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.

New Amex Credit Cards: Which One Should You Get? (100,000 Hilton points offer)

Back in November 2017, there was news that the Citi Hilton cards will become Amex branded cards.   There were talks about new product offerings, but no one knew what – or if – there would be any associated signup offers. Well, we know now!   There is new newly branded mid-tier Ascend card, and the premium Aspire card.   I’ll share my thoughts on what I think about them.  Disclaimer:  I’m not using affiliate links here, so I am not trying to steer you towards a particular product. Why I Am Excited I am excited about the Hilton cards because...

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How Did You React to Ballistic Missile Alert in Hawaii?

Imagine you were going about your day when you suddenly get this alert:  “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” That was the scenario that the people in Hawaii had to confront with, for about 38 minutes this past Saturday.  Given the heightened rhetoric between North Korea and United States in recent months, the possibility of a missile attack wasn’t out of the realm of reality.  By some estimates, a missile from North Korea “could reach Hawaii in 20 minutes.” Needless to say, the alert caused a lot of confusion (Is a...

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How to Buy a Japan Rail Pass Ticket

Previously, I wrote about my experience riding the Japan’s High Speed Bullet Train, the Shinkasen.   I purchased the Japan Rail Pass.  The process hadn’t changed much.  If you are wondering what the process is like, read on! Purchase the Japan Rail Pass BEFORE You Travel to Japan Generally speaking, you need to order your Japan Rail Pass BEFORE you travel to Japan. [As an aside, Japan Rail (JR) is running a sales trial period in which you can buy the Japan Rail Pass while in Japan, during 3/8/2018-3/31/2018 period] There are qualification requirements for the pass, but broadly...

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How a Lesson in Tennis Applied to an Experience at the Airport

“Why didn’t you chase after the ball?”  My tennis instructor asked. It was a fair question.  My instructor had been making me run cross-court as part of a drill practice. I kept up as best I can.  Then, it happened.  He hit over a shot I knew I had no chance in getting.  I was tired.  I didn’t even bother with it. My instructor walked over and called me out on it. Bad Call My initial thought, as I breathed heavily from all the running, was “If you didn’t make me run cross-court so many times, I wouldn’t be...

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What’s It Like to Participate in Taylor Swift’s Reputation Pre-sale for “Verified” Fans?

Disclaimer: This is a non-travel related post. Taylor Who? Once upon a time many years ago during a visit to Southern California, I stopped by the Comedy and Magic Club to watch a show featuring comedian Jay Leno.  At some point, one of comedians opening the show picked on an audience member sitting near the front of the stage.  He asked him to introduce himself.  He introduced himself as Scott, an agent in the music industry and he is working with a young artist named: Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift wasn’t that famous then.  At the time, I have only...

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Renewing Global Entry: What You Need to Know

My Global Entry membership was up for renewal and I went through the process last week.  These are a few things I learned. Changes: Create new login.gov account One of the first things I noticed is that you can no longer login with your GOES userid and password. You are prompted to create a login.gov account instead. During the account creation process, you can link the login.gov account to your Global Entry PASSID.  Once the accounts are linked, you will be able to review and update your existing information. Tip:  Prepare the List of Countries You Visited Ahead of Time...

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TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry: Which is Better?

I am up for renewal on my Global Entry membership, so I decided to look up on the trusted traveler program to see what might have changed since I last applied about 5 years ago. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website has a good comparison chart on the four trusted traveler programs: TSA Pre-Check, Global Entry, Nexus, and SENTRI.  I won’t talk about the latter two since I don’t have any personal experience with them.  Instead, I’ll just focus on TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry.     Which is Better: TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry? I’ll just come...

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What is Your Most Memorable Moment at Walt Disney World?

I love seeing how excited kids are when they are given the gift of a Disney trip. Out of the many “Disney surprise” videos, I especially like this one because of the contrasting reactions between the two sisters.  I adore Lily’s love for Disney, and I find Chloe’s expressions endearing.  Chloe appeared concerned for her older sister, but she also doesn’t seemed to get what the big fuss is all about or why her sister is reacting that way.   (Lily’s reaction at 1:55 is classic, and Chloe’s reaction at 2:03 makes me laugh) Why I love Disney I’ve made...

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Do You Have Certain Habits When You Check Into a Hotel Room?

People are creatures of habits.  I certainly picked up a few habits over the years when it comes to traveling and staying at hotels.  These are the ones I have, what are some of yours? 1. Knock on the Room Door When First Entering For some, there is a superstitious reason.  I actually only first heard of it a couple of years ago, when I was traveling to Taiwan for the first time as part of a larger Asia trip.  Apparently, the hotel I had been considering turned out to have a bit of a reputation for being haunted. ...

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3 Travel Credit Cards That Are Worth the Annual Fees

What’s in My Wallet? Disclaimer:  No affiliate links in this post. I just like these cards. Every now and then, I get asked for a credit card recommendation.  Often the cards I suggest comes with an annual fee.  People sometimes balk at the annual fees.  I understand the reaction because one might ask, “Why would you even pay an annual fee when there are no-fee cards out there?”  It’s all about value.  I often prefaced my suggestions that the right cards really depend on your needs. Because I am big on travel, these are 3 cards that I think...

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