Hong Kong makes getting in just a bit easier. Plus, United now lets you book private jet flights, and we finish off the week with an excellent last-minute flight deal
December 16th, 2022
Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 4 seconds
Good morning from Antarctica!
Oh, wait, no... I'm actually in Winnipeg. It just feels like Antarctica... 🥶 Why did I choose to go to Manitoba in December? I couldn't tell you.
What I CAN tell you is that I have some big travel news to share with you to finish off the week, so let's jump right in:
🇭🇰 Hong Kong drops many (but not all) travel restrictions
🛩️ First-Class Friday: Book private jets through United
🎒 Sponsored by Tripped Travel Gear
✈️ Last-minute flights to Hawaii for 13,000 miles
🇭🇰 Wooh! Hong Kong starts to show signs of life
Most countries around the world ditched their COVID restrictions long ago, but a few have been holding out on us.
In an exciting development, Hong Kong has ditched many of its pandemic-related travel restrictions, making it much easier to travel to the country as a tourist.
While this is definitely exciting, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows…
Here are the details:
You still need to take a pre-arrival COVID test within 24 hours of departure
You also need to take a PCR test on day two after arrival
No restrictions on where you’re allowed to go
No need to use health app
No quarantine is required
Unfortunately, Hong Kong’s version of “easing restrictions” is similar to the policies most countries ditched months ago.
For anyone who has been dying to visit Hong Kong but was intimidated by the heavy pandemic restrictions, now might be the best time to go.
In my experience with countries reopening, tourists tend to flock to destinations as soon as they drop testing requirements. Sometimes, the airports are overcrowded, tourist hotspots are packed to the brim, and specific activities aren’t enjoyable.
This could be the perfect happy medium where it’s not terribly inconvenient to get into the country, but most people are still holding out, so it’ll be a little quieter.
🛩️ First-Class Friday: Book a private jet through United
When you started reading the Daily Drop, you might’ve thought flying first-class on Emirates or Etihad was completely out of reach. Of course, we’ve now learned that these things are actually much easier than you’d think.
So it’s only natural that we take things to the next level. I’m talking, of course, about flying on a private jet.
Well… a semi-private jet…
Let me explain:
JSX is a small airline that has only recently entered the airline game (about five years ago). They’re a hybrid airline that offers a semi-private experience in small jets but at much lower prices than flying private.
So instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars, you’ll pay hundreds of dollars (depending on the route, of course).
You’ll also likely have some fellow passengers with you, though the planes are so small that they won’t be anywhere near as crowded as regular commercial planes.
The coolest part about all of this is that JSX and United have teamed up recently to make booking a semi-private flight even more accessible.
You can now book JSX flights on United’s website and earn United miles when flying with JSX, offering even more reasons to try this unique carrier.
For example, you could book a flight from San Diego to Las Vegas for around $250, sometimes even slightly less.
That’s definitely higher than the cheapest possible flights out there, but it also definitely beats paying thousands of dollars for a typical private jet.
If privacy, quiet, and more premium experiences are things that you value, paying a couple hundred bucks isn’t unreasonable at all.
Personally, I’ll happily pay $19 for the Frontier or Spirit flight. But I’m a degenerate, so don’t listen to me.
🎒 Sponsored by Tripped Travel Gear
Personally, I take a lot of pride in my travel gear. I've spent a lot of time and money building my arsenal of travel packs, gadgets, accessories, clothing, etc.
That's why I'm super excited to partner with Tripped Travel Gear to bring you today's newsletter.
If the name sounds familiar, it's probably because you've seen their gear online. Tripped has some of the highest quality, highest rated, and most affordable travel gear on Amazon.
What I love most about Tripped is that they aren't another faceless corporation - Tim and Fin, the founders and owners of Tripped, are two regular travelers who have come up with solutions to the problems many travelers face.
After dozens of countries and years on the road, they've put their unique spin on the best solutions for life on the road based on their extensive travel experience. They even use their own gear while traveling!
Kara would agree; she recently upgraded to The XL Bucketlist Set, which is perfectly designed for a checked bag. 👇
These cubes have a second compression zipper allowing you to pack even more in your suitcase (If you're saving money on baggage fees, the smaller carry-on setis perfectly designed to optimize space in your carry-on).
If you need a last-minute gift for a traveling friend or family member or want to upgrade your travel gear without shelling out hundreds of dollars, Tripped is the answer.
It wouldn't be a true Daily Drop newsletter without at least one epic travel hack. Thankfully I have just the one to share with you, but you're gonna want to jump on this sooner than later.
Currently, Delta is offering flights to Hawaii for as little as 13,000 miles one way, which is an amazing value considering the distance and typical prices for flights between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii.
The catch? These prices seem to only show up for last-minute flights, about one or two weeks in advance.
For example, I found this flight from Los Angeles to Kahului for 13,000 miles on December 28th.
Thankfully, some flights a little further out are still quite reasonably priced. I found a flight from San Francisco to Honolulu on January 6th for only 17,500 miles, which is also very cheap and almost an entire month away.
So if you're looking for a winter getaway sometime in the next few weeks, this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of low-priced award tickets.
In case you forgot, you can easily earn Delta SkyMiles by transferring points from American Express. Plenty of Amex credit cards could earn you enough points to book a few trips at these prices, so check out our Top Cards list if you need some inspiration.
That's all I got for this week! Next time you hear from me, I will be in a place that's about as different from Winnipeg as possible (hint: it's much warmer, and I'll have to bust out my Spanish skills 😉).
Would you visit a country that still requires COVID testing so you can beat the crowds? Would you pay a little extra to fly on a semi-private plane over a commercial economy flight?Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.