November is a great time to travel and not spend a lot of money. American Airlines and JetBlue offered “spooky” cheap fares of $30.30 on Halloween. Hundreds of one way flights were available for $30.30 all across the USA, including JFK to LAX.
Traveling internationally is great this time of year, there are less crowds, hotels are offering discounts and the weather is crisp, which means it is easier to walk around the old cobblestone streets of European capitals.
Air France and KLM have a point program called “Flying Blue”, and are currently offering flights between select North American cities and Europe, from as little 12,000 points in Coach or 22,000 points in business class. If you don’t have Flying Blue points, you can join for free online.
You can transfer your American Express, or Chase, or Citi, or Barclays, or Capital One points-and even Marriott Hotel points. Just log on or call your credit card toll free number to transfer the points.
El Al airlines just flew their final 747 passenger flight on November 3, 2019 from Rome to Tel Aviv. The Queen of the Sky has officially retired after 48 years and many different models. It has been replaced by the 787 Dreamliner. El Al did a couple of really cool things as a tribute. They assigned a special flight number LY1-747 and the pilots actually flew a flight path that followed a silhouette of a 747.
In the good old days, I used to travel with paper tickets, maps and my camera. I am grateful that it is so much easier to travel lighter and cheaper in 2019 then back in the day. I can explore Europe and only take along my smart phone and a backpack.
Consider what is available on your Apple or Samsung smartphone for free or almost free. There is no longer a need to pack a flashlight, notebook and pen, or boarding pass. No need to pack a camera, video recorder, voice recorder, watch, alarm clock, paper maps, paper travel guide, or travel books.
No need to pack a compass, level, ride sharing schedule, paper train schedules, paper hotel reservations, paper auto rental agreement , calculator, bank statements, or stock statements. In fact I can buy stocks, do my banking, and pay my utility bills while on my trip. No need to worry about my mail back home while in Europe . No need to pack a restaurant guide, paper discount coupons, or museum reservations.
I can read a book on my phone, watch TV or watch a movie, or listen to music . I can read my hometown newspaper, listen to my hometown radio station or read any newspaper or magazine I choose and even check the weather anywhere in the world.
No need to buy a phone card to use on a public pay phone. My telephone carrier (A.T.&T.) sells a European phone plan that only charges me when I use it, or I can call for free using Skype.
I can keep up with friends and family via Facebook and via email; who needs postcards?
No need to pay for airport lounge access, I only need show my American Express Card and access is complementary.
No need to pay for breakfast, my Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott Hotel stays include free breakfast with my status.
No need to pay for Global Entry, my credit card pays for it.
No need to pay foreign exchange rates, my credit card waives the fee.
Hotel lobbies and coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi.
There are no shortages of studies that conclude we spend too much time using tech in our lives. Even Bill Gates has famously said that he has a measured approach to technology and did not permit his children to have a smartphone until they were 14 years old.
When traveling, I have concluded that we should embrace the benefits of technology. It enhances our traveling experience is so many ways. It saves us time and money, helps us keep safe and aware of our surroundings, and allows us to stay connected while seeing the world.
About the Author: Jake Tewel holds a Masters Degree from YU, a wine seller, caterer and a million miler for the past 15 years. Jake is a best friend, great neighbor, your go to travel person, father, grandfather and loving husband. He is now focusing his efforts on heart healthy nutrition, exercise and travel.