Become a World Traveler  --  Inspire

Sometimes We Enjoy a Travel Perk or Two

Fllight Upgrades and Airport Lounge Access Perks

Location: Around the World

We are half way through year eight of our travel life. And sometimes we enjoy a travel perk or two. We have fallen into an easy pattern as we navigate the world. We understand how the system works, we each have our area of responsibilities as we plan and execute our travels, and generally we are content.

However, we are also eight years older than when we first started. And along the way we have discovered a few things about ourselves that keep us happy in our retirement travels. For me, I need an outdoor space, even if it’s small, at our long term lodgings. I also need a washing machine…not a dryer, but definitely a washing machine makes me happy. Simple things but they make all the difference.

Bangkok. We had a really long layover, visited two lounges over a six hour layover


Because we are very cognizant of our budget, we always fly economy. But every once in a while we will bid on an upgrade seat in Business Class. We will never pay full price for Business Class, but if we can slide in at the last minute we take it. It’s the only time I can actually sleep on a plane. We recently enjoyed a fabulous Philippines Air Business Class flight from San Francisco to Manila. It was heaven for this old girl.

That said, we don’t just automatically book the cheapest flights out there either. We try to fly non-stops or one stop maximum. It makes such a big difference for our bodies. After the first few years of living this life on our retirement income, we figured out where and when to spend a bit more without breaking the bank.

Business Class Life
Philippine Air was comfy
Excellent food and drink in Business Class

Airport Lounge Privileges

If you fly a lot, you quickly learn that most airports, with only a few exceptions, are all the same. Uncomfortable seating areas, expensive food, and way too many people.

Last summer we upgraded our credit card to a Capital One Venture X. This new card provides us airport lounge privileges all around the world (in addition to some other perks). We have been very grateful for these, and have visited three different lounges in the Manila Airport (my least favorite airport in the world but the lounges are nice), lounges in Seattle, Brisbane, Melbourne, Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai so far. Some are nicer than others, but all are better than sitting at the gate.

Seattle USA
Manilla Philippines
Lapu Lapu Philippines

How Does it Pencil?

By the way, this is not a sponsored post…I’m just sharing how much I like this credit card.
The card cost $495 per year, but we get $300 back in travel credit when we book travel using the Capitol One travel site (which has turned out to be surprisingly easy to use and competitive with or Expedia, our normal travel standards). So in reality we pay $195 per year less the additional cash back we get for some specific travel purchases.

The way we figure it, before we were hanging out in airport lounges, we could easily spend $50, or more, on a meal and drinks while waiting for a flight. Now we eat and drink for free in lounges. We have enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as full cocktails, beer and excellent coffee. That saving cost alone pays for the card if you are a frequent traveler.

In addition, the Capitol One Venture X also gives us discounts when we book with Bookingdotcom, Expedia and Get Your Guide. All travel apps we use frequently.

Lapu Lapu Philippines
Hong Kong
Lapu Lapu Philippines

Although we have yet to use it, many lounges offer showers and even beds. We usually only have a few hours, so we charge our electronics, have a meal, use the wifi and kick back in seating that is much more comfortable than at the gate.

Melbourne Australia
Melbourne Australia

Travel Fatigue

I’ve talked in the past about the reality of travel fatigue. Our travel life may look exciting, and usually it is. But it also can be exhausting and there are occasional long, difficult days. As we have winged our way around the world, we have learned that our dollars are well spent on a little pampering, to help make travel comfortable and reduce travel fatigue.


Sometimes, since we have all the time we want, we will get a hotel at an airport, so we can sleep and be fresh for our next onward flight. This might be just for the day, or overnight. Arriving fresh at our destination makes us happier, less cranky and excited for what’s ahead.


Sometimes We Enjoy a Travel Perk or Two

Finding perks that are affordable but also keep us healthy and rested, is our goal. Since we travel so much, it pays to occasionally upgrade to Business Class and to carry the Capital One Venture X card. If you only fly once or twice a year, this probably isn’t the credit card for you. But if you are a nearly full time traveler like us, the lounge privileges are really nice.

Thanks for reading my post Sometimes We Enjoy a Travel Perk or Two. See last week’s post Koh Chang Thailand, Taking it Slow. Next week we begin a series of our travels in Italy. Hope you will come back for that!

We love it when you pin, share and comment on our blog posts. Thank you.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply anukrati

    Travel fatigue is indeed real. Other people only see the glamourous side of travel, but it does get exhausting after a bit.

    February 17, 2024 at 12:25 am
  • Reply Emily

    Great post! Very informative. I especially love the honesty about travel fatigue. Travel really isn’t always glamorous, despite how it appears on social media!

    February 17, 2024 at 12:35 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you so much!

      February 17, 2024 at 2:01 am
  • Reply Sharyn

    Well why not, I say! I like to treat myself also as I travel. Sometimes, it just makes all the difference.

    February 17, 2024 at 3:40 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Why be miserable right?

      February 17, 2024 at 6:59 am
  • Reply Sonia

    Your need for outdoor space and washing machine match mine. Enjoying travel perks like airplane lounges can make crowded airports just a bit more bearable.

    February 17, 2024 at 4:39 am
    • Reply Laureen

      I totally agree!

      February 17, 2024 at 6:59 am
  • Reply Terri

    I figure you need to use the lounge 4-6 times a year to make it worthwhile. I didn’t know you could get up to $300 credit back. This is fantastic. I can use their Capital One lounge at Dulles Airport so I may consider this card!

    February 17, 2024 at 5:00 am
    • Reply Laureen

      there is an App that helps you find all the lounges around the world. So far we think it is really paying off.

      February 17, 2024 at 6:58 am
  • Reply Cat

    Travel fatigue is real, especially with long-haul flights, those perks are often very worth it I agree 🙂

    February 17, 2024 at 6:57 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Indeed. Especially the older I get!

      February 17, 2024 at 6:58 am
  • Reply Linda (LD Holland)

    Glad to see you are getting some travel perks on your travels. Always nice to get a treat. Lounge privileges are something we find very helpful. We are those people who arrive really early for flights. And nice to have a clean and generally quiet spot to relax before a flight. Great that your credit card helps with perks.

    February 17, 2024 at 9:11 am
    • Reply Laureen

      I arrive early too! Can’t stand to feel rushed.

      February 18, 2024 at 12:17 am
  • Reply Roxane

    I have always wondered what’s behind the door of the lounges! Thank you for the photos and sharing the knowledge. You are right, airport seating is awful and food is overpriced and unhealthy in many cases. We certainly don’t travel as much but the older we get those 9 hour flights are simply brutal on our muscles and the food in economy is the least to be desired, processed awfulness. LOL. I always wish for the amazing upgraded seats that we pass by towards our seats when traveling long distances My husband sleeps anywhere but for me sleep on an airplane is rare Thank you for sharing the travel tips and opportunities!

    February 17, 2024 at 9:25 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Arne sleeps better than I do too. And it is definitely getting harder with age!

      February 18, 2024 at 12:16 am
  • Reply Diana

    Amazing blog .

    February 18, 2024 at 8:07 am
  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.