Q: We’ve never used our miles for “free” tickets, just upgrades. However, United has drastically reduced capacity across the Pacific, so we can’t get the upgrades like we used to. Consequently, we’d like to burn our miles with standard mileage awards (not saver — we know those are impossible to get).
How much in advance do we need to book standard mileage awards? Is this something we must do 330 days in advance or is several months (like six) OK? These would be business class seats to Japan.
A: I think that’s a great strategy. Airlines typically open up their award inventory 330 days in advance, but that doesn’t mean you have to book that far ahead. You can see what’s available this fall by calling the airline or visiting its site.
You can also try using a service like ExpertFlyer, which helps you figure out where the award seats are available.
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Looking for some honeymoon recommendations. Fiance and I are getting married in August and plan on a five to six day honeymoon. Current idea is Maine.
We are open to resorts, B&Bs — just don’t know where to start searching. Important factors are great dining options (shacks to fine dining recommendations welcome), fun activities like whale-watching, breweries, anything lobster-related, and beautiful beach scenery.
Does Portland fit the bill? Or are there cozier options further up the coast?
I’m a big fan of Boothbay Harbor. Plenty of resorts and B&Bs. Some well-regarded ones include the Blue Heron Seaside Inn and the Spruce Point Inn Resort & Spa.
Can’t remember the names of lobster shacks, but you won’t have any trouble finding good ones there. There are at least a half dozen boat tours available from there. We took the trip to Monhegan Island. The island was lovely, but I would not recommend the tour unless the seas are calm or you are immune to seasickness.
I have always wondered about when to tip hotel housekeepers. I used to tip at the end of my stay and now leave something each day. Am I tipping for the work before or after I use the room?
Example: I arrive on Wednesday. I expect to tip the person on Thursday for making up my room. Do I tip on the day that I check out? I will not use the room again, so am I tipping them to straighten the room for the next guest, or for cleaning up after me?
I am not trying to cheap out on a few bucks, just wondering what is the proper protocol.
The topic of tipping housekeeping can be confusing! You are not alone.
I have heard that you should tip each day because you might not always get the same person, so you want to make sure that employee receives the gratuity. However, you can always wait till the end and give the front desk an envelope of tips and request that each person responsible for your room’s upkeep receives his or her fair share.
Also, my understanding is that you are tipping for each day housekeeping cleans up your mess. So if you check in on a Monday and stay till Friday, you would tip Tuesday-Thursday. But many people leave a little tip on the final day, even though they aren’t directly receiving the benefit.