Winning the Travel Rewards Game | Fox Business

Meet George Papadopoulos. By day he's a certified public accountant and financial planner. At night, he uses the same analytical skills for his hobby: cashing in big-time on travel rewards.

Recently he took his family of four on an Amtrak trip from Ann Arbor, Michigan, through Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle in a luxe sleeper car, using Amtrak points. His out-of-pocket costs? Meals and tips. Before that, he went on a Carnival cruise with his wife to the western Caribbean -- paid for entirely with rewards points from his Capital One Venture Card. via

Celebrities Banned by Top Hotels - Articles | Travel + Leisure

What does a celebrity bring when checking into a hotel? Glamour, buzz, and sometimes, a whole lot of chaos.

Sure, hosting a famous guest can translate into great PR for a hotel, but “it can also be a mixed bag,” admits Mark Plonkey, the general manager of Denver’s Hotel Teatro. “The one thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that public persona is not always the reality behind closed doors.” via

Stolen iPhone's adventures on Disney Cruise

pirates on disney ship

Pirates on a Disney ship?  Concerns are that it may be a crew member.... TB

After her iPhone left her possession during a Disney cruise, a woman started noticing new photos being automatically uploaded to her iCloud account. The images include the apparent phone stealer, a woman who appears to be his girlfriend and a bevy of their friends and co-workers. So the woman did what any clever but irate person would do: Upload them to a Facebook gallery, accompanied by hilarious captions.  more:

Spirit Airlines mocks Secret Service hooker scandal with ad - NY Daily News

Spirit Ad -

Spirit Airlines wasted no time mocking the Secret Service’s high-profile hooker scandal.

A promo pushing cheap flights to Colombia features bikini-clad beauties alongside one man in black hooked up to an earpiece, with a can’t-miss tagline: “More bang for your buck.”

The ad also notes that “upfront payment is required,” presumably a jab at one agent accused of not paying the 24-year-old call girl at the heart of the scandal.


Owe the IRS? You're Not Going Anywhere | Fox Business

Passport for Paris
A new bill making its way through Congress could allow the federal government to prevent Americans who owe back taxes from leaving the country.

The provision is part of Senate Bill 1813, which was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in November and passed by the Senate on March 14 “to reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.”


Passport Day in the USA, Saturday March 10th


On March 10, this Saturday, the Department of State will host its 4th annual “Passport Day in the USA.” U.S. citizens may apply for a passport book or card at any one of the 25 domestic agencies listed below or hundreds of participating non-Department passport application acceptance facilities.

You can visit any of these 25 passport agencies in: Atlanta, Aurora (Denver), Boston,  Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Honolulu, Hot Springs (AR), Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Norwalk (CT), Philadelphia, Portsmouth (NH), San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Albans (VT), Tucson (AZ), and Washington, D.C. . 

This is the only day all year U.S. citizens may apply directly at a passport agency without making an appointment, arrive early to avoid any last-minute rush. Passport Day in the USA makes it easy for all travelers -- families going on summer vacations, students participating in study abroad programs, or those planning to travel to London for the 2012 Olympic Games -- to apply for a first-time passport or renew their current passport.  Dept of State Passports Website

Carnival Passengers Robbed at Gunpoint in Mexico - ABC

Iconic smoke stack on a Carnival Cruise ship as it leaves Long Beach CA.

Twenty-two passengers traveling on a Carnival cruise ship for the trip of a lifetime instead got the scare of a lifetime when they were robbed at gunpoint while on an excursion in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta.

The passengers were robbed Thursday during a guided trail excursion while on a seven-day cruise aboard the Carnival Splendor, the Miami-based cruise line confirmed in a statement released Saturday.

No one was injured and the guests returned safely to the ship, according to Carnival, which did not provide any further details of the robbery except to say the company is assisting guests to reimburse them for lost valuables.


Travel warning: Violence spreading in Mexico - CNN

Mexican Police with automatic weapons.
-- Americans should avoid all but essential travel to all or parts of 14 Mexican states, the U.S. State Department warns as violence has spread.

Shootouts, kidnappings and carjackings have climbed, as have cartels, also known as transnational criminal organizations (TCO), the State Department said this week in a broadened travel warning.

While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico every year, the country's ongoing violence and security concerns pose risks for U.S. citizens, and travelers should take precautions, the State Department advises.

"The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere. U.S. citizens have fallen victim to TCO activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery," its alert says.


(Direct Link to the U.S. Department Of State Mexico Travel Warning. TB)