Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Finalized my USA ticket and my jitters!

OK, I am finally happy with the ticket I bought.  I bought an All Nippon Airways (ANA) ticket through Cheap-o Air.  It costs less than my Hawaiian Airlines and with my trust in Japanese people,  probably great customer service.  I've taken ANA before when my sister Pincky and I flew from Tokyo to Osaka to go to the Universal Studios.  It was actually a memorable experience because we almost missed our flight and yet they still let us in when I told them we got lost (a.k.a. lost track of time shopping) on the way to the airport, the crew were nice enough to let us in last minute with no hassle.

It's my first time to buy anything from Cheap-O Air.  My friend Nina recommended it, said she always find good deals in the website.  She was right.  My ticket had their Lowest Price Guarantee and indeed they were.  I found my flight a few days before the day I bought it because I was afraid of the commitment; I was afraid that I might change my mind and my plans would again; but then it was actually a good decision because it became a few dollars cheaper AND it was the last ticket!  So with one eye closed, I entered my credit card number and booked it!

I later on confirmed that when they say it's the last ticket, it's really true.  I'm always skeptical about these things because I took up advertising in college and I know panic is a good emotion to trigger if you want someone to buy right away.   I tried searching the same flight again on a different website a few minutes after I booked it and it says that the flight isn't available anymore!  hey, whaddya know?  they weren't lying! lol.   I did not try to check my flight again after that because I want to remain happy with my purchase!  I would be so pissed if I find out my ticket is now 50% off or something. lol.

Photo from firstpointusa.com
So, to sum it up, I am spending 2 and a half months in the US hitting states mostly in the East Coast then the South then Alaska then come home from San Francisco.  I have traveled by myself a few times before but never this long and not this far from home.  I look forward to the fun stuff but I know I am going to have to suck up a lot of things I am not comfortable with and may be faced with situations that are less than ideal; adjust to a culture we Filipinos presume to know so much about. What do you think are the possible culture shocks I'd encounter?  Help me prepare!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My new travel gadget!

I am just so psyched about my trip to the US, you cannot imagine!  People may think I am overly excited for such a common place for people to go to, but you have NO IDEA how long I have been planning for my trip!  This anticipation has lead me to the desire of keeping a journal about it.

To help me with this, I have recently purchased a new laptop! (lame excuse, hehe)  I bought a Samsung Google Chromebook!

It's made by Samsung and the OS is by Google!  I mean seriously, how can you go wrong with Google?  Google is the best thing since...the internet!  They are so frigging awesome!

When I first held it, it was thin and light!  The outside was very plain, I was a bit disappointed about that at first, but then when you open it and start using the Google OS, you realize, you don't need all that design. This was my first time to try the Google OS as well; there was very little adjustment from Windows.  The keyboard is very comfortable to type with and the screen is very clear.  Check this video out to learn more about it:

What I loved when I started setting up, was that I'm already dependent on Google.  My email is gmail and I use Google Chrome browser on my laptop, on my Samsung Note 2, and so now, when I log in my Google account into the laptop....EVERYTHING IS SYNCED!  All my bookmarks from my laptop, all the browsing history, my accounts.  It's kind of scary but crazy awesome!

The battery lasts for 1 whole day!  It's a simple laptop for simple needs like blogging, facebooking and chatting.  This isn't meant to replace your desktop or anything, it's perfect for travelling!

The best thing about this?  It's only USD 250.  I bought mine from Amazon and had my friend bring it home for me.  I'm obviously sold.  Are you?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Update on my Hawaiian Air ticket!

I have been in purgatory of planning my trip since I found out that Hawaiian Air (HA) was going to stop their Manila-Honolulu flights.  I have been waiting for an update from Rajah and finally got an update last May 3.  I wasn't sure if they were going to rebook me or refund me of my ticket.

I was informed initially by Shay, Rajah's excellent customer service agent that has patiently explained to me the options I had, that I am only given a choice to choose which airline I want to take my Manila-Honolulu flight because the rest of my flights were still confirmed; anything else I would like to change in my ticket would be subject to surcharge!  Even if its to just to move the flight date.  I felt very defeated with the situation and asked Shay to do her best and try to get my ticket fully refunded.  I felt like I rushed into the decision to buy my ticket; so much has changed since I bought it in February!

So yesterday morning, I got a call from Hawaiian Airlines asking me if I have decided which airline I've chosen to take for my Manila-Honolulu flight and I said that I was hoping for my ticket to be refunded instead.  Without any hesitation, they agreed to my request!  So I'm very happy about it.  I finally have a closure, haha!

So now, USA is my oyster and I can plan my trip any way I want to; not restricted to my existing ticket schedule (expect for my airbnb booking in Manhattan), but still!!! I'm so psyched!