Travel Gadget Reviews

An IT professional by day, this HappyFlyer is a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast with a passion for travel. Hailing from the East Coast, she will be writing about her interest in travel gadgets and sharing her best travel tips and unique perspective on travel experiences.

Hotels: Why You Should Always Book the Flexible Rates

The simple reason you should always book the flexible rate:  You can end up saving money that way. Some years ago, I booked a hotel on an advance purchase rate.  Unfortunately, there was an unexpected trip interruption which caused the remainder of the trip to get cancelled.  The hotel offered no flexibility because it was an advance purchase rate.  I have not booked an advance purchase rate ever since. Why Pay More? I always book hotel nights on a flexible rate, even when it costs more than the advance rate.   This seems counter-intuitive but it can actually work to...

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Is Communication Breakdown to Blame for United’s Leggings Incident?

United Airlines made headlines this weekend over the news that two girls were denied boarding for a flight because they were wearing leggings.  The incident made its way to the major news media. The short version of the story is that the two girls were actually non-revenue passengers traveling on “buddy passes”. Buddy passes are free or heavily discounted passes that can be used by friends and family of airline employees.  There is a dress code guideline for passengers flying on these passes. Folks have expressed their opinions on whether non-revenue should have a different dress code. Personally, I think...

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BA First: What Impressed me most about the British Airways Experience

Change of Plans Sometimes, despite the best planning, a trip doesn’t pan out quite as expected.  Some years ago, I was supposed to fly back from Athens on Swiss Airline, transiting through Zurich.  I remembered I was really looking forward to flying with Swiss airline for the first time.  Except it never happened. Two days before scheduled departure, there was an announcement of a workers strike in Athens.  The strike included air traffic controllers, and widespread flight cancellations were expected. My original flight was impacted.  I switched to an early morning flight with British Airways and decided to upgrade...

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My Unexpected Citi’s Credit Card Retention Offer

There are a few credit cards that I keep, even if it has an annual fee.  One such card is the Citi Prestige card. It comes with a hefty annual fee of $450, but I’ve been holding on to it for the last few years.  Since I travel often enough, the benefits (i.e. $250 travel reimbursement, 4th night free benefit, and priority pass) outweigh the annual fee. Keep Citi’s Premier Card? Before I had Citi Prestige, I had the Citi Premier card.  It didn’t come with all the bells and whistles of the Prestige card, but it comes with...

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Does T-Mobile have a “Bill Credit” Problem?

Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliation with T-Mobile, other than as a current customer. I switched to T-Mobile last year, and I thought I’d give an update on how things are going.  The good news is that the T-Mobile service continues to be solid.  I live in a good coverage area and I consistently get LTE service.  If there is one thing I could change, I’d like for T-Mobile to improve (or get rid of) their system of “bill credits”. Let’s talk bill credits for a minute.  As most people know, T-Mobile runs a lot of great promotions.  In...

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Why I Have Not Used Uber

A lot of people seemed surprised when they learn that I’ve never used Uber.  It’s not that I don’t know much about it.  On the contrary, it’s hard not to notice the popular ride-sharing service.  If you need to get somewhere, Uber could get you there  — quickly and reliably.  What’s not to like? Things I Don’t Deny There are obvious pros to the ride-sharing service. Drivers are likely to be friendlier. Passengers can rate their uber ride, so drivers are likely to be friendlier because good rating is good business.  Some taxi drivers could care less about your experience...

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Should You Invest in a Nest Learning Thermostat?

Disclaimer:  This post contains some affiliate links. Nest Thermostat is a “Smart Home” Device There are a couple of things I usually check on before leaving home and taking off for travel.  One of those things is to adjust the thermostat.  If you have Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat (which is in its 3rd generation), that’s not something you need worry about.  It is considered a smart home device, with good reasons.     Key features include: The device adapts to your temperature needs over time. For example, if you typically set the thermostat to a cooler temperature when you...

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Travel Deal: Flights to Reykjavik starting from $269 (BOS) and $398 (NYC)

Is Iceland Calling To You? A hat-tip to The Flight Deals. If Iceland is beckoning you, now is your chance to visit.  There is currently an Icelandair travel deal where you can fly from Boston to Iceland for under $300 round-trip, and just under $400 from New York.  This deal won’t last for long. Icelandair has a one baggage allowance for an economy flight: As of the publishing of this post, there is still availability. Current Availability by City Pairing 1. BOSTON TO ICELAND (April – May 2017 Availability) The deal availability is sparse in April, but there is...

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Videos: Shadow Acts, Moana, and a 4-year old singer!

  Every now and then, I come across some really inspiring video content.  I am huge fan of creative work, whether they are in the form of writing, theatrical productions, or something as simple as a well-made home video.  On that note, here are some of my favorite (not necessarily related to travel) videos that I simply love for the talent and the creativity. 1. The Shadow Act: “Attraction” The group Attraction gained prominence in the Britain’s Got Talent TV Show.  Out of all their performances, this one is my favorite.  The beautiful performance is under 3 minutes and...

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Cathay Pacific Route Updates and Betsy Beer

Cathay Pacific has become one of my favorite airlines for long haul flights to Asia.  As a result, I periodically check on its latest routing development and news about its services. Some Routing Updates for 2017: 1. Boston to Hong Kong expanded to DAILY Service If you travel often between Boston and Hong Kong, you’re in luck.  Starting later this month, March 27, 2017, Cathay Pacific will begin offering daily non-stop flights from Boston to Hong Kong.  Currently, Cathay offers the flight 5 times per week.   You can read the full press release here. 2. Cathay to launch seasonal...

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