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A primary timer’s information to Spain’s undiscovered Murcia area

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A primary timer’s information to Spain’s undiscovered Murcia area


“Murcia is the unknown province, even for the Spanish!” That was the gleeful introduction to the area by my tour information and native Murciano, Carlos Reis.

He is not flawed. Earlier than visiting, I had described Murcia as “south of Valencia” to the quite a few questions on the place it was. Even nearer to the area is the crowded and generally hectic coastal resorts of Alicante, however the relaxed tempo of life in Murcia reigon couldn’t be farther from these scenes. 

As a substitute, Murcia has every little thing you like about Spain with out the crowds: from glorious regional tapas and native wine; to historical past spanning the Moors and historic Roman ruins; native fiestas all through the calendar yr; and a shocking shoreline for out of doors fanatics.

Whereas a few of Spain’s hottest locations are on the lookout for methods to handle tourism numbers, Murcia’s new airport is including routes on a regular basis, which implies this jewel of a area cannot stay “unknown” for very for much longer.

cabo-de-palos-lighthouse.jpeg
The Cabo de Palos lighthouse is without doubt one of the tallest in Spain at 51m (167ft) excessive @ AnneMarie McCarthy / Lonely Planet

When ought to I am going to the Murcia area? 

The area of Murcia makes a fantastic winter solar vacation spot, averaging greater than 300 days of sunshine a yr. Even autumn and spring will be sizzling, with common temperatures reaching as excessive as 26ºC in October and Could. Summer season can usually get too sizzling for most individuals to take pleasure in; if you’re visiting throughout these months, goal to spend so much of time on the breezy coast.

Easter week could be a fantastic time for festivities in Murcia city. A number of completely different spiritual processions happen on the streets, every with a special theme and id. The primary Tuesday after Easter is Bando de la Huerta, one of many largest festivals within the metropolis. Many individuals will likely be in conventional costume within the streets, regional meals specialities will likely be obtainable all over the place and there will likely be showcases of folkloric music and dances in a riot of colour.

This being Spain, many cities and cities have their very own fiesta days, so there are many alternatives all year long to rejoice.

How lengthy ought to I spend within the Murcia area? 

In the event you’re on the lookout for a calming “fly-and-flop” vacation – or simply wish to incorporate a chill component into your itinerary – you might fortunately spend two weeks dozing on quiet seashores, paddling in crystalline water and lingering over late tapas and vino

Murcia metropolis makes for a calming metropolis break if flying straight into its airport or you might feasibly go to most of the highlights of the area in 4 days. However why rush? 

Is it simple to get in and across the Murcia area? 

Murcia area is now served by its personal airport with common direct flights from Dublin, Palma de Mallorca, England and Belgium to call a number of. The busier Alicante airport can be an possibility and is simply 50 minutes drive from Murcia metropolis. 

The compact nature of the area means it’s simple to see plenty of it in a comparatively quick journey – you’ll be able to drive the size of the area in somewhat over two hours. There are public transport hyperlinks between cities by way of bus and practice, however you will notice much more you probably have your individual set of wheels. 

coastline-around-Cabo-de-Palos.jpeg
You’ll be able to scuba dive to wrecks off the shoreline right here @ AnneMarie McCarthy / Lonely Planet

High issues to do within the Murcia area

Historic websites and re-enactments

The Murcia area is house to a wonderful mishmash of historic influences and remnants to discover. There’s loads of well-preserved Roman historical past, significantly within the city of Cartagena. All year long, you’ll be able to go to a splendidly restored Roman theater on the Museo del Teatro Romano or the stays of a whole part of the Roman city at Barrio del Foro Romano. A spotlight of the calendar is the Festival of Carthaginians and Romans in late September. For 2 weeks, the city is stuffed with hundreds of locals in historic costume, participating in battle re-enactments, marriage ceremonies, races and firework shows. 

In Murcia metropolis, it’s essential to pay a go to to the Real Casino, probably the most distinctive historic sights within the area. Now open to the general public, many rooms had been constructed and designed throughout completely different durations from 1847 to the early twentieth century. Every room is a pleasant dedication to numerous architectural and design types, from the splendid Arabic courtroom, adorned in gold leaf and the lavish ballroom, impressed by French neo-Baroque design, to the celestial women’ room with its unique lampshades, mirrors and silks, full with a ceiling portray of the moon goddess Selene.

Get out on (and into) the water

Murcia’s shoreline and dependable sunshine make it nice for water sports activities, particularly when you might want to cool off through the hotter months. 

Cabo de Palos can be house to a few of Europe’s finest scuba diving the place you’ll be able to dive to quite a few shipwrecks, most of them languishing since each World Wars. Snorkeling can be enormously standard.

For swimmers, plenty of the shoreline’s seashores stay gloriously undeveloped – with a set of wheels and endurance, you’ll be able to even discover pretty empty stretches of sand in the summertime. 

Marinera with two beers in the background. Marinera is a Russian salad cover on a bread roll with anchovy and olives, typical of Murcia, foods from Spain
Murcian 

What to eat within the Murcia area (and the place to search out it)

Like all of Spain’s areas, Murcia has a wealthy and distinctive gastronomic tradition to discover. There’s an enormous number of greens grown and naturally, recent seafood courtesy of its shoreline. Look out for a few of these specialties whereas visiting:

Marineras: a tapas dish with tuna, potato and normally some veg on toasted bread. 

Paparajotes: deep-fried lemon leaves served with ice cream. Peel the batter off the leaf earlier than consuming, it has a scrumptious lemon taste. Strive it: El Secreto is an effective spot to strive conventional regional tapas dishes.

Arroz caldero: actually translated as “rice cauldron”, normally served in an enormous pot and infrequently with fish and to not be confused with paella – you may be corrected! Strive it: Bocana de Palos serves up a scrumptious model with a sea view.

Pastel de carne: a puff pastry meat dish full of egg, chorizo and varied spices.

Murcia al Vino: goat’s cheese may be very standard right here and this variation has been cured in pink wine. Pair with the native Monastrell pink selection. Strive it: La Diligente has glorious wine and cheese tastings.

Salt-baked fish: not distinctive to this area however a superb method to strive the various types of fish caught alongside the coast. Sea bream and sea bass are two standard variations. Strive it: Alviento in Cartagena.

View of the La Cala restaurant by the Grand Hyatt in Murcia Spain
La Cala restaurant on the Grand Hyatt La Manga Membership focuses on recent seafood @ AnneMarie McCarthy / Lonely Planet

The place to remain within the Murcia area

Murica area has a broad vary of lodging choices, from conventional pensions to an abundance of 4-star resorts. Costs remail comparatively cheap, significantly in Murcia metropolis. I stayed on the four-star Occidental Murcia Agalia the place rooms begin from simply €60 an evening.

For one thing extra luxurious, the newly renovated five-star Grand Hyatt La Manga Membership is a vacation spot in and of itself. It’s most well-known for golf, with three programs appropriate for a wide range of talent ranges however it’s additionally house to 11 eating places, together with the scenic La Cala overlooking the Mediterranean, specializing in recent seafood. In the event you’re not staying there however wish to deal with your self, you’ll be able to guide in for an epic Sunday brunch unfold (€90 for adults, €50 for kids).

Alongside the coast, there are many self-catering villas you’ll be able to lease if you wish to keep in an enormous group or with a household. Many of those are second properties of native residents, so that you’ll discover much more availability outdoors the summer time months. 

How a lot cash do I want for the Murcia area? 

Murica is superb worth for cash for guests in contrast with many components of Spain. 

  • Hostel room: €20-25
  • Primary room for 2: €60-130
  • Self-catering residence (together with Airbnb): €60-150
  • Native public transport ticket: €1.85 (single tram ticket for Murcia metropolis)
  • Espresso: €1.50-2.00
  • Tapas dish: €2.50-5
  • Dinner for 2: €30-50
  • Caña (small beer) at a bar: €1.50-2
  • Glass of wine at a bar: €2.50-5
     

AnneMarie traveled to Murcia courtesy of Lotus PR and Turismo de Murcia. Lonely Planet contributors don’t settle for freebies in return for constructive protection.

Travel

8 High Broadway Reveals In New York Not To Miss – Hand Baggage Solely

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8 High Broadway Reveals In New York Not To Miss – Hand Baggage Solely


No journey to New York is full with no Broadway present. It’s simply one of many high things to do in New York, with folks coming from everywhere in the world to see the reveals and a few being booked out months prematurely. This all means it’s actually necessary to plan and e book your tickets for the highest Broadway reveals in New York prematurely.

Through the years, we’ve visited New York—particularly Manhattan—many occasions! It’s one among our favorite cities in the US and there’s a lot to do when you’ve arrived within the Massive Apple.

Ensure you don’t miss the world-renowned Broadway reveals which can be dotted round Occasions Sq.. In the event you’re unfamiliar, it’s greatest to explain Broadway just like the West Finish in London: it’s an space the place all the long-lasting reveals are positioned.

So, that can assist you get probably the most out of your go to to New York, I’m sharing the highest Broadway reveals you can’t miss.

1.) Moulin Rouge! The Musical

We completely liked watching Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway and it’s one present you received’t need to miss when visiting New York.

This present follows the love story of Christian and Satine (who’s a part of the Moulin Rouge Cabaret in Paris) and the manufacturing is out-of-this-world.

The present is so fun-filled and energetic, when it’s over you’re feeling such as you’ve simply left the largest celebration in Manhattan. We selected the Can Can! Desk Seating that’s positioned proper in the midst of the motion, it was so unimaginable.

Oh, and make sure you at all times go to The Broadway Collection website to assist make your selection of reveals to see. This web site supplies descriptions, photographs, images and extra, and helps you make the precise selection of reveals and seats by connecting you with the official, most trusted websites to purchase tickets.

Read more: Best things to do in New York

2.) The Guide of Mormon

The Guide of Mormon is among the high Broadway reveals in New York: it’s crass, stunning and laugh-out-loud humorous. It follows the lifetime of two Elders (Worth and Cunningham) who’re despatched to Uganda to unfold the phrase.

It received heaps of Tony Awards and is the proper musical if you happen to favor a comedic Broadway present. From the creators of South Park, this present can have you laughing very quickly!

3.) Hamilton

Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is among the hottest reveals on Broadway, and with good cause! It’s a musical that follows Alexander Hamilton, one among America’s Founding Fathers.

Not solely is the narrative actually attention-grabbing, however the music is so epic! It’s shortly change into one of many world’s most-loved musicals.

Read more: Best things to do in New York

4.) Blue Man Group

In all probability one among New York’s most stunning and ingenious theatrical experiences, Blue Man Group is a efficiency like nothing else.

Identified for the impeccable bodily comedy (the complete present is wordless) and use of unconventional objects as musical devices, Blue Man Group is the proper present in case you are in search of one thing totally different that’s nonetheless extremely enjoyable to observe.

Read more: Best things to do in Manhattan

5.) Depraved

In the event you’re a fan of The Wizard of Oz, you received’t need to miss Depraved on Broadway. That being mentioned, even if you happen to’ve not seen The Wizard of Oz, Depraved remains to be a deal with.

Depraved delves deep into the lives and story of the witches of Oz, while belting out some unimaginable musical numbers like ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘Standard’ which so many people are conversant in.

Depraved is an unimaginable Broadway musical and effectively price reserving when visiting New York Metropolis.

Simply be certain, like I’ve mentioned earlier than, to at all times e book by means of trusted web sites and keep in mind that The Broadway Collection companions with the theatres and reveals themselves to assist direct your buy by means of the official websites. This manner, you received’t need to take care of ticket touts, bargaining and disappointment if you happen to don’t get the seats you need.

Read more: Best things to do in New York

6.) The Lion King

Nice for households and adults alike, The Lion King is among the high Broadway reveals in New York that’s nice for all ages.

I completely love the puppetry they use for all of the animals on stage; simply be careful for the giraffe that often reaches down into the stall seats. His neck will attain proper all the way down to you!

In the event you love Disney’s The Lion King, then you definately’ll love the musical.

Read more: Best things to do in Manhattan

7.) Harry Potter and the Cursed Little one

In the event you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you want to e book tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Little one.

Now, what makes this present so particular is that it tells the story, 19 years on, from the unique Harry Potter books. It’s unimaginable to see and one which’s effectively price watching while visiting New York.

Although, only a heads up, tickets can sell-out quick at peak occasions. In the event you’re travelling, be sure that to e book your tickets prematurely of your journey.

Read more: Best things to do in Manhattan

8.) & Juliet

We completely love & Juliet, it’s one of many high Broadway reveals in New York that you just don’t need to miss.

The musical follows the lifetime of Juliet (from Shakespeare’s play; Romeo and Juliet) after she doesn’t take her personal life. Not solely that, it mixes a complete heap of well-liked songs from folks like Britney Spears and Katy Perry.

& Juliet is a type of Broadway reveals that may have you ever dancing in your seat. It’s so unimaginable and the forged is so gifted. We liked each second of the present.

Read more: Best things to do in New York

8 Current Broadway Shows In New York Not To Miss


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Travel

Journey to London with factors and miles in 2024

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Journey to London with factors and miles in 2024


This sequence of articles about bank cards, factors and miles, and budgeting for journey is delivered to you in partnership with The Points Guy.

Advertiser Disclosure: This publish incorporates references to merchandise from a number of of our advertisers. We might obtain compensation once you click on on hyperlinks to these merchandise. Phrases apply to the affords listed on this web page. This relationship might affect how and the place hyperlinks seem on this web site. This web site doesn’t embody all monetary firms or all accessible monetary affords. All details about the Hilton Honors American Specific Aspire, the AAdvantage playing cards, Citi Premier® Card, and the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Lonely Planet. These playing cards will not be accessible by Lonely Planet.

What involves thoughts once you consider London? For me, it’s a mixture of museums, historic websites and nerdy popular culture references that make incredible photo-ops — it’s residence to Abbey Street Studios, Harry Potter’s Platform 9¾ and a giant, blue “Physician Who” Tardis Police Field, in spite of everything.

Whereas a visit to London will be costly, it doesn’t essentially should be. Sticking to public transportation, testing free museums and attractions and using points and miles to fly and keep there could make an enormous distinction. 

There’s loads to see and do, whether or not it’s your first trip to London, you’re visiting with kids, otherwise you’re solely on the town for a fast metropolis break. It’s additionally an ideal vacation spot for those who’re simply getting started with points and miles.

Right here’s every part you want to find out about touring to London with factors and miles — plus a few of our favorite things to do there.

How to get started with travel points and airline miles

All Nippon Airways' esteemed “The Room” business class from just 88,000 miles round-trip
All Nippon Airways’ esteemed “The Room” enterprise class from simply 88,000 miles round-trip © Eric Rosen / The Factors Man

The most cost effective award flights to London

Don’t restrict your search to only one London airport, as most nonstop flights from the U.S. arrive at Heathrow Airport (LHR) or Gatwick Airport (LGW). 

Extra connections could also be accessible through different European hubs or to smaller British airports like London Metropolis Airport (LCY), Luton Airport (LTN) or Stansted Airport (STN) from different elements of the continent.

You’ll additionally discover one of the best nonstop offers from main U.S. airport hubs, so it is perhaps value doing a repositioning flight to New York (JFK), Dallas (DFW) or Los Angeles (LAX) for those who reside in a extra distant a part of the nation.

  • Most cost-effective financial system class ticket to London: 20,000 Virgin Factors round-trip (from the East Coast, off-peak season)
  • Most cost-effective business-class ticket to London: 88,000 All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Membership miles round-trip
  • Most cost-effective first-class ticket to London: 136,000 British Airways Avios round-trip (from the East Coast, off-peak season)

The best travel credit cards

American Airways AAdvantage

Whereas not the most affordable redemption, it’s probably the most easy, letting you fly nonstop to Heathrow Airport from 10 U.S. cities on American Airways or any variety of mixtures through its Oneworld alliance companions.

Right here’s what number of AAdvantage miles you’ll must fly on American Airways:

  • Economic system Class: From 50,000 miles round-trip
  • Enterprise/First Class: From 125,000 miles round-trip

You too can use AAdvantage miles to fly with British Airways, although you’ll find yourself paying greater gas surcharges than you’ll by flying on American. 

Right here’s what number of AAdvantage miles you’ll must fly on British Airways:

  • Economic system Class: 45,000 to 60,000 miles round-trip
  • Enterprise Class: 115,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 170,000 miles round-trip

Accumulate AAdvantage miles shortly by transferring factors from Bilt Rewards (1:1) or Marriott Bonvoy (3:1). You could possibly additionally join one of many airline’s cobranded bank cards to attain a profitable welcome bonus.

  • Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Crimson World Elite Mastercard: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after making your first buy and paying the $99 annual charge inside the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Choose® World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 inside the first three months of opening your account.
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Choose® Mastercard®: Earn 65,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 inside the first 4 months of account opening.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Government World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $7,000 inside the first three months of opening your account.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card: Earn 30,000 bonus factors after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases inside the first six months from account opening. Plus, earn as much as 14X complete factors for each $1 spent at 1000’s of resorts collaborating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Earn 3 Free Night time Awards (every evening valued as much as 50,000 factors) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card*: Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus factors after you utilize your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases inside the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card*: Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus factors after you utilize your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases inside the first 6 months of Card Membership.

How to make a travel budget using points and miles 

British Airways 777 Club Suites
British Airways 777 Membership Suites © Eric Rosen / The Factors Man

British Airways Government Membership

When you can fly nonstop to Gatwick Airport from New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO) and Tampa (TPA), you’ll discover wider award availability for Heathrow Airport, which affords direct routes from 21 U.S. cities.

British Airways makes use of a distance-based award chart, so plug in your required airports on Great Circle Mapper’s website to calculate the mileage first. 

Remember that you just’ll should pay greater gas surcharges on award flights, although you may keep away from this by connecting through one other European metropolis — as an example, flying to Dublin through Aer Lingus or Madrid through Iberia, each companions, then redeeming Avios for a brief flight to London from there (or vice versa).

Right here’s what number of Avios you’ll want round-trip from New York or Los Angeles, starting from off-peak (fall and winter) to peak season (summer season and through faculty holidays):

  • Economic system Class: 26,000 or 40,000 Avios from JFK; 39,000 or 60,000 Avios from LAX
  • Enterprise Class: 100,000 or 120,000 Avios from JFK; 150,000 or 180,000 Avios from LAX
  • First Class: 136,000 or 160,000 Avios from JFK; 204,000 or 240,000 Avios from LAX

British Airways Avios can be used to e-book flights with Oneworld companions like American Airways. Right here’s what number of you’ll must fly from JFK or LAX:

  • Economic system Class: 41,500 or 51,500 Avios round-trip
  • Enterprise Class: 124,000 or 154,500 Avios round-trip
  • First Class: 165,000 or 206,000 Avios round-trip

To accrue British Airways Avios shortly, join the airline’s cobranded bank card to benefit from its welcome bonus. In any other case, switch factors from Chase Final Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Rewards or American Specific Membership Rewards (1:1) or from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1).

The best credit cards for airport lounge access

Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership

The trick right here is to solely use Virgin Factors to pay in your flight to London and both e-book your return flight with one other points-and-miles foreign money from this record or fly again to the U.S. from one other European metropolis to keep away from the excessive gas surcharges. Whereas they may not be too unhealthy for economy-class tickets, the associated fee will be astronomical for business- or first-class redemptions.

Test Virgin Atlantic’s rewards website for off-peak and peak season dates, which differ primarily based on the place and once you’re going.

Right here’s what number of Virgin Factors you’ll must fly from the East Coast, Midwest/South or West Coast:

  • Economic system Class: 20,000, 25,000 or 30,000 miles round-trip (off-peak); 40,000, 45,000 or 50,000 (peak)
  • Enterprise Class: 95,000 to 135,000 miles round-trip (off-peak); 115,000 to 155,000 (peak)

Virgin Factors can be used to fly with companions like Delta, which continues to be an honest deal regardless of a recent award devaluation, or Air France/KLM, amongst others.

Right here’s what number of Virgin Factors you’ll want for a Delta flight from the East Coast, Midwest/South or West Coast:

  • Economic system Class: 30,000, 35,000 or 40,000 miles round-trip (off-peak); 50,000, 55,000 or 60,000 miles (peak) 
  • Enterprise Class: 95,000 to 135,000 miles round-trip (off-peak); 115,000 to 155,000 miles (peak)

Virgin’s cobranded bank card affords a beneficiant quantity of factors to start out with. Factors can be transferred from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) or Bilt Rewards, American Specific Membership Rewards, Chase Final Rewards, Capital One Rewards or Citi ThankYou Rewards through Virgin Crimson (1:1).

  • Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 30,000 bonus factors after you spend $1,000 inside the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. That is $750 once you redeem by Chase Journey℠.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. That is $900 towards journey once you redeem by Chase Journey℠.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 bonus factors after you spend $8,000 inside the first six months of opening your account.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® factors after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card inside the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 inside the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 inside the first three months of opening your account.
  • Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 inside the first three months of opening your account.

The best credit cards for airport lounge access

An Air France 787
An Air France 787 © Eric Rosen / The Factors Man

Air France / KLM Flying Blue 

When you can’t fly nonstop from the U.S. to London aboard Air France or KLM, Flying Blue miles present an honest one-stop possibility for award flights to the UK through Paris (CDG) or Amsterdam (AMS). They can be redeemed for nonstop flights with SkyTeam alliance companions like Delta and Virgin Atlantic.

Test the Flying Blue Rewards web site for Promo Awards and to calculate what number of miles you’ll want in your award flight.

Right here’s what number of Flying Blue miles you’ll must fly to London from the U.S.:

  • Economic system Class: 40,000 miles round-trip
  • Enterprise Class: 100,000 miles round-trip

To accrue Flying Blue miles shortly, switch factors from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) or Bilt Rewards, Chase Final Rewards, American Specific Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards or Capital One Rewards (1:1).

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. That is $750 once you redeem by Chase Journey℠.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. That is $900 towards journey once you redeem by Chase Journey℠.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 bonus factors after you spend $8,000 inside the first six months of opening your account.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® factors after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card inside the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 inside the first three months of opening your account.
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 inside the first three months of opening your account.
  • Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 inside the first three months of opening your account.

The best credit cards for airline miles

ANA fleet at Tokyo Narita Airport
ANA fleet at Tokyo Narita Airport © Tung Cheung / Shutterstock

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Membership

Utilizing ANA miles to e-book flights with Star Alliance companions like United, Air Canada, TAP Portugal, LOT Polish Airways and SAS is an actual points-and-miles candy spot. 

Observe that whereas they can be redeemed for flights with Austrian Airways, Lufthansa or SWISS, the gas surcharges are typically a lot greater. Flying with United, reasonably, would imply redeeming extra miles however paying fewer charges.

Understand that solely round-trip redemptions are allowed with ANA, and you’ll solely e-book award flights for you and your loved ones members. It’s best to seek for award availability on United’s web site after which verify it with ANA. 

Right here’s what number of ANA miles you’ll must fly to London from the U.S.:

  • Economic system Class: 55,000 miles round-trip
  • Enterprise Class: 88,000 miles round-trip
  • First Class: 165,000 miles round-trip

Racking up ANA miles is straightforward, as factors will be transferred from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1) or American Specific Membership Rewards (1:1).

Best credit cards for international travel

The Principle Hotel on Russell Square in London can be booked with IHG points
The Precept Resort on Russell Sq. in London will be booked with IHG factors © Chrispictures / Shutterstock

London resorts you may e-book with factors

London is residence to heaps of factors resort chains, together with these by World of Hyatt, Marriott Bovoy, IHG One Rewards and Hilton Honors, amongst others.

Join your favourite model’s loyalty program so you may earn factors towards future stays — or think about making use of for a cobranded hotel rewards credit card and incomes free nights due to the welcome bonus.

Followers of Hilton resorts ought to think about the Hilton Honors American Specific Aspire bank card, which gives $200 in assertion credit, meant to cowl resort charges and different on-property expenses at properties worldwide.

Should you book travel with cash or points?

World of Hyatt

Select from a number of members-only World of Hyatt properties like The Academy, positioned in London’s stylish Bloomsbury neighborhood, with nightly charges from 20,000 factors. Between Covent Backyard and the Tower of London, the brand new Hyatt Regency London Blackfriars has rooms from 20,000 per evening.

Within the fashionable East Finish, the Andaz London Liverpool Road affords charges from 25,0000 factors per evening, placing you inside strolling distance of Brick Lane, residence to the best Bangladeshi food in London, and the legendary Ten Bells pub, of Jack the Ripper fame.

The welcome bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or the World of Hyatt Credit Card gives sufficient factors for 3 nights at The Academy or the Andaz or two nights on the Hyatt Regency.

To prime up your factors steadiness, switch Chase Final Rewards factors to Phrase of Hyatt (1:1).

Best travel credit cards for foodies

Marriott Bonvoy

The Westin London Metropolis, inside strolling distance of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern, affords nightly charges from 62,000 factors. In Fitzrovia, The London Version is one other elegant possibility, sporting rooms from 89,500 factors per evening.

If practice station entry is a precedence, the St. Pancras Renaissance Resort London has luxurious rooms beginning at 52,000 factors per evening, placing you inside strolling distance of St. Pancras International and King’s Cross, residence of The Harry Potter Shop and the best photo-op of your life — Potterheads, that is your second to geek out as you “pass-through” the well-known Platform 9¾. 

The welcome bonus from the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express gives sufficient factors for one free evening at The Westin or the St. Pancras Renaissance and almost sufficient for a free evening at The London Version.

Factors will be transferred from American Specific Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy (1:1) for those who nonetheless must bump up your steadiness.

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London's Waldorf Hilton
London’s Waldorf Hilton © Christian Mueller / Shutterstock

Hilton Honors

In Covent Backyard, The Waldorf Hilton, London, affords rooms from 75,000 factors, whereas the DoubleTree by Hilton London–Marble Arch close to Hyde Park has rooms beginning at 59,000 factors per evening. The DoubleTree by Hilton London–West Finish is a superb possibility, with charges from 60,000 factors per evening.

The welcome bonus from the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card affords sufficient factors for 2 nights at both resort, whereas the welcome bonus from The Platinum Card from American Express awards sufficient for a complimentary evening at every property.

Factors will be transferred from American Specific Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors (1:2) if you want to convey up your steadiness.

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IHG One Rewards

Only a stone’s throw from SoHo, Covent Backyard and The National Gallery, Resort Indigo London–1 Leicester Sq. has nightly charges beginning at 49,000 factors. Nearer to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Resort Indigo London–Paddington affords rooms from 42,000 factors per evening. 

Followers of the royals can keep by Buckingham Palace on the InterContinental London Park Lane, which has nightly charges from 79,000 factors. Those that desire the stunning residential neighborhood of Russell Sq. ought to go for the Kimpton Fitzroy London, with rooms from 53,000 factors per evening.

The welcome bonus from the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives sufficient factors for a free evening on the Resort Indigo properties or the Kimpton. 

Switch factors from Bilt Rewards or Chase Final Rewards (1:1) to extend your steadiness.

Traveling to Europe using points and miles

Admiring 17th-century Italian paintings in the Italy room of the National Gallery, London
Admiring Seventeenth-century Italian work within the Italy room of the Nationwide Gallery, London © Alex Segre / Shutterstock

Actions and floor transportation

Getting around London is tremendous simple due to the sprawling London Underground, extra generally often known as The Tube, and double-decker buses. Strolling and biking additionally make enjoyable methods to discover the town, as does cruising down the Thames. 

Cabs, mini-cabs and ride-share providers are additionally broadly accessible. For an actual deal with, strive a licensed black cab — its drivers have spent three to 5 years coaching and testing to study every part there’s to find out about London, so don’t be afraid to ask questions concerning the metropolis’s greatest eating places and websites.

The British capital is nicely linked to different elements of the UK by practice — and even Paris and past through Eurostar — making your choices for day trips from London seemingly countless. When you’re extra of a street journey particular person, be aware that automobiles listed here are pushed on the left aspect of the street (from the best aspect of the automobile) and the roads are pretty simple to navigate.

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can verify the Chase Journey℠ portal to avoid wasting on automobile leases and guided excursions. Final Rewards factors are value 1.25 cents per level or 1.5 cents per level, respectively, so you would save an honest quantity.

Sure playing cards, just like the Capital One Venture and Capital One Venture X, allow you to redeem miles towards latest journey purchases at a price of 1 cent per mile. The Chase Sapphire Reserve additionally has a $300 annual journey credit score meant to “erase” journey bills.

How to travel to the Seychelles with points and miles

London bikers on the go
London bikers on the go © Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock

Backside line

With a bit thought and preparation, there’s no motive a trip to London has to interrupt the financial institution. By listening to airline alliances and credit card transfer partners, benefiting from welcome bonuses from cobranded and travel rewards credit cards and being strategic about your factors and miles, you’ll be capable of save a ton in your subsequent journey very quickly.

How to travel to Spain using points and miles

*Eligibility and Profit degree varies by Card. Phrases, Situations, and Limitations Apply. Please go to americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for extra particulars. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Firm.

Phrases apply to American Specific advantages and affords. Enrollment could also be required for choose American Specific advantages and affords. Go to americanexpress.com to study extra.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed listed here are the writer’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, airline or resort chain, and haven’t been reviewed, accredited or in any other case endorsed by any of those entities.

This text was first revealed Jan 19, 2024 and up to date Jun 15, 2024.

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Greece Considers Imposing Cruise Ship Restrictions

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Greece Considers Imposing Cruise Ship Restrictions


The journey business is essential to Greece, with tourism accounting for round 1 / 4 of the nation’s economic system. Nevertheless, it’s attainable to have an excessive amount of of a great factor. 

Within the post-pandemic journey rush, Greece has become increasingly popular – and fascinating locations like Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes, are struggling to maintain up with the demand. 

All through 2023, Greece welcomed a complete of 5,230 cruise ships carrying over 7 million passengers to the island. It is a dramatic 9.41% enhance in cruise ship arrivals and a 51.26% surge in passenger numbers from 2022.

Cruise Ships Visiting Santorini, Greece
Cruise Ships Visiting Santorini, Greece (Picture Credit score: Andocs)

The staggering variety of cruise passengers is inflicting overcrowding on the islands, maritime site visitors jams that may be a deterrent to cruisers and different vacationers, and hindering the standard of life for the locals – with a very extreme affect on Santorini. 

“Santorini is probably the most delicate, Mykonos would be the second. Although many Greek islands are straining beneath the load of their recognition, these are those ‘which might be clearly struggling,’” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Bloomberg

In 2023, Santorini skilled 800 cruise ship calls, bringing about 1.3 million cruisers to the Mediterranean sizzling spot – a 17% enhance in cruise tourism numbers from 2022 that’s upending the lives of the 15,000 everlasting residents who stay on the island. 

“There are folks spending some huge cash to be on Santorini and so they don’t need the island to be swamped,” Mitsotakis added. “Plus the island can’t afford it, even by way of safety.”

In the meantime, Mykonos hosted 749 ship calls in 2023, which is a rise of 23% in only one yr. 

Whereas no cruise limitations have been put in place as of but, Mitsotakis stated it’s one thing he expects to occur in 2025. The brand new guidelines will probably embody limiting the overall variety of island berths which might be obtainable to cruise ships and/or a bidding course of to name on the islands. 

A number of European Ports Restrict Cruise Tourism

Ever for the reason that Covid-19 pandemic ended, cruising has been on the rise. The number of cruise passengers exceeded 31 million in 2023, with 2 million extra folks cruising final yr than they did in 2019. 

With that quantity solely anticipated to develop, different European locations (and a few within the US)  have already taken measures to restrict the variety of cruise tourism to forestall overcrowding and to mitigate the detrimental environmental affect that may include welcoming a lot of vessels – and notably older vessels that might not be as sustainable as newer builds. 

Learn Additionally: Juneau Agrees on Cruise Ship Passenger Limits

Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ announcement is following within the footsteps of locations like Venice, Italy, Majorca, Spain, and Barcelona, Spain.

Cruise Ships Docked in Barcelona, Spain
Cruise Ships Docked in Barcelona, Spain (Picture Credit score: Iglwch)

In 2021, Venice implemented a new tourist fee to mitigate crowds on the Italian metropolis’s busiest days – a rule that took impact earlier this yr on April 25, 2024. The charge applies to guests no matter if they arrive by land, airplane, prepare, or sea. 

In Could of 2024, Majorca moved ahead with new proposals to renew restrictions that will stop mega-cruise ships from docking in Palma, the capital metropolis of the most important of Spain’s Balearic Islands.

If accepted, the restrictions would proceed to cap the variety of cruise ships that may go to the port to a few per day, with just one allowed to hold over 5,000 passengers – a measure that has been in place since 2022. 

Nevertheless, the brand new proposal additionally seeks so as to add extra taxes for cruise passengers – together with a charge to reach in port and a separate charge to enter Palma. 

In October of 2023, Barcelona implemented its own partial cruise ship ban to forestall ships from docking on the Spanish metropolis’s northern docks or the World Commerce Middle. The aim of this transformation was to maintain cruise ships farther from the town heart with the intention to reduce exhaust gasses in Barcelona’s most populated areas. 

Simply a few weeks in the past on Could 24, 2024, Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni announced that the coastal metropolis could be taking extra actions to restrict the variety of cruise passengers visiting per day to handle remaining overcrowding issues.

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