Sao Miguel, Azores: 4 Day Itinerary

 Trip Report: Portugal
Review: JetBlue Even More Space SFO – JFK
Review: Airspace Lounge
Review: TAP Economy JFK – LIS
WithLocals: Lisbon 10 Tastings Food Tour
Day Trip: Lisbon to Sintra
Lisbon: 3 Day Itinerary
Review: Azor Hotel

I absolutely loved my time in the Azores, a set of volcanic islands off the coast of Portugal. The food was delicious, the landscape felt so unique, and there were many times when I felt like we had the whole island to ourselves.

Getting There

From Lisbon, you can fly direct to Ponta Delgada airport (PDL) on Azores Airlines, Ryanair, or TAP Portugal. My one-way flight on Ryanair LIS-PDL was $61, booked three months in advance.

From the US, you can fly directly to PDL from Boston and Providence on Azores Airlines and from JFK on Delta (starting May 24, 2018). The flight from JFK is just under 6 hours, making it shorter than the flight to SFO and an ideal extended weekend getaway.

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Vegas: Air France / KLM Lounge @ SFO

Mini trip report for a weekend in Vegas.

  1. Air France / KLM Lounge @ SFO
  2. 4 Things I Learned about Flying JetBlue
  3. Vdara
  4. American Express Centurion Lounge @ LAS

Air France / KLM Lounge @ SFO

In the past, I’ve flown to Las Vegas from SFO via United (T3) and Southwest (T1). Terminal 3 is ideal since that’s where the American Express Centurion lounge is 💕


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Citi Prestige 4th Night Free + Hotel Barcelo Sants

I’m headed to Europe this summer for a family reunion 7 day cruise, starting in Athens and ending in Barcelona.

I blogged previously about booking business class airfare SFO>ATH and BCN>SFO for only $2000. Given that economy fares were around $1400, I was happy to pay a little extra for more comfort!

At the end of the cruise, my boyfriend is flying to Barcelona from SF. We’ll spend a few days exploring Barcelona with my family before they head back to LA. Then Max and I will spend a few more days in Barcelona before heading back to SF. Overall, we’re going to spend 7 nights in Barcelona, and the trip is a few months away, so it’s time to book hotels!

Room at Barcelo Sants

For the first half of our stay, we’ll be staying at Barcelo Sants. My dad picked this hotel for its value and proximity to public transit. I figured this would be a good situation to use my Citi Prestige card’s 4th night free card.

Here’s a quick overview of the benefit:

  • Book your hotel by calling the Citi Prestige Travel Concierge
  • Pay with your Citi Prestige Card
  • After payment, you’ll receive a statement credit for the cost of the 4th night of your hotel stay
  • Only works on publicly available hotel rates (so no corporate rates)

Since the process requires a phone call, I’ve been procrastinating. I finally checked this task off my list this weekend, and it was pretty easy.

I went to the hotel’s website to check out the price for our stay. For four nights, it would be about 560 Euro. I can’t function without breakfast, so I prefer hotel breakfasts for efficiency.

Though it says an average of 140Euro/night, Citi Prestige will refund you the cost of the 4th night. So it’s important to look at the night by night breakdown: 

In this case, the cost of the 4th night is 144Euro. You can save A LOT of money if the rate of the 4th night is higher than the rates for the other nights.

I called Citi Prestige to make my travel reservation, and the call took about 20 minutes. The woman helping me didn’t see the breakfast rate on her portal, but was able to book the rate for me after confirming she saw it on the hotel’s website.

After the phone call, I received two emails. One from Barcelo Sants confirming my reservation, and another from Citi confirming my usage of the 4th night free benefit:

Total for the Stay: $631.01

4th Night Credit (including taxes): $127.80
Total for the Stay with 4th Night Credit Applied: $503.21

Rate Disclaimer – The total room rates above may not include other taxes, local taxes, or resort fees. All amounts are quoted in today’s rate of exchange and are subject to change.

Because you are a Citi Prestige cardmember you are eligible to receive a complimentary fourth night as an exclusive Prestige benefit. The complimentary 4th night rate credit in the amount of $127.80 is calculated based on the actual rate for the 4th night plus taxes. This statement credit in the amount of $127.80 USD will appear on your Citi Prestige World Elite MasterCard within one to two billing cycles after check-out of the hotel and verification that the stay was fully paid with your Citi Prestige MasterCard. Exchange rate is based on today’s rate of exchange.

Complimentary 4th Night Terms & Conditions:

The Citi Prestige Hotel statement credit will be the cost of the 4th Night Stay room rate plus taxes.  The statement credit will post within 1-2 billing cycles of a fully prepaid booking or 1-2 billing cycles after check-out.

The stay must be fully paid with your Citi Prestige MasterCard and meet the Prestige benefit terms, including minimum stay requirements.  Cancellation or changes to your reservation may result in the reversal of the statement credit.  The Complimentary Prestige Credit will appear in US Dollars.  The US Dollar rate of exchange is calculated at the time of booking.  

Cheers to saving $127, thanks to the Citi Prestige card!

Thai Thanksgiving: Introduction

A trip report for my Thanksgiving week in Thailand.

  1. Introduction
  2. SFO -> PVG -> HKT
  3. 6 hours in Phuket
  4. Ko Phi Phi
  5. Ao Nang
  6. KBV (Krabi) -> BKK (Bangkok)
  7. Bangkok
  8. BKK -> PVG -> SFO

Thailand is a very popular tourist destination, and it’s been on my list for years. My friends and I had all expressed interest in going to Thailand at some point, but it can be hard to get people to commit. (I’ve heard committing is even harder for Californians – apparently we’re notoriously flaky 😉 ).

At the beginning of the year, I proposed going over Thanksgiving to my boyfriend and a couple friends. Max and my friends Barbara and Aimee were down for it, so I started monitoring @theflightdeal for airfare.

In February, we found some cheap airfare but it still took us a few days to commit. We had limited PTO so we only wanted to spend a week, but we wanted to visit islands and Bangkok, too.


Little did we know the experience we would have on China Eastern Airlines!

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Business class to Europe for $2k in the summer!

Thanks to ThePointsGuy for motivating me to finalize my summer 2016 plans! My extended family is having a family reunion on a European cruise beginning in Athens and ending in Barcelona, with stops in Santorini, Montenegro and Italy.


I hadn’t given much thought to finalizing my flights because I hadn’t determined how long to spend in Barcelona after the cruise, but I knew that I wanted my bf to meet up with me after the cruise concluded. On Thursday night (after a long day at Grace Hopper Conference–more on that later), I locked down a sweet deal on business class fares thanks to this post by Zach Honig @ ThePointsGuy. I got SFO-ATH (via LHR) and BCN-SFO (via LHR) for $2000, and got Max SFO-BCN (roundtrip, via LHR) for $2000 as well.


[Photo from]

July travel is expensive. Economy class fares were going for about $1500, so for only a little bit more money, we’ll get a lot more comfort. Now the fare is over $5000, so it really was a sweet deal! And it means following ThePointsGuy on my rss reader has definitely paid off.


Next step: booking a hotel for Barcelona!