A few months ago, I organized an incredible trip with seven friends to Iceland (much, much more on that later), and we flew IcelandAir from Washington – Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Keflavik International Airport (KEF) outside of Reykjavik, Iceland. The price of our ticket? A whopping $580 (which is actually quite pricey for that flight in the winter). Our trip from D.C. to Reykjavik took less than five hours and we landed just as the sun appeared from behind the moss-covered cliffs of the Icelandic countryside.
If you can get past its staggeringly antiquated website, flying with IcelandAir is a great experience. There was WiFi available for the entire flight, and the seats were pretty comfortable. You have your choice of English language in-flight entertainment, both British and American, as well as Icelandic programming. IcelandAir also shows videos on Icelandic tourism on-board, which are both hilarious and informative. Even their safety video has garnered international attention for being, well, utterly Icelandic. Also, be sure to try the Icelandic Water they offer upon boarding the plane — it’s delicious.
I emphatically recommend visiting Iceland because it truly exceeded every expectation I had. After its economic collapse in 2008, the country sought to attract more Americans (and it worked — we saw Americans everywhere). The jaw-dropping flight deals are even sweeter when coupled with super low hotel rates. Now, it’s quite expensive once you actually arrive in Reykjavik, but getting there and staying there can be done quite cheaply.
But, you don’t have to be heading to the land of elves to fly IcelandAir. In fact, IcelandAir is known for its cheap flights from the U.S. to Europe. Since all of their flights to the rest of Europe stop in Reykjavik for a layover anyway, IcelandAir has a pretty savvy idea to attract tourists: you can enjoy a stay in Iceland en route to your final destination for no additional airfare. So, if you’re heading from New York City to, say, Copenhagen, you’d simply book your fare to Copenhagen using their special search engine and add a stay in Iceland (I’d recommend three days/two nights to see Golden Circle, Reykjavik and Blue Lagoon).
And if you live in D.C., there’s never been a better time to try out IcelandAir. The airline is celebrating year-round service from the capital city with a contest – #icelanDChase – that includes free plane tickets.
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The airport waiting game.
As a former presidential campaign staffer, I spent a lot of time flying. Half of those trips began out at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport- the second busiest airport in the world. While the airport has lots of amenities, arriving at your gate in time for your flight often proves to be a challenge.
That’s why I was fascinated by a theory from Jordan Ellenberg, a mathematics professor and author of How Not To Be Wrong – The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life. Ellenberg (fantastic name, by the way) claims that “if you’ve never missed a flight, you’re not doing it right.” He concludes that “if you consistently arrive at an airport three hours ahead of take-off, then it is true, you may never miss a flight. However, he claims that over the course of a lifetime you will also waste countless hours browsing duty-free shops and snoozing in airport lounges.”
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Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam (Travel Channel).
On his hit Travel Channel program, “No Reservations,” Anthony Bourdain enjoys some adventurous culinary experiences around the globe – including France, Iceland, New Jersey (!!), Vietnam, Malaysia, Sicily, Las Vegas, Uzbekistan and New Zealand. And that’s just the first season! Along the way, he’s discovered more than just unique cuisine. As he explains in a September 2013 interview with Esquire Magazine, Bourdain has learned how to travel well, from making flying more comfortable to indulging in a bit of luxury upon arrival.
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Welcome to Geaux Places: A Travel Blog. Here, you’ll find tips, reviews and itineraries based on my travels across the U.S. and the world.
About me? By day, I’m an overextended political operative based in Washington, D.C. By night, I’m a twentysomething who’s making her weekend plans or charting the course for her next big trip.
This is my first attempt at blogging for reasons unrelated to my day job, so I hope you’ll bear with me as I learn how this crazy thing works (and by thing, I mean “the Internet”). I look forward to sharing my experiences with you, as well as learning from other travel bloggers about how it’s done (and getting trip ideas of my own!). Please do drop a line!
So, as we say in my home state of Louisiana…
Laissez les bons temps rouler,
P.S. If you’re wondering about the blog title, “geaux” is a funny way to write the word “go” if you’re from Louisiana. Here’s some history on that.