United Air ticket to Ireland + bonus to Hawaii

by Jeff McNeil
United Airlines Mileage Pus Credit Card
United Airlines Mileage Pus Credit Card

Jenn and I made it official, we have booked a trip to Ireland!  We are very excited about our newly planned trip.  It will cover the whole country in a ring self guided car tour.  I feel the best part of it is that we booked it with an added bonus.  By researching flights and credit card companies, we found that United was about $90 more expensive than the cheapest flights with Aer Lingus, the national airline of Ireland.  By signing up for the United Airlines credit card & purchasing our flight we will get a $50 statement credit, 2 passes to access the United First Class Lounge at airports and after our trip 40,000 miles in each of our accounts.  During select times of the year the round trip fare to Hawaii using the United Mileage points is 40,000.  So that means for the additional $40 we spent, we get a free round trip flight to Hawaii.  Pretty sweet huh!?! Stay tuned, more travel news in the coming days.

The Alaska Cruise is Next

by Jeff McNeil
Royal Caribbean in Alaska

Royal Caribbean in Alaska

Our Alaska cruise is just over 3 weeks away and I am getting excited.  We have made most of our plans with our friends Denise & Spank and Elise & Bruce for our excursions and outings while on the cruise.  Our four friends will be doing a 4-5 day land tour of Denali and Anchorage sights before the cruise while Jenn and I are arriving just before the cruise departs.  It will be a trip of a life time for them, and a very fun and exciting cruise for us.

The cruise is a 7 day southward bound journey along the inside passage.  We will be stopping at the Hubbard Glacier, Seward, Skagway and many other luscious green towns along the Alaskan coast.  Some of our adventure activities include ziplines, mountain train rides, and an up close and personal whale watching trip with only the 6 of us on the boat (plus a captian).  The trip has been in the works since September 2010 and it is only 3 weeks away… yay!

The Japanese YEN is a big bill

by Jeff McNeil

Taking a 2nd look at the currency that we got to take with us, I can’t imagine how big the Japanese wallets are?  These bills are fat!  They are about 50% taller than US Dollars and will not fit in my wallet unless I fold them into smaller portions.  They are also in HUGE demoninations.  If you read the bills they are in teh thousands!  But that doesn’ t mean they are worth that much in USD.  Infact the current excange rates have them at $0.0125 for 1 Yen.  That means 1000 Yen is only $12.50  How crazy is that?  I can buy something for 100,000 Yen and it will only be a $1,200.  Not that I am going to be spending that much money over there on one item, but it makes me wonder how many zeros department stores have to have on hand when prices change.  I should be careful if i go to a Wal-mart over there.  Falling prices really could hurt you if that many numbers where involved.

I am feeling more confident in the plans for Hong Kong and Tokyo now that I have the currency and am getting good with knowing which is which, as well as knowing the current conversion rates.  I feel that things will go smoothly for us once we arrive.  This week will all be about cleaning up the apartment and packing for the trip.  Do you have any suggestions for packing?  Have you been there before, or other Asian countries during the summer?

Disneyworld Booked!

by Jeff McNeil
Epcot at Disneyworld

Epcot at Disneyworld

WOOHOO!  Disneyworld has been booked!  Jenn and I will be there for a lovely 8 day seven night stay at the economical Disney All-star Music resort.  We have a 7 day pass to all the parks and will be spending tons of time on the rides and pin trading.  This will be the 5th and final Disneyland park we will have traveled to in 12 months.  The first was Disneyland Paris on December 30th 2010.  Second was Disneyland in Anaheim on April 10th 2011.  Our Hong Kong & Tokyo Disneyland dates are set during our asian country trip in late June 2011.  Disneyworld will be the last park to go to and then we will have been to all 5 in one year.  Call us crazy but it is just a good time in a great place.  I would like to say thank you all for giving to our Marriott Honeymoon registry.  That has really paid for 1/2 of the costs of going to all these fun places.  All Jenn and I have to pay for is the airfare and the hotels are free.  I will be posting more photos of our Disneyland updates as they come in.

Honeymoon Trips to Tokyo & Hong Kong

by Jeff McNeil
Courtyard Marriott Tokyo

Courtyard Marriott Tokyo

Thank you to all who have contributed to our Marriott Honeymoon Registry.  Jenn and I have discussed what we wanted to do for a “BIG” trip.  We have decided to go to Tokyo and Hong Kong.  This will be part of a larger overall concept of going to every major Disney Themepark within one year.  During a trip to Disneyland in Anaheim this last month, Jenn and I got to talking about what to do for our year of honeymoons.  The crazy thought came to our mind “What if we traveled to every Disneyland park in the world?”  We laughed it off for a few hours and while on the way out of the park that night, I said “Well we are going to be in Paris and going to Euro Disneyland in December. There are only 3 more parks we have to go to in order for it to happen, Tokyo, Hong Kong & Florida.”  We got excited.  Upon further research, there are some 20+ official “Disney” parks like Epcot, California Adventure, Oceanworld etc.  We narrowed our focus to Disneyland parks with castles, regular Disneylands at leach location.

Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel

Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel

That being said, we have now booked out flight & hotel reservations for Tokyo, Japan & Hong Kong, China.  The Tokyo hotel is a few miles from TokyoDisney, however the subway is easily accessible and leads right there.  We will be staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Ginza.  We will be staying several days in Tokyo to absorb some tourist sights as well as the Disney park.  We will then fly from Tokyo to Hong Kong.  We discussed making 2 trips, but the long and costly flight meant that we could save money if we made it one long trip instead of 2 trans-pacific crossings.  The second stay will be at the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel.  It is located near the airport which is on a man-made island in Hong Kong harbor.  Here again, public transportation will take us directly to the park.  We will have 4 days here including one at the Hong Kong Disney park.  Jenn and I are very excited about this trip and are looking for tips and suggestions for things to do in Tokyo and Hong Kong on our touring days.  Please reply to the post with your comments or e-mail us directly.

If you are asking yourself, what about Disneyworld or Disneyland?  We are in the process of planning Disneyworld, possibly over Thanksgiving 2011.  No booked hotels or airfare yet, but it will happen.  As for Disneyland, we have annual passes and will for sure go to the park in the next year after we return from Paris.  So no worries on those 2 parks just yet.