Hopper

Okay I’m going to be honest I’ve had Hopper downloaded and been “watching” flights for probably a year and a half and never actually booked anything until this week. If you have no idea what Hopper is….it’s an app that monitors prices of flights and hotels during your desired dates or even flexible dates.

What I Like About the App

You can put in one ways, round trips, even hotels and dates and it will predict if the prices will go up or down. If you allow the notifications, it will tell you to buy now and they don’t predict lower prices in the future.

I basically put in every and any flight and haven’t had much success booking in time until now. I even put it just ideas that I’m not super serious about booking just to keep a pulse on prices. I think it hasn’t worked in my favor for the year and a half I’ve had it is because I get anxious and plan things way in advance so I don’t always wait it out as long as I probably could to save more money. But, this week I got a notification that PHX to OGG (Maui) was $166 for a one way. THAT’S RIGHT. Only $332 roundtrip which is less than I would pay to go to Ohio. DONE. I booked through the app and there were NO booking fees, which is amazing. I got the confirmation email shortly after.

Most of you voted “no” you don’t use it on my Instagram poll tonight. I recommend downloading it here

I’m interested do you have any success stories with Hopper? If not, download it and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Guide to Thailand’s Full Moon Party, Koh Samui and More

Koh Samui

  • Flights are super cheap. I got my flight one way from Bangkok to Koh Samui for $157 one way on Expedia.
  • Big Buddha- we took a taxi and walked around many beautiful sculptures close by each other.

  • Laem Sor Pagoda aka the mummified munk very close to Na Muang Waterfall. Our taxi driver actually offered to take us here on the way home from there.

  • My favorite place to eat at was the Jungle Club. At the top of the mountain, they charged 100 Baht each way to take our group up and back down the mountain. The JC overlooked all of Koh Samui. The restaurant had a wide variety of options including salads, pizzas and other Thai foods. Find out more information on their website here.

  • Na Muang waterfall

Fish spa

I found many massages and spas along the beach. I found a fish spa in Fisherman’s Village. It cost only $9 USD for 10 minute fish spa and 30 minute foot massage. I would highly recommend, but it tickles!

Where We Stayed

We decided to stay in Koh Samui for five days and take day trips to all of the islands below rather than packing up all of our stuff and keep moving. Here is a link to our Airbnb. We stayed in the jungle with a private pool! It was about $80 per person with 7 people for 5 nights. The only downer was that it was always a process to get a cab usually took 10 minutes. We were too scared to ride the motor scooters to rent a car because of how crazy people drive here.

Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Pha Ngan most famously known for the Full Moon Party hosted once a month when there is a full moon. It really is a party days leading up to to it.

How to Get There

You can’t fly into Koh Pha Ngan so you must take a ferry from Koh Samui. There are a few different docks you can depart from. We chose Mr Tu’s again because they picked us up from our Airbnb and dropped us off after which was nice for about $35 USD total. Without cab options one way ferry’s were about $7 USD.

What to Wear

You can buy everything there or in Koh Samui for less than $15 USD. Everyone wears neon and paint all over their body which you can find anywhere. Once you get there, there it was 100 Baht to enter. There is plenty of food and alcohol buckets for cheap. We walked the whole beach where included many clubs, fire jump ropes, and tourists from all of the world.

If I could Do It Again…

I would stay on the island. We ended up taking a ferry to Koh Samui. It was just a lot of steps I felt like we were all worried about making the ferry back to Koh Samui.

Koh Tao

Unfortunately, we didn’t get off the boat to this island because it is private and you must stay there, but we did snorkel around it.

Koh Nang Yuan

Last, but not least, we went to this island on part of a tour from Koh Samui for $49 USD. There are many tour places all along the city of Chaweng. You can negotiate with them! I would recommend Mr. Tu’s day tour. They picked us up from our hotel around 7:45am. They provided a light breakfast which included coffee, bananas and mini croissants. It was about a 1.5 hour ride from Koh Samui to Koh Nang Yuan where they gave us a few hours to do whatever we want: hike to the view point (which I recommend going to first because the line behind us to get pictures was insane), snorkel, lay on the beach and eat the lunch buffet. From there, they took us to Koh Tao to snorkel for about a hour then return another 1.5 boat ride which is pretty rough. I would recommend taking some motion sickness medicine if you get sea sick! We then returned to the station and they dropped us back off at our hotel around 5pm.View from “View Point”

That’s all for the east side of the Thailand islands, now off to our ferry and bus ride to Phuket, Phi Phi islands and Krabi. More soon! We took the shortest one ~6 hours for only $24 (with tax) USD!

Best Travel Credit Card for 2018

Previously I blogged about The Best Travel Credit Card aka the Southwest credit card. My mind has changed….big time. There are way more credit cards out there with more airlines options to redeem your points for. There are more credit cards out there were you can earn 3x restaurant purchases vs. 1:1 ratio on all purchases.

I recently got the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card here. You can earn 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. You can use these points for any airline!!

Pros:

  1. $300 ANNUAL instant credit for travel purchases
  2. Lounge access!! To over 1k lounges around the globe. This is huge benefit for me as much as I’m at the airport and always early….
  3. Transfer points to travel partners such as Southwest, United, Marriott, The Ritz Carlton and more.
  4. Transfer points for gift cards
  5. Amazon.com shop with points
  6. 3 points for $1 on travel and dining
  7. $100 credit for TSA pre-check OR global entry
  8. No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  1. $450 annual fee. You get charged with it right away.
  2. Spend $4,000 to get the bonus in the first 3 months. I was thinking about linking it to my venmo. My boyfriend learned the hard way that those purchases don’t count because it’s considered a cash advance. Luckily I got this before my Thailand trip so I plan to swipe everywhere since there is no foreign transaction fees.

Havasupai Falls

I’ve been trying to get this permit for 2.5 years ever since I moved to Arizona. About a month ago was my lucky day. Every year on February 1st the office opens up their phone lines to sell permits for that calendar year. I called on repeat at least hundreds of times and never got through. On October 17th, 2017 I called randomly to see if they had any cancellations and it was my lucky day! I quickly learned that it is easier to get a permit during the week if you are able to take off work. The weekends permits go quicker.

HAVASUPAI CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS & PERMITS:

To make camping reservations in Havasupai, you can must call the Havasupai Tourism Office at (928) 448-2121.

2017 Costs*:

  • Camping permit – $25 per person, per night
  • Environmental fee – $10 per person
  • Entrance fee – $50 per person as well

This means that for the first night the cost for one person is $85, and $25 for each subsequent night camping. For more information, click here. It cost us $93.50 including tax per person for one night.

We crammed a lot into one weekend, it’s doable, but if you have more time to explore I would highly recommend to do so.

Gear rental

REI has some great free classes to prepare for your hike. I saw one locally called “preparing for the grand canyon”. You can also rent backpacks, tents, and more gear from them. Check to see what stores you can rent from here. OR a cheaper option would be to rent from Arizona Hiking Shack off of 32nd and Thomas. My friends went there and they had everything for cheaper.

Only way I could fit the bread lol!

What I Packed

  • 2 person tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • 1 gallon of water (Camelbak with bite valve)
  • Backpack
  • 2 pairs of wool socks
  • Change of clothes
  • Plenty of Cliff bars, trail mix, and stuff to make PB&J’s
  • Swim suit
  • Rain coat (you’ll want this for Moony falls)
  • Water shoes
  • Hiking shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Portable chargers
  • Camera/Go Pro

Think minimal! Unless you plan to have the helicopter or donkeys take down your stuff (extra $$) your bag can get reallyyyyy heavy.

Agenda

Friday

We left after work around 5pm to head to the nearest hotel near the trailhead which is still a 1.5 hour drive away. From my house (Scottsdale) to the lodge was about 3 hours and 22 minutes. Definitely worth staying closer Friday night so we are energized for the long hike ahead. To book a room at Hualapai Lodge click here. I got the AAA rate for $127/night.

Saturday

Drive to the trailhead then get ready for a 10 mile hike down the Grand Canyon to the famous Havasupai falls! We set up our tent right near Havasu falls for the night. I do warn you in November the canyon gets pretty cold. It was about 21 degrees at night and up to 60 degrees during the day.

My friend and I went swimming in Navajo falls. The water was cold, but not unbearable for being so late in the year.

Group before the 10 mile hike down!

Sunday

This is the hardest part! Hike 10 miles back and the last mile is straight up the canyon. Then we drive back 4+ hours to Scottsdale. It was a super exhausting day, but if you’ve seen the pictures I think it’s worth it.

Havasu Falls
Navajo Falls
Mooney Falls

Ladder down to Mooney Falls (it was wet and slippery)

Seattle

Seattle blew my expectations away. The weather was PERFECT! I kept waiting for rain and it never came. Which means….more time for exploring.

Place to Eat & Drink

  1. Elliot’s Oyster House- this place was packed! I highly recommend a reservation. It was right on the water with a beautiful view. Try to get an outside table if you can.img_1201
  2. Momiji- awesome Japanese food with a Twilight vibe in Capitol Hill. There is a super cute patio in the middle of the restaurant.
  3. Rachel’s Ginger Beer- just drinks!

Places to See

  1. Future of Flight Tour– we did a 90 minute tour in Everett, WA. About 1 hour outside of downtown Seattle.
  2. Space Needle
  3. Chihuly Garden and Glass- we bought tickets for this and the Space Needle package $38 each.
  4. Original Starbucks & Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
  5. Pike’s Place Market
  6. Wallace Falls State Park– 4.6 mile trail to a beautiful waterfall just one hour outside Seattle

    How We Got There

    We flew American there and Alaskan back for about $250 per person.

Where We Stayed

  1. The Renaissance in downtown Seattle for $183 (AAA rate) per night + tax. Not bad for downtown! It was cheaper in area like Bellevue, but I figured we could walk to a lot of places from here like Capitol Hill
  2. Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle. We walked to the Space Needle from here! Overall the location was very central. I used 10k points so it was free!

Overall, I would definitely go back to Seattle and explore. There are so many hikes, parks and restaurants with great views.

Vegas 2.0

So you probably know I have a slight obsession with Vegas, but my last Vegas post really focused on pool parties and clubbing.

I’ve done a few trips since then with some fun fesitivies that I would highly recommend for your next Vegas trip.

  1. Brunch during off season aka when you aren’t going to a pool party (October-March) : Lavo Brunch
  2. Seven Magic Mountains
  3. Minus 5 Ice Bar– in the Monte Carlo. Totally worth it to do once and buy the pictures! We got two drinks each in ice cups with parkas and gloves.
  4. $$$$ STK– if you’re looking for a good steakhouse go here! Its located in the Cosmopolitan.
  5. $ Taco Bell Cantina

Need promoter advice? Email me at jetsetbrunette247@gmail.com

Zion National Park

What You Need to Know

Getting into the park: $15 each. We paid a total of $30, but it was good to re-enter for 7 days. We parked on then street in Springdale and took the free shuttle to the park entrance. 

There are plenty of restaurants and camp grounds before you enter the park and at the visitor center. 


We hiked Angel’s Landing which is one of the more popular trails in Zion. We took the free shuttle from the visitor’s center to stop 6 (which is labeled with trails, museums, etc. on the bus). It was a pretty hard hike about 5 miles total in and out. Make sure you use the bathroom before and bring sunscreen and hats! The beginning of the trail was the hardest part for us and completely in the sun going uphill! 

At the end of the hike you use chains to scale the mountain. On both sides there is a couple thousands feet drop which is pretty scary. I wouldn’t recommend this hike if you are afraid of heights.


One thing we didn’t check out was the narrows. If we had more time we would have, but you can rent shoes to hike through the water! One suggestion from a girl we met while hiking was to do this hike after Angel’s Landing if you are trying to fit it in the whole day. 

View from the top of Angel’s Landing

Newport Beach

 

Where We Stayed

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa– $273 total for two nights. I found that the prepay option is cheaper although, it was non-refundable.


Where to Eat

Bearflag-loved this chill atmosphere. I got the Bearflag sushi roll!

Wahoo’s Tacos- cheap, but so worth it! We were able to walk here from our hotel.

Agora Churrascaria– a Brazilian steakhouse a lot like Texas de Brazil if you’ve ever been.

Things To Do

 Rent bikes and bike around the pier.

Take the ferry from newport to Balboa Island only $1

Where to Drink

The Bungalow– great atmosphere and view of Huntington Beach!

Laguna beach- we did the 1000 steps beach located here. Be prepared to feel the burn on the way back up!

Where to Stay in Iceland

I booked all of our Airbnb’s a few months in advance and one hotel. Split between 5 girls the price wasn’t bad at all. I recommend booking these early. Since Iceland is a hot destination they can sell out quick.

Our first AirBnB here was super cute. The only issue is they didn’t leave us that much toilet paper or paper towels.

My favorite was the Ion Adventure Hotel. I booked with points, but it was THE coolest.

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Champagne upon arrival
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Geothermal pool

 In Reykjavik we stayed here for $179/night. It was within walking distance to bars including Lebowski Bar (I highly recommend a White Russian although they were $22/drink).

This AirBnB is just past Vik this AirBnB for $300/night. This was in a lava field. It was one of our favorites because it had a private hot tub on the porch.

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In Egilsstaðir, we stayed at this AirBnB on a horse farm. This host was so nice they left us red wine, white wine, beer and chocolates.

Most of the AirBnB’s gave us codes so make sure you check your messages when you are on wifi so you can get in late. We often wouldn’t get to our AirBnB’s until midnight or later.

All AirBnB and the Ion hotel had free wifi and parking.

Tip: I recommend downloading Google Maps offline. I was able to get around the country without buying an international plan or renting a GPS. I just kept my phone in airplane mode.

How we got there?

Check out my blog post on Wow Airlines here.

Questions? Email me at jetsetbrunette247@gmail.com

Wow Airlines

There’s no doubt when we booked this flight from LAX to KEF that it was a good deal. We originally paid $424 USD roundtrip when we booked in October.

They ended up canceling our flights for “unforeseen circumstances” in January. We received two separate emails for each segment. You could either rebook or request new dates. We ended up requesting new dates for a day later and pushing back our trip, but it was a pain because we already booked our flights from PHX to LAX. We ended up staying in LAX for a day. But, the sucky part was the customer service. They don’t have a phone number so it’s done over email and takes a at least a few days which was making me anxious because at one point I had a way of getting home, but not a way there for about a week.

Where they get you is food and baggage fees. You are given one personal item for free which is essentially the size of my backpack. Nothing bigger. Then you have to pay for either a carry on or checked bag.

I packed a duffle that I thought would fit in their measurement box…but it didn’t. I paid $49 for the carry on prior to the flight. Since it didn’t fit it cost $30 to upgrade to check it. They said every bag needed to be tagged, but to be honest I didn’t see anyone checking for the bag tags on each bag. Be sure to check the requirements here before you go on your trip. My friend Nicole bought her bags ahead of time when she booked the flight and saved a little bit of money.

I recommend bringing andf filling your own water bottle and eating before you get on the plane because everything costs extra.

Overall, it was a cheap experience, but probably not worth the hassle to do again and dealing with all the extra fees.