Review: Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort

Some of my favorite hotel/resorts are of the all-inclusive variety. This means that everything is covered in your room price (though some locations vary) – non-motorized water sports, food, drinks, minibar, internet, resort activities, etc. This is the perfect blend to go with point stays because what you pay (points) is all you have to pay for everything on your stay! My most recent all-inclusive stay was at the Hilton Papagayo Resort in beautiful Costa Rica. Here is my review of our stay. Please forgive me – my stay was so relaxing and enjoyable that there were many times I forgot to take photos of the resort. Rather than being a detriment to the review, I hope you will take that to believe that it is a sign of how enjoyable a place it really is that I forgot to take pictures! Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa The Hilton Papagayo is one of many resorts in the Papagayo region of Costa Rica. Located about 20 minutes from the Liberia Airport (LIR),... ...

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Get 20% Off Select Running Shoes (and many other items)

Amazon is running a promotion through August 1st. The promotion is to spend at least $100 and save 20%. The sale is valid on many types of clothing and shoes beyond the running shoe category, but it is a great time to lay in your supply of running shoes for the fall training season. Get 20% Off Select Items At Amazon I do earn a commission if you use my links – thank you very much! There is quite a variety of shoes available and eligible for this sale and I was pleased to see that my choice of running shoes (the Asics Kayano series) was available as well. In addition, they also had my favorite trail shoes (the Salomon Speedcross) and one of my favorite racing shoes (the Asics DS-Racer series). Now, you may need to play around a little bit as some of the great deals are already discounted and that brings them below the $100 minimum. In that case, just buy extra pairs or get some pairs for... ...

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Marathons With Olympic Finishes

Marathons With Olympic Finishes There is something very special about the Olympics. It is always great to see the world’s best athletes competing against each for personal achievements and national pride. In my travels, I always enjoy going by the Summer Olympic stadiums in various cities to see the places where these great events took place. To that end, I thought it would be a good idea to find all the marathons that had Olympic finishes. These are marathons that finish at or in Olympic stadiums. I posted this several months ago, but with the upcoming fall marathon season, I thought it might be good to revisit some of these in case you are trying to figure out a good marathon. It is always a cool time when running towards the finish line of a marathon. It always seems a bit cooler when the finish line is at someplace like a football stadium (Illinois Marathon) or baseball stadium (Akron Marathon) since it can fit so many people and they are... ...

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Avios – The King of Spontaneous Travel

For most people, a trip involving an airplane is more than just an afterthought. There is a lot of research and searching that goes into booking a ticket before the ticket is booked. Those same people would not even consider getting a ticket to leave today or tomorrow – the thought would be that it is not possible! This is where we say hi to our friend, Avios, the king of spontaneous travel! Using Avios for Spontaneous Travel Of course, I am talking about the frequent flyer currency of British Airways. There points, what they call Avios, are the perfect solution for short-term, single segment travel as it only costs 9,000 Avios for a round-trip within 650 miles of your departure! If booking within the US, that is 16,000 fewer miles than any of the legacy airlines would charge for such a trip. In fact, the trip you would take with those 9,000 Avios is actually on American Airlines or US Airways (Alaska Airlines as well, but must be booked... ...

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Review: Hyatt Regency Rochester

This may not be on the top of a must-stay list, but as one of the nicest hotels in the Rochester, NY area, it should be at the top of your list if you are in the area. Hyatt Regency Rochester This hotel is located in my hometown, so it is an area that I know fairly well and have been in for a while. Not only am I familiar with Rochester, but I am also familiar with the Hyatt Regency in town. I know it is not too often that a person stays in a hotel that is in their hometown, but since it is one of the nicer area hotels, we had used it several times as a mini-getaway hotel. I also stayed there a lot recently as I worked to finish up my Hyatt Diamond Challenge. Location The Hyatt Regency Rochester is located right downtown next to the Genesee River. It is walking distance from many of the office buildings of the city as well as the city... ...

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Great Deal: Garmin Forerunner 310XT For $110 (Refurb)

The price continues to drop on this excellent watch – it is now $110 for a refurbished edition. I have zero problems with purchasing a refurb from a company like Garmin and would recommend it, especially with these savings. This package does not come with the heart rate monitor, but you might already have one or can pick one up for cheap on eBay or Amazon. Garmin Forerunner 310XT for $110 The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is an excellent running watch. In fact, it is an excellent biking and swimming watch as well! It has incredible battery life (20+ hours) and is a favorite amongst triathletes, ultramarathoners, and runners of all sorts. This is the best deal that I remember seeing on this very popular watch. In fact, it is at the price point that it would make a nice backup watch for some athletes (especially if you are like me and have something like the 620 but need the longer battery life for ultras). It would also serve in those... ...

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IHG PointBreaks Hotels Live Through September 30

Here it is – the next edition of PointBreaks for the next two months. As I mentioned the other day, these hotels are bookable for only 5,000 points per night and they are easily the best award value in hotel programs today. IHG PointBreaks List The following hotels are bookable now for stays from today (July 28th) through September 30th. Obviously, the better value hotels are going to go first, so get booking! Just remember that each member is limited to two reservations per property, so don’t be squatting! Getting the points There are a variety of ways to get the points necessary for PointBreak hotels. The one thing that I would only do as a last resort is to use Ultimate Rewards. Yes, these hotels are a fantastic value, but 5,000 Ultimate Reward points can be worth, at the minimum, $62. For many of us, we can find common value closer to $75 – $85 for Ultimate Reward points when transferred to partners like Southwest, Hyatt, United, and Singapore.... ...

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New American Express Offers

Here are some new American Express offers that are out. These are what I consider to be the best of the offers. New American Express Offers EBags.com This is similar to the recent offer, except it is now lower. The old offer was get $20 back on $100 purchase and this one sits at $10 back on a $50 purchase. To see my previous post about it, click here. This offer is especially lucrative because you can earn 15 Ultimate Reward points per dollar at Ebags.com. Check the previous post for all of the information on how to do that. This offer expires 08/31/2014. Sports Authority This offer works in-store or online and offers $10 back on a purchase of $50 or more. There are coupons and discounts for Sports Authority quite often, so this can get you a great deal on some running gear (or anything else you want from there). The Ultimate Rewards portal offers 5x points when shopping at Sports Authority through them. This offer expires 08/31/2014.... ...

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Weekly Summary

Welcome back to our Weekly Summary Series where we review the stories that were covered throughout the week. The Disappearing Chase Sapphire Preferred Dividend – Big Deal or No? Chase has decided to end the annual dividend of 7% that has been on this card since its introduction. In its place, it offers primary rental car insurance. Is it a big deal to lose that? Some say yes, some say no. Read more… Great Feature: The New Aegean Airlines Digital Card Aegean Airlines, the popular airline that offers Star Alliance Gold at a low threshold, has updated their app to include a digital member card. Find out why that is a big deal. Read more… The Triple 7 Quest – 7 Marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Days I have attempted to do a solo 6 marathons on 6 continents in 5 days, but this is an organized even that will actually have you running in official marathons! Sounds like a great idea, but at what cost? Read more… Did You Win The... ...

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