Pura Vida

Cloud cover over Arenal Volcano

I am already back from a short three days in Costa Rica. It was absolutely amazing and I will share more very soon!


image via oficinadeestilo.tumblr.com

I’m leaving today for lovely Costa Rica. See you Monday!

What Credit Cards Do You Travel With?

Since I’m leaving for Costa Rica in less than a week, how I’m going to pay for everything is obviously on my mind. I was planning to only take only Discover card as my credit card, plus my debit card, but my mom convinced me that I really should take something other than Discover… just in case.

Which two cards and I taking and why?

image via Mint.com

Discover Open Road

Obviously. I’ve already mentioned it three times. Why? It has ZERO foreign transaction fees and they have made an effort recently to expand their international presence. Currently accepted in 50 countries worldwide, Discover’s largely in China and Central America/Caribbean right now… which is perfect since I’ll be in Costa Rica. It also has no annual fee, which I love.

image via USAA

USAA Platinum Mastercard

I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again, I l.o.v.e USAA. I’m not even military and I think their products are the best around. Somehow, I never realized that non-military members could get credit cards. Even though the interest rate is a little on the high side, they gave me a substantial line of credit and it only has 1% foreign transaction fees–far better than the 3% my other Mastercards give me. Additionally, the line of credit will serve me well in case some disaster does strike. Theoretically.

So there you have it, the two credit cards that will be making the trip with me. What credit cards do you travel with?


Packing List: 5 Days in Costa Rica

I leave in ONE WEEK for Costa Rica!  Needless to say, I am very excited. I’ve even packed already. And I took pictures! I’ll only be gone for 5 days so I probably could have done with even less, but between the city, the beach and the rainforest, we are hitting a variety of weathers and places.

My two bags


  1. Light jacket
  2. Black long pants
  3. Grey shorts
  4. Black skirt
  5. Blue shirt
  6. Black tank top
  7. Swimsuit
  8. Underwear
  9. Bra
  10. Hiking boots
  11. Flip flops


  1. Shampoo
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Hair comb
  5. Razor
  6. Glasses
  7. Contact case
  8. Contact solution
  9. Sunscreen
  10. Small tube mascara
  11. Small powder set
  12. Chapstick
  13. Advil
  14. Inhaler
  15. Kleenex

 Everything else:

  1. Day bag
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Passport
  4. Notebook
  5. Pen/pencil
  6. Travel documents
  7. DSLR camera
  8. Camera charger
  9. Cell phone
  10. Phone charger
  11. Credit card
  12. Cash
  13. Paperback book
  14. Bandana

Most of the bags’ contents

What does your packing list usually look like? Are you more minimalistic when packing or do you always pack more than enough?


Adventures in Discount Airfare

(via Gadling)

Ugh.  I always knew that sooner or later purchasing a discount airfare through a site like Orbitz, Cheaptickets or Priceline would end up poorly. I’m lucky in that I realized it four months before the flight rather than immediately before.

Basically, I got a great deal on a flight from San Antonio to Portland for the World Domination Summit about a month ago on Orbitz. As always, I checked my itinerary after purchase with the airline I’d be flying (Frontier) and all was well.

Today my mom asks me a question about Orbitz, I login to check the answer from my account and suddenly realize my flight is from Denver to Portland.  I panicked, thinking I’d done something stupid (seriously, like I’d somehow bought a ticket from Denver instead of San Antonio?). But nope, my original email definitely had the correct itinerary.

After close to half an hour on hold with the Orbitz customer service line, I finally get a live person on the phone. Another half hour later I have the promise of a refund from Frontier. Note: Orbitz’s Twitter customer service team was exceedingly responsive and helpful when I complained about being on hold so long.

The experience left me feeling a little frustrated and annoyed with Orbitz, whom I’ve loved and preached to all my friends and family about. Yes, I should be getting a refund for the ticket price, but I’m most frustrated with the fact that NO ONE TOLD ME THE FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED. Then, when I discovered it myself, I had to sit on the phone for an hour total, with a customer service rep I could barely understand and I’m ONLY getting a refund. Still, it’s better than the other option of waiting till June and see if maybe the airline could find a partner to take over the flight. Um, no thanks.

But I’m getting a free refund, so why am I complaining? Well flights have raised over $100 for the dates I need (for the crappiest flight times) since I’ve lost nearly a month. Oh right, and it’s the weekend after 4th of July.

After getting my rant on, I regrouped, asked my parents for their extra airlines miles and am hoping I’ll be able to snag a decent rewards flight.

Have you had any seriously frustrating discount airfare or airline experience?