Travel Tips

How to make flying to Europe in the summer make sense

Some friends of mine asked me the other day about flying to Europe in summer and I realized I’d not yet written anything about that. The short answer is: No. Don’t go. You should not go to Europe in midsummer.  Between June and August, Europe is overrun with tourists, and everything is more crowded, expensive and not as nice The weather can be either drearily wet or annoyingly hot and humid. That’s the sad truth to the thing, but if for some reason you find you have to go then, there are things you can do that will make it a lot easier to deal with.

Graveyard at the Rock of Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland.


1. Do not fly into a major hub. The horror. Do not fly directly into Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle or Rome. No. Stop. Go back. Fly into lesser known airports like Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Oslo, Zurich and continue from there.

2 Fly on off-days. If possible, always fly on a Tues, Wed or Friday. Those days are usually much cheaper than weekends and you’ll benefit from having slightly less crazy connections in whatever airport you are flying through.

Russia. St. Petersburg. Tour boat and the Church on Spilled Blood

3. Keep an eye open for Business-class fare sales. Business travel wanes during the summer and there are often really good business-class fare sales that bring down the cost of a business class flight to the same as coach. So you’ll still be spending the money, but enjoying a much more leisurely and enjoyable flight.

4. Take advantage of Iceland Air’s stopover program. For little more than regular coach fare in Economy you can fly via Iceland to almost anywhere in Europe. So on top of whatever you were planning on doing in mainland Europe, you can spend a few days coming or going in Iceland, hiking among waterfalls, viewing glaciers and enjoying some endless twilight evenings.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 8.56.56 AM


5.  Suck it up and pay. You know what? You can’t always get a deal, and that’s okay. Your comfort and sanity is worth more than having a convoluted 2-stop itinerary to France with long layovers and many opportunities for missed connections and luggage gone AWOL. But if you do pay full-fare economy, make it count. From the western US, a round trip economy flight to Europe gets you nearly half way to the 25K miles needed for a round trip domestic economy award flight (make sure the flight code of your flight earns 100% miles, which for full fare economy it probably will), so choose carefully. Fly on an airline for which your home airport is a hub – look into flying their partner airlines and crediting the miles to your main domestic account.  Also, try not to have connections within the US (summer thunderstorms often cause delays). So make your first flight nonstop to Europe and connect within Europe from there. Whatever you do, a 9am flight leaving Saturday is the one flight to NOT take. It will be a zoo.

You’ll notice the one thing I did not suggest here was to use miles. You can, but you have to be clever, persistent and flexible to get that to work. Everyone wants to use their miles to do two things: Europe in summer and Hawaii any time. Don’t fall into the trap of being one of them.

Packing 101: Packing for Antarctica

It’s not that I don’t like the cold, it’s really that I don’t know it. I’ve lived in coastal California most of my life, so my idea of a chilly day is one where the high is 50F. Not exactly well-equipped for kitting out in preparation of visiting the polar regions. Luckily for me, early on I stumbled upon the TripAdvisor forums, more specifically the Antarctic forum. So. Much. Information. Amongst all the advice and tips there were some really handy items like a pre-made Google docs packing list. Special advice for photographers about gloves that enabled me to actually manipulate the camera controls.

In my experience, the ship was kept very warm but there will be cold drafts so plan on having some warm slippers or shoes to even it out. I bought some knockoff Uggs before the trip and I LOVED them. They were great for rushing out on deck to spot the whales, and warm enough that even the coldest drafts didn’t give me much trouble. Highly recommended.

The Gullet, South of the Antarctic Circle

It wasn’t quite as cold as it looks here, really.

The great thing about wearing several layers is that you can add/remove as needed to achieve your preferred temperature. This is easier if the layering items are of different weights. What does that mean?

  • Lightweight: silk or polypropylene
  • Midweight: thicker polypro/merino
  • Heavyweight (aka Expedition weight): yet thicker polypro, merino, fleece
  • Fleece (also comes in different weights from Polarfleece 100 to 300)

You want to have an assortment of these things in different weights so that you can mix and match according to the weather and your own cold sensitivity. I did learn on this trip that I am not very cold sensitive at all really, so your mileage will almost certainly vary. The temperatures can range from 20F to 50F, and the wind can be incredibly cold and biting.

Neko Harbour, Antarctica.

It actually got to near 50F that day, the penguins were panting in the heat.

For a fair weather shore excursion  (eg: no heavy wind, no snow or rain):

Feet: one pair silk socks, one pair heavyweight socks

Body: lightweight polypro longsleeve top, lightweight polypro leggings, midweight fleece top and bottoms.

Hands: midweight gloves (mine did not have the touch-screen capacity but the weight is the same)

Bonus: neck gaiter or buff plus lightweight wool knit hat (I have very thick hair so having a cold head is never an issue for me)

Top Layer:  Quark-provided parka and  North Face waterproof trousers (this is what you always wear ashore, regardless of what’s underneath). I removed the button-in fleece from my parka as that just made it too bulky for me and just wore it above my regular windproof fleece jacket. Quark loaned us muck boots for the expedition and they were very thick rubber and I found them quite warm.

Comfort quotient: Delightful. The only thing that was ever noticeably cold was my chin, cause the gaiter kept sliding down. Of course, your mileage may vary. The thing to remember is that for many North Americans, the summer temperatures in Antarctica will be WAY warmer than what you normally contend with in winter.

My friend Amy photographing the Adelies

My friend Amy here not long before the katabatic winds started up and the temperature dropped precipitously.

Questionable weather shore excursion (snow falling or imminent, windy)

Feet: Midweight socks plus heavyweight socks

Body: midweight polypro longsleeve top, midweight polypro leggings, midweight fleece top and bottoms.

Bonus: neck gaiter or buff plus Icelandic wool hat (incredibly warm)

Comfort quotient: nice. Occasionally the weather would change and I’d have to unzip my top fleece layer or even take it off and stick it in my backpack, but the choice was there which was nice

Zodiac Excursion in Gerlache Strait, Antarctica

Beautiful day for a zodiac excursion in Gerlache Strait, Antarctica

Zodiac Excursions (when you don’t move very much so cannot generate your own heat)

Feet: Midweight socks plus heavyweight socks

Body: midweight polypro longsleeve top, heavyweight polypro leggings, midweight fleece top and bottoms.

Bonus: neck gaiter or buff plus Icelandic wool hat (incredibly warm)

Comfort quotient: Well, hate to say it but your butt will get cold. Sitting for a while on the rubber raft’s edge will slowly sap a lot of the warmth from you. Nothing to be done about it really. Once you’re back on the ship you’ll warm right up.

So what did I end up bringing in the end? My expedition clothing consisted of:

  • 1 pair waterproof trousers
  • 2 pair lightweight long underwear bottoms (Patagonia capilene)
  • 1 pair midweight long underwear bottoms
  • 1 pair heavyweight long underwear bottoms
  • 2 lightweight long underwear top (Patagonia capilene)
  • 1 midweight long underwear top
  • 1 heavyweight long underwear top
  • 1 lightweight fleece (North Face)
  • 2 mid-weight fleeces (North Face)
  • 2 pairs fleece trousers (often worn on ship instead of jeans or whatever)
  • 3 pairs gloves: silk liners, midweight liners, ski gloves
  • 2 gaiters (light and medium weight)
  • 2 pair lightweight socks (silk liners, actually)
  • 2 pair midweight socks (ski socks)
  • 2 pair heavyweight socks (heavy wool “hunting” socks)

It sounds like a lot, but most of it packed up pretty small. I also employed some space-saving bags where you press the air out (useful for the fleeces).

While on the ship I had some fleeces and some cotton trousers for lounging around in. A couple of v-neck wool blend sweaters and a pashmina-like shawl if my neck was feeling particularly cold. The one thing to keep in mind here, is that is not some fashion show, not some fancy dress-for-dinner cruise. No one cares what you’re wearing, so bring only what you need. The ship has laundry of course, so you don’t need to have too large a wardrobe. One thing I will say is pack a large ziploc bag for those waterproof trousers, cause nothing stinks up a suitcase like penguin guano. You have been warned. I had to wash them twice when I got home to get the funk out.

One final note: this is a great opportunity to search out deals at those online retailers that sell last-season’s colors and closeouts for hiking/camping gear. Most everything I got was from these retailers and it saved me a TON on money. So I had bright turquoise long underwear? Who cares!

Packing 101: Make Your Own Amenity Kit

One of the things that people love about flying business or first class, aside from the gigantic seats and free-flowing liquor, is that the airlines fuss over them. Give them freebies. Think of all the little necessities. Like an amenity kit.

Well, you can so this too. A bit of planning, a few minutes in the drugstore, and you can make your own amenity kit that will make flying that little bit easier.

The real benefit these little kits give you, aside from the goodies inside, is a convenient place to put them so you know exactly where to find the thing you need, so that you don’t have to rummage around for 10 minutes trying to find your gum or whatever. I keep mine in my under-seat bag just so I get at anything I want even when we’re trapped in our seats by takeoff or landing.

I use a small orange mesh bag primarily cause the color makes it easy to find inside a larger dark bag, and the mesh makes it easier to find things inside in a potentially dark airplane cabin.

Amenity Kit

Here’s what I take:

– A small pen. Anytime you fly overseas, you’re going to have to fill out a customs form (if not other things) on arrival. If you have a pen handy, you never have to borrow one off your seatmate or worse, wait until you land to fill it out.

– Lip balm. To be honest, the only two things I really need to fly are a book and some lip balm. Flying is dehydrating, so I always end up with chapped lips.

-Face cleaner.  Flying long haul always makes me feel grubby. I used to bring along a tiny bottle of regular face cleaner, but that has the added complication of being a dreaded liquid, as well as then requiring water and then drying your face on stiff rough hand towels. So I recently came across small face cleaner wipes and they really do a good job of cleaning your face without leaving you feeling sticky.


Face cleaner

-Antibacterial gel – you saw that report that came out about how dirty seat back pockets are. Eeeeuw. Get a tiny bottle. I usually just leave it in this main bag without separating it with my other liquids; they’ve yet to catch me and seize it but your mileage may vary.

-Toothbrush/toothpaste. You can buy cheap foldable toothbrushes online which I like cause they fit in a small bag (and protect the bristles from getting stuff caught in them). I bought about 6 of these the last time I stocked up. For toothpaste, I always have a few “almost finished” mini-tubes from prior trips that I bring along in my amenity kit so that I’m not carrying the whole thing and then can toss it when done.

-Ear plugs. Ear plugs. Ear plugs. Do not travel with out them. Several of them in fact, so that if you lose a pair or two you’re still okay. From the roar of a jet engine to that baby that won’t stop screaming to that unexpected all-night wedding party happening outside your Indian hotel…. you get the idea. Just buy them in bulk. Ever since I found the incredibly garish hot pink ones, those are the one’s I’ve bought. They’re much easier to locate in the folds of the sheets when they’ve popped out of your ears.

-Eye mask. The first time I went to very northern Europe in midsummer I just happened to bring along a thin, cheap eyemask that I had gotten in an amenity kit from a previous trip to Asia. It was a lifesaver. I used it every night and would have been lost with out it. It was hard enough to buy headache medicine in Russia, I cannot imagine trying to mime “eye mask” to the lady at the chemists. My favorite style is the kind that has a bumped-out eye area that makes it so that you can comfortably open your eyes with it on. I usually keep it in a pocket on the carrying case for my noise-cancelling headphones intead of in the mesh bag itself. A little container of lotion oozed out a bit once and got all over it; that was not pretty.

Eye mask

-Medicines: depending on where you’re going this could just be a few Advil; on a longer flight where you want to get some sleep this could include Benadryl (my secret weapon sleeping pill), real sleeping pills, immodium, pepto bismol, heartburn medicine, migraine medicine, etc. Just a couple pills of each in a small pill box can be a lifesaver.

-Face moisturizer: I usually pack whatever free sample I have so sometimes decant something into a smaller screw-top container.

-Sunscreen: If you’re landing somewhere especially sunny, it’s a good idea to pack some so that you can apply it after your pre-arrival face washing is done. I often use free samples for this too — any SPF 20 will do, you just need to get something on there.

– Hand cream: Usually the richer the better, my hands get so dry and messed up when I fly that it’s always a relief to get some lotion on there.

-Emery board: For whatever reason every single time I fly I manage to tear an edge of a nail, or get it caught on something, then spend the next 10 hours getting more and more irritated by that little snag. Solution? An emery board (or part of one). At some hotel recently they had a package of cotton balls and such that included a little miniature one. Perfect for flying.

Other things to consider adding: Gum if you have air pressure issues in your ears. Mints. An energy bar. A tiny bottle of hot sauce (if you need to spice up that airline meal), floss (get the dentist to give you those tiny disks of Glide the next time you get your teeth cleaned).

Once you have this kit put together, all you need to do when packing is figure out what needs to be replaced or refilled. It’s always there in your little mesh bag, ready to go.

Bonus carry on items:

Water bottle: Airports are increasingly likely to have stations where you can fill up your own water bottle with filtered water on the other side of security. This is great if you don’t want to spend $3.50 on a bottle of water.

Noise-canceling headphones: I’m somewhat torn on these. I have the large over-ear ones, and while you can’t really sleep in them, they do a good job of blocking out some of the white noise engine roar and make it a lot easier to understand the conversation happening in the inflight movies (I’m also somewhat hard of hearing, so normally miss a lot of this with all the background noise on the plane).

Do you have any must-have carry on items you always bring on long flights?

Who to follow: The Points Guy

In less than a month, I’m going to be winging my way from SFO to Frankfurt and on to Oslo in United BusinessFirst. For this I paid $39.40.  I doubt this would have been possible without everything that I learned on The Points Guy’s blog.


When I first started traveling, I never racked up many miles. When you’re flying on the absolutely-cheapest-most-restricted-airfare ever, one of the things you often sacrifice is the collection of frequent flyer miles. Either the fare is so cheap that the flight racks up no miles at all, or the earn rate on that partner airline you’re flying is only 25%-50% of the actual miles flown.

A few years ago however, I stumbled on this site and really started taking this idea seriously. There is a LOT of work involved in racking up miles via credit cards and shopping portals, etc., and I am by no means as into it as a lot of others (some people are really nuts about this stuff), but with a little planning and some focused card-shopping you can really reap some amazing benefits. There are two main caveats to this:

  • You need to have good credit to do this, but having multiple cards open does not affect your overall credit score as much as you’d think. There is a lot of explanation of how this works on The Points Guy, so I won’t go into it here.
  • You have to have your shit together enough to make sure you pay stuff on time. You don’t necessarily have to pay everything off every month, but you need to make sure that you pay the minimum at least so you don’t start racking up late fees and losing the miles you just earned and damaging your credit. So proceed with caution.

Pretty much everything you need to know about how to get started you can learn on The Points Guy’s site, but I wanted to highlight some things that were not obvious to me when I started doing this:

  • On lots of programs, buying a one-way award does not carry a penalty the way it often does when you’re buying an airfare. A one way fare is 1/2 the miles of a round trip. So you can fly to Europe on American, let’s say, and then fly back on United. Therefore you don’t need a kajillion miles on American, you can rack up 50K on each American and United, and hey you’re going to Europe.


  • Do not try to use miles for two things: going to Europe in Summer and Hawaii ever. Just don’t. Don’t even try. Everyone who says that they “can never use their miles” are trying to use them for these two things. Or they’re trying to use them on Delta. Hawaii is actually a great fare to purchase (especially if you can go off season), as you will rack up a lot of “butt in seat” miles that count towards elite status because it’s so far away. For Europe, it’s better to book awards off season, or into less popular European destinations (think Stockholm, not London).
  • Earning miles on credit cards almost never counts as “elite qualifying miles” – no matter how much you spend, you’re not going to buy your way to Premier Platinum*. Therefore if you want those perks, you’re gonna have to pay for some flights sometimes.
  • Don’t hoard miles. This is crucial. Hoard miles, and your life will be a litany of woe and regret. The airlines, especially in the last few years, have devalued their programs quite a bit, and all of a sudden with little to no warning those 100K miles you were saving up for a round the world trip… well you’re gonna need twice that now so you’d better figure out plan B.

All aboard

  • Pick one main plan to earn on. It’s best to base this on whatever hub airport is near you. If you’re lucky enough to live near a big airport that serves as hub for more than one airline, then you have more flexibility. United is credited with having the plan where it’s easiest to use your miles, and in my experience this is true. They have a lot of partners and therefore can get you almost anywhere on the globe, sometimes for just 40K miles one way.
  • You can use miles for tickets for family. Therefore, you can use miles to get Mom to visit you, not just for you to go visit her. I’ve flown my brother out to San Francisco several times this way over the years.

Most people who really try to earn a lot of miles use them only for big-ticket items like First or Business class fares. But if you have family and friends across the country, don’t discount using your miles for visits home. Smaller, less trafficked airports often have award seats available, and it’s nice to be able to plan trips last minute for little to no money out of pocket.

*There are some cards with very large annual fees that do accrue elite qualifying miles, but the fees are way too rich for my blood.

Travel insurance for $25? What’s the catch?

I’m suspicious. I’ll admit it. I’ve seen a lot of “revolutionary” apps and services that simply put don’t know what the hell they’re doing. They have a great idea for a service, but without any of the experience in running that kind of business to actually execute on it. That’s usually the “catch” — a startup has a great idea, and makes a pretty app, but then less than a year later they’re circling the deadpool. With a name like Berkshire Hathaway though, you expect that they might just know what they’re doing.

This company calls themselves Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, and they offer a product called AirCare. Simply put: give them $25, and they will insure your trip against common problems. This is not true travel insurance, as it doesn’t cover trip cancellation or medical evacuation, but it does offer protection for the groan-worthy inconveniences we often face while traveling: delays, lost luggage, and missed connections. Anyone who has spent 8 hours killing time in a terminal due to a long-delayed flight will understand. Why yes, $50 to pay for the fancy lounge with free snacks and drinks would be delightful, thanks!


AirCare currently only covers flights within the US, but frankly anyone who travels overseas a lot will know that we’re the world leader in lost luggage and delays. Most other countries simply don’t have so many flights in the air at one time, and don’t run their schedules nearly so tightly, so a delays are not as common. They say that in some instances, you don’t even need to contact them to activate the coverage, as they’ll be notified automatically that your flight has been delayed, or you’ve been on the tarmac for a few hours.

I’ll admit, I was a little confused at first why Berkshire Hathaway was in the travel insurance business in the first place. I know it really only because it’s majority-owned by Warren Buffet, and  has stock that sells for multiple thousands of dollars per share. I know it’s a conglomeration of various different businesses,  but travel insurance seemed a little out of left field. It turns out, one of the subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway is a “Specialty Insurance” company, which earlier this year acquired a company called MyAssist that offered concierge travel services to lots of different companies, and was started by the man that started Travel Guard insurance. Ah, now this is starting to make more sense.

You can get the whole run down in this Skift article here. To use the service, simply download their app, sign up and pay the $25.

You can even insure a trip at the last minute, up to an hour before your flight. From their website, it looks like more comprehensive coverage is coming soon.

UPDATE 5-22-2014: Though you need to be licensed to sell insurance in each state separately, I would have thought the bigger states, like California, are ones that you would have sorted out before launching. Unfortunately, that is not the case.  I’ve asked them to give me a holler when they can in fact sell insurance in California.

Who to follow: Airfare Watchdog

George Hobica doesn’t know this, but he’s the reason I’ve been to Australia. A travel journalist by trade, he started Airfare Watchdog as a means to list deals from all airlines, not just the ones available via that booking service (something you might notice if you get deals emails from Orbitz or Kayak is that they don’t list smaller airlines like Southwest, just the big guys). Actual human beings look into the fares, and my favorite part– they actually post screenshots of the flights and days the deal is good for. If a fare is proving hard to book on an airline’s site, just call them up and feed the flight numbers and dates to the reservation agent, and they should be able to get it for you.

Several years ago, a tweet appeared in my stream:  San Francisco to Sydney, $700 RT. Wait, what? Nonstop? Tax included? In…. AUGUST?! This seemed impossible. I quickly navigated to  ITA Software’s site to check and see what day in August this fare was valid for. The answer I got: all of them. The entire month of August and part of September was available at this rate. Technically that is winter in the southern hemisphere, but “winter” in Sydney is like “winter” in LA — a high of 70F instead of 85F. A great time to visit.

Australia. NSW. Sydney. Luna Park amusement park. Colorful signs

Oh, you bet I booked that flight. I booked one for my brother too, after arranging to share the cost with my mother and sister in law as a birthday present to him. One does not pass up a cheap fare to Australia.

Airfare watchdog offers two really useful things for the aspiring traveler:

They regularly tweet out deals they find that are especially good — these are the things like that trip to Australia, or this current $500 deal to Stockholm:

Deal to Stockholm


I’ve booked several trips from fares I’ve seen in these tweets,  including my trip to Iceland last year ($770 RT- woot!).


You can also sign up for alert emails at Airfare Watchdog for your city, which cover international and domestic destinations. This is a great way to get a feel for what is and is not a good deal. A general rule of thumb is: if the airline says it’s a good deal, it isn’t. Their “fare sales” are often no lower than the usual discount you get from flying Tuesday or Wednesday. Keeping an eye on prices really helps you to know when to jump on a fare, as you can better gauge when it’s truly special, like $700 to Australia (commonly $1300-$1500). You may see from these emails that fares to New York are routinely sub- $350, so you don’t have to worry too much about passing one by — another one will come along.

The final bit of advice? When you see a great fare you have to book first, ask questions later. Sometimes these fares last only a few hours. To get them, you need to be able to commit. That said, several airlines now give you a chance to put fares on hold for 1-7 days for a nominal fee. If you need to check with work/a spouse/your bank account then that’s the way to lock in a fare and work out the details later.

Packing 101 – No, you don’t need that

There are two elements to the art of packing: deciding what to bring and figuring out how to get it all in the bag you have.

I decide what to bring based on some simple principles:



1 Colors matter: Everything needs to match everything else. Easiest to stick to one neutral color (black, brown), then pick one or possibly two others (blue, green) for everything else. If all the shorts and skirts and shirts you bring are in within this color group, then you should be able to mix and match things pretty easily.

2 “Bring Layers!” : everybody says this but it’s still good advice. Instead of bringing that big winter coat that you might need, make sure you have a couple cardigans and a trenchcoat. You might end up wearing four layers of clothes one day, like I did on a recent trip to Stockholm, but heck: you’re warm.

3 Who cares: Guess what? These people in Bangkok, or London, or Monteverde, they don’t care what you’re wearing. You don’t need to impress them. Even more importantly, you’ll never see them again, so if you are wearing the same thing you wore two days ago, who the heck will even notice?

4 Avoid formal occasions: Once in a great while I feel like I have to pack “special” clothes for a “special” occasion, and every time I regret it. Either it never happens and I’ve brought extra clothes for no reason, or I end up someplace fancy where the surprisingly casual dress of the other diners makes me feel like a rube.

5 Don’t skimp on shoes: Always bring more than one pair of walking shoes. Rain, mud, blisters, aching feet — they happen. Having an extra pair can really make a big difference. I’m amazed at how just switching the shoes you’re wearing can give a new lease on life to aching feet at the end of a long day. Oh, and those “fancy” shoes you want to bring? The cute ones? Forget it. Leave them at home. See #3 above.

6 Socks and Underwear: I make no attempt to be one of those preening “light packers” who manage to pack for a week in a tiny knapsack – I just want to pack efficiently and make sure that everything I bring actually gets used. Therefore I’ll often pack a whole week’s worth of socks and underwear just so that I don’t have to do any sink-laundry while traveling. I mean really, do you really want to wash clothes in a bathroom sink after a long day of sightseeing? I don’t.

7 Finally: The little bits and pieces: depending on where you’re going, you may need:

  • nail clippers
  • headlamp (instead of a flashlight, they’re much more useful)
  • dental floss (can be used for so much besides teeth!)
  • gallon size ziploc bags (I use these all the time, for everything)
  • an extra luggage lock (in case one goes missing or you buy so many souvenirs you have to bring home an extra bag filled with your dirty clothes)
  • an extra bag – see above (you can get cheap sturdy pack-in-a-pocket duffels from REI that are perfect for this)

Now, how to get it all in there:

Eagle Creek pack-it cubes: it took me a long time to warm up to these… they do seem a bit precious, and might seem like a waste of money, but they do one really important thing: they keep things from shifting around in your bag and getting wrinkled. They can also make figuring out the geometry of bag-packing easier: they fit together better than hodge-podge stacks of clothes and once you’ve worked out how they best fit in your bag, you can pack them the same way next time. I also utilize ziploc bags a lot, for keeping smaller things organized (and to keep shoes from dirtying things up). It’s especially useful to pack this way if you’re going to be living out of your suitcase and moving around a lot. If you’re staying at one hotel the whole time then it really doesn’t matter that much.