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Booking an All Inclusive Resort in Mexico

all inclusive Thanksgiving trip

After discovering the amazing value of points and miles, my family has already experienced an incredible travel year with trips to both coasts in the U.S. and five European countries. With a husband who works in education and a 3rd grader, we can’t take advantage of off peak travel, but that’s just another reason to rely on points and miles! Thankfully, we’ve been able to book one last hurrah to an all inclusive resort in Mexico over Thanksgiving break. Be Flexible Traveling during the week of Thanksgiving can be challenging, so I wanted to book as early as possible. One tip I’ve learned is that most points reservations can be cancelled without penalty. That led me to make a speculative booking for the new Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas at the end of last year. Even though the property wasn’t finished, it looked amazing and should have opened well before Thanksgiving. We transferred points earned from a signup bonus and regular spending on the Chase Ink card to book four nights. Since our daughter has a companion pass with Southwest, we hoped to fly one of their new international routes to get to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, Baha Mar ...

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Visit to Sitka, Alaska

clouds in SE Alaska

  My week in Alaska is coming to a close and if all goes well, I’ll be back home in Colorado tomorrow. My visit to Sitka was just what I needed. It let me work in a different type environment than I’m used to and made me feel valued because the clinic really needed some help. Being rewarded for stepping outside your comfort zone is a nice thing. Remote Living is Not for the Faint of Heart! I am amazed at the things people who reside on islands have to do to live. You pretty much have to fly to another place if your kids compete in sports, you need new clothes, or have to have more than minor medical procedures. Several of the patients I saw this week were from a local boarding school. Many Native Alaskans live in villages so tiny and remote there aren’t enough people or resources for schools. The option is online classes or sending kids to boarding school. I will stop feeling sorry for kiddos who have to ride the bus for an hour to get to school! Folks here swear by Amazon Prime and think nothing of taking a flight to Seattle for ...

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Under Budget in Paris

Visiting Paris on a budget

As a part of our European adventure this past summer, we spent four days visiting Paris. I’ll admit that I was prepared to be underwhelmed. Paris is one of those cities often placed on a pedestal, but I’ve also heard crowded, rude, dirty, and expensive used to describe the City of Light. Happily, Paris exceeded my expectation and we even ended up under budget. If you missed any of the other posts from our trip, here are links to catch up. Dublin Edinburgh and St. Andrews London Getting to and Around Paris We arrived at Gare du Nord station after taking the Eurostar from London. Although our hotel was a bit off the beaten path in the 17th district, the metro made transportation easy. Since it didn’t seem worth it to get a metro pass, we instead bought a carnet or book of 10 subway tickets for 14,10€, which Jim and I split. Kids over age four pay full fares on the metro, but you can purchase a kid’s carnet for half price, making our transportation total just over 21€. Hyatt Regency Paris We chose the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile mainly because it was the only Hyatt in Paris that ...

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I Took a Temp Job in Alaska!

temporary jobs in Alaska

Many people who read this blog are continually looking for new ways to side hustle or supplement income. We all know that multiple income streams are what save you during the lean times and allow you to build wealth when all cylinders are firing. Even though I am not actively looking for more work or a job change at the moment, opportunities seem to be searching for, and I recently found one that I couldn’t refuse. I’ve accepted a temp job in Alaska! A Professional Regret When I was doing my residency on the Navajo reservation back in 2000, I had an opportunity to be a travel doc in Alaska. The pay was exceptional. Case work would have been rewarding, and I could have seen lots of places most of us in the lower 48 never get to see. Ultimately, I chickened out because flying on a bush plane to the Arctic Circle was a bit much at the time. However, I’ve always wondered what that experience would have been like and vowed that I would accept if the opportunity every presented itself again. As a private practice owner, there was never a time when I could have taken time ...

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Highlights from London

raising tower bridge

In continuing our tour of Europe, today we’ll be visiting London, one of the most expensive cities on the planet. Even if you don’t normally try to collect points and miles, I would consider them if a trip to England is on your bucket list. The exchange rate is not on the side of the US dollar! Here are some highlights from London. Getting Around London After taking the train from Edinburgh, we arrived at St. Pancras, which is right beside King’s Cross station where you catch the underground or “tube” as the locals call it. The tube is one of the few cheap things in London. If you’ll be using the underground more than once, the easiest way to pay is with an Oyster card that you scan before and after each ride. We ordered cards ahead of our trip, but they would have been easy to buy at the station. I put £15 on cards for Jim and myself, which covered us for four days in London. Kids under 11 ride free, making the tube tons cheaper than taking a taxi. Plaza on the River Up to this point, our hotels had been functional but very cramped and without ...

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