Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 41 seconds
Hey y’all, it’s Tiffany here to take over your Wednesday while Mike gets some rest to gear up for a big trip.
Those summer temps sure are heating up, but so are we… 😏 Here’s why:
📍 New airline routes to get excited about
🌎 A little travel inspo with “Where in the World Wednesday”
🎟️ Are passport fairs becoming a thing??
📍 New airline routes to get excited about
For starters, Asia is freaking awesome. And apparently, so many people also think it’s awesome, that demand to get there is pretty dang high.
Fortunately, United just announced that it’ll be expanding its winter flight schedule to include a brand new daily route from San Francisco to Manila (in the Philippines) starting October 29th.
Can you believe that with the inauguration of this new route, United will become the only U.S. airline to fly between the continental U.S. and the Philippines… 😮
I’m still salty about United’s devaluation a couple of months ago, but they’re (sorta) trying to make up for it, I guess.
In doing some research, I found many of their award seats on this new flight to hover around the 90k miles range, which isn’t fantastic…
HOWEVER, if you start looking into next February, March, and April, a ton of spots open up for just 43.3k miles.
Sample award booking on United
If we take the cash price of $911, we can figure out our point value:
$911 - $5.60 / 43,300 = .021
So we’re getting a little over 2 cents per point, which is a solid deal.
Plus, they’re flying their Boeing 777-300ER big boy planes (their biggest, in fact), so you could even snag a Polaris business class seat on this route.
AND do you know what other destination is also just plain dope? The Caribbean.
Us West Coast folk have always had a notoriously hard time getting to the Caribbean—there are just no nonstop routes 🤷🏻♀️
But thanks to Alaska Airlines, West Coasters will now have two nonstop options to Nassau, Bahamas, straight from both Los Angeles and Seattle.
These routes will run from mid-December to mid-April… the primo months to escape the peak Seattle gloom. So I’m particularly excited to FINALLY have a straight-shot route to this area of the world from the good ol’ PNW.
Plus, flights from both Seattle and LAX were in the mid to high $200s, one way, which isn’t too shabby👇
Alaska also has a solid award redemptions program, so I could see this becoming another excellent way to use some miles for a balmy getaway, if that’s what you’re after.
🌎 Where in the World Wednesday
Speaking of the scorching heat in Europe right now… Do you know who doesn’t have 98-degree temps at the moment? Ireland, that’s who. You might even be blessed with a dash of rain.
And as if the timing couldn’t be any better, FareDrop just… dropped… a killer deal to head to Dublin! 🇮🇪
I love that this deal came up today because I was just there over the weekend.
Dublin is an amazing city! The people are jovial, the pubs are cozy, and the beer game is strong. Since I was just there, I’m going to share my 24-hour itinerary with you all, so that if you too are there on a stopover, you’ll have some ideas to get you started 😎
If this is your first time, definitely grab some tickets to see the insanely intricate, early-century manuscript Book of Kells at Trinity College.
For real… if you want to see a dark and ornate library filled with books from floor to ceiling that gives you all the Harry Potter feels… go here 👇
After doing some deep thought at Trinity, I’d meander over to the Guinness Storehouse to see the inner workings of how Ireland’s most iconic beer is created. You can then double-fist (or in my case, sip a tiny shot-sized glass of) said beer at the brewery’s Gravity Bar which overlooks the city.
And I’m sure you’ve heard of Dublin’s Temple Bar (it’s our FareDrop photo, btw).
It’s pretty to look at, and also pretty iconic, but if you’re going to pick just one pub to get the true Irish experience, I’d go to Dublin’s oldest—The Brazen Head. It was founded in 1198. Just… what?
If the weather permits, I always love a good stroll around St. Steven’s Green. Note: If you fear big pigeons… I’d go elsewhere 😬
Have you been to Dublin before? What else would you do on a 24-hour stopover??
🎟️ Are passport fairs becoming a thing?
You’ve all probably realized at this point that passport processing times are INSANE. Like, 10-13 weeks insane.
But the good-ish news is that if this is your first time applying for a U.S. passport (or you’re reapplying under the age of 17), you’ll be able to apply in person at passport-specific fairs this summer.
This is especially helpful if you can’t get an appointment to start the process in the first place.
Now, if you were envisioning applying for a passport at a literal fair that also has corndogs and roller coasters… I’m sorry to disappoint you. Though that would probably make for a more interesting application setting 🤔
These fairs will take place around the country at oh-so-lively post offices, libraries, and various government offices.
You can search for an “event” near you on the State Department’s Acceptance Facility page, and more and more locations continue to be added daily, which is great.
From there, you can see if you’ll need to make an appointment, or if you can just show up within designated hours.
The upside to this is it will help you immediately get the process started, but the downside is that you’ll be tossed into the pool of waiting times with everyone else after that 😒
There’s really little to be done to combat the serious backlog right now, but if you’re struggling to start the process, this is your next best option.
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Do you have any sweet summer travel plans coming up? I’ll be going to a pretty scorching destination in a couple of weeks, but I’m definitely not canceling my plans because of the heat wave!
Have a wonderful Wednesday ☀️