Costa Rica: Lazy writer’s outdoor option

 

American geographic illiteracy has one upside for my family: it probably keeps a few more tourists away from beautiful Costa Rica.

That’s my wife’s homeland and a place we’ll try to make an annual destination, both as my in-laws age and for the sake of our kids learning Spanish.  Frequently, I encounter friends and acquaintances who confuse the country with Puerto Rico.

While I’ve heard lots of great things about the latter, I think I’ll keep taking my opportunities to visit Costa Rica, which is just north of Panama on the isthmus joining Central America to South America.

It’s tough to beat the combination of natural beauty and friendly, happy people – Ticos, as they are called, are generally ranked among the top five happiest cultures in the world, and have often been ranked No. 1 in that category.

Continue reading

Airfare tips for Australia winterim, part III: When to purchase

It only takes a bit of searching around  the web to realize how complex purchasing an airline ticket can become.  A final aspect I’ll deal with, at least for the time being, is when to purchase tickets.

If we really wanted to save on airfare, we'd have to schedule our Australia class in September.

If we really wanted to save on airfare, we’d have to schedule our Australia class in September. (hopper.com on Chicago-Sydney flights)

In a nutshell, check for flight deals on Tuesdays (because airlines post sales on Mondays) and plan on buying soon to be safe.  But keep in mind that prices could go down, according to some reports, and always remember that you’re dealing with a business with lots of data but which is still difficult to predict.

Continue reading

Airfare tips for COMM 373 Winterim in Australia (part 1)

As we approach a new school year, the COMM 373 Australia Winterim trip has almost firmed up its itinerary (with only a couple of minor items not scheduled) and it’s time for students to get their airline tickets. Here are a few critical tips for doing so.

NBC has kindly compiled a slew of editorial cartoons about air travel to give you something to laugh about while you're trying to buy a ticket.

NBC has kindly compiled a slew of editorial cartoons about air travel to give you something to laugh about while you’re trying to buy a ticket.

From everything I’ve been able to gather so far, it’s not particularly likely that you’ll be able to get flights much cheaper than the $2,600 or so that it’s costing for my flight.  I’ll post again on this topic by Saturday with some more tips and links, but for now,  go to the next page to see a bullet-point list of basic reminders.   Continue reading