Amazing Hotel Discount: $100 off $100+ Stay

Between now and the end of September, you can potentially get a completely free night at a hotel on Orbitz by (a) paying with a MasterCard and (b) utilizing MasterCard’s new secure checkout feature called Masterpass.  If you pay using Masterpass, you can receive $100 off a hotel reservation of $100 or more, which is an incredible deal! One catch is that most major chain hotels are excluded from this promotion, so you will need to look for smaller name hotels, but if you can find one and need to travel in the next 2 weeks, this promotion is tough Continue reading Amazing Hotel Discount: $100 off $100+ Stay

Free Hilton Points for Changing Your Password Now Working

A few weeks ago, I posted that Hilton was running a promotion where you could earn 1,000 free Hilton points, just by changing your password to encourage users to maintain a more secure account.  Not long after the promotion was supposed to start, Hilton realized that they had a technical glitch, and that they weren’t actually ready to start the promotion yet.  They reached out to me and explained the situation, promising to provide an update when they had sorted out the technical problems. As promised, they did reach out to me to provide an update – they’ve now fixed Continue reading Free Hilton Points for Changing Your Password Now Working

Free Hilton Points and Delta Miles

UPDATE: I received information from Hilton that the promotion below about receiving bonus points for updating your account password is not active yet. They have run into a technical glitch in implementing this promotion, so hang tight on changing your passwords for now. I will remove this update and publish a new post once they let me know that the issue has been corrected on their end so that your bonus points will be credited to your account correctly.

There are 2 interesting promotions going on right now:

1) 1000 Free Hilton Points for updating your online account password
2) 2500 Free Delta Miles if it takes longer than 20 minutes for your checked bag to arrive

Up until now, Hilton accounts have utilized a PIN for logging in. On March 25, 2015 they’ll be changing over to a password system for logging in, since numeric PINs aren’t nearly as secure as alphanumeric passwords. To encourage members to update their accounts and improve security, if you set or update your account password between now and March 8, 2015, you’ll get a completely free 1000 point bonus. Continue reading Free Hilton Points and Delta Miles

Exploring Santorini (Part 3) and Aegean Airlines Santorini to Athens

Kamari Beach, Santorini

Our final day in Santorini gave us the opportunity to explore a bit more of the island. We had the most delicious dinner of the trip up on the northern tip of the island in Oia, and took a sunset dinner cruise around the southern tip into the central caldera, but there are several other towns worth exploring. On the southeast corner of the island are 2 black sand beach towns, Perissa and Kamari. We decided to spend a day out in Kamari, which involved another challenging bus episode.

We did make it on the Kamari bus, which was about a 25 minute ride from Fira town. The bus pulled in just a block or two from the beach, which is lined with dozens of shops and restaurants. We decided to walk down the main street, running parallel to the beach, which had some shade, but it was a bit off-putting that every 10 steps, as the next set of tables was part of a new restaurant, we were loudly offered to “Come! Have a seat! Delicious food!” Continue reading Exploring Santorini (Part 3) and Aegean Airlines Santorini to Athens

Anamnesis City Spa Hotel and Exploring Santorini (Part 1)

Floga Santorini - Shrimp Caldera and Stuffed Calamari

On Monday evening, we flew from Athens to Santorini, a quick 30 minute flight on Aegean Airlines. As I’ve mentioned a few times, Aegean Airlines seems to run a pretty poor operation – delays aren’t posted timely, leading to chaotic boarding, without any sort of order or priority boarding for passengers who have paid extra for Business Class or have earned the benefits through being a frequent traveler. In the end, we arrived safely, which is obviously the most important factor, but I certainly would choose another airline over them if possible. The Santorini airport is small, so it didn’t take long to make it through to baggage claim, where there were dozens of drivers holding signs for arriving passengers. Continue reading Anamnesis City Spa Hotel and Exploring Santorini (Part 1)

Free Hotel in NYC – Limited Time Offer!

I’ve posted a number of times before about various options for scoring Free or Discounted Hotel Rooms.  One of my favorite deals out there is the Choice Hotels Best Rate Guarantee – if you find a published rate that is lower than the rate available directly at, then the first night of your stay is completely free: If I need to book a trip somewhere, I often will take a look at Choice Hotels to see if there’s a hotel that would work for where I need to go.  Choice Hotels includes a number of mid-range brands, such as Continue reading Free Hotel in NYC – Limited Time Offer!

Athens Airport Lounges and Aegean Airlines Athens to Santorini

Aegean Airlines Lounge Athens

We made it to the Athens Airport around 6:45 pm after spending 2 days exploring Athens. Our flight from Athens to Santorini was scheduled to leave at 9:35 pm, but since we had checked out of our hotel earlier that morning, we were ready to be on our way to Santorini.

Check in was a bit crazy, but the Business Class line only had a handful of people in front of us. After we checked in, we passed through a checkpoint where we simply had to show our boarding pass and passports, but we wouldn’t pass through formal security until heading to the actual gate. Once we made it through the first checkpoint, we headed down the long hallway towards the end of the B terminal where the Aegean and Lufthansa Lounges are located next to each other. We decided to check out the Aegean lounge first, which is a bit larger than the Lufthansa lounge: Continue reading Athens Airport Lounges and Aegean Airlines Athens to Santorini

Exploring Athens (Part 2)

Ancient Agora of Athens

Our first day in Athens was spent exploring the Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum, and the Monastiraki area. Dinner at Oineas was excellent, and our hotel was tough to beat, with the amazing complimentary breakfast and fantastic location.

Directly across the street from the Hotel Amalia Athens is the National Gardens, a huge tranquil garden right in the middle of the city. After breakfast, we packed up our suitcases and left them at the front desk, since we’d be flying from Athens to Santorini that evening, and then we spent an hour or two wandering around the gardens, which are beautiful. Spanning 38 acres, the gardens are free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset Continue reading Exploring Athens (Part 2)

Hotel Amalia Athens and Exploring Athens (Part 1)


We landed in Athens around 12:40 am on Saturday night (technically early Sunday morning), after spending an exciting day in Istanbul. Athens does have a metro that extends to the airport, but the last train leaves the airport at 11:30 pm. There are a few buses that run 24 hours a day to and from the airport, so we knew that we’d need to take the X95 bus into the city. We had checked one bag, which was tagged with a bright orange priority label, so it was the very first bag on the belt. There didn’t appear to be any other flights arriving when our flight did, as there was no line at all to pass through immigration. Continue reading Hotel Amalia Athens and Exploring Athens (Part 1)

Spontaneous Trip to Chicago and a Free Hotel Night in Raleigh

I know it’s been a little while since I posted last, so for all 3 of my readers (Hi Mom!  Hi Dad!  Hi Mrs. Guru!)….I apologize for my absence.  But I’m back with lots to share.  Stay tuned for a full report on our amazing trip to Turkey, Greece and Italy.  I posted some brief updates during the trip (one at the very beginning of the trip, after our first flight up to Chicago, one from Athens, and one from beautiful Santorini). Last week, I was up in New York City for a few days, staying in the New York Continue reading Spontaneous Trip to Chicago and a Free Hotel Night in Raleigh