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Andrea Rotondo

Andrea Rotondo

Andrea M. Rotondo is a writer covering cruise news and luxury travel trends for Fodor’s, Conde Nast Traveler online, and other outlets like Cruise Critic, Onboard, and Cruise & Travel Lifestyles. She also helps travelers leverage their miles and points at Frequent Flyer Toolkits.

She belongs to just about every frequent flyer program. She’s earned Lifetime Gold status with American Airlines and is a Hilton HHonors Diamond. Chase Ink Bold and American Express Business Gold Rewards duke it out for Andrea’s nod as her favorite rewards credit card. Her preferred use of miles and points is for first-class travel to Southeast Asia and southern Africa and OneWorld is her go-to alliance. Miles and points have taken her around the world to destinations like Bali, Tahiti, the Maldives, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Johannesburg. Follow her on Twitter: @luxtravelmavens or on Google+ ( https://plus.google.com/+AndreaRotondo ).

Andrea Rotondo Andrea Rotondo’s posts:

Does Trip Insurance Cover Award Travel?

trip insurance

Most travelers will tell you that trip insurance is a must-have whenever you’ve got an expensive or extensive vacation planned. There are a host of circumstances—mostly unexpected—that can crop up and force you to cancel a long-planned vacation or even a last-minute getaway.

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How to Keep Your AAdvantage Miles From Expiring

American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire 18 months after you earn them unless there’s some activity in your account. Luckily, you can reset the expiration date by either earning or redeeming miles, which means that there are dozens of ways to keep your miles fresh for your next award flight.

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Which Chase Ultimate Rewards Card Should You Use?

Chase credit card

Chase’s Ultimate Rewards is one of the most lucrative programs for frequent travelers due to its generous sign-up bonus, the ease of earning bonus points on purchases and the ability to redeem points for 1.25 cents for travel purchased for through Chase. The program also has many excellent transfer partners, including United, Singapore Airlines, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and others.

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How to Keep Your United MileagePlus Miles From Expiring

If you take the time to earn miles, you need to be aware of the rules for keeping those miles. Some airlines will claw back your miles if there isn’t any account activity within a certain number of months. In the case of United Airlines, you will forfeit your miles if you do not earn or redeem miles for 18 consecutive months. Let’s talk about what you can do to keep your miles.

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Fly to the Seychelles on an Award Ticket

Fly to the Seychelles on an Award Ticket

One of the nice things about having a large stash of frequent flyer miles is that you can dream about going almost anywhere in the world, and then actually do it. Travelers who love to collect points and miles end up going to some of the planet’s most far-flung destinations just because they can. The Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, definitely rates as one of those distant destinations.

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Go on Safari in Botswana

Go on Safari in Botswana

It’s surprising that we don’t hear about more frequent flyers booking award tickets to Botswana, Africa. It’s a great destination, offering some of the most beautiful wilderness on the planet. And if you want to go on safari, you can’t do much better.

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Johannesburg: Gateway to Safari Country

Johannesburg: Gateway to Safari Country

If you’re traveling to South Africa from the United States, it makes sense to stay a while and see as much as you can, since it takes a long time—about 15 hours from New York—to get there. Many travelers fly into the city of Johannesburg before embarking on a safari adventure in Kruger National Park or one of the nearby private reserves, such as Sabi Sands or Timbavati.

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Premium Cabin Award Travel to Buenos Aires

Premium Cabin Award Travel to Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a hot destination for frequent flyers these days. The flight from the United States can be a long 11 hours from New York, so it’s common to book a premium cabin when traveling to Argentina’s capital city. Although Buenos Aires is decidedly Latin, there are also many European cultural influences introduced by Spanish, English and German immigrants over the years.

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British Airways Adds Flights to Las Vegas, Seattle and San Jose

If you’re a frequent flyer who’s on the lookout for the best values in travel, you should watch for new service from all the airlines. Why? Award availability is usually quite good during the first few weeks a new route or flight is added to any airline’s reservation system. That’s why you should take a look at British Airways’ new flights between London and Las Vegas; London and Seattle; and London and San Jose.

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Get Free Perks and Save Money With Hotel Booking Apps

Nowadays, who doesn’t use their smartphone or tablet to check airline reservations, do a bit of shopping or book a hotel? Apps for our devices have changed how we interact with the world, and traveling is no exception.

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The Classy Casinos and Beautiful Beaches of Aruba

The Classy Casinos and Beautiful Beaches of Aruba

Aruba is a favorite Caribbean destination because it’s not just beaches and sunsets. The island, located in the Lesser Antilles, has its share of those beautiful beaches, and plentiful water sports, but its attractions also include great shopping, dining and nightlife. If you’d like to visit a Caribbean island but you’re afraid you’ll be bored, Aruba is a good choice.

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Must-Have Apps for Air Travel

The smartphone has revolutionized the way we travel. Having a few killer apps installed on your phone can help you find your way around the airport, get delay and gate change notifications, track flights in the air and know exactly when a flight has landed. Here are a few awesome apps that you should download and start using the next time you head for the airport.

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Relax on the White Sands of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach

Relax on the White Sands of Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach

One of the most famous stretches of sand in the Western Caribbean is Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. There’s something magical about the powdery soft sand, even if it is really closer to five miles than seven. This coveted beach is great for sunbathing and as a jumping-off point for fishing, snorkeling and diving trips.

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Save Up to 50 Percent on Flying Blue Award Flights

You probably have a short list of favorite airlines for free award flights. That’s all well and good, but it pays to have a cursory knowledge of a lot of different programs. That way, when the time is right, you’ll be ready to take advantage of terrific deals that will help you travel the globe. If you don’t know about Flying Blue and its monthly Promo Awards, which offer up to 50 percent off award flights, you need to read this article.

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Checklist for Flying International First Class

If you’ve never flown first class, here’s a handy checklist so you don’t miss any of the cool perks. You may feel downright giddy the first time you’re pampered on an international first-class flight.

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Merger Update: American Airlines and US Airways

If you’re a member of the American Airlines AAdvantage program and/or US Airways Dividend Miles, you’ve no doubt been trying to keep up to date on the changes that are in store as the two airlines merge. Here’s what’s happening as of spring 2015.

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Should You Ever Buy Miles and Who Sells Them?

Once you’ve learned a bit about redeeming frequent flyer miles, this thought will probably cross your mind:“What if I just buy miles at a discount?” While it would still be out of pocket, you’d essentially pay less for that plane ticket especially when booking a long-haul international flight in a premium cabin. So, is buying miles an effective strategy for the frequent flyer? Let’s dive in and find out.

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Should You Pay Cash or Use Miles?

Not everyone can earn a significant number of frequent flyer miles quickly, so once you do have enough for an award, you treat those miles like gold. After all, they are a precious commodity that can help take you all over the world, but sometimes you just need to get home to see grandma. When should you pay cash for your airline tickets and when should you use miles? Here’s some advice.

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Managing Multiple Credit Cards: Ninja Tips

If you’ve discovered the power of tapping into your good credit to sign up for new credit cards in order to snag hefty frequent flyer mile bonuses, the inevitable has probably already happened: your wallet is stuffed to the gills with plastic.

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Combine Your Points and Miles With Frequent Flyer Household Accounts

One of the most annoying things about frequent flyer programs is that there is often no easy or free way to transfer miles from one account to another. If you fly often for work but your spouse doesn’t, there are probably times you wish you could move some of your miles to your partners account.

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