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02/06/09

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Sidney lived as a child in Kabul Afghanistan, Aman Jordan, Ankara Turkey, Damascus Syria, and Manila in the Philippines.  Since 1993 we have visited Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, England, France, Italy, Mexico, St. Barts, Antigua, Singapore and Bali Indonesia.


Click on a travel destination to see photos and stories:

  Thailand   Burma  India

  Cambodia   Malaysia  China

  Hong Kong   Bali & Singapore  St Barts

  Switzerland, France & Italy   England  Antigua


Travel thoughts

  • For years the Boeing 747-400 was my favorite aircraft - to Hong Kong, Bangkok, London and elsewhere.  But Airbus now make some great aircraft too - the A340-500 can make the hop from LA or New York to Bangkok nonstop, knocking hours off the flight time.

  • I like American Airlines to the UK - I have a lot of mileage and upgrades on American, so they are stuck with me!  Virgin to London is also very good, but their Upper Class is so expensive, I will only fly it if I can use mileage or get a special deal.  The Virgin clubhouse in London is the best airline lounge in the world, including a 'free' restaurant with table service.

  • I once flew Concorde from London to New York for a Stonebridge meeting.  I didn't need to save the few hours, but took the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly at twice the speed of sound.  The Concorde is a small aircraft - four seats abreast, two cabins of just ten rows each.  It has finished flying now of course - it was too small to be economical for the airlines.   But a great experience!

  • American Airlines removed 'Airlines' from the outside of their planes, which now just say 'American'.  This eliminated over 200 lbs of paint, and saves them hundreds of thousands of dollars per plane every year in fuel costs.  Now many airlines use just one word on the outside of their planes.  (Rich says I'm making this up!)

  • Good packing tips:  Leave everything on wire hangers, and put small items in bags.  You will be able to unpack in two minutes.  American-type carry-on wheely bags are too big for some Europe and Asia internal flights, so use a shoulder bag.  Keep a separate toiletries bag packed with everything you need, in travel sizes, then you won't forget anything essential!   I no longer carry a laptop computer when traveling - Internet cafes are everywhere, and DSL in Europe and Asia is much faster than in the US.

  • The best travel web site by far is 'The Travel Insider'.  Most 'travel web sites' are just fronts to try to sell you cheap tickets, but this site is genuinely useful.  Great detailed reviews on airlines and travel.  Everything you need to know on how to use your cellphone all over the world.  They also know how to 'unlock' your GSM phone, so that you can get a cheap local number when overseas.   www.thetravelinsider.com.
     

  • My travel agent in California is Sandy Waitnight of Altour.  She arranges everything by email (essential!) and is great with mileage upgrades.  .   In England my reliable email travel agent is Susan Guilfoyle of Broads Travel Group.       www.broadstravel.com
     

 

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