FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Mail Call September 2016

Sep 1, 2016
September 2016

July Cover Battle

Osaka or Turks & Caicos? Which to choose for our July cover image? We opted for Osaka’s lively nightlife scene rather than the deep blue waters of Turks & Caicos. What did you think?

Your July cover choice was the correct one. I have enjoyed my travels in both Japan and Turks & Caicos, but the Osaka picture provides a greater sense of place. Well done.
Mark Whalen, Boston, Mass.

I feel both July cover options weren’t exactly the best. The Osaka image didn’t quite inspire me to head to Japan, and the Turks & Caicos cover was a little boring. I think it would have been more interesting to see a cover option for Bilbao or Denver, which were both covered in the same issue.
Frank Carner, Pensacola, Fla.

Personally, I would have definitely gone with the Turks & Caicos cover. The refreshing waters were a great way to end summer and start looking forward to the fall travel season.
Will Blane, Louisville, Ky.

Gourmets in the Galley

Loved seeing cruise line cuisine featured in July’s Cruising column. Just as the article stated, cruise dining is either hit or miss. It’s especially good to see the less luxurious brands are paying more attention to their menus. I’ll definitely be keeping your recommendations in mind when I’m picking a cruise line for next year’s travels (and may even consider a culinary-themed cruise).
Shannon Lloyd, Atlanta, Ga.

Village Life

With a trip to the United Kingdom planned later this year, I’ll for sure stop by Cardiff’s Pontcanna after reading your July article. I love discovering little-known, posh neighborhoods when abroad, but they’re becoming more difficult to locate. I guess I’ll need to brush up on my Welsh!
Samantha Williams, Philadelphia, Pa.

Loyalty Programs

Global Traveler’s Globility Board comprises vetted subscribers who serve as a focus group for our questions about the world of travel. To coincide with this month’s feature on loyalty programs (page 38), we asked them to share their tips and tricks for optimizing miles and hotel rewards points.

There are some earning promotions that allow you to rake up extra miles or hotel points, but they seem to be less frequent and less rewarding this year. IHG usually has at least one complex promotion running in which you receive large point rewards after meeting a variety of requirements, from hotel nights to stays in different brands to even staying in a specific city. Delta, though, is not nearly as prolific with promotions as Northwest was.
Most of the better award tickets I’ve found by stumbling upon them. Last month, I enjoyed a 100,000-mile, round-trip, Delta Denver (DEN)– London (LHR) ticket in Delta One, which was a great value. Last year I likewise used a 100,000-mile Delta round-trip award ticket in Delta One on the Denver (DEN)–Seoul (ICN) route.
Mike Russo, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Stick to one airline and one or two hotel chains if at all possible to earn the most elite status and receive the best perks. You’ll learn how to spend reward miles and points once you get the hang of it.
Brands treat their elite status customers well. My husband and I reached 2 million miles each with United Airlines and we received a cake, Champagne and flight plans on our milestone flight, as well as gifts from United MileagePlus. He picked a Tumi compact briefcase worth approximately $400, and I picked a Kate Spade purse.
A Hilton tip — buy into the Hilton Grand Vacations club at its highest level and become a Hilton Diamond member worldwide forever. If you’re aiming to be a Hyatt Diamond member for life, stay at Hyatt properties and spend more money while staying there until you reach 1 million base points. I’m almost there!
Celeste Linhard, Denver, Colo.

Vacation Deprivation

In the July 20 issue of eFlyer USA, we reported that, even though travel is up, American vacation days are dwindling. We asked: Do you enjoy your entire allotment of vacation days each year? Do you feel pressured to stay in contact with the office while away?

I always begin the year with the intention of using all my vacation days, but unfortunately that’s rarely the case. Stuff comes up, a big project at work ties me down or the timing is just never right. It’s not that upper management discourages my colleagues and me from taking time off, but they don’t really encourage it, either. It’s the same with unplugging from the office during the few times I am away. I usually end up with four or five vacation days lost at the end of the year.
Hannah Meyers, New York, N.Y.

I always feel pressured to stay in contact with my co-workers while I’m away, but I try to remember they’re capable of handling any issue that arises themselves. If I’ve done my part in preparing for my trip ahead of time, everything should go smoothly in my absence. It’s important to disconnect and recharge my batteries as I spend time with loved ones in order to return to work better than ever.
Pamela Whitten, Dallas, Texas

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FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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7 Reasons to Visit Taos, New Mexico, This Summer

With more than 300 days of sunshine a year and a high desert climate keeping things cool and comfortable, Taos, New Mexico, offers a slice of paradise in the summer months for many travelers. From water activities on the Rio Grande to scenic hikes, here are seven reasons to visit Taos this summer.

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Former 1940s-Era Italian Bank Transformed Into Rome EDITION Hotel

It is hard to resist the pleasures of Rome, a city filled with world-renowned paintings; sculptures; thousands of colorful cafés; and hundreds of ancient buildings still standing and often used as offices, homes and museums. Certainly, Rome is the cradle from which all that is best about Italy emerged. It is difficult to open a new hotel in Rome without connecting it to the city’s history, art and culinary tradition. When Rome EDITION opened last year, it was the perfect fit for a city that lives and breathes all things extraordinary.

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Loyalty Programs Revamp to Meet Changing Customer Preferences

Airlines and hotels consistently tweak loyalty programs to draw brand engagement based on shifting consumer habits, and the demands of younger generations make an impact. According to Chris Galloway, executive vice president, Strategy & Design, for brand loyalty experts Brandmovers, millennials are more active and engaged in loyalty programs than any other generation to date, and as Gen Z gains in buying/spending power, they also accelerate in their desire for loyalty and rewards programs.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

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Luxury Italian Farmhouse Launches 3 Seasonal, Hands-On Culinary Experiences

This summer, guests staying at Casetta Firenze, a luxury farmhouse in the Chianti region of Tuscany, can book three culinary workshops led by experts in the art of pasta making, traditional Tuscan dishes and vegetarian cuisine. Each workshop offers a multicourse meal, local produce and complementary wine.

June 2024
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Simplify Summer with These Cool Tools

Hatch Restore 2 Smart Alarm Clock  Sleep struggles are increasingly common, but the value of a good night’s rest should not be underestimated. This smart alarm clock promises to help you fall asleep and wake up thanks to sleep sounds and a gentle alarm that simulates a sunrise. The clock includes a 30-night subscription to the Hatch+ service, giving you time to find the right sound and light cues that work for you before the $4.99 monthly fee kicks in. For those who struggle with sleep, that’s a small price to pay. The Restore 2 measures just 7.24 inches by 2.43 inches by 5.31 inches and comes in three color options. $199.99.

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Langham Hospitality Group Opens Cordis-Branded Hotel in Foshan, China

Langham Hospitality Group opened a new hotel under its upscale Cordis Hotels & Resorts brand, situated in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, a key urban center in the country’s Greater Bay Area. The Cordis, Foshan and Lingnan Tiandi Hotel is becoming a promising destination for both tourists and business travelers thanks to its planned upgrades and prime location in Lingnan Tiandi.