I am writing this post from Europe! We spent the last week in Paris, and it is more beautiful in person than any pictures I have ever seen. The smell of fresh baked goods every morning is worth getting up early. I am officially addicted to Chouquettes (sugar puffs).
We are enjoying being part of the Queen’s Jubilee, her platinum Jubilee. We didn’t realize that we were going to be here on the exact dates, but have decided that this once-in-a-lifetime experience is amazing.
In my next post, I will let you know about all the amazing tours and must-do’s on your next trip to Paris and London.
Did you know that there are places in the airport you can go to escape the manic nature of the terminal? They’re called airport lounges. Airport lounges are some of the best places to spend time before your flight as they are their own getaway. They often offer free food and drinks, spacious seating, free Wi-Fi, and even some provide amenities like showers and nap pods. If you are in a larger airport some lounges offer spas, barbershops and workout equipment.
Accessing these lounges can be easy too! Most people think these lounges are strictly for frequent flyers or business people, but surprisingly they are not. Even if you only travel a couple of times a year, you can gain access to lounges all across the globe without paying a fortune. Let’s talk about how.
Credit cards with VIP perks – That good old credit card that you put all your vacations on might be the one that helps you get into some airport lounges. There are a number of credit cards that offer lounge access as a perk for having their card. The Platinum Card® from American Express, Capital One Venture X, and Chase Sapphire Reserve are a few of these credit cards.
AMEX Card members are allowed access to any of American Express’s own network of 24 Centurion Lounges around the world. With the backing of AMEX, Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest and most desirable airport lounges in the United States. They are known for their cozy environments, well-organized menus, and amenities for business travelers.
Membership service – If you don’t think you’ll get enough use out of a credit card to justify their annual fee, you can consider purchasing a lounge membership all on its own. Priority Pass is a network of lounges across the world that allows travelers to purchase a membership.
There are three levels of Priority Pass membership and they vary in price depending on how much many times you plan to use it:
- Standard — $99 per year, which allows you to access lounges for $32 per visit. You can also pay $32 for each guest traveling with you to enter the lounge.
- Standard Plus — $299 per year, which grants you 10 free visits each year and then costs $32 for each visit thereafter. Additionally, each guest costs $32, even for the first 10 visits.
- Prestige — $429 per year, which grants you unlimited free visits each year. Each guest will cost $32.
Priority Pass Standard is a good option if you travel a few times a year and are looking for a way to avoid gate seating. If you are a business traveler, the Prestige plan would be a good option for you as you will receive unlimited free visits. If you are in between Standard and Prestige, then a credit card might be a better option to get into lounges.
Upgrade to Business or First Class – One way to guarantee getting into a private lounge area is by flying in business or first-class. The big three airlines, Delta, American and United, have dedicated lounge spaces where business and first-class flyers can relax. Just make sure that when you book your ticket, the ticket will grant you lounge access.
Flying domestically either in business or first-class, typically won’t get you access to an airline’s lounge. However, there are some exceptions. These exceptions are when your on a transcontinental flight. You still have to be traveling internationally eventually to get lounge access.
Airline elite status – Yes, having elite status with any airlines offers up more perks. Most people see the perk of priority boarding but getting into airport lounges is another perk. Some airlines will allow you airport lounge access if you are in their highest tier of status even with an economy ticket. So start flying more often.
Purchasing one-time access – Ok, so I have said there are a couple of easy ways to get into various airport lounges, but why not just purchase it outright! Get yourself a day pass or one-time-use pass. By buying your way into a lounge, you’re guaranteed access without having to worry about any extras. This is great if you only travel once or twice a year and want lounge access.
There is even a service you can use to help you find and purchase day passes. LoungeBuddy is a great way to help you preview which lounges in any given airport around the world offer travelers the ability to purchase one-time access. You found a lounge that looks appealing, go ahead and purchase your one-time access directly through LoungeBuddy’s app.
Members of the Military – This is a great program for those who are looking to get home for a few days but just relax at the airport. If you are a member of the military, make sure to look into which lounges are available to you for little to no cost.
Quick Travel Tidbits
5 Apps that every traveler needs….
As a travel professional, I always want to book your dream vacations. While I manage all of your travel plans to a T, not all experiences are always plannable. Luckily, there are some great travel apps to help with just about any aspect of your trips. Here is the our list of apps we use at Life is Better Traveling.
Why are passports taking so long?
It all boils down to health being tantamount. The offices were closed during COVID and are still not operating at 100%. This led to a backlog in requests. Labor in every field has been impacted from the pandemic, and the Department of State is no exception. There’s only so much each person can do, which leads to a ripple effect of consequential delays.
Real stories on how Life is Better Traveling travel advisors aided their clients during the outbreak and disruption of COVID-19.
“I wanted to also say what a pleasure it’s been planning our trip with you. We really think your ideas would have made our trip to Italy a trip of a lifetime. We are looking forward to re-booking this vacation when the virus situation is no longer an issue. I also can’t thank you enough for all your help. Reg and I are so looking forward to calling you with new dates someday hopefully soon.”
“Mary is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! She was extremely knowledgeable about each of the cities we went to and different excursions we were able to try. She gave us wonderful recommendations of what to do and what is not worth the time and/or money. She was very organized and sent us a binder of our itinerary as well as all of the vouchers we would need for our trip. She set up personal transfers from the airports/train stations/hotels/etc. which was wonderful! We did not have to worry about what time we needed to leave or how we were going to get there. This allowed us to enjoy our trip and not stress about the details. I would recommend Mary to anyone looking for an amazing and stress-free trip! She thinks of every little thing and is there to guide you every step of the way! I will definitely be using her anytime we need a vacation and recommending her to all of our friends and family!!”
We have changed the Greece dates to 2023. We had so many people interested in traveling with us, but still wanted to wait another year. We want everyone to feel comfortable, so we have decided to move the dates to 2023.