grown complacent to such occurrences due to the advances in medicine creating vaccines to most of the epidemic killers.

Vaccines to prevent the common cold and flu have proven elusive. The common cold because it actually is a group of over 200 different viruses which cause similar symptoms during the fall and winter (that’s why we call it a cold) and for some reason the human body does not develop a long term immunity. Note that about 15% of the colds you catch are caused by one of the four coronavirus strains other than SARS, MERS and  COVID-19, so coronavirus is not new to you.  The flu (influenza) is a problem because it continually mutates and therefore immunologists have to guess what strain will be present in a given year and make a vaccine (flu shot) that hopefully is against the common strain for that year. That’s why you will hear a percentage value on how effective the flu shot was for a given year. Development of a vaccine depends on Covid-19 not mutating and our having a sustained immunity.

Let’s look at the last pandemic of flu that caused enormous deaths, the Spanish Flu of 1918. This flu strain is thought to have originated in Kansas and spread overseas due to Soldiers being sent to fight in World War. It was called the Spanish Flu somewhat unfairly as Spanish government was neutral during the war and thus reporters could publish reports on it, where they could not in most of Europe due to wartime censorship. The important lesson you need to understand in shown in the graphs of deaths over the three years of the pandemic – yes, three years – remember that.

These three waves are typical of pandemics. Each of the lull periods occurred during the spring/ summer. Respiratory diseases have much harder time spreading when the air is humid and droplets cannot travel as far and the sun is out to kill the germs. One of our key hopes is that Covid-19 operates similarly and dies down during the coming warm weather to give us space to raise the bar and increase our capability for handling a resurgence during the fall/winter.

Note that the Spanish Flu never did really go away. It is an H1N1 virus which last was a deadly pandemic in 2009.

So you’re in a global pandemic, what should you do?

Let’s start with what everyone has heard – you need to flatten the curve! What are we really talking about here?

The below chart is from the school of medicine at U of Michigan.

The blue curve is the exponential spread and decline if we simply let nature take its course. However, that would mean overwhelming the current health care system capacity, shown by the bar across the middle which results in many more deaths due to a lack of beds, doctors, equipment and supplies. You can do your part by practicing social distance and other sanitary practices. Note that the area under the curve is the same (bring back memories of Calculus?) we just need to spread out the rate of infection in order not to overwhelm our medical capability.

The local, state, and federal governments are simultaneously working to raise that bar by providing greater capacity to respond by addressing three factors: sites, supplies and staff. Sites means setting up Alternative Care Facilities (ACF) meaning additional beds that can handle non-Covid patients to relieve the hospital normal burden or handle the actual Covid patients themselves. Supplies means getting more equipment and medicines, and staff means pushing military medical personnel into the fight along with retired medical personnel. We can create more sites, industry will respond and create more supplies, but staffing is hard. It takes enormous time and effort to create doctors and nurses!

Masks vs. Respirators

Here is a basic lesson – masks provide a fabric barrier to catch your own sputum, i.e. droplets, respirators filter the air. N95 is a designation meaning that the respirator filters 95% of particles. How you tell the difference? A respirator is a form-fitting design to try and provide a tight seal against your face and filter the air reaching your mouth and nose. Masks are simply a direct barrier to exhaling particles. Here is the key takeaway – YOU DO NOT NEED A RESPIRATOR! Save those for the nurses, doctors and first responders, like my daughter, that have to face 50 infected patients a day. You are wasting a precious resource by wearing them as you do not need that level of protection. Masks are primarily to PREVENT YOUR OWN GERMS FROM INFECTING OTHERS. You are very unlikely to catch Covid-19 from breathing in the air around you. This is NOT an airborne disease, it spreads through being in liquids that an infected person excretes, primarily in droplets through sneezing, coughing, or even just talking. We have all noticed occasionally when talking a drop of saliva launches out of your mouth, imagine that that is happening all the time on a microscopic scale that you don’t see. These droplets are affected by gravity and fall to the ground or other surfaces where they last for a variable length of time depending on the surface material. Your most likely vector to catch this disease is touching an infected surface and then touching your face.

My first tour of duty was in Korea in 1986 and I saw people wearing surgical masks occasionally. I learned that northern Asians routinely do this when they are sick to prevent spread in the tightly spaced population groups they have over there. We are finally learning that this is a good practice with this current pandemic. Northern Asian countries credit this practice with their effective containment efforts so far. As you may know, that guidance has officially been given recently. Even the military will start wearing masks whenever they are outside starting next week. Again -masks, not respirators. My daughter says they only avoided running out of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Tulane due to a timely donation from the Cajun Navy. PLEASE HELP WITH THIS PROBLEM. I still see lots of people walking around with respirators! Use an airline sleeping mask before resorting to a respirator. If you let our doctors and nurses go down, who is going to save you when you get sick?

Peaks and Valleys (Warning – Involves Math)

I think everyone is tracking that this will get worse before it gets better. Most things in nature involve a parabolic curve. Never mind what parabolic means – think of throwing a ball in the air. If you throw the ball almost straight up, it goes high, but not far. If you throw the ball at a low angle it goes far. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is measuring the various aspects of Covid-19 in order to predict whether we are going to go high (high numbers of infections at once) or low (low number of patients at a given time). Here is a recent chart on predicted deaths for all the U..S.:

You may say, “I get the line, but what is the shaded area?” Think of hurricane tracks. You know the path up to a certain point. After that each day it can go a little left or right. The most likely case is that the moves left or right cancel out and the median line is the likeliest path. However, the lefts or rights could all add in one direction or another which is what the shaded area represents. It is the area of possible outcomes. According to the chart shown, we should peak in mid-April at a little over 2,500 deaths in a single day. However, it could go to almost 4,500 deaths or less than a thousand. This is the projection for the entire U.S., but what is more important is the projection for your state. You can find that here and clicking on the green bar. This should give you information on when to spend the most time staying indoors and avoiding others while also telling you when it should die down. Very importantly, keep your preventative measures going until that line is almost down to zero or people will precipitate a second wave early.

I will also specifically note the “Swedish Method” of isolating only the vulnerable population and otherwise letting life go on as normal. As you can see from the Johns-Hopkins site, that is not working out for them. They have a death rate of 40 per million population while their neighbors are much less. Even the death rate in the U.S. is only 33 per million which is much less than the 47 per million Sweden currently experiences. Everyone social distancing and wearing masks is the only proven method for lowering infections.

If you want to know how things are going in the U.S. or in your state, here is a great site to show whether social distancing is flattening the curve. These are log curves of infections vs. days past the 20th day of infection. If your are interested, compare the curve for China vs. the curves for most countries.

Thanks for All the Information, but What Does it All Mean?

Here are my predictions, based upon the available data. Planning is what I did for most of my career, so hopefully my analysis is fairly on point. In general, things will look much better by June and most people will think this is over, when if fact, it is the summer lull period. People will start to go back to work, but with the changes discussed below which will limit economic recovery as fewer transactions will take place. The vulnerable population will continue to isolate and teleworking in most fields will be a common practice and workplaces will still feel fairly empty. An antibody test will be developed and people who test positive (some who never knew they had the virus) will start carrying around a certification that they have immunity and use this as an excuse that they don’t have to follow social distancing rules.

Airlines: As the curve flattens, there will be more travel on business travels that all is safe and to get back to flying, at least domestically or to countries where the virus is not an issue, such as Asia. The airlines will entice travels by promising middle seat blocking, possibly including blocking off adjacent seats in First Class.  Cruel airlines will offer Basic Economy three to a row and paid upgrade to the middle seat blocked Premium Economy. Airlines will offer great prices to get the public back on the planes with an idea to eventually raise prices to the point where they cover the additional costs of cleaning. Vulnerable travelers (over 65, immuno-compromised individuals, and others with underlying conditions) will be encouraged by their families or own fear, not to travel, and relate that condition to their employers. Leisure travel will be slower to start up, but will quickly shut down when the fall wave starts. Airlines will emphasize the extra cleaning done for each flight. Airline meals will come with plastic covers like microwave meals. Travel to China will be extremely cheap for years as they will carry the stigma of the place where new diseases are born. Bare feet on armrests and bulkheads will finally be banned. Overall travel will take years to recover to last year’s level and airlines will have to adjust their workforce and plane orders at some point in the near future.

Restaurants and Clubs: Will reopen, but severely limit the people allowed inside at a given time. Food will be ordered rather than being a buffet. Half the seats will be removed to encourage spacing. More emphasis on providing meals in disposable trays or paper rather than plates. Sealed silverware provided similar to airline meals.

Hotels: Going back to individual containers for toiletries (be happy Gary!). A lot of advertising on a heightened level of cleaning. Emphasis on room service so guest do not need to interact with others. Early on may advertise that guests will only occupy every other room or floor. For hotels converted to ACF hospitals, will fight a stigma after being restored to normal use, especially if they housed Covid patients.

Cruises: I don’t see how they make a meaningful comeback for years. When they do they will need to demonstrate extreme steps as to why they will not be areas to spread viruses. They will be extremely cheap if you feel brave enough.

TSA Checkpoints: No change, except for forcing people to space out when standing in line.

Non-Travel Predictions:

Open Office Design: Dead, no one wants to be in a space where germs can spew everywhere. Cubicles will make a big comeback. This also means “hoteling” is dead. People do not want to sit where someone they don’t know sat the day before. Yuck!

Theaters: Will reopen but block off every other seat. This will ultimately fail as people realize they would rather watch first run movies on streaming where they can pause the movie and talk whenever they want. Your grandchildren will not understand that you went to a crowded place to sit quietly and watch a movie.

Public Transit: Will install clear plastic screens to establish the equivalent of “sneeze guards” between sets of seats. Still ridership will be down and more people will choose to drive themselves to work.

Beaches: Life Guards will stroll along and enforce six feet distances between family groups. Some beaches may lay out a checkerboard pattern grid and no group will be allowed to sit adjacent to another.

Facemasks and Gloves: Entrepreneurs will design fashionable lines of reusable facemasks for adults and fun ones for kids – “Johnny do you want to be a puppy today or Thor?” These will be common things when going to a crowded locations and mothers will strictly enforce their wear on playgrounds or school. Younger kids will think they are cool and teenagers will immediately remove them once out of sight of their parents.

OK, I know that is probably the longest post I have ever written, but I wanted to get the right information out there to help others. We’ll see if my predictions come true, but take the current information to heart and monitor the sites I have linked to in order to be informed and make informed decision about your future.

If you have questions, I will do my best to answer them in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by glenn | 8 Comments

Apologies to my friend Albert. He sent me this to publish a couple of weeks ago and I just ran out of time given all the duty I have performed lately.  Hopefully, this post has not been overcome by events.

 

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

 

BLUF: My global travels will continue in 2020 albeit with some modifications due to work and, of course, the Coronavirus outbreak. Still, with reasonable precaution and strategy, 2020 is looking to be a great travel year.

 

Today’s ALL HANDS focuses on my upcoming 2020 U.S. domestic and international travels.

 

First, TMFF blog is not necessarily a “breaking news” kind of travel blog. Fellow travel writers and blogs track airline, travel, and global news much better than we do, especially since Glenn and I have full-time jobs. Still, some stories overtake the travel world so much we start to think about “reporting” how the news affects our travels.

 

The Coronavirus news story is one such story. If you recall, Joe and I spent five days/four nights in Guangzhou, China in mid-December. This was approx. five weeks before the virus story hit the global news. Given we currently hold ten-year Chinese visas, we had plans to return rather frequently to China over the next few years. As Marriott loyalists, China has one of the largest collection of luxury hotel properties in the world—all at reasonably affordable prices.

 

Already this year, we had a March 2020 trip to Chengdu (pandas and hot pots!) planned with tentative plans to travel to Xi’an (Terracotta warriors!) and Harbin (ice festival!) soon. Sadly, we’ve had to cancel our Chengdu plans due to the travel restrictions in and out of China. I will also hold off on any more travels into China for at least the end of 2020. Prudent decisions yet still disappointing.

 

Given the volatility of the Coronavirus and reactions (in an abundance of caution) from counties and airlines, we’ve had to reshape further our March 2020 trip. We scheduled a trip to Seoul for five-nights, but after the reporting of the outbreak in southern South Korea, Cathay Pacific canceled our ICN out-going flight. Moreover, with a pre-paid rate at the Four Points Seoul Namsan, Marriott was able to cancel that reservation with no penalty. Cathay, of course, provided the full points refund on the award ticket.

 

We’ve swapped out China and South Korea with Vietnam and more time in Thailand. We will spend four-nights in Ho Chi Minh City and three-nights in Chiang Mail before spending the rest of our time in and around Bangkok. Luckily, both countries have reasonable public health countermeasures in place both with immigration and airline transit. We will of course take precautions such as washing our hands, avoiding large public areas, using hand sanitizers, and wearing masks (mainly, as a way of reminding us not to touch our face).

 

All and all, our March 2020 trip (which I’m starting today!) will still be a great journey back to one of our most favorite parts of the world.

 

Second, by limiting my international travels, I’ve re-focused on U.S. domestic and North American travel. Already, I’ve booked a trip to Vancouver and Victoria, Canada in late summer. This is the height of British Columbia tourist season when side-walk cafes are booming, Asian dumplings are flowing, and western Canada is at peak hiking season. This trip, if you recall, is made even sweeter by the amazing Alaska Airlines companion fare from my Bank of America Alaska Airlines credit card. An awesome benefit!

 

On the U.S. front, happening at the end of a mid-summer work trip, I’ve scheduled a week in Maine to explore the burgeoning food city of Portland and the Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park areas of the state. Since I’ve never been to Maine, this is the perfect opportunity to tack on some Leave with a work trip. Joe will join me, and we are excited about visiting the state.

 

We’ve also planned a visit to Boston in the fall. October is reportedly one of the most beautiful times to visit Boston as the leaves are changing and the chowder is nice and hot for the crisp temperatures. We plan to focus on the Freedom Trail as we are staying close to Boston Commons. Prices at Marriott properties begin to creep up to the $200+/night range in October, but I was luckily enough to combine a paid night with a one-night certificate from my Chase Marriott Boundless credit card. Valued at 35,000 Marriott Points, that standard award price was available on a Monday (we paid for the Sunday) at the Moxy Boston Downtown. This is a hipper (hipster-er?) property than we usually stay, but you go where the deals are!

 

I also already have on the calendar a three-night stay at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort (a Marriott property) for January 2021. Disney is never inexpensive, but going right after the New Year resulted is some of the lowest rates ($280/night) for the year. The Dolphin is located outside the Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, and our goal is to enjoy the new Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Edge park. If we can get our Star Wars fill, then we will head to Animal Kingdom to sample the new Avatar World, but Galaxy’s Edge is our focus—hence the shorter stay.

 

Back to international traffic, already in the books are a trip to Australia in June 2020 and a return trip to Japan over Thanksgiving 2020. The Coronavirus could affect both trip, and I’m tracking the Australia trip most closely right now. Both Joe and I (on different dates) have Cathay Pacific First Class award flights booked via Hong Kong, so should a change or cancelation occur, we could be scrambling to get to Australia. Still, we will adapt!

 

I’m less concerned (right now, at least) about our Japan trip. We plan to see our USN friend while we’re there as well as base ourselves out of Osaka and enjoy the high-speed Shinkansen train to see more of central Japan. We also have designs to head up to Sapporo to check out the northern island.

 

In sum, travel in 2020 is not slowing down…although, it is definitely changing due to the current Coronavirus news. I urge everyone to take whatever precautions you can and listen to experts on how to keep yourself safe and healthy as you travel now and anytime of the year no matter your destination. TMFF will still be here providing you reviews, advice, and sharing our travel experiences with our readers!

 

Happy Travels!

 

Vr,

Albert

 

Albert Guerrero, USAF, Ret.

“Let’s Travel Farther, Together!”

 

Follow my travels on Instagram: @albert_traveler

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Our generous donor still has a few Plus Points left if you are flying United before the end of this month when they expire. Send me an email at glennagoddard@gmail.com or post a reply if you are interested.

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Here is an impressive post from Albert. I wish my travel year was exciting as his. Amazing that he could display all his trips on one global picture!

 

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

 

BLUF: In 2019, I flew 163,951 miles, traveled to three continents, on about eight different airlines, visiting almost 20 different countries.  New countries/regions included Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta, and Mexico. This was the most miles I’ve traveled in a year.

 

Today’s ALL HANDS focuses on my 2019 travel.

 

Overall, 2019 was a big year for my professional and personal travel.  For starters, we relocated after six years in Germany in July 2019, which changed the dynamic of my work travel.  In Jan and Feb 2019, work took me on two roundtrips from Stuttgart to Washington, DC.  I also had my one-way PCS flight in July 2019.  These were all Delta codeshare flights (on KLM) booked into Y class economy fares making it easier to reach and maintain Delta Gold Medallion level for 2020—likely the last time I’ll be able to reach this milestone.  It was good while it lasted.

 

Leaving the DoD for the VA, however, opened up brand new opportunities for domestic work travel.  As a trip coordinator, I’m charged with managing trips around the U.S. for the VA leadership.  I plan airline routes, hotel stays, and coordinate with VA organization in advance of the trips.  Being based out of DC, IAD, as a United hub, is a key facilitator for my work travel.  This coupled with some personal travel on United partners, I maintained United Premier Gold for 2020.

 

If you’ve read up on how United Mileage Plus is changing its earning methodology for status in 2020, you’ve concluded either 1) United is being so mean or 2) new rules, new game…I’m in!  (I’m in the latter group.)  However, as complicated as the new earning algorithms are, I am 100,000 “butt-in-seat” miles away from reaching United Airlines One Million Miler (1MM) status.  I am aiming to close that gap significantly in 2020, so I’ll be flying United as much as possible.

 

United 1MM confers United Gold Premier status for life; plus, you can share that status with one other individual.  Domestically, United Gold Premier offers free baggage, free access to Economy Plus seats, and Boarding Group 1.  Internationally—this is the big one for me—United Gold Premier confers Star Alliance Gold, which means lounge access (while on an international itinerary) and priority check-in/security/boarding when on a Star Alliance carrier.  Getting to share you Gold Premier status with one person is definitely a huge benefit of the United 1MM program—a benefit not offered by any other U.S. domestic airline.

 

Back to work travel.  I traveled to Wyoming, South Dakota, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Kansas.  Each trip was a mixture of airlines and seat configurations, but I managed to eek out the comfort I needed to make each trip worthwhile, whatever the airline.  My advice is never be cheap about your own comfort especially on longer flights and (myself included) as you get older.

 

I’m looking forward to more work travel in 2020 as its both rewarding as I really enjoy my new job, and it keeps me working toward goals of earning redeemable miles and various airline status levels.

 

For personal travels, the first half of the year focused on visiting both some favorite European destinations before our PCS, and this included three “bucket list” ones:  Gibraltar, Iceland, and Malta.  Each offered a lot of great scenery and history, but Gibraltar had been a quirky item for me since I was a kid.  A British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar is a small peninsula on the southern tip of Spain.  The key feature for me is the airport’s runway.  The single runway is crossed by the main road in and out of Gibraltar, so in between flights, both cars and pedestrians travel across the active runway.  We enjoyed the stroll and took the required selfies with the runway and the giant Rock of Gibraltar as background.  The day trip into Gibraltar was definitely a 2019 highlight.

 

As mentioned, I achieved both Delta and United mid-tier status thanks to mostly work (Delta) and to mostly leisure (United) travel.  My other status achievement for 2019 was Alaska Airlines MVP Gold via all leisure travel.  While Alaska Airlines has a relatively small network out of Washington, DC, the program really shines with its varied global partners.

 

I earned the requisite number of status qualifying miles by flying 50,000 miles on Alaska, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines.  Each program offers varied earning bonuses when booking premium cabins.  In fact, the pride of Alaska’s Mileage Plan program is its bonuses for not just status qualifying miles but also for its redeemable miles.  As an MVP Gold, I earn a 100% redeemable miles bonus on miles earned.  For example, my Dec 2019 Singapore Airlines flight from DUS to SIN earned 6,456 redeemable miles.  Since I booked a D fare Business Class flight, I earned a 100% mileage bonus.  New total:  12,912.  When I add my MVP Gold bonus (again, 100%), I earn an additional 6,456 miles.  Final total: 19,368 redeemable miles.  Earning almost 20,000 for a single flight—albeit long—makes me keep aiming for, as a minimum, MVP Gold.

 

To better illustrate how valuable Alaska miles are to me, on my most recent trip to Asia, I used 75,000 Alaska miles to book a one-way award ticket from TPE to NRT (Japan Airlines Business Class), took a 2 night stopover (requiring no additional miles), and followed-on with a Japan Airlines First Class flight to ORD.  Considering most airlines require more miles for a 10+ hour business class flight, using 75,000 for almost 12 hours in the front of a 777-300ER in a First Class semi-private suite, it’s a no-brainer why I continue to earn miles on Alaska and its partners and burn miles on its partners.  For 2020, I already have 70,000-mile Cathay Pacific First Class redemption booked for June.  Very excited about that flight.

 

In between all the travels (for work and fun), I’ve tried to keep up with home life, family visits, and, of course, blogging.  I’ve not been writing as fast or as much as I’ve wanted in the latter half of 2019, but I hope in 2020 to do better.  An OCONUS to CONUS PCS and starting a new job has taken much more of my time than I expected.

 

 

Still, while finding the time to chronicle tips and trips require some old fashion time management, you can always follow all my travels with photos on Instagram, @albert_traveler

 

As they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words!

 

 

I’m very grateful to Glenn for allowing me to be part of the Military Frequent Flyer team!

 

Happy 2020! Let’s have some amazing travel adventures in the new year.

 

Happy Travels!

 

Vr,

Albert

 

Albert Guerrero, USAF, Ret.

“Let’s Travel Farther, Together!”

 

Follow my travels on Instagram: @albert_traveler

Posted by glenn | No Comments

What would be a military frequent flyer blog without detailing out all the places that you can get a discount this weekend. Most of these are for free or discounted stuff on Monday, 11 November, but several are good in the days prior to that. I have highlighted those. This year’s list comes from an organization I belong to – The American Legion. The full list is found here and I have synopsized below. Please don’t forget to tip your server based on the full price.

RESTAURANTS

54th Street Family Grill – Veterans eat free

Another Broken Egg Café – Free French toast combo and coffee

Applebee’s – free meal from a select list

Aspen Creek Grill – free meal from special menu

Bagger Dave’s – free cheeseburger and fries

Bandana’s Bar-B-Q – free meal

BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse – free entrée up to $14.95 and free Dr Pepper (OK< someone needs to tell me what’s up with the Dr. Pepper as part of the offer)

Black Angus Steakhouse – Top Sirloin dinner for only $9.99

Bob Evans – variety of free meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner

Brick House Tavern + Tap – veterans get 20% off their meal

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. – military get 20% off food and retail purchases

Burnt Wood Tavern – eat free on Veterans’ Day

Calhoun’s – free meal on Veterans’ Day

California Pizza Kitchen – free pizza, pasta, or salad and drink. Also a BOGO coupon for a return visit

Cattleman’s Steakhouse – 8 oz. steak dinner on the house

CentrAarchy Restaurants (California Dreaming, Carolina Roadhouse, Chophouse ’47, Chophouse New Orleans, Gulfstream Café, Joey D’s Oak Room, New York Prime, The Tavern at Phipps) – free entrée at any of their restaurants

Chili’s – free meal from a select menu

City Barbeque – free sandwich, two sides, and a beverage

Cotton Patch Café – free chicken fried steak or fried chicken

Country Cookin – free salad or $5 off any entree

Country Kitchen – free scramble

Cracker Barrel – complimentray pumpkin pie latte or slice of double chocolate fudge cola cake

Crooked Pint Ale House – free meal

Golden Corral – free dinner buffet and beverage from 5-9 on Monday, no ID required

Green Mill Restaurant & Bar – free meal

Gordon Biersch – free meal from a select list. They will also donate to a veterans’ charity for every pint of Veterans IPA you order

Kolache Factory – free sausage and cheese kolache

Little Caesars – free $5 lunch combo

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que – free dessert and 20% off the entire month of November

Mission BBQ – free sandwich and cake. This is one of my favorite places to eat. Go there at noon to see something special.

O’Charley’s – free meal from special menu

Olive Garden – free meal from special menu

Outback – free bloomin’ onion and beverag

Red Robin – free Tavern Double Burger and fries

Red Lobster – complimentary appetizer or dessert

Scooter’s Coffee – free drink any size

Shoney’s freee All You Care to Eat breakfast

Texas Roadhouse – from 11-4 on Monday get a free lunch from select menu

Yard House – complimentary appetizer

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Aquarium of the Pacific – free admission, friends and family can get discounted tickets at the MWR

Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham, Ala. – veterans and dependents get free admission

City Museum, St. Louis – free admission

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va. – free admission all weekend staring Friday. Includes dependents

Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, Tenn. – free admission Saturday through Monday including up to three family members

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Vernon, Va. – free admission

Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wis. free admission, including family (up to 4 kids), Saturday through Monday

Knotts’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, Calif. – free admission and discounted tickets for the family from November 3-21 and December 2-19 On a personal note, Knotts has been a leader in free veterans admission and offering this for over 25 years, I remember taking my daughter when she was only two.

National Park Service – free admission including family for any National Park

Newseum, Washington, D.C. – free admission including one guest from Saturday through Monday

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma, Wash. – free admission and half off for family Saturday through Monday

Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, Kan. free admission including family

South Shore Line, Northwest Indiana into Chicago free ticket including up to 3 kids from 8-11 Nov.

Sunset Zoo, Manhattan, Kan. – free admission on Saturday

World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta – free admission and  4 half price tickets for friends or family from 1-11 Nov.

 

RETAIL

Amazon Prime – a year of Prime at a $40 discount. I personally jumped on this one.

American Family Care – free flu shots on Monday

Great Clips – free haircut on Monday or a free haircut cards good until 31 Dec.

Just Tires – free tire installation with purchase of tires. Must schedule by 11 Nov. for service by 16 Nov.

Kohl’s – get a 15% discount every Monday (I didn’t know that!) and double to 30% off on 11 Nov.

Publix – 10% off groceries on 11 Nov.

Planet Fitness – free workout for you and a buddy 8-15 Nov. includes free hydromassage.

Sleep Number – $100 off select smart beds and bases

SpartanNash – get an 11% discount on 10-11 Nov.

Target – 10% off 3-11 Nov.

True Rest Float Spa free float on the 11th of every month

Tuft & Needle – $175 off Mint and Hybrid mattresses trough 11 Nov.

Some that are not shown on the American Legion site:

Bed, Bath, and Beyond – Save 25% 9-11 Nov.

Let me know if you find any others.

I think that’s the longest list we’ve ever had! Remember to go to the individual websites for details. Get out and enjoy the long weekend, you deserve it.

Posted by glenn | One Comment

My buddy Albert has PCS’ed back to the States causing a complete re-think of how he earns miles and points. Since this happens to a lot of military personnel. let’s see what he has to say.

ALL HANDS:  New Travel Strategy (PCS Edition).

 

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

 

BLUF:  Relocating back to the U.S. requires a change of my travel strategy.  Even without the amazing business class fares from Europe to Asia, I can still, with some strategic planning, buy tickets and redeem miles and points for some epically fancy airplane and locale experiences.

 

Today’s ALL HANDS focuses on how I’ve changed my travel planning strategy after my PCS back to the U.S. from Germany.

 

I’m back!

 

Apologies for being comms silent the past month or so, but I needed some time to coordinate our PCS back to the U.S.  We’ve landed in Washington, DC, within spitting distance of the OG Military Frequent Flyer himself, BG Goddard!  Plus, I’m moving agencies—DoD to the VA—so it’s been pretty hectic.  Still, we are pretty excited as DC is where I wanted to be for work, and with the restaurants, the airport access (Hello, DCA and CLEAR!), and all the culture, we’re very lucky a good job came calling. 

 

A few posts ago, I mentioned how amazing Europe to Asia business class deals were, but if you track U.S. to Asia prices, those types of deals are nearly non-existent.  While I could easily find a $2000 business class ticket in a fancy reverse herringbone seat out of Europe, from the US those prices usually run double if not more. 

 

So what’s a business class junky to do?  Well, my new strategy consists of a combo of purchased business class and mileage tickets.

 

For example, right now, I’m working on our Christmas-New Year’s and summer 2020 travel plans.  Already, using some of my precious Alaska miles, I’ve booked two one-way flight from TPE-NRT-ORD/JFK in JAL Business and First for 75K Alaska miles each.  JAL First is on the transpacific route, which should be awesome.  One ticket lands in ORD and the other in JFK, but since Joey and I don’t need to be on the same flight, you can’t beat that deal for First Class even if flying to different end points. 

 

We’re also taking advantage of Alaska’s generous stop-over policy and spending a few nights in Tokyo to sample some sushi and see some Navy friends stationed south of the city.  Should be an awesome trip back after New Year’s.

 

So, what about the trip TO Asia, as this is the return FROM Asia?  Well, the JAL trip above is actually part 2 of 4.  Parts 1 and 4 will be a purchased business class ticket.  Right now I’m looking a $3900 business class ticket on Qatar our of IAH or a $3500 out of LAX on Singapore. 

 

Now, before you say anything, remember this is parts 1 and 4 of the trip.  Part 2 and the soon-to-be-procured part 3 will be mileage tickets…so essentially free!  (Yes, I had to work and pay to earn those miles, but this is way the game is played.).  So, with the miles already in my account, my only expenditure for two round trip tickets will be the cost of the one bought ticket.  So in Qatar’s case, $3900 or $1950 per ticket (funny math, but it helps rationalize my spending! LOL!)

 

Parts 1 and 2 will take us to Asia for the winter holiday, likely to Chengdu, first, for pandas and hot pots.  Then, we plan to tour Taiwan’s amazing food via high-speed train.

 

For parts 3 and 4, more complexity will occur.  After enduring such a hot and miserable summer during the European heatwave of 2019, I’ve been itching to get to the Southern Hemisphere to escape what we know will be a swampy 2020 summer in DC.  So, we’ve decided to head Down Under and tour Australia.  We’ve been to Sydney and Melbourne (both amazing cities, and you should definitely go!), but I’ve been looking at Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, and Brisbane for this trip. 

 

So part 3, the mileage ticket, will be from the U.S. to Australia, hopefully on one of Qantas’ new 787 routes from ORD or SFO (it has better business class seats than their A380 routes out of LAX).  This would be 55K Alaska miles.  Although, I’m always looking for Qantas First on their A380 for 70K Alaska miles, but those are unicorns! 

 

For part 4, I’m looking at departing from Australia back to the U.S.  Right now, both Qatar and Singapore offer a relatively painless single connection through their respective hubs in Doha and Singapore.

 

In sum, while this is definitely the turducken of travel plans, the high cost of business class tickets from the U.S. are cost prohibitive for a one-off trip.  So, this is likely the way I’ll plan the next few years of travel:  one-bought ticket, one-mileage ticket…two amazing trips!

 

Happy Travels!

 

Vr,

Albert

 

Albert Guerrero, USAF, Ret.

“Let’s Travel Farther, Together!”

 

Follow my travels on Instagram:  @albert_traveler

Posted by glenn | One Comment

All Veterans’ Days are special, but this one commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of the War to End All Wars – which unfortunately didn’t. First called Armistice Day, it was changed to the more familiar name of Veterans’ Day.

Many establishments want to recognize the selfless service and sacrifice that was made , and is still being made, by those who can call themselves proud veterans of military service.

Here is our annual list of all the various free meals that veterans can get.  Use this as an excuse to take a veteran to a meal to thank him or her for their service.  If you know of other meal deals, please post them as a reply.

Be prepared to show an ID verifying you are eligible.  Pretty easy for those of us still serving, but veterans should show a Driver’s License with veteran status on it, or a VA card, even a DD214 should do.  Most of the time, they just take your word for it, but you don’t want to be called out in a restaurant because you couldn’t prove it.  Enjoy!

In honor of Veterans Day, Red Lobster will be offering a free appetizer or dessert to veterans, active-duty military and reservists with a valid military ID on Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12.

Guests may choose an item from the following special menu:
• Appetizers
o Sweet Chili Shrimp
o Mozzarella Cheesesticks
o Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp
o Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms
o Lobster and Langostino Pizza
o Signature Shrimp Cocktail
• Desserts
o Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
o Key Lime Pie
o Warm Apple Crostada
o Chocolate Wave
o Brownie Overboard

Denny’s – In observance of Veterans Day 2018, Denny’s will give a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast to any guest with military ID from 5 a.m. to noon on Monday, Nov. 12.

IHOP – IHOP® RESTAURANTS THANK VETERANS AND ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY ON VETERANS DAY WITH FREE RED, WHITE & BLUE PANCAKES. Servicemen and Women Are Invited to Savor Time with Family and Friends Over a Made-to-Order Breakfast at IHOP on November 11, Including a Free Pancake Offer From 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

BJ’s Restaurant – 11 Nov., Any meal under $12.95 is complimentary along with a free Dr. Pepper (don’t ask me why Dr. Pepper).

Spaghetti Warehouse – 11 Nov., BOGO free on any entrée. You need to print out the coupon on their website.  www.facebook.com/SpaghettiWarehouse or http://www.meatballs.com/ 

Applebee’s – Join Us On Veteran’s Day, November 11th, As We Honor Veterans with a Free Meal! This Time, Let Us Serve You. Stop By For One Of Our Signature Entrees On Us. Family Friendly. Online Ordering. Grill & Bar. Lunch Combos. Late Night 1/2 Price Apps.

Black Angus – Opening – 1500, 11 Nov., Free top sirloin steak dinner and non-alcoholic beverage

Bob Evans – 11 Nov., Free select menu items

California Pizza Kitchen – 11 Nov., Free items from special menu

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse – 11 Nov., Free 8 0z. steak dinner

Chevy’s – 1100-1400, 11 Nov., Complimentary Fresh Mex 3-item Combo

Chick-fil-A – 5:00-8:00 pm Friday, active and retired military personnel, veterans, and their immediate families can receive one free specified Chickfil-A meal. Valid ID or proof of service is required.

Chuck E. Cheese – 11 Nov., Free cheese pizza

Cici’s Pizza – 11 Nov., Free pizza buffet

Cracker Barrel – 11 Nov., Complimentary Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake or one of its Crafted Coffee Beverages

Dunkin’ Donuts – 11 Nov., Free donut

Famous Dave’s BBQ – 11 Nov., Free two meat combo

Friendly’s – 11 Nov., Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner

Green Turtle – 11 Nov., Free meal up to $12 or $12 off a more expensive meal

Hooters – 11 Nov., Free meal

Logan’s Roadhouse – 11 No., Free American Roadhouse Meal. Not valid in CA, NC, SC or Augusta, GA.  Note that vets always get 10% off throughout the year.

Little Caesar’s Pizza – 1100-1400, 11 Nov., Free $5 lunch combo

Menchie’s Frozen yogurt – 11 Nov., Free 6 oz. yogurt

Mimi’s Café – 11 Nov., Free items from special menu

Mission BBQ – 11 Nov., Offering free sandwiches and cake for all veterans and active duty military personnel on Sunday, November 11, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.  On a personal note, try to eat here at noon on any given day and watch what happens!

On the Border – 11 Nov., Free combo meal

Outback Steakhouse – 11 Nov., To honor the military this Veterans Day, Outback Steakhouse is offering all veterans and active military a completely free Bloomin’ Onion and beverage, in addition to a discount for police, firefighters, and first responders.

Ponderosa Steakhouse – 1600-close, 11 Nov., Free buffet

Red Lobster – 11 Nov., Free appetizer or dessert

Ruby’s – 11 Nov., Free adult entrée

Ruby Tuesday – 11 Nov., Free appetizer

Shoney’s – 0600-1100, 11 Nov., Free All You Care to Eat breakfast

Sizzler – Before 1600, 11 Nov., Free lunch and beverage

Texas Roadhouse – 11 Nov., Free special veterans lunch

TGI Fridays – 1100-1400, 11 Nov., Free lunch

UNO – 11 Nov., Free entrée or individual pizza

Village Inn – 11 Nov., Free Inn-Credible breakfast

White Castle – 11 Nov., Free breakfast combo or Combo Meal #1-6

Wienerschnitzel – 11 Nov., Free chilidog with small fries and small Pepsi

World of Beer – 11 Nov., Free beer or $5 off check

Golden Corral – 12 Nov., Free dinner

Country Cookin’ – Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Free meals for Veterans from 2pm until 8pm.

Posted by glenn | No Comments

Here is a post from a guest blogger, Michael, on a Soldier’s tips for fitness

5 Fitness Tips from  an Army Soldier to Stay Fit and Healthy

Traveling can teach you a lot of things. And if there’s someone whom you would always see during your travels, they are the army soldiers. Apparently, they travel anywhere from time to time. They get different assignments and posts which are inevitable. And it’s just suitable to wonder how they were able to manage their physical fitness and health.

Do they train always? Are there any restrictions when it comes to food consumption? How often they exercise?

These are only some of the probing questions that most people have for army soldiers. And it’s undeniable that they are physically fit and healthy because it’s largely part of the job. Nevertheless, here are some of their most helpful answers and tips that could help you with your fitness concerns:

  1.  Nutrition and Hydration

As a soldier, they get to have ready meals on hand. Apparently, they are being provided with sets of foods for the day. So, there are times that they cannot choose what food to eat and what not to. But, it is ensured that the food they consume will not be a factor that can deteriorate their physical strength and fitness.

Nevertheless, they make sure that the calories they are consuming are much lesser than the calories they burn. This means that there must be a control when it comes to eating. And while they are served with foods in the army, they make sure that they still follow their personal eating routines and practices.

These include the proper chewing, efficient vitamin and mineral consumption such as the best protein powder of today, and appropriate times of drinking water before and after a meal.

As for hydration, they give enough importance to this matter. Water is a very important factor in their fitness and health. In fact, it is much better for them to consumer lots of water than consuming lots of food.

 2.  Endurance and Strength

Endurance and strength are very important for every soldier in the army. So, they spend a great deal of time to improve these. Now, the best way to boost strength and endurance is to do resistance training on a daily basis.

Start with exercises that largely utilize the joints. These exercises would include squats and deadlifts. Once done with these routines, you can now move on to the additional exercises that will complement the primary sets. Lunges and pull-ups are great examples of these.

3.  Flexibility

Flexibility is also a matter of importance for army soldiers. When you are flexible, the chances of obtaining injuries are very low. Hence, soldiers pay attention to their flexibility too.

During the flexibility training, it is important that you find comfort first even you don’t reach yet your goal. Safety is still the priority. Pushing your muscles to stretch beyond its maximum capacity for flexibility improvement would only strain you. So, starting with a few moves is fine until you already find comfort in pushing yourself to the limit.

4.  Do quality reps over quantity

Soldiers would always go for quality over quantity. According to them, it’s useless to have hundreds of crunches if you are not doing it right. So, it’s better to have 3 repetitions of 20 quality crunches than pushing for 5 repetitions in one sitting.

And if you are really aiming for an effective fitness routine, you should do the same too. You must always keep in mind that quality is much more important than quantity.

5.  Prep meals to help hit caloric goals

As mentioned above, soldiers get to eat packed and readily-prepped meals. Although they cannot choose what foods to eat because of this, they would take it as a positive thing as well. According to them, it helps them fully control their food consumption. When they are given scheduled meals, they only get to eat what is prepared for them. So, this hinders the unwanted cravings and the munching of in-between meals.

Accordingly, if you want to control your calorie intake on a daily basis, you should prepare your meals beforehand. This will enable you to mind what you eat and control your hunger and cravings.

Now, these tips from soldiers in the army are very challenging to do. But, it will definitely show you results. Also, there are more fitness routines that they do aside from the ones given above. So, the next time you see a soldier on your travel abroad, try to approach them and ask for other tips too!

 

Posted by glenn | 2 Comments

Folks, here is another fitness post from our guest blogger Ryan of Ryan Fitness Goals

Ahh, the sun is shining and you’re sitting on a beach with a cocktail in hand. Life couldn’t get better, right? Suddenly, you feel dizzy and start feeling a lack of energy and focus so you run back to your hotel room and try to find a thermometer to measure if you have a fever or not. One of the residents has one and, well, you’re sick. How did this happen – you might ask. If you did nothing wrong, surely there’s no way to get sick, right? Wrong. Here’s why:

When we change environments, our bodies need some time to acclimate to the new, well, everything! If your immune system is extra strong back home, it might end up being nothing in the face of bacteria it has never faced before. This is a fairly common occurrence and it’s neither surprising nor impossible to deal with. Luckily, there are a couple of steps and secrets you can follow if you want to avoid getting sick for no reason. Without further ado, here are 5 secrets that will help you stay healthy while on a vacation.

 

Never Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is always a bad thing, but it’s even worse when you do it abroad. See, when you wake up, your body slowly starts activating fully. Soon after you’re awake, you’ll feel the need to eat. Do not skip breakfast. Your body needs energy supplies and vitamins from the get-go, and by declining to give some to it, you’re causing your body to work slower to suit the current situation. You might lose a little bit of weight, but this comes at a price:

Your body will burn through anything, and that includes muscle. Additionally, skipping breakfast has been linked to issues with digestion. These problems can be even worse when you’re abroad, and your body is working extra hard to stay healthy and strong. Always eat breakfast; it doesn’t have to be anything too strong, but a relatively large meal should be considered.

Drink Bottled Water and Avoid Raw Food

This might come as a surprise to some, but, tap water from a foreign place can seriously harm you. This isn’t because their water is impure and dirty; rather, it’s because your body (again) isn’t used to such a change and difference. Bottled water is your best bet for staying healthy and avoiding indigestion and stomach cramps (in some cases, you might even get diarrhea).

Raw food is another big no – you can’t know whether that food is safe or not unless you’re an expert. Some traditional raw food (such as Japanese Sushi) is mostly safe, but if you want to try it, we recommend paying extra and going to a reputable restaurant (which adheres to safety standards and hasn’t had a history of guest illnesses).

Walking is your Secret Weapon

Walking improves the overall status of your immune system, as well as keeping you healthy and strong. You might feel fatigue due to traveling to a place that you just aren’t used to (and neither is your body), and it can also occur due to jetlag. In any case, there’s no better way to get back on track and help your body recuperate than walking. Avoid using the car or even a taxi; unless you’re in a hurry, a walk or two through the woods will do wonders for your health!

Stay Hydrated

 

Thinking of going somewhere cold like Iceland or Norway? Go for it, but, remember to stay hydrated! Even colder places affect our bodies, and it’s in your best interest to stay hydrated by drinking water whenever you’re thirsty. Avoid fizzy drinks and other similar beverages because you’ll need H2O more than anything. Again, our bodies can’t instantly get used to the outside; especially when the difference is so significant between your vacation location and home. If you’re going somewhere hot – pack extra bottles of water! You don’t want to end up dehydrated.

Additionally, make yourself some Kratom tea before going out! Kratom is a potent herb that can help you with energy issues. Check out Kratom Crazy for more info on this topic!

Pack Snacks

 

Snacks (not the junk food kind) are essential to staying healthy abroad. Some nuts and maybe even an apple or two are amazing choices because they’re packed with energy, and they’ll revitalize you like nothing else.

You will need some extra energy because you’ll end up tired quicker than at home (even basic tasks such as walking can be tiresome), so be careful!

Posted by glenn | One Comment

Getting ready for an upcoming vacation or a business trip? Well, make sure to follow the below-mentioned tips to spend healthy holidays, stay perfectly fit, and have fun.

Undoubtedly, regular exercise offers you loads of benefits. Not only it makes you feel better and energizes your body, but also it reduces your stress and anxiety. However, when you are traveling or on a vacation, your regular exercise regime may get hindered. In such situations, you are highly recommended to precisely follow these seven simple fitness tips to staying fit while you’re traveling. Rest assured that all of these tips are extremely easy to follow and do not require much time to accomplish them.

7 Simple fitness tips to staying fit while you travel

1. Always start with a healthy breakfast

Never forget to start your day with a healthy breakfast. In fact, starting your day with a healthy breakfast is utmost essential when it comes to accomplishing your specific fitness goals. Breakfast is considered to be one of the essential meals of the day. Starting a day without healthy breakfast is same as driving a vehicle without filling up its fuel chamber or gas tank.

When you wake up in the morning, the glucose and blood sugar level of your body is at the lowest point. Please note, glucose is the primary fuel for your brain & central nervous system. That’s why you must eat a healthy and balanced breakfast to ignite your glucose and blood sugar level. A good breakfast will prevent your body from being tired, irritable, and exhausted by mid-morning. Otherwise, you will probably observe some of these effects, such as lack of alertness, low blood sugar, longer reaction time, and decreased work productivity etc.

2. Do mobility work

As we age, we tend to lose our mobility. Working on your mobility aspects will help you break through the plateaus, improve your posture, and promote a better health cum fitness level. Mobility work will even allow you to maximize your progress when it comes to increasing the size of your core muscles, developing movement skills, and building strength.

The best part is — these mobility based workouts are very easy to perform and do not require any gym equipment. For example, you can try performing the following mobility workouts, such as slides, hip flexor stretches, and deep squat holds.

3. Always have a water bottle with you

Are you drinking adequate water? If not, then please make sure to carry a water bottle with you. Adequate water content is quite important when it comes to maintaining the fluid balance of your body. Plus, it even helps regulate your body temperature, digest food, and transport essential nutrients into the body.

Water should be your perfect go-to drink whenever you’re feeling thirsty. Instead of having sugar-filled drinks, please ensure to drink plenty of water. As a result, it will automatically reduce your intake for empty-calories. Thus, always keep a reusable water bottle with you whenever you’re traveling.

4. Pack healthy travel snacks

While you are traveling, you may often end up making bad food decisions. Please note, the food you consume is directly related to your overall health and fitness level. Following a healthy diet is truly important when it comes to attaining your fitness goals.

Thus, instead of having artificial and preserved food while you’re on a trip, pack some healthy travel snacks for a quick bite. Protein bars, dried fruit, and trail mix are some great choices that you can carry during any trip.

5. Make fitness a part of your travel plan

Fitness should be an integral part of your travel plan. For example, if you prefer to perform some morning workouts, then use Google and search on the internet if there’s an adjacent park (that’s ideal for brisk walking and early morning jogging).

Alternatively, if you want to undergo a “sweat training session” within the facility of a gym or fitness center, then make sure to check if your hotel includes a well-equipped gym or not. Apart from that, you can even perform a plethora of simple yet helpful exercises that do not really require any special equipment. These workouts can be easily performed within the comfortable and convenient atmosphere of your hotel room, such as pilates and yoga.

6. Walk instead of ride to stay fit while traveling

Do you know the benefits of regular walking? Well, it helps you maintain a healthy weight. It even prevents various conditions, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Furthermore, regular brisk walking strengthens your muscles and bones. On top of that, it improves your mood, balance, and coordination. Hence, in order to stay fit and healthy (while traveling), you are requested to walk for short distances instead of riding a car.

7. Every hotel has a fitness center – use it

Nowadays, almost every hotel features a gym cum fitness center that’s loaded with various instruments and equipment. So, if you are staying at such a hotel that has a fitness center, then make sure to take advantage of it. Visit the gym and practice some of your favorite workouts (like walking on a treadmill, weight lifting, and more).

Posted by glenn | No Comments

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