Travels: Miscellaneous Travel Tips

Want to get away but don’t have a passport and don’t have time to get one? Consider Puerto Rico, Guam, or American Samoa. They do not require a passport to visit.

Have you heard the tale that you can fool your body clock when you’re crossing several time zones by staying up all night the night before your flight? Chances are this will just make you more tired when you get to your destination and put more stress on you. Instead, get a good night’s sleep the night before your trip and use the flight time for naps. Wake according to the clock where you will land. It’s a whole lot easier.

You check into your hotel and plug in your phone…only to realize you forgot to pack your charger. If you made a list, this might not have happened. However, before you run out and buy one…check with the front desk. The number one item left behind in hotels is…the phone charger. They may just have one in their drawer that fits your phone.

Travels: Safety Tips When Traveling

Did you know you could turn those little rubber door stops into a safety device. Instead of using them to prop open the door, use them to keep the door shut. It’s an additional lock. Just remember they are there in case you need to leave your room in a hurry.

Concerned about losing your phone while traveling? Change your phone’s lock screen to an image displaying your emergency contact info. Put your email address or an alternate phone number. If someone finds it and wants to return it, they will be able to get in touch with you.

If you carry a purse, do you wear it across your body instead of hanging off your shoulder? Across your body makes it harder for thieves to grab it. And, if you’re really concerned about someone cutting through your handle or strap, buy one with a secure strap. Some have steel like cables, some are just harder to slice.

Travels: Air Passenger Rights, part 2

Per smartertravel.com here are more:

If your flight is canceled, substantially delayed, or rescheduled you have the right to reroute at no extra cost or to receive a full refund, even on a nonrefundable ticket. Airline policies do differ so be sure to check what is meant by substantial delay or schedule change.

Tarmac delays are also addressed. The DOT mandates that an airline may not keep you on a plane for more than three hours on a domestic flight or four hours on an international flight without allowing you to get off if you wish. These are subject to security and safety considerations. The airline is obligated to provide food and water after two hours delay, provide updates to the passengers every 30 minutes, and assure lavatories are operable. If an airline violates these rules, you do not receive compensation. The DOT fines the airline.

Travels: Air Passenger Rights, part 1

 Recently I read a post on smartertravel.com about passenger rights when you fly. There are some interesting points here. 

In the US and Europe the price you see when booking is the actual price. The EEC and the DOT require airlines to display the full cost of a ticket, including all mandatory airline charges, governmental taxes, and user fees. Travel providers from online travel agencies or airline websites must also clearly display full prices or face penalties.

The DOT mandates certain air travel rights when bumping, requiring airlines to cover them in their contracts. You may be owed compensation when bumped due to overbooking, unless your airline can get you to your destination within one hour of your scheduled arrival. If it’s between one and two hours domestic or between one and four hours for international, it owes you 200 percent of the one way fare up to $650. If your airline moves you to another one, they must pay all the fees associated with that. Check with your airline to see exactly what they cover.

to be continued…

Travels: Helpful Hints

Travel socks make excellent cases for your sunglasses, for small souvenirs, as a makeshift screen cleaner, and as slippers.

Have a bug bite? Use that tiny bar of soap from the hotel, wet it a little, and rub it on the bite. Then, take the bar with you to take the itch out of that bite later in the day.

Did your shoes end up with water or salt stains during the day and you need to wear them again at night? Try rubbing a small amount of liquid shampoo on your shoes. Just a small amount rubbed in circles with a clean cloth can do wonders.

Travels: Fees When Traveling

You’ve probably already encountered parking fees at major downtown hotels in large cities. It’s just part of the visit. But, did you know some suburban hotels with large parking lots are now charging to park? They typically don’t tell you that on their website. Ask before you book or check all sites like Expedia, etc. before you book. The reviews may tell you what to expect.

If you are traveling to Europe and need a rental car, book from a US based company before you go. Typically the charge will be less than if you rented while in Europe.

What happens when you rent a car, then tell the rental counter your spouse may be driving it as well? Do they add additional charges for the second driver? California prohibits those charges and New York caps the charges at $3 per day. Check with your rental company before you go. If you are a member of their frequent renter program, chances are the fee will be waived.


Travels: Packing Tips and Tricks

If you travel, you’ve already found great tips and tricks that work for you. Check out these reminders and some new tips.

Save your bubble wrap when you receive a package with fragile contents. Use it to protect your valuables when packing. It works for bringing home souvenirs or protecting your tablet in your carry on.

Save that tissue paper from the department store. Use it to layer between your clothes, roll your clothes with the tissue inside, or ball it up to put in shoes, purses, or hats.

Travels: 2015 Places to See

According to several travel websites, these are some of the destinations you might want to look at for your 2015 travels.

Japan: They are gearing up to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and that means new hotels, visitor centers, and venues. Their new bullet train route debuts in March…a big deal as it cuts travel time in half for the beautiful coastal route. On a somber note, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both cities have educational peace parks and museums.

England: Did you know 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta? This historic document, along with an original copy of the US Bill of Rights will be on display in the British Library.

Toronto, Canada: In July the Pan American Games will take place for two weeks here. Like the Olympics, these happen every four years and include a must-see opening ceremony. Usually, tickets for these events are more affordable…making this the best place to see athletes from around the world compete in everything from diving to gymnastics to figure skating and more.

Milan, Italy: The Expo 2015 Milano will be held in Milan from May 1 through October 21. With more than 247 acres for the event, this year the Expo’s theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.  Foods, traditions, sustainability efforts, and technological innovations will all be highlighted.

Travels: Holiday Travel

Traveling at the holidays? Do you have your list ready? If not…take a look at this one and then customize it to meet your needs. 

Important Identification, Papers, and Essentials
Passport/visa                                    Guidebook                                                 Copies of passport
Identification                                    Maps/directions                                          Copies of credit cards
Boarding pass/tickets                     Medical insurance card                                 Itinerary              
Travel insurance card                     Emergency contact                                        Wallet
Credit Cards                                      ATM Cards                                              Cash
List of Medications
Personal Items
Contact lenses                                 Glasses                                                         First Aid Kit
Toothpaste/Toothbrush                Hair Products                                                   Soap                                   
Cosmetics                                         Deodorant                                                   Facial Products
Hand sanitizer                                  Bandages                                                      Tissues
Medications                                      Pain relievers                                                Vitamins
Clothing
Underwear                                        Scarves                                                         Shoes
Sleepwear                                         Festive Wear                                                 Sweaters
Accessories                                       Casual Wear                                                  Jeans
Hats                                                    Jewelry                                                         Gloves
Electronics
Electronics chargers                       Voltage adaptor                                             Camera/memory card
Tablet, phone, other devices
Gifts, etc.
Unwrapped gifts, if flying              Gift bags                                                           Gift wrap

Stocking stuffers                           Cookies or Holiday Food