0
Browsing Category

Bucket List

1 In Airlines/ Bucket List/ Budget/ Lifestyle/ Travel/ Travel Advice/ Travel Tips/ United States

How to Get to Hawaii from Columbus, Ohio for $22.40

Traveling to Hawaii and not spending a fortune makes for the best vacation! The simple task of applying for a credit card and getting to Hawaii for $22.40 makes it all worth it. Read below to get started.

Click Here to Apply

Above is a link that will make life a lot cheaper to get to Hawaii from the United States.

I live in Columbus, Ohio and have gone to Hawaii 10 times since 2007 – Southwest has recently started flying here and making life a lot cheaper. Let me explain below…

Step 1: Apply for the Above Credit Card (I do receive small credit and this helps me continue writing)

Step 2: Understand what you have to do. Spend $1000 within 3 months. Get 40,000 miles round trip.

Step 3: If you have a significant other, you want them to click the same link and do the same thing. Do not have them added to your card. +5000 is not the same as +40,000 miles

Step 4: Get flying

There are a few ways to get to Hawaii from Ohio but my recommendation is to go to Hawaii from Las Vegas. Flights to Vegas from Columbus, Ohio generally run around $200 roundtrip. The flight roundtrip to Hawaii is usually $588 to $1500 depending.

I recommend figuring out the days you want to be in Hawaii – and booking that first.

Please note that being flexible makes life a lot easier. Holidays and typically busy dates will not work for minimal spends…

This is from the Southwest App –

Leaving LAS to HNL for 11,203 points one way

Returning May 8 from 1:15 pm to 11:46 pm for 13,134

Per person 24,337 miles from Las Vegas to HNL roundtrip

Now to get to Las Vegas…

One way to get from Columbus to Las Vegas is to go Spirit Airlines or book via Southwest. Depending on miles – I can pay roundtrip or do points one way and pay the other. There are options. The total from this trip ends up being 46,106 miles and for getting the credit card – it ends up with me deficient 6,106 miles so buying roundtrip on another airline or buying one way on Southwest or paying roundtrip can also work.

So from CMH to LAS is 11,320 miles

The cheapest return is 10,449 miles from Las to CMH

Keep in mind – booking this way – you will need hotel stay or you will need to plan on staying at the airport…but hotels are pretty cheap in Vegas.

Total miles:

CMH to LAS 11,320

LAS to CMH 10,449

LAS to HNL 11,203

HNL to LAS 13,134

Total 46,106 miles and $11.20 and $11.20

You can’t book from Columbus to Hawaii so you will have to pay tax two times but essentially – $22.40 for a free flight is a win!

If you use your Southwest Card for hotel bookings – sometimes it is a great deal – last weekend- I stayed at a Wyndham in Orlando for $149 for the night and it allowed me to get 4,000 points on my Southwest Card. This is well worth it. Helps make up the points to cover the Hawaii flight.

What I recommend…..

Know these deals are not July 4th weekend or Christmas – you will pay a lot of miles to do that but if you can plan for Thanksgiving or Easter – these times are easier to book with miles. I will also suggest that when the windows open – you can typically land a good deal. I always save my miles – so I would spend an extra month or two then pay with miles for the entire trip. Remember if flying from Columbus – you will have to book to Las Vegas and then from Vegas to Hawaii.

If you are deadset on a time frame and you have enough miles to book from Las Vegas to Hawaii but not enough from Columbus – go ahead and book it – Southwest lets you cancel without penalty and bags travel free – so there is no loss.

I do not typically shop from the Southwest Portal – I do book some hotels there but most of the time – hotels.com as you stay 10 nights and get the 11th free. I have attained good status there and have had positive experiences.

*With many airline credit cards, there are annual fees – depending on the Southwest Card you choose $59-$149.

Follow me @trendyheidi or @trendywithapassport on instagram

Liketoknow.it/trendyheidi for travel and outfits

DM me if you have any questions and as mentioned

Click Here to get Started for the Southwest Card

For your Pinterest Needs

Enjoy Hawaii,

Heidi

0 In Bucket List/ Lifestyle/ Travel

3 Reasons Why You Need to Sign Up for Cake Decorating at Disney

1. Knowledge

2. Includes 2 People in the Price

3. Get to take home the cake you made

As a frequent visitor to Disney, I have been looking beyond the Parks and continue to learn more and more each time…have done several tours and visited many of the Parks around the World…supposed to experience Shanghai Disney in April but with Corona Virus – not sure we will be going…..

Anyway, at Amorette’s Patisserie, you can sign up for Cake Decorating (sign up early) as many days they are sold out.

When you come in, you order your breakfast drink and take a seat. At the table, you find several items already laid out for you

Promptly at 9 AM, our Chef started walking us through the story of the bakery and how this place originated and if you know anything about Walt Disney and Walt Disney World- you will appreciate that there is a story and history and hidden clues and information about the history in the location.

Different Days have different dome cakes- I selected the Mickey Mouse dome cake day.

1. Knowledge

Amorette’s Patisserie is based on two ladies who were friends and one was based in NY and attended art school and her friend had a bakery- combined the efforts to make edible art. Beautiful cakes and cookies – you should check out the experience for yourself on the rest of the story but Disney owns the shop now but many of the original drawings are on the wall and if you want to know more – just message me

The cake seen is 9 layers – it takes about 3 days to create; each layer must be baked and frozen and in order to decorate the cake…you want it to be hardened and frozen to have the optimal decorating situation

With it taking 3 days and 9 layers – makes me understand why a cake could cost $59

While 9 layers is impressive, it is not necessary. A frozen dome cake is easiest enough to start with.

Step 1: After the Cake is Frozen or Hardened. Add Buttercream Frosting. Coat it and the trick here is taking a piece of plastic and smoothing out of the buttercreme – take plastic and start under the cake and spread evenly. After buttercreme covering – put in fridge then do another coating (2 is sufficient)

Step 2: Add the Glaze

The glaze is gelatin based – the red coloring for Disney is universal no matter where in the world you are – Disney Mickey Red is Disney Mickey Red.

If you are wondering how you might create a glaze – pinterest offers a similar glaze

  • 10 oz Granulated Sugar
  • 7 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5 oz Water
  • 4 tsp Gelatin Powder
  • 2.5 oz Water
  • 7 oz White Chocolate (high quality for best results such as Valrhona)
  • 2 drops White Food Coloring

After you create your glaze – important to put in the fridge or freezer in between times you glaze and to have the right coloring – you want to make sure you coat 3 times.

The next steps are creating the ears, tail, and belt – created from fondant. You can do this by using a rolling pin and painting with edible paint.

Then- put it all together! Voila.

Below are a few of the character dome cakes you can make

2. The Price is not cheap for the Experience $169 includes the cake, drinks, 2 hours, dessert to go, and an experience with another person. The cake is placed in a hat box which doubles as the cake box. After learning about the cake decorating and actually going through making my own- my feeling of having a class of 6 people made me feel the price was fair. Of course, I would like cheaper, but would pay again.

3. Experiences are the best gift – taking home my beautiful cake on the plane – Disney tells you the tricks to get it home with ice if flying out the same day.

My mom and I having the Cake Decorating Experience was really amazing and these memories will be cherished forever. Seeing how we decorated the cake well and when adjusting it, cracked a Mickey Button – made us laugh.

My finished cake and for your pinterest needs 👇👇👇👇

For Cake Decorating Click Here

Continue Reading →
0 In Airlines/ Bucket List/ Couples/ Family/ Female Travels/ Itinerary/ Photos That Inspire You to Visit/ South America/ Travel/ Travel Advice/ Travel Gear/ Travel Tips

13 Things to Know: Visiting Patagonia and Hiking Torres Del Paine

1. Airfare: will run you a pretty penny. Look for deals. The first part of the trip was booked when I found a flight from NY to Santiago for $490. The flight stopped in Atlanta on the way and flying from Atlanta to Santiago was over $1600 and Delta does not let you miss a leg to get a cheaper fare – they will cancel your flight.

Now we needed to get to New York and from Santiago to Punta Arenas. The NY flight was around $250 (paid with miles) and the flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas was $300 per person. Again, not cheap.

Flights on the way down:

Delta 5893: 8:53 AM – 10:43 AM CMH to LGA

Delta 2210: 5:59 PM – 8:38 PM LGA to ATL

Delta 146: 8:50 PM – 5:38 AM ATL to SCL

Latam 283: 3:23 PM – 6:45 PM SCL to PUQ

Flights on the Way Back:

Latam 12:08 PM – 3:33 PM PUQ to SCL

Delta 147: 8:50 PM – 5:38 AM SCL to ATL

Delta 2933: 7:30 AM to 9:47 AM ATL to LGA

Delta 5888: 1:42 PM to 3:43 PM LGA to CMH

2. Transportation

Once you get to Punta Arenas, there are buses that will take you to major cities however there were a lot of little finds I wanted to check out so a rental car was the best option $450 for 6 days. Keep in mind limited rentals available so book early and renting a car for a day might be $200 and has to be returned by 6 pm so plan ahead (Europ Rental Car)

3. Plan ahead know what you want to do.

Day 1: arrival and driving 2.5 hours to outside the Torres del Paine Park. The Hotel CostaAustralis was perfect and absolutely a highlight to the stay. (This hotel is highly recommended)

The bus was perfect for day 2 as we rode and slept a lot on the bus and they stop for scenic things. Restroom and food options. The bus tour was from Chile to Argentina visiting Perito Mereno Glacier and seeing El Calafate

Day 3: from the hotel. We took a boat ride in the Patagonian Icefields and I loved every minute of it. It was a bit cold but beautiful. We were served a Chilean bbq. We were supposed tondo the Balmaceda y Serrento Glacier but there was a fatality so all zodiacs were cancelled but we did the boat ride that was quite lovely.

Day 4: We drove 2.5 hours to Hotel Torres – a beautiful hotel in the midst of Patagonia (Highly Recommended) . This hotel was not cheap but privately owned and absolutely stunning. The hotel had wonderful food and close parking to the trail for Torres del Paine. While here, did a horseback excursion in the afternoon and planned for Hiking Torres del Paine the next morning.

Day 5: we hiked Torres del Paine while mom went to the spa for the day. The hike was good – long- 13 hours of hard hiking. I am not kidding. Returned about 4 pm to the hotel and went for a drive to see the Grey Glacier.

Day 6: We drove around Patagonia inside the park for a few hours then headed out to Punta Arenas – a 6 hour drive from the Park. When arriving in Punta Arenas – one of the last places in South America before Antarctica – we visited a few of the cemetery markers – beautiful largeresting places. The city is quite lovely.

Day 7: Drove to the airport to catch flights home.

4. Weather

The weather can change on a dime so be prepared. April is considered a good- pleasant temperature time to go. 40-50s and at night 20-30 degrees. All I can say is we had the best visit and weather when we went. The winds can be extremely strong – come prepared for rain, wind, and cold – bone chilling weather.

5. So much to do in Patagonia

The list of things to do is plentiful. For starters – hiking and driving will consume a lot of your trip. For those reading this, I am really not a hiker – I don’t particularly enjoy walking in the wilderness while animals can potentially get me. You will not normally find me on a hike when back at home. The hikes in Patagonia are hard – they are for people who exercise (which I do) and have endurance. I found the Torres del Paine hike to be the best part of my trip. I was proud that I did it and so thankful that it was clear when we arrived. It was the hardest thing I have done and the half marathon I completed did not compare.

For those non- hikers, my mom found that the spas were nice and enjoyed reading, relaxing, and no cell phone service a welcomed part of the vacation.

Horseback riding, boating, guided tours of glaciers or tours of the landscape are some other options. Hotel Torres had a collection of options they provide and the list was incredible!

6. Food in Patagonia

The food is terrific. Barbecue is popular and culinary experiences are wonderful. The steak, mushrooms, lamb, seafood are all very popular. Sharing food is very popular in Chile and Argentina. People are family oriented and spending time barbecuing in the yard is popular. Three hours of cooking and tender meat will be upon you.

Many restaurants do not accept credit cards

Service is really slow amd dinner is late starting at 8 pm

If you see a large group- inclination is to keep movong on but instead join in – you don’t want to miss the amazing food

7. Language

Most people in Chile and Argentina speak Spanish but as a native English speaker, everyone we encountered in Patagonia spoke Emglish without a problem. The hotels had a lot of employees from New Zealand and Australia as well as Europe. Google translate can help

8. Cell Phone Service

Cell service is limited in parts of Chile and Argentina but when you have service – the Verizon cell phone only charges $10 a day for unlimited service but make sure you have this turned on before leaving the US

9. Things You Need to Bring

A. Sunglasses

B. Socks

C. Hiking Boots

D. Hat or Beanie

E. Sunscreen

F. Travel Insurance

9. It is expensive in Patagonia

I am pretty sure nothing was cheap in Patagonia – the food was expensive, clothing – expensive, wool- expensive, accommodations- expensive transportation – expensive

10. Patagonia is Huge!

A. Travel is slow, border crossing is easier said that done (unless your rental has the right paperwork; you cannot go) – you must plan the details because it can range 3 hours to 15 hours throughout Patagonia.

11. Patagonia is Environmentally Conscious

There is no trash on the side of the road or in the wilderness. Everyone is environmentally conscious and makes an effort to keep things need and organized. Wildlife is unique – views are incredible and everything is pristine

12. Come Prepared

You must come prepared with clothes, extra battery charges, food, snacks, water.

13. A recap of what you need to know:

– Patagonia is expensive

– well worth the visit

– The views are incredible

-Pick accommodations wisely

-Rent a car in advance

-Be environmentally conscious

– Weather is crazy

– internet? What is that?

– Bring warm clothing and put items in ziplock

– Sunscreen, sunglasses, hiking boots should be brought

– Patagonia is safe

– If hiking Torres del Paine – consider Hotel Torres when you do the hike

– Travel Insurance

Costs: for 3 people

El calafate: $311.94

Boat Ride: $432.89

Car Rental with Insurance and all Gas: $636.79

Bags: $168.16

Hotel Torres $940 (2 nights)

Food, Horses $225.73

Hotel Costaaustralis: $507.47 (3 nights)

Hotel Cabo Hornes $184.51

Travel Insurance per person: $81

$50 per person per day – maybe less depending.

Flight to NY: $386 per person

Flight to santiago: $579.03 per person

Flight to Punta Arena: $350 per person

**some of the costs were paid with miles**

$2,000 per person would include all food, car, hotel, excursions, and flights

0 In Airlines/ Bucket List/ Budget/ Couples/ Family/ Female Travels/ Itinerary/ North America/ Travel/ Travel Advice/ Travel Gear/ Travel Tips/ United States

4 Days Visiting Yellowstone & Jackson – What to Know!

My first visit to Yellowstone was circa 2012 and it was incredible. Having the opportunity to return to Yellowstone is a quick…..ABSOLUTELY! I had some airline miles on Alaska Airlines to use and the flight was completely free!

Left Thursday after work and flew from Columbus, Ohio to Seattle, Washington onward to Bozeman, Montana.

The arrival was scheduled for midnight in Montana, but based on plane troubles arrived around 3 AM. It made for a short night of sleep, but getting to the park is the highest priority. Yellowstone is a large park.

Friday morning around 9 AM left Bozeman, Montana for Yellowstone National Park. There are a couple of ways to enter the park, but drove into West Yellowstone taking the route north to circle the park ending at the Yellowstone Lodge.

As you enter Yellowstone from West Yellowstone, you have a few choices…..the option of going toward Mammoth Springs (North) was the path taken. There are a ton of pull offs to see waterfalls, paint pots, geysirs, and Mammoth Springs is an excellent spot to take a lunch break. During the stop, watched the Elk walk around the city area; these animals are beautiful but you really need to stay back as they are known to be quite aggressive.

The drive continued with stops at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and lookouts.

Several locations have animals that are close to the vehicles. It is important to know that these are wild animals and you need to keep your distance.

The bison walk next to the cars, but will become aggressive if you get too close. The same with bears, elk, deer, etc.

During this trip, I was amazed at the number of people trying to get the right picture of the animal; willing to risk their lives for a picture.

Since I have been home, there are have been two people attacked by bison and one guy ran across the Grand Prasmatic Pool – use your head and do not ruin these opportunities for everyone. If things like this continue, they will put up fencing and limit access.

Finished driving for the day and ended at the Yellowstone Lodge located on Yellowstone Lake. It is absolutely beautiful. Yellowstone is at a high altitude and even when it is summer….it can still be quite chilly. There is a lake and many people end up the hospital because of hypothermia from the lake…keep this in mind. Visiting the park in June, it can be 70 degrees one day…..and can change the next….

Woke up Saturday to snow on the ground! Based on the elevation and driving conditions several roads were closed so we drove from the Yellowstone Lodge north to the bypass and then visited the southern part of the park. Drove to Old Faithful and had lunch right after the eruption. The park service posts the time and the app (when you have cell service) will also let you know the approximate next time.


On Sunday, we drove down to Jackson, Wyoming meeting some friends and exploring the areas. This is where we saw the first bear on the trip! We drove to our hotel and checked in at the Jackson Lake Lodge. This is between Yellowstone National Park and Jackson, Wyoming.

The Jackson Lake Lodge was located pretty close to Jenny Lake (a hidden gem) and Colter Bay (another hidden gem) that are in the Tetons. The hotel was expensive but was at the base of the Tetons and had fantastic views. On Monday mid-day left the Tetons and drove back through Yellowstone on the way back to Bozeman….a few shots on the way back.

If given the opportunity to visit Yellowstone and/or Jackson, Wyoming – definitely take the opportunity. If the weather is decent, I would highly recommend white water rafting in Jackson Hole. This trip did not have time and the weather was a bit cold, but the last time…it was one of the major highlights!

–Heidi

Costs for Yellowstone:

Rental Car: Alamo: $560

Quality Inn Bozeman: $185 per night

Lake Yellowstone Lodge: $390 per night

Alaskan Airlines Flight: $450 (my flight was paid with points)

Jackson Lake Lodge: $400 per night

0 In Airlines/ Bucket List/ Budget/ Couples/ Female Travels/ Travel/ Travel Advice/ Travel Tips/ United States

72 Hours to Visit Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Bryce, and Zion National Parks–Can it be done?

72 Hours to see Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Antelope, Bryce, and Zion National Parks

Grand Canyon Visiting Las Vegas for a whirlwind out west in 3 days! I had limited time and companion airfare on Southwest that allowed me go on a quick adventure and I can never say no!

Las Vegas is such a fun place to visit. Back when I was doing my dissertation, I spent 3 weeks out in Las Vegas writing my paper and booked 3 weeks in Kauai to finish….yes, you read that correctly. I have always enjoyed Las Vegas and while living in Ohio, the phone constantly rang and friends wanted to go to lunch or do this and getting away was perfect for writing that paper. There was motivation to accomplish goals.

For the Las Vegas Trip, it was meant to be a quick trip….Leaving Ohio after work and flying to Las Vegas staying at the New York New York for the first night. After a long day of work and travels- arrived around 10 PM Vegas time or 1 AM Ohio Time. The first stop was In N Out Burger followed by a stop down in Old Vegas.

Saturday morning; got up super early to be at the Hoover Dam before the major traffic. It has been a couple of years since I was out there, but thankfully the new highway makes the visit much more enjoyable. If you have not been to the Hoover Dam; I highly recommend visiting.

From there, trudged on to the Grand Canyon…there are a lot of options, but purchased the Park Pass for a year (National Park Service for more details) there is a Desert View Drive that has a lot of pull offs and is perfect for a short stay at the Grand Canyon….

Mind you, we are still trucking because we have booked a 4:30 Antelope Canyon tour in Page, Arizona.

The goal was when finished to see Horseshoe Bend but this trip, parking was full and fines were high for parking along the highway.

The next morning we got up early and drove to Bryce Canyon to see the Hoodoos and then to Zion National Park. With it being the height of summer..definitely busy. In order to hike the Narrows. Get there early and plan on a 45-1 hour bus ride. After driving through the park, headed back to Vegas.

We arrived back in Vegas around 2 pm stopping at In N Out when coming back to the edge of Vegas. The rest of the evening was spent walking the strip and stopping at cafes. Our last night was spent at the Venetian. Definitely worth the splurge!   

This was a quick 72 hour trip and you definitely need more time to see each of these spots, but if time is limited; I would go for it. YOLO!

– Heidi

Costs:

Rental Car: $230

New York New York Hotel: $250

Best Western: $230

The Venetian: $350

Antelope Canyon Tour: $65 per person (morning is better than evening)

National Park Pass (year) $80 for the car – already purchased

Flight: $250 (free as I was using Southwest Companion Fare)