Seoul Airport Free Transit Tours

Did you know that many airports around the world (from Istanbul to Singapore) offer free city tours for travelers in transit on long layovers? On a recent trip from Singapore to Washington, D.C., we added a free award segment to Seoul, South Korea to take advantage of the Seoul Airport free transit tours. Was it worth it? Here’s how it went:

Kathy Forest of the Trip Takes Us poses in front of a pavilion in Gyeongbokung Palace in Seoul with her two teenage sons during a Seoul Airport Free Transit Tour.
Gyeongbokgung Palace complex, Seoul, South Korea.
Continue reading “Seoul Airport Free Transit Tours”

Layover Tours and Airport Transit Tours

A Tale of Two Cities (San Francisco), Part 1

Did you know that many airports around the world offer free layover tours for travelers in transit? And even in cities that do not, you can easily design your own layover tour. We recently had the opportunity to maximize our travels (and layovers) through a self-guided visit to San Francisco and a free transit tour from Incheon Airport (ICN) in Seoul, South Korea. Here’s how it went:

The Trip Takes Us crew among the hustle and bustle of Fisherman's Wharf on our self-guided layover tour in San Francisco
Enjoying our do-it-yourself layover tour in San Francisco.
Continue reading “Layover Tours and Airport Transit Tours”

My Hilton Honors points were stolen. What now?

Over Labor Day weekend, 240,000+ points were stolen from my Hilton Honors Account. Here’s what happened, how it turned out, and how you can (and should) protect your airline frequent flyer miles and hotel points.

Hilton  sent me a message confirm that my points had been redeemed for a purchase at Amazon. That's how I knew my Hilton Honors points were stolen.
This email message alerted me to the fraud on my account. I had made no such purchase
Continue reading “My Hilton Honors points were stolen. What now?”

How Painful Is It to Fly in Economy to Australia?

The thought of flying from North America to Australia can be overwhelming–and for good reason. Spending 21 hours in the air and adjusting to a 14-hour time difference is not easy! On the blog I shared tips for surviving a long-haul flight. And now our family has just put them to the test on our longest ever trip. Did we follow our own advice? See how we fared, as we answer the question, “How painful is it to fly in Economy to Australia?”

Close-up photo of the face of a soft, fuzzy koala bear in Australia.
Start with the destination in mind: Is it worth a bit of discomfort to see Australia’s amazing wildlife?
Continue reading “How Painful Is It to Fly in Economy to Australia?”

Compression socks giveaway: And the winner is…

This site uses affiliate links.

We had an overwhelming response to our first-ever giveaway! So, we couldn’t bring ourselves to have just one winner. We have randomly selected THREE new subscribers to receive a pair of Coolover compression socks!

If you missed our article about wellness on long-haul flights (and why you might want to own these compression socks), you can check it out here.

The winners of our Coolover compression sock giveaway can choose between black, light blue, lime green, orange, or white
Our winners will have to choose between practical neutral and bright fun colors!

The winners are…

Continue reading “Compression socks giveaway: And the winner is…”

Having a Travel Goal or List

The opposite of a great truth is also true.”  — Gretchen Rubin

Last week, I talked about the pitfalls of competitive travel and letting your travel decisions be driven by a checklist, selecting destinations you aren’t passionate about simply to say you have been there. I still believe everything I said there is true. Except when it isn’t. (See that? “The opposite of a great truth is also true.”)

Let’s look at why having a travel goal or list can be useful!

Travel checklist
Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay
Continue reading “Having a Travel Goal or List”

How Many Countries Have You Been to? And Does It Even Matter?

In the world of travel, there is a relatively small group of competitive travelers seeking to set records. Who can beat out the youngest person to have visited every country in the world? Who will be the first African American solo female traveler to do so? The joy seems to lie in collecting the passport stamp and checking another country off their list.

What does their influence mean for the rest of us? Does it even matter how many countries you visit?

map-of-the-world-1164919_640

Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay.

Continue reading “How Many Countries Have You Been to? And Does It Even Matter?”

Air Travel & Service Animals

Warning: This post contains adorable puppy photos!

We here at The Trip Takes Us love all things travel-related, so we recently accompanied a service dog in training on a familiarization trip to Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) for his first exposure to all the craziness an airport has to offer.

Come meet Hero Dogs Captain as he explores this new environment and find out what  we learned!

Hero Dogs Captain posting in front of photo of the U.S. Capitol
Hero Dogs Captain reporting for duty at DCA

Continue reading “Air Travel & Service Animals”

Death in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is a place of immense beauty on an almost incomprehensible scale. For good reason, it is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. People come from around the globe to see this divine abyss with their own eyes. Too many forget, however, that national parks are not Disney World. They feature Mother Nature, often at her cruelest.

Just this morning, a 70-year old visitor to the Grand Canyon fell to her death–the FOURTH such falling death in the Canyon in the past month.

Based on the foolish behavior we witnessed at the Grand Canyon last week, it is almost surprising that such tragic deaths are not even more frequent. You will not believe what we saw!

The Grand Canyon viewed from the Rim Trail
The majestic Grand Canyon, viewed from the South Rim. A place of both immense beauty and great danger.

Continue reading “Death in the Grand Canyon”

Penguin Palooza

Family-friendly Penguin Encounter

Penguin mania is about to hit the country with the Earth Day release of Disneynature’s new documentary, “Penguins”. However, penguin mania has been a constant state of affairs at our house for about 11 years now. My youngest son has always had a thing for penguins, so over the years we have sought out ways to have a great penguin encounter in the U.S. Here is one of our favorites that is sure to please kids of all ages.

Patting penguins at a penguin encounter
Using two fingers, the boys are allowed to gently touch the penguin.

Continue reading “Penguin Palooza”