Carry On Luggage

We’ve all read or heard the news about all the snow stranding travelers in airports. Do you travel with some helpful items in your carry on luggage?
I’m not advocating a HUGE carry on like some people try to stuff in the overhead bin. I’m talking about a few necessary items that could help you get through a few hours of delay time.
Pack a few granola bars or a bag of almonds. Include some 3 ounce items in a resealable bag…hand sanitizer, lotion, lip balm, toothpaste. Make sure your cell phone includes your airline’s phone number or web site. Include the charger for your cell phone. Toss in a deck of cards or a magazine. Add or wear a shawl that could double as a blanket or pillow.
Think about what would be useful to you in case you need to chill out in an airport for a few hours.
This may not help if you are stranded for days on end…but could help for a shorter amount of time. What would you take?

Reviews

Do you read reviews before picking a restaurant, staying at a B & B, choosing a hotel, etc?
Do you write a review after you have been somewhere?
Reviews can be valuable…if you know how to use them. Reading one good review followed by 20 bad ones about a place doesn’t really mean it’s the best place. I would keep looking. But reading 20 good ones and one bad one about some place…I would give it a chance.
It all depends on how comfortable you are reading reviews and paying attention to what is said in them. How do you do it?

Holiday Travel

Some travel sites say that December 23 is the biggest air travel day of the year. Some tell us airports are busiest and flight delays are most common during December 19 to 23 and December 26 to 28. Be prepared if you are flying this year and you will have a better travel experience.
You have probably heard all the TSA rules and regulations about bringing packages. Don’t wrap them. Good idea… If it isn’t too late, ship them ahead of time and all you need is a carry on. That way if you need to change flights at the last minute, you have your luggage.
If you can, ask someone to drive you to the airport…and pick you up. That way you won’t have to vie for a spot in an overloaded parking lot. And you can go right to the door without having to wait for a shuttle bus.
Download mobile travel apps…maybe one with flight status, your airline’s home site, one with airport security wait times, etc.
Add any useful phone numbers to your cell phone. If you have your airline’s phone number, you can call them while standing in a re-booking line.
Check the weather where you are going as well as any cities where your plane will be stopping…both incoming and outgoing. You will know if you need to keep an eye on your flight status.
Set up flight alerts to your cell phone.
Merry Christmas and Happy Traveling…

Rental Cars

Car rental rates seem to be going higher and higher. Why? According to Travel and Leisure, rental car companies have fewer cars available to rent…therefore higher prices. When you need to rent a car, you might want to keep these ideas in mind.
Look for online coupons or discounts. I have not used this online service, www.autoslash.com, but supposedly they search for discounts and apply them to your rental booking.
Do not take the prepaid gas option. Look for gas stations near the rental place when you pick up your car.
Check your car insurance before you go. Chances are you are already covered by it for car rentals.
If your loyalty program has great rates…then use them. But do check out other sites. You just may find lower prices elsewhere.
Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for when renting. Does the company charge extra for additional drivers? Are there extra airport fees? Does the site close early in the evening, causing you to add an additional day to your rental? When booking on line, make sure you have all the charges accounted for before you rent.

ParkSleepFly.com

Travelwriters.com just released this press release about a program that may be useful to frequent travelers. I have not tried it but it does sound promising.

About ParkSleepFly.com, Inc.
ParkSleepFly.com, a trendsetter and industry leader in hotel, parking, and airline reservations, offers travelers deals on overnight stays at over 1,500 hotels located just minutes from more than 129 airports in the U.S., Canada, and Europe – along with free parking for 7-14 days or more plus complimentary shuttle service to and from the terminal.

For business and leisure air travelers, ParkSleepFly.com offers flexible airport hotel park and fly packages with the convenience of arriving the night before a flight. Customers with long airport commutes and early morning departures have a new option to relax at a nearby hotel beforehand and avoid missed flights due to heavy traffic, airport parking lot congestion, and security delays. Travelers with return flights landing late at night also use the service to book a hotel room to get some rest before driving home. Either way, through ParkSleepFly.com, customers often find the cost of the hotel room with free airport parking can be about the same as airport parking alone. Reservations may be made at www.ParkSleepFly.com or toll-free at 800-PARKING (800.727.5464).

Christmas Travel

Traveling at Christmas this year? If you are staying in a hotel or B & B with family, why take along a few favorite Christmas decorations? Take stockings to hang, if that’s what you do. Pack a small string of lights or even a small tree. If you know in advance, ship those ahead to the hotel or B & B and you won’t have to worry about space in which to pack them.
Don’t forget to check the weather where you are going. You’ll know whether to pack coats or swimsuits!