Think twice before swimming with dolphins


Swimming with dolphins is portrayed as a family friendly activity.  Dolphins are social and smart animals.  Hell, they are the only animals besides humans that have sex for fun!  What’s not to like?

While observing dolphins in their natural habitat at sea from the beach or even a boat is a non-invasive way to learn about these creatures, swimming with them is not.  Particularly problematic are resorts or amusement parks that keep dolphins in captivity and allow guests to pay to swim with them.

If you have seen Blackfish, you probably already know where this is going.

Read more

5,000 Free Alaska Airlines Miles for Self-Tag Online

Free Alaska Airlines Miles

Here is an easy way to get 5,000 free Alaska Airlines miles just by printing out your baggage tag at home.

EDIT: The promotion is over.  If you would like to sign up for an Alaska Airlines Visa card you can get 25,000 miles upon approval.  LINK Full disclosure: if you are approved I also get a bonus of 2,500 miles. You may also be able to find an offer with a $100 credit by starting to purchase a ticket at Alaska’s website and then looking for a credit card sign up link before payment.

If you have status with Alaska or American you can check a bag for free.  So even if you normally carry on a bag, this makes it worth your time to check it!  This deal is good from today (April 20, 2015) through October 20, 2015.  You get 1,000 miles for each flight, up to a total of 5,000 miles during this promo.

You can even request a free tag holder here:

Note that you DO need to have a Mileage Plan number and it must be attached to your reservation.  Here are the full details of the offer:

Read more

New MacBook Retina Travel Size Laptop

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 10.16.02 PM

This weekend I picked up the brand new MacBook Retina with 12″ display, or what I call the MacBook Retina Travel Size.  This is the smallest Apple computer ever and barely larger than my iPad.  The MacBook will replace my four year old MacBook Pro 15″ that is too bulky for travel and my iPad Air that is too cumbersome to type anything of length.

There are many reviewers out there that will give you the ins and outs of the new MacBook Retina, but here are my thoughts on why it may be the perfect travel companion.

Read more

Best Credit Cards for Single Travelers

Credit Cards

I should put a couple of big asterisks after the title: Best Credit Cards for Single Travelers*****  These are actually just the credit cards that are currently in my wallet.  And they work for me, some better than others.  Please take these with a grain of salt, I am not a financial expert.  I do not get paid if you get one of these — no referral links here.  You’ll have to just google them if you want to sign up.  And of course, if you don’t have good financial history or you don’t trust yourself with a credit card, then don’t get these.

With that said, here is what is currently in my wallet and why I find them useful.

Read more

Hyatt The Pike Long Beach Review

Hyatt The Pike Long Beach

After spending three nights at the Disneyland Hotel with my family, I rented a car and drove north.  I spent a night at the Hyatt The Pike Long Beach by myself for some non-Disney relaxation.  I love Disney and I love my family, but it was great to have some solo time before heading back home and to work.

Hyatt The Pike Long Beach is one of the non-conformist properties; it is simply a “Hyatt”, and not a member of any of the Hyatt sub-brands (although many compare it to an Andaz).  In this light it is similar to Hyatt Olive 8.  This is expected to change soon as Hyatt The Pike Long Beach gets rebranded as a Hyatt Centric when the new sub-brand launches this summer.

Read more

King Bed or Queen Beds in a Hotel Room


As a solo traveler, I prefer a single king bed in my hotel room.  I like having a bigger bed to stretch out in and more usable space in my room.  Having an extra bed in the room doesn’t benefit me.  So what goes into the decision to have a king bed or queen beds in a hotel room?

In the the book Hotel Design, Planning, and Development (Penner, Adams, Robson), which for the record I have not read from cover to cover, the authors break down hotel guests into the following groups (I am paraphrasing here):

Read more