Lessons from Paris.



I love miles. I love collecting them, love to redeem them, I love to have them in general. Two things I hate about miles are as follows:

1)The company devalues them at will, and

2) when they make it extremely hard to redeem miles you already have.


I recently mapped out a route to Turkey via Skymiles that would give me a stopover in Amsterdam on my way to Paris. When I went to book the actual flight on miles, it wasn't available.


Lesson 1: When searching for flights on miles, search the flights using the shop with miles option, so you see what's available to you. I made the mistake of looking for the best itinerary on google flights and then tried to construct the same ticket using miles when those flights weren't available.


After it was all said and done, it left me with a nine-hour layover in Paris' Charles De Gaulle Airport. (CDG) The initial flight, AF 0009, was canceled and replaced with AF 0011. It now gave me twelve and a half hours in Paris, so I decided to make a plan for it. I would land at 10:20 am, spend the day in Paris, and then be back at the airport on time for my 10:50 pm flight to Turkey.


The plans were to find a storage locker at the airport, take the RER-B to Central Paris, have lunch at Le Pain and then head to the Louvre. If time permitted, I would take a Sienne river cruise before returning to the airport.


One of the mistakes I realized I'd made on this trip was not traveling with cash. Despite having it, I left it at home under the premise I wouldn't need it. One, because Paris uses the Euro and I had USD. The problem here; I would pay a horrible rate to convert the money at the airport and have to pay more fees when converting it back when I got to the states. It is why I travel with my ATM card and take cash out accordingly. I have free withdrawals worldwide and get reimbursed for any ATM fees I do pay. This time, however, my card wouldn't work. With no money, I sat at the airpo