Cliffs of Insanity

Are those rocks ahead? f there are, we'll all be dead! IRELAND TIP - Skip the Cliffs of Moher and head for the cliffs of the Aran Islands. Besides being one of the most inconceivably beautiful places on earth, the Cliffs of Moher were the "Cliffs of Insanity" in the Princess Bride. But unless I'm wrong, and I'm never wrong, they've become quite crowded (it's not their fault being the biggest and strongest cliffs, they don't even exercise). The government has also added a lot of fences and signs. There's a shortage of perfect cliffs in the world. Pity they damaged theirs. 


Try the cliffs of the Aran Islands instead. Their assets? They're over 300 feet high, locals speak Irish not English (which could put a damper on your relationship), and a castle (Dun Aengus)) that you'll have fun storming. Better cliffs of unusual size? I don't think they exist!
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SoHo House

Occasionally we visit a hotel that is almost a destination in itself. A hotel so fun that we would book there for our anniversary, even if it was in our home city. SoHo House in Berlin is in that category.  Here's why:

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  • Incredibly stylish rooms. You'll have to take our word for it since shabby chic is tough to capture in pictures - always comes out looking more shabby than chic
  • It has a dress code! What hotel in the 21st century has rooms for under $150 a night and still has the self confidence to ask guests to dress up before ordering an old-fashioned at the bar?
  • Unpretentious room classes. It's base room is called "tiny" the next size up is called "small" and so on.  No closet sized "deluxe" rooms here.
  • It has a club that has a no phone, no camera rule. Less night at the Roxbery and more hipster Mycroft Holmes. Comfortable chairs, city views, and plentiful copies of the FT)
  • Cowshed Spa is a destination on it's own, but entry is included in your room price and you can stroll there in a bathrobe. Stone beds, sauna, steam room, and attached reading room.
  • Rooftop pool, great gym, helpful concierge, bla, bla, bla

Interview With Andy Shuman

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The best way to get to a romantic destination is by flying for free.  We recently interviewed Andy Shuman, author of The Lazy Traveler's Handbook - How to Use Frequent Flyer Miles to Travel for Free to see how earns about a 1,000,000 frequent flyer miles a year just using his credit cards:

TANGO;  How many miles do you earn in a typical year?

ANDY:  Things changed in 2011. Never before there were the kinds of bonuses that are available today. How long it’s going to last—who knows! I made well over a million miles last year, over 1.7 million with wife. This year, the offers are still great but not as great as they were back then. Besides, I'm currently holding some of the best cards, so can't double on the bonus yet. Still I should be able to collect close to about 700k. There is still time until Cristmas. 

TANGO:  What's the single best flight or hotel experience you've had, and how many miles did you use for that experience? 

ANDY:  Flight: LAN Premium Business NYC-LIM with full flat beds and gourmet dining. It cost me 70,000 AAdvantage miles if I'[m not mistaken. Hotels are tougher. I've had fantastic stays at W in New Orleans on Mardi Gras, Fairmont Chateau Frontenac during the Quebec Carnival, Westin Diplomat in Fort Lauderdale among others. I think Westin Diplomat wins. It’s probably the nicest resort in the Continental US. The cost was 48,000 SPG points for 5 nights (12,000 nigths per night, but the 5th night is free).

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TANGO:  If our readers could only sign up for one or two cards, which would you recommend?

ANDY:   Both should be Citi AAdvantage Visa and American Express cards that can be signed up for simultaneously, and they will net you 100,000 American Airlines miles. That’s 4 domestic round trips or a business class to Europe.  (EDITORS NOTE, Since this interview the mileage bonus for the AA card has changed, check out Andy's blog for more details).

TANGO;  If I'm willing to put a little time into applying for the right cards (my wife and I normally charge about $2,500 a month on cards) how many miles could I earn over the next year?

ANDY:  Provided you don’t have more than one or two cards from the same issuer, I’d say 500,000 easy. You can, of course, get much more if you are persistent and willing to learn a few tricks.  

TANGO:   What do readers need to remember to protect their credit score and/or avoid paying fees?

ANDY:   I have the whole chapter in my book dedicated to this exact matter. Basically, one has to remember it’s not for everyone. You should not play this game if you don’t pay your credit card balances in full on time, and/or if you expect to apply for a serious loan like mortgage within the next 18 months. You also have to monitor what’s going on with your credit report regularly. Fortunately, it’s easy and cheap (or even free). It does require some work, but the rewards are immense.

Editors Note: Andy's not only earned a lot of frequent flyer miles, he's also worked in finance and knows the smart way to use credit . Feel free email him at support@lazytravelers.net or to ask him any questions on his Facebook page.  If you'd like more information on how to earn and use frequent flyer miles, check out his book on Amazon or his Facebook page:  

Hotel Tonight

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Last Saturday, one of our readers got a $350 Manhattan boutique hotel for $70 INCLUDING tax (check out the screen grab on the left - this is a hotel that costs $350 on booking.com). How did he do it? Short answer, the Hotel Tonight app. Long answer, well, long answers are our speciality:

From a business standpoint, selling a hotel room is more like selling fresh squeezed juice than selling a house or condo. LIke freshly squeezed juice, hotel rooms are perishable. if you haven't sold your fresh orange juice( or hotel room) by nightfall, it becomes worthless.  And like food that's about to go off, you can often get a last minute hotel room at a huge discount.

The very best way purchase a last minute boutique hotel is with the Hotel Tonight app. Starting at noon every day, the app shows you hotels in any city that will offer you huge discounts on that night only. The prices are already low, but like everything else, Tango in Tahiti has tips to save even more money:

Tip 1. Use a promo code to get $25 off your first booking. We suggest using our code: srobertson23

Tip 2. Douple Dip on Promo codes to get $50 off your second night.  If you "invite" your husband or wife to use Hotel Tonight and then book under their name, they get $25 off, and you get another $25 credit for inviting them!

Tip 3. Rather than booking two or more nights (which is allowed but usually more expensive) leave your bags in the hotel lobby while you're out during the day, giving you the option of booking whatever hotel is cheapest for that night. 

Tip 4. Hotel Tonight works best in NYC. In cities with a plethora of hotel rooms (think Atlanta or Orlando) Priceline.com seems to turn up the best deals. But in NYC, Hotel Tonight is king (if you don't believe us, take another look at the screen grab above to see The Craiginator's $70 score last Saturday night.

Priceline vs. Hotel Tonight - Could Hotel Tonight be better than Priceline.com for hotels?  It's certainly cooler. Priceline is full of big box business hotels like the HIlton and Sheraton, while Hotel Tonight puts you in modern boutique hotels. It's also nice to actually know where you're staying before you pay for your room. But Priceline.com still has one huge advantage, when you use Priceline you can book in advance.  Waiting until late afternoon and booking with Hotel Tonight gives you huge savings, but it takes nerves of steel (and it's a pain stashing your bags while you wait).