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Catharine Hamm

Catharine Hamm is the Travel editor for the Los Angeles Times. Born in Syracuse, NY, to a peripatetic family, her stops included Washington, D.C.; Honolulu; and Manila. Hamm has twice received Lowell Thomas Awards, and the Travel section has been recognized seven times during her tenure as editor. Her favorite place? Always where she's going next.
Here's a nasty surprise about travel reward cards: Time is not on your side. That's not the only gotcha

You’re planning a vacation for June, and you’ll be enjoying the benefits of the new travel credit card you applied for just for its rewards points. In your dreams. At least, your short-term dreams. The world moves quickly but getting those rewards points? Not so much.

From LAX, $1,243 round trip to the Seychelles, where multiple cultures merge

This deal, from Etihad Airways, is for travel Nov. 1-20 to the Indian Ocean island republic, which is located about 320 miles south of the equator. Its 115 islands have a mixture of influences from Africa, Asia and Europe, especially France.

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