Friday, August 23, 2013

How to Use Airmiles for Last Minute Flights

If you're a frequent traveller chances are you have at least one airmiles card. You probably also know that trying to use your excessive amount of airmiles for anything other than skipping lines or avoiding baggage fees is a complete nightmare.

Up until this week I had never used them for anything, but out of desperation I tried something different that surprisingly worked. I needed a flight from Amsterdam to Portland for next week. My dates weren't very flexible and I could not afford the $1700 the airline was trying to charge me (for an economy seat!). Of course my computer told me the first available award ticket would be for October.

Out of frustration I called the airline (don't do this if you can avoid it, most charge you for booking over the phone) to see if there was anything at all available. After 10 minutes of searching I was informed it was impossible. However, I already had it in my mind that I would be getting to my destination no matter what so I then had the travel agent go through airports on the west coast until he miraculeously found a flight to San Francisco for the exact dates I wanted. Then I just booked the short connecting flight using miles for another airline.

Trying out of state airports might seem obvious but it's something I had never thought to try. Domestic flights are so much cheaper and easier to work out than paying full price to get to your exact location. I'll definitely be trying this again next time the online booking service tells me there's "no available flights for your selected dates."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Harry Potter: Warner Brother's Studio Tour

This past week I did something very exciting for any long time Harry Potter Fan: I went on the Warner Brother's Studio tour in London. The tour contains loads of original props, costumes, and full sets and takes about 3 hours to get round (although I could easily have spent many more hours if I'd been by myself!). 

The most amazing part for me was really seeing how much work goes in to producing big budget movies like these. Obviously I didn't think it happened overnight, but I never considered the thousands of hours it takes professional architects, artists, designers, animal trainers, and everyone else to put it all together and the tour really gives you an insight into all the different elements.

I'm not a die hard Harry Potter fan (I never lined up a midnight for the books or movies) but I do have very fond memories of reading the books in my childhood, so you definitely don't have to be the biggest fan to really enjoy the tour. Overall it was amazing and definitely worth the £30 price tag! 

I took about 100 photos but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who wants to go on the tour themselves so I've included a select few below.

Prop food that was laid out in the Dining Hall

Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour on Diagon Alley

The Potter House

Gryffindor Common Room

Professor Umbridge's Office


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