Travel Posts

Traveling to Vietnam and Need a Tourist Visa? Read This First

When I sat down to write this post, my original intention was to show you everything you needed to know about how to obtain a Vietnam tourist/travel visa but the more research I did, the more I found out Vietnam doesn’t really want you to give you a visa. Seriously, I don’t think Vietnam ...
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How to Get a 10 Year Chinese Tourist Visa


If you have ever wanted to visit China, now would be a pretty good time to make that happen. Many airlines have increased capacity and added new routes to/from several Chinese cities and airfares have never been more reasonable to this incredible country. And it's not just getting to China ...
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Warning! Vietnam Tourist Visa on Arrival Changes and Fee Increase

Vietnam tourist visas have become more expensive as Vietnam has stopped issuing one month and three month, single entry tourist visas for US citizens. All tourist visas for US citizens to Vietnam will now be one year, multiple entry visas. This new rule went into effect on August 29, ...
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Review: Al Maha Resort, Dubai Desert Reserve

The Al Maha Resort in the Dubai Desert Reserve is most definitely like an oasis in the desert.  I spent a ton of SPG points for our stay here, but I have no regrets, this place is really unique, and a luxurious spot in the middle of the desert.
 
Dubai Desert Reserve
We had ...

Review: Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on the A340-600 from London to Dubai

Flying from Chicago to Dubai with a ~12 hour stop in London isn't the most efficient way to get there, but I got a good value out of some old Delta miles that we had and we enjoyed our layover in Windsor and our time at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic A340-600 ...
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The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow

One big reason for my excitement for flying on Virgin Atlantic is based on excellent reviews of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, their flagship lounge at Heathrow.  It is regarded as among the best Business Class lounges in the world.  After our visit to the lounge, I can't really dispute ...
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Some Thoughts on Airport Security Procedures

For many travelers, the security process before flights is among the most frustrating part of the experience.  For domestic flights, TSA PreCheck has been a huge help, which I have thanks to my NEXUS membership.  NEXUS of course gives Global Entry access when returning to the United ...

Spending a Heathrow Layover in Windsor

I spend enough time of my life in airports.  As lovely as the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is, we couldn't justify spending the entire day there. We debated going into London proper, but with each of us having been there multiple times, we instead opted to head in the other direction, to Windsor. ...
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Here's Everything You Need To Know About The United MileagePlus X App!

The United MileagePlus X app (available for Apple and Android) was released a few years ago but surprisingly, I find some people still have no idea what it is or how it can be used to double and triple dip on earning miles and points for your everyday purchases. This post will show that you ...
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Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on the A330 from Chicago to London

While counting down the days to this trip, I was irrationally excited for the legs on Virgin Atlantic.  It has been a trendy carrier for a long time, and they definitely have good marketing to build up their brand. Of course having Sir Richard Branson as founder and face of the brand certainly ...
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Our Trip Around the World Began with a Bus Ride

The name of this blog is Regional First, due to the fact that many of my trips begin with a regional jet.  That is less common in my travels than it used to be, but even for this trip with some pretty amazing products, the first leg of our big trip wasn't exactly luxurious.  It could have ...
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Japan Airlines 777 First Class from Tokyo Narita to Chicago O'Hare

Another flight in First Class on a top flight Asian carrier, what a nice way to finish up our trip and head home.  Better yet, it was an easy nonstop flight between Narita and Chicago.  We took a train from Tokyo to Narita, and then would drive home from ...
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Update on our Round the World trip in Premium Cabins.

A few updates on our round the world trip in premium cabins, as we made a few changes to better fit our schedule.  By shortening our trip, we lost a few things such as extended time in Australia, and a flight in AA International First class, but we gained a more convenient route ...

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Tokyo Narita

Made to order sushi, a sake bar, plus free massages are just some of the features of the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Narita.  Our trip in Japan was nearly over, but this nice lounge was a good way to relax before the flight back to the States.
 
Freshly made to order ...

Celebrating New Years in Tokyo

New Years seems to be a big holiday in Japan, at least in the sense that many places are closed on the holiday itself.

 
We were staying at the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, and while the immediate area was pretty slow, we found plenty to do (and mostly eat) a little further ...

Next Adventure: Round the World in Premium Cabins

I've had this trip in the works for a while, and now it is finally here.  I booked a few final pieces just recently as availability opened up.  

Map courtesy of the excellent gcmap.com
 
This trip was built around availability for Etihad First Class Apartments on ...
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The New Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport - Close to Reality

LAX  is one of my most frequently visited airports, and I usually try to avoid mid-con red eyes to get home to Milwaukee.  This means I'm often staying near the airport prior to early morning flights.  There are countless options near the airport, but one I've been following closely ...
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Traveling around Japan on Shinkansen high speed trains

I've long been intrigued by the Japanese high-speed rail network.  If nothing else, the trains themselves look really futuristic.  This journey was somewhat unplanned, but in the end it worked out much better than the flights we were originally planning on.  I have also written out ...
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A Few Days Exploring Kyoto

We had finally made it to Kyoto, and as much as I remain fascinated by Tokyo, I was excited to visit another place in Japan that is somewhat less hectic than what is the world's most populous city. (At least according to some measures).

a finely manicured zen garden in ...
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The Hyatt Regency in Kyoto, Japan

After our delayed flight into Tokyo, we missed the flight we had originally scheduled to take us from Narita to Osaka, so we took a high speed train directly to Kyoto.  In retrospect, this was probably easier than our original plan which would have required a terminal change, another flight, ...
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