Friday, June 28, 2019

Traveling around the world

I travel a lot for work, and have been reading several travel site blogs as of lately.

Some are down right stupid and a waste of time, while a few are useful with relevant inforamtion.
None of them are 100% accurate, and all have some biased toward one thing or another.

Blogs I do like to read often:
https://thepointsguy.com/
https://www.flyertalk.com/
https://millionmilesecrets.com
https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/ 
https://www.frugaltravelguy.com/

I know there are more, but these are the ones I read the most. Most of them have the same content on bonus points/miles and card to use. 

My preferences for travel:
Flight: Delta  (Platinum)
(I travel out of a regional airport and the other carriers have screwed me a time or two)
Hotel: Hilton (Diamond), Marriott (Gold), Hyatt (Discoverist)
(Some have asked my why I have 3 hotel preferences, and I have always told them none of these brands are perfect in all cities or have a good hotel in all cities I have visited.)
Car: Hertz (President Circle), National
(have switched back and forth between these two over the years)

Packing:
It does crack me up on some of the posts on sites telling people what to pack, how to pack and what to bring. There is no one way to travel, one way to pack, and it will depend on the person what they need to bring along with them.

Having traveled extensively for the past 10 years for work and military, I can say I have defined my own plans for packing and what to bring. It does not align to most of the blogs sites, and works well for me, but may not work well for others. I pack in cubes and fold my clothes, many sites recommend rolling your clothes to make more space. I have never been able to make add any extra space, and it makes my clothes more wrinkled then me just folding it neatly.

I have a separate toiletry bag that I keep all my items in, it is just easier to have duplicates, and just fill up the items as I need to after my return home. I do have the same mouthwash bottle that is exactly 3oz in size and I just refill it as needed. I also have a decent supply of small toothpaste tubes, as everyone in the family gets one from the dentist after their teeth cleaning, and never uses them.

I generally take a small 21" Wegner SwissGear suitcase, that I have had for a many years, it was not expensive (maybe $80 max) and I am in need of a replacement soon. I do not carry on my suitcase, and generally check it (I get checked 3 bags free). Which I have been ridiculed for many times by so called expert travelers. However, having been screwed many times (Primarily by United and AA) on waiting for plane side checked bags (Smaller regional planes), and missing a connection due to them taking forever getting the bags back to me, I have always checked my bag since.

Flights:
I prefer Delta as my main carrier for flights, I like that my miles never expire, and I have had little issues with them compared to AA and United out of TYS. I travel out of a regional airport, so am limited to AA, United, Delta, Frontier, and Allegiant and will usually connect into another airport to get almost anywhere. A majority of the flights I am on are CRJ700/900 and maybe a MD88, which is why I check a bag as I do not like to plane side check a bag, and then wait to get it back at the next airport, and hope to make my next flight.

Hotel:
I prefer Hilton brand hotels, I have a few I like best out of all of them. I would book Embassy Suites hands down if they were available in the area I am needing to be in. They provide a two room suite, and an evening managers reception, as well as a cook to order breakfast. I have usually found them to be better priced (not always) then say a Hampton Inns which is a lower value Hilton Brand for some reason. I do stay at some Marriott properties when I need to, some times it is just to keep my status with them, other times it is there is not much else available at a reasonable price or in the location I need to be. When I am able to I will stay at Hyatt, I do like their hotels but they tend to not be in many locations I need to be in. I used to stay at Holiday Inn hotels, but they have not kept up their hotels and seem to be lacking these days.
 
Rental Car:
Have been using Hertz as it is just easy to book from the Delta web site after booking my flight. Their website and mobile app suck, but I like getting the Delta Points for booking as I never get a rental car when I go on vacation so would not use the points. I used to always book National as I liked the walk up and drive off method. I just pick the car that works for me on the trip and drive to the exit and am on my way. I get the same service with Hertz now that I am President Circle, as long as the location has that option.

So, pick what works best for you and stop listening to all those blogs telling you what you must do when traveling. We all have different styles and opinions so no one thing works for everyone.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Starting again....

Well it has been a wile since I have posted anything, planning to get back to posting once in a while. Hopefully not pissing off my current employer in the process, but guess they will get over that, or I will be finding a new endeavor.

Stopped posting some items as I have had several confrontations on publicly available news articles I posted on LinkedIn and twitter by several people at my current employer.

Started focusing more on pentesting in my spare time to keep my technical skills up, as my current work is rather boring and non-technical. Started working on Hack The Box systems, in my spare time to get back into the groove. Thinking of moving back to pentesting and away from compliance work, it used to be fun, but that feeling has been long gone.