My first post back on regular posting schedule! Preparations for my Next Stop: Europe2013 trip begin as we enter the final countdown to my departure, 20 days as of today! With my departure date quickly approaching and the semester over I begin all my final preparations for my departure. As discussed before, I’m a big fan of collecting airline miles in the far distant hope that someday I’ll upgrade to first class or get a free flight, but as also previously stated I don’t let my reward cards (yes, cards, I have more than one) define what carrier I fly. I just received my Airberlin Top Bonus card in the mail, and it is fantastic!It is so rare to get a physical plastic card for airline rewards when it’s not a credit card or an elite membership, so it feels great to carry a physical card with my name on it, to show off my lower membership level to everyone! This is my first oneworld carrier and membership experience, as I’ve flown multiple StarAlliance and SkyTeam and non affiliated airline and am a rewards member of United. With AB I received more miles than my previous similar trips on other carriers which is a plus, and I even received enough to book a free domestic (Europe) economy class flight! not enough for an international upgrade however. The membership is free with a simple AB or affiliate airline (Etihad or NIKI) booking, the card arrives via mail a couple of weeks later, and you get 500 miles for signing up and if you stay with certain partner hotels, rent cars with partner companies, or fuel up at select gas brands, you can gain miles as well by simply showing your card (full details can be found on AB’s site or in the information pamphlet you’ll get with your card). I’am so happy with the reward system on AB that I might just switch to oneworld for all my bonus mile programs!
Enough about the reward points, I also did many long distance calls, thank goodness for my dad’s phone card, to my hotels in Barcelona and Germany as well as to the Port of Barcelona for disembarkation information, which they didn’t know much about, calling the cruise line is more help or simply googling the question! What I have found out is that no one really knows how the foreign immigration and customs process works, so from my research it takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on how busy the port is and how many things you have, there are easy disembarkations in which you may carry your luggage off by hand, call your cruise line to see if the option is available for you. Alas my tip is don’t spend the money on international call cards, the money isn’t worth it for things google might have the answer for and free. That constituted my first days of preparations, late this week I’ll go into excursions and how to pay half of the cruise line’s price for a better option, and stay tuned for my Next Stop:Chicago guide coming to you this week or the following. Thank you guys for reading and also to all my new followers, I was very excited to see the notifications, and feel free to e-mail any questions or comments to; firstname.lastname@example.org or comment them below! I reply ASAP and within the same day (Eastern Time zone).
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