Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/all en-US 10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-ski-trip-153831210-small.jpg" alt="family ski trip" title="family ski trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a working, single person in your 20s, a ski weekend might leave no lingering after-effects &mdash; either on the pocketbook or on aching joints. But once children join the picture, getting out to the slopes takes a little more financial planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 ways to cushion the financial blow of paying for two, three, or more little freeloaders' snowy fun.</p> <h2>1. Buy Passes Early</h2> <p>If you are going to ski more than two weekends, a season pass may be the cheapest way. The best time to start thinking about this is during the current season, not at the beginning of the next one. Most ski resorts progressively raise prices as the year goes on. Vail's <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2013/03/29/skiings-best-lift-ticket-pass-deals-are-right-now-for-next-season/">Epic Pass</a>, which gets you into multiple resorts, is typically available by March.</p> <p>My family purchased the Lake Tahoe local version of the Epic Pass in October for $499 per adult and $239 for our oldest child.</p> <h2>2. Look for Other Ticket Discounts</h2> <p>Even if you don't get a season pass, try to avoid buying your tickets at the resort ticket window. For one thing, waiting in the ticket line wastes some of your precious ski time. For another, the window price is typically the highest possible price. You can check with the resort website, local grocery stores, and ski supply shops for discount tickets. If you must buy at the ticket window, find out if there are any multi-day discounts available. Last year we were able to purchase three-packs at Sierra-at-Tahoe at a significant savings.</p> <h2>3. Ask If Kids Ski Free</h2> <p>Many resorts actually don't make you pay for small fries' lift tickets, but in my experience the staff might not tell you that. Other resorts offer a free kid's ticket with an adult purchase. Or they may let kids ski at least the rope tow area for free.</p> <h2>4. Look Into Parent Passes</h2> <p>When we had babies, my husband and I were sometimes able to get a &quot;parent pass,&quot; which allowed one of us to ski part of the day, then hand the ticket off to the other parent while the first parent took over childcare. <a href="http://www.timberlinelodge.com/ski-area/lift-tickets-passes/">Timberline Lodge</a> in Oregon offers a season pass that works this way, too.</p> <h2>5. Don't Pay for More Mountain Than Your Kids Can Handle</h2> <p>Mountains with a wide variety of Black Diamond slopes are great for accomplished skiers, but if your kids are going to spend most of the day on Green slopes or on a &quot;magic carpet&quot; conveyor belt, consider smaller, cheaper resorts. These places may also offer benefits such as closer, easier parking and a more family-friendly atmosphere.</p> <h2>6. Ski School Can Be Worth the Expense</h2> <p>My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I realized how much we would pay to put our littlest skiers into all-day ski school last year. However, once they were dropped off, I realized how much benefit we were getting from the service. Not only did our kids gain a lot of confidence on skis, but my husband and I were free to get our money's worth out of our lift tickets, instead of spending the whole day helping our kids get up after they fell.</p> <p>Not only that, but I really appreciated that the ski school staff helped my little skiers into and out of their skis and boots. With more than one kid to help, plus your own equipment to deal with, that part can be exhausting.</p> <h2>7. Pack a Picnic</h2> <p>Do you ever see people with barbecue grills in the parking lot of ski resorts? They're the smart ones. For the price of a typical ski resort small burger and fries, you can splurge on all your kids' favorite junk food, nice deli sandwiches, foie gras, or whatever your heart desires. If you can get close enough parking, rendezvous at the car at mealtime. Or get a locker, or even pack simpler fare in backpacks.</p> <h2>8. Intersperse Ski Days With Cheaper Activities</h2> <p>A lot of children are exhausted after a day of skiing. Take them onto the mountain three days in a row and you're just throwing away money on kids who will end up hanging around the lodge or lying in the snow, crying. (Not that I speak from experience or anything.)</p> <p>If you have a three day weekend, buy lift tickets for the first and last day, and plan an easy (and much less expensive) day of sledding or ice skating in the middle. With the decline of the snowpack in recent years, California resorts are putting in lots of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/sports/skiing/as-snow-fades-california-ski-resorts-face-a-brown-future.html?_r=0">alternative activities</a>. A day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is also cheaper, if not less exhausting, than hitting the slopes. If nothing else, sitting around the cabin drinking hot cocoa and watching movies is practically free.</p> <h2>9. Consider Buying Rather Than Renting Equipment</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive since kids grow faster than they would wear out their skis, but experts say that you often get a better deal owning kids' equipment. Some stores offer <a href="http://sportsden.com/pages/ski-services-and-rentals/kids-ski-exchange.html">trade-in programs</a> for fast-growing kids. Swapping with other families or <a href="http://www.epicski.com/f/10/gear-swap-buy-sell-gear">buying second-hand</a> can also be a great saver. If you don't buy, a rental for the whole season can save frequent skiers time and money.</p> <h2>10. Team Up With Another Family</h2> <p>Cabin rentals are quite expensive in the Lake Tahoe area, where we ski, and our family of five can easily fill up the average cabin on our own. However, since we're only there for a weekend, the kids are really fine three or more to a bedroom &mdash; especially if they're able to share with their best friends. This season we'll spend one weekend at Tahoe sharing a 3-bedroom with another family, and while it may be tight, we'll save money. Another advantage of skiing with another family is that if one or two kids get tired, there are more adults around to take turns caring for them.</p> <p><em>Do you take the whole family skiing? How do you control the cost?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">14 Fun Winter Staycation Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-never-pay-full-price-for">25 Things to Never Pay Full Price For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-money-laws-you-may-have-broken">7 Weird Money Laws You May Have Broken</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment Travel family travel family trips outdoor sports ski trip skiing Sat, 06 Dec 2014 18:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1264763 at http://www.wisebread.com Another 7 Travel Destinations Not Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/another-7-travel-destinations-not-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/another-7-travel-destinations-not-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Aspen%20Colorado.jpg" alt="aspen colorado" title="aspen colorado" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After my previous two articles on travel destinations to avoid (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-popular-vacation-spots-that-arent-worth-the-money-and-where-to-go-instead">7 Popular Vacation Spots That Aren't Worth the Money</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money">7 MORE Destinations</a>), it became quite clear that there was a need to highlight more places that you should cross off your &quot;see it at all costs&quot; list.</p> <p>Several people have commented that as travel becomes even more expensive, and vacation time is harder to take, spending precious time and money on a mediocre or disappointing holiday is gut wrenching. With that in mind, here are seven <em>additional</em> destinations to avoid.</p> <p>I'm not saying you should never, ever go to these places... But if your time and money is limited (and who has plenty of either to spare?), you should really move them much further down your list; or even off it. (And just like in previous pieces, each place listed comes with a suggested alternative.)</p> <h2>1. Key West, Florida</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Key%20West%20Florida.jpg" /></p> <p>You can get fabulous Key Lime Pies in Key West. However, that is not a great reason to spend a lot of time and money on a vacation.</p> <p>It may once have been a go-to destination, but it is a shadow of what it once was. One of the biggest complaints you'll read about this part of Florida is that it's overcrowded. If you like personal space, you are not going to like Key West, at all. The beach areas are not only chock full of tourists, they are also tacky and lined with tatty buildings that have seen much better days. Along with your overpriced hotel, you'll find underwhelming accommodations, sub-par restaurants, and vulgar tourist traps that are more interested in your money than making you feel happy and welcome. And then, there's Spring Break. If you are foolhardy enough to plan your trip around that time of year, get ready for endless nights of drunken college kids, rude behavior, and the kind of sordid displays more at home in the adult video section. Just say no to this one.</p> <p>Instead, try a little more culture in St. Augustine. It is rich in history, has wonderful architecture, and it not even close to being overcrowded.</p> <h2>2. Bali, Indonesia</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Bali%20Indonesia.jpg" /></p> <p>It has been called one of the most desired destinations on the planet. The Bali tourist board in particular likes to throw that one around. They tout the crystal clear waters and white beaches, which definitely do make up the Bali scenery. However, look a little deeper and there are some ugly truths to Bali that even the InBali.org website warns you about. Bali attracts the drunk, fighting Aussies and Brits (and as a Brit I know just the type) who come here to lounge on beaches by day, and throw up in street corners at night. And the idyllic scenery makes it easy to let down your guard, which brings the con artists and scammers out of the woodwork. When all is said and done, you'll spend 24 hours in the air, spending over $1,500 per ticket, to occupy a beach with louts, drunkards, and swindlers.</p> <p>Instead, <a href="http://allindonesiatravel.com/top-10-things-to-do-in-lombok-bali/">visit Lombok</a>. It is known as the best kept secret of Indonesia. You'll still get the fantastic beaches and scenery, but none of the Bali drawbacks.</p> <h2>3. Stonehenge, England</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Stonehenge.jpg" /></p> <p>&quot;Stonehenge. Where a man's a man. And the children dance to the pipes of Pan.&quot; That scene from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305922756/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=6305922756&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ONR3DHAVYQSCAFW5">This Is Spinal Tap</a> is far more entertaining than any expensive trip to the actual Stonehenge, in Wiltshire. And as a Brit who has been there, trust me on this one.</p> <p>You may think there is some mystical aura awaiting to be discovered. But It's just a bunch of big rocks, and after ten minutes you'll start getting itchy feet. What else is there to do in Wiltshire? Well, let's think. You can see the eight White Horse chalk figures on the hillsides. There's an outlet shopping mall. You can also visit the UK's number one safari park; the animals just love the cold and rainy British climate. And, other than a few pubs and a lot more fields, that's about it. It's an awfully long way to go for some rock gazing.</p> <p>By all means take a day trip to Stonehenge (it will be a short trip as well), but make your actual destination something much more fun. Cornwall has much more to offer than Wiltshire, with spectacular beaches, a surfer's paradise, Land's End, Tintagel Castle, and some <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destination/uk/60513/Cornwall-nightlife.html">great watering holes.</a></p> <h2>4. Istanbul, Turkey</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Istanbul%20Turkey.jpg" /></p> <p>If you like smoking, you may actually like Istanbul. Cigarette smoke is everywhere, and your lungs will feel like they've been through a cheese grater if you're not used to it. That's not to mention the smell that lingers. The historic buildings and streets are littered with vendors selling cheap, tacky tourist souvenirs, screaming for your attention and blocking your experience of the real city. There is also a major traffic congestion problem in Istanbul, with aggressive drivers leaning on the horns and obeying none of the rules of the road. And that's not even the real dangerous side to this part of Turkey. Admittedly, it has been cleaned up in recent years and is not as dangerous as it once was. But it's still not a warm and friendly place, and if you walk the streets at night you are a target for street thugs and muggers.</p> <p>If you want to go to Turkey, visit Bodrum or Side. The latter is a wonderfully picturesque town with classic ruins, pristine beaches, and awesome dining and nightlife.</p> <h2>5. Aspen, Colorado</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Aspen%20Colorado.jpg" /></p> <p>I live in Colorado. I can tell you first hand, Aspen is not worth the expense. In fact, it's fair to say it is one of the most overrated places I have ever visited. For a start, everything in Aspen is extremely expensive. You will pay many times more to ski the same slopes that you can get to from other mountain areas. Rich celebrities have homes in Aspen, and they visit them from time to time. But if you think that means you're going to be rubbing shoulders with Tom Cruise and Oprah, think again. You'll be lucky if you see one of their personal shoppers. Honestly, it is now simply a very pricey tourist trap that is only worth visiting if you have more money than sense.</p> <p>Instead, there are so many more wonderful, and much less expensive, mountain towns and cities. Try Glenwood Springs, Vail, Beaver Creek, Telluride, Steamboat or Crested Butte.</p> <h2>6. Costa Rica</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Costa%20Rica.jpg" /></p> <p>A small, Central American country, Costa Rica sounds like an exotic paradise; and it certainly is lush and green. However, many people who visit seem to be underwhelmed by their visit. The food, for starters, has a tendency to be on the bland side. This is unexpected for Central American cuisine. The landscape can be harsh in places, with some roads being impassable or even dangerous. If you visit any time between April to the end of October, you can be rained out of many planned activities. And when I say rain, this is not a little downpour&hellip;this is tropical.</p> <p>If you want something in the same vein, but a little more exciting and reliable, visit Leon in Nicaragua. Rich in Spanish colonial architecture, Leon is filled with art and culture, beautiful beaches, and a lot more nightlife options.</p> <h2>7. Laguna Beach, California</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Laguna%20Beach.jpg" /></p> <p>Smelly. Dirty. Crowded. Loud. Overrated. Rip-off. Just some of the words I've heard people use to describe their trip to Laguna Beach. I asked friends and co-workers what place they'd never visit again, and three instantly came back with Laguna Beach.</p> <p>This is one of those places that people flood to because they know the name, and not because they know a lot about it. You will be searching for parking, and a spot on the beach, for hours in peak season. Oh, that also goes for getting food, drinks, or anything else. At the local nightclubs and bars you'll be screaming over each other to be heard. And of course, as it's so touristy, all of the prices are inflated. Just avoid it completely. If you want a beach in Southern California, you have better options. Try Catalina Island, La Jolla Cove, or Coronado.</p> <p><em>Where will you never travel again? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-7-travel-destinations-not-worth-the-money" class="sharethis-link" title="Another 7 Travel Destinations Not Worth the Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-7-travel-destinations-not-worth-the-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money">7 More Travel Destinations That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel don't visit places to avoid tourist traps verpriced travel Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1257387 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Tips for Traveling With Pets http://www.wisebread.com/23-tips-for-traveling-with-pets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-tips-for-traveling-with-pets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog-car-travel-104523329-small.jpg" alt="dog travel" title="dog travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't want to leave your furry family members behind if you don't have to. So here are 23 tips for traveling with pets to help you navigate the world of sticky border regulations, pet-friendly accommodation hacks, flying with pets, gear to make the journey easier, and much more.</p> <h2>Before You Go</h2> <p>Before you take to the road with your pet, you'll want to cover the following basics.</p> <h3>1. Research Embassy Requirements</h3> <p>Lauren and Kenin Bassart of <a href="http://www.theconstantrambler.com/">TheConstantRambler</a> have been traveling the world full-time with their dog Zoe, a wiemaraner, since 2012. They find that traveling with a dog sometimes dictates where they can and can't go.</p> <p>&quot;Different countries have different requirements. Many countries require quarantine periods and we avoid those when taking Zoe. Most countries require shots for rabies, bordetella (kennel cough), and parvo. Call an embassy and do your research online to see what the country's requirements are, and make sure to have your paperwork handy when crossing the border.&quot;</p> <p>You can research various country requirements at <a href="http://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm">PetTravel.com</a>.</p> <h3>2. When Entering or Leaving a Country, Your Itinerary Matters</h3> <p>In researching pet travel requirements, consider both where you're going and where you're coming from. Gigi Griffis has also been on the road since 2012 with Luna, her pint-sized schnauzer-yorkie mix, who has 11 passport stamps and counting. She has a section for dog travel tips on her website <a href="http://www.gigigriffis.com/category/luna/">Gigigriffis.com</a>.</p> <p>&quot;Countries (especially those with low incidence of or no incidence of rabies) have requirements that vary based on where you are coming from. If you are coming directly from the U.S. or Canada, the requirements are often as simple as a vet visit, some paperwork, and a stamp from the appropriate U.S. or Canadian authorities. If you are coming from South Africa or Thailand, the rules might be different.&quot;</p> <p>It's not just about your last destination either, Gigi says even layovers in certain countries can affect your pet's ability to cross borders. You can find US requirements on the <a href="http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth?1dmy&amp;urile=wcm:path:/aphis_content_library/sa_our_focus/sa_animal_health/sa_export_from_us/sa_live_animals/ct_iregs_animal_exports_home">APHIS website</a>.</p> <h3>3. Get a Health Certificate</h3> <p>Health certificates are required by airlines, border authorities, hotels, pet-care centers, and others. In many cases you need to get your health certificate within 10 days of starting your trip. Research the specific requirements of your itinerary before visiting the vet, so they can include everything necessary in the certificate.</p> <h3>4. Keep an Electronic Copy of Your Pet's Health Certificate</h3> <p>Many hotels, travel operators, pet care centers, airlines, and customs and immigration agencies require a printed record of your pet's veterinary certificate. Instead of printing off reams of copies for every possible instance, just print off a couple and keep an electronic copy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.twitter.com/myschatheriault">Myscha Theriault</a> is a best-selling author and internationally-syndicated travel columnist who travels full-time with her science journalist husband and giant Labrador retriever. With her electronic copy handy, she's always ready to produce her dog's health certificates as needed.</p> <p>&quot;The hotel's business center printer allows me to print a PDF copy of our Labrador's shot records as required, for example whenever we need to book an afternoon of daycare for her from the road. It keeps the paper clutter down day-to-day, while still remaining prepared for last-minute changes in our schedule.&quot;</p> <h3>5. Research Local Vets</h3> <p>Just in case something happens on the road, you don't want to be scrambling to find a reputable vet. Record the contact information for a few vets in the area you're visiting before you go.</p> <h3>6. Don't Carry Endless Amounts of Pet Food</h3> <p>Instead of worrying about finding a specific brand of pet food or carrying bags of food across borders, Gigi focuses on the ingredients.</p> <p>&quot;I usually carry enough food for a few days and then buy a bag of food when I arrive. Since different countries tend to have different brands, it's important that you know what ingredients are in your pet's food. Instead of trying to find your brand, look for a food that has the same basic structure. If you feed your pet something with chicken and grains (the majority of dog foods), look for chicken and grains. Even switching brands, I find that Luna's digestive system does fine if I stick with the right ingredients.&quot;</p> <h3>7. Bring a Pet First Aid Kit</h3> <p>You don't want to overdo it, but having a little kit to care for your pet can prevent you from scrambling for something at the last minute. Pawfriendly has some good suggestions for what to include in <a href="http://www.pawfriendly.com/community/pet-first-aid-kits">your pet's first aid kit</a>.</p> <h2>Flying With Pets</h2> <p>Flying with pets isn't particularly easy for either the pet or the owner, but it certainly isn't impossible. Here are some tips to make the process smooth.</p> <h3>8. Call the Airline</h3> <p>Airlines have differing regulations for traveling with pets, such as pet carrier dimensions, required health certificates, etc. Always check with the airline for their requirements before you book. You can view <a href="http://www.pettravel.com/airline_rules.cfm">various airline requirements here</a>, but you should still call the airline to confirm that their rules haven't changed.</p> <h3>9. Choose an Airline-Friendly Carrier</h3> <p>Petco, a company that features pet products (including these <a href="http://www.petco.com/N_4294955108/Airline-Travel-Shop.aspx">airline-travel-friendly pet carriers</a> and toys) suggests the following tips when selecting a carrier suitable for your pet and flying with them:</p> <ul> <li>Your pet should be able to stand freely, turn around, and fully lie down in the carrier.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cats, who are especially prone to stress when flying, can be calmed with special sprays designed to reduce feline anxiety. For dogs, there are supplements that do the same thing as well as prevent motion sickness.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put a familiar towel/blanket or toy in the carrier with your pet to provide them with comfort and a sense of home.</li> </ul> <h3>10. How and When to Crate Your Pet</h3> <p>Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) has lots of <a href="http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/seasonal/cesars-travel-tips">pet-friendly travel tips</a> on his website. Among them, he has some good tips with regards to when and how to crate your pet.</p> <ul> <li>Don't leave anything in the crate (like leashes or loose collars) that can harm your pet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't treat the crate like a prison, for example by using a sad voice and saying things like &quot;sorry&quot; when you crate them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fast your pet for four to six hours prior to crating them to fly, so they don't have a full stomach/bladder.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Exercise your pet as close to departure time as possible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Crate your pet before entering the airport, which can be a stressful environment.</li> </ul> <h3>11. If Traveling in the Hold</h3> <p>If your pooch needs to travel in the hold, try to book direct flights. Clip their nails so they don't get caught on anything, and make sure you spend a few weeks getting your pet used to their crate before traveling to reduce anxiety. Also, carry a picture of your pooch (in case they're misplaced &mdash; yes, it happens), and notify the flight attendants/captain that you have a pet in the hold. The Humane Society website has some other <a href="http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/traveling_tips_pets_ships_planes_trains.html">good tips for flying with a pet in the hold</a>, in addition to a variety of general pet travel tips.</p> <h2>Staying in Hotels</h2> <p>Hotels have varying services and restrictions when it comes to checking in with pets. Here are some hotel hacks from the experts:</p> <h3>12. Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels</h3> <p>Myscha says La Quinta and Red Roof Inn are chains that typically take pets without a nightly fee. When there isn't one around, Myscha turns to tourism boards for suggestions.</p> <p>&quot;We typically ask the local tourism board and visitor center for recommendations of the more unique spots. They are always way more in-the-know than even the most up to date [pet-hotel] website.&quot;</p> <h3>13. Ask Questions Before You Book</h3> <p>Pet policies differ dramatically by hotel. Ask the following questions to ensure you're getting a good fit for both you and your pet:</p> <ul> <li>Are there additional fees for checking in with pets?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have size restrictions?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are there any resident pets? (Depending on the pet, they could be problematic or a great playmate).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you offer services for pets (anything from providing food/water bowls to pet-sitting services)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What are the rules and restrictions (for example are there certain areas I can and can't go with my pet)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have rooms with easy access to the outdoors?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are there nearby parks where I can exercise my pet?</li> </ul> <h3>14. Book a Hotel With an Outdoor Restaurant or Bar</h3> <p>&quot;Having a resort where there are bars with outdoor access and tables or tie-on poles is a great perk for us,&quot; says Myscha. Her pup doesn't do well in restaurants, but can handle hanging out in an outdoor establishment. &quot;Strolling downstairs when the venue isn't crowded enables us to at least have a drink outside of the room without having to book daycare for the dog.&quot;</p> <h3>15. Train Your Pet to be Rental-Friendly</h3> <p>Gigi stays mostly in apartments through vacation rental sites like AirBnB. Instead of focusing on finding pet-friendly rentals, she focuses on making her dog a rental-friendly pet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals?ref=seealso">How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals</a>).</p> <p>&quot;I don't worry about whether the places are pet-friendly or not. Instead, I find four or five places I'd like to stay and reach out with a message that asks if they would be willing to make an exception for my dog explaining why she's an exception-worthy tenant. These reasons are that she is a non-shedding breed, small (about 12 lbs/6 kilos), therapy trained to work with kids in hospitals (and thus very well behaved), and has landlord references. For the most part, landlords and hotel owners are worried that pets will make noise, destroy something, leave hair all over the room, or bother other guests. If you can put these fears to rest, you have a chance of getting an exception.&quot;</p> <h3>16. Get &quot;Landlord&quot; References</h3> <p>For Gigi, the key to having a rental-friendly pet is in producing references. &quot;Almost nobody thinks about doing this, but it is endlessly helpful. Whenever you stay somewhere with your pet, ask the landlord or owner to mention the pet in their reference. It's a simple matter for the landlord and helps future landlords evaluate your exception request with confidence.&quot;</p> <h3>17. Request a Room on the First Floor</h3> <p>Many pet-friendly hotels will assign you a first floor room (or even better, one with direct outside access), but it's always good to ask. Myscha always specifically requests a first-floor room. &quot;Elevator or not, it's a pain in the neck to do midnight potty break runs with your pooch if you have to travel down several floors to do it.&quot;</p> <h3>18. Checking-In: What to do First</h3> <p>&quot;When you check into your hotel room make sure to bring your luggage, your pet's food, and their bedding in immediately. The smell is comforting and the pet will feel more at home in the hotel knowing that there are things in the room that smell familiar,&quot; says Lauren.</p> <p>Once initially settled in, Lauren and Kenin continue the integration process. &quot;We take a short stroll around the hotel and come back into the room 15-20 minutes later. This keeps separation anxiety at bay because they know we are not abandoning them. It also let's us know if they are going to bark or not when we leave for a longer period of time.&quot;</p> <h3>19. Have a Toy for Distraction While Checking In and Unpacking</h3> <p>Myscha uses the hotel mini-fridges to freeze a Kong full of peanut butter for times when they're tending to business and unable to pay attention to their dog. &quot;This keeps her distracted during lobby meetups, or while we are unpacking and organizing the room.&quot;</p> <h3>20. Continental Breakfast? Stock Up on Peanut Butter Packs</h3> <p>&quot;The [single-serve packets of peanut butter] at the morning continental breakfast bar are great for filling in when you've run out of your travel stash, and they can also be used for administering medication pills without fuss,&quot; says Myscha. She adds that grabbing a piece of bacon or sausage or even some cereal can come in handy when you've run out of treats and there's no convenience store in sight.</p> <h2>Road Trips With Pets</h2> <p>Going on a road trip? This is a much easier way of traveling with pets than flying, but there are still a few things to be aware of.</p> <h3>21. Limit Driving Times Each Day</h3> <p>Mary and Al Hone of <a href="http://www.talesfromthebackroad.com/">Tales From the Back Road</a> have been traveling full-time in their RV with their two dogs (Roxy and Torrey) for over two years. Despite traveling with all the comforts of home, they limit the amount of time spent on the road itself. &quot;We try to not travel more than five or six hours per day. It's tiring for us, and boring for the dogs. We make frequent stops at parks, or somewhere we can play fetch, or just somewhere we can walk.&quot;</p> <h3>22. Make it Comfortable, and Strap Them In</h3> <p>Lauren says preparing the car helps to make their pooch comfortable, and alleviates their worries while driving. &quot;She has a bed in the back of our VW with a blanket and her favorite toy. She is also harnessed and seat-belted so she is safe in case of emergency.&quot;</p> <p>Mary and Al are also sure to secure their dogs to keep everybody safe. &quot;Torrey has a seatbelt harness, and Roxy has a car seat to keep them both safe as we travel. This also keeps them from being a distraction to the driver.&quot;</p> <h3>23. Have Fresh Water and Treats On-Hand</h3> <p>&quot;We have a portable doggie water bottle and make frequent stops to let her stretch her legs and hydrate,&quot; says Lauren.</p> <p>Mary and Al also ensure they have some food on hand for wonky driving schedules. &quot;If we miss dinner time for the dogs, they know it and remind us. The treats keep them happy until we can stop and get them their dinner. They are also good for rewarding good behavior and patience.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you tried traveling with pets? Leave your best tips and recommendations in the comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-tips-for-traveling-with-pets" class="sharethis-link" title="23 Tips for Traveling With Pets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-tips-for-traveling-with-pets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps">Get Rich Walking Dogs in 9 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel dogs pets travel traveling with dogs Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:00:09 +0000 Nora Dunn 1256479 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unexpected Jobs With Insane Travel http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-travel-121200843-small.jpg" alt="businessman travel" title="businessman travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of us, travel is something we do when we're going on vacation or visiting friends and relatives. But other people, they get to travel all the time; once a month, or maybe even once or twice a week. Not only that, but it's all paid for. These are the people who have chosen careers that require travel as part of the job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <p>And some of these are jobs you wouldn't expect to come with great travel benefits. If you're thinking of switching careers, here are the top 10 jobs you should look into if you want to see more of the world.</p> <h2>1. Auditor</h2> <p>You would not think a job in the financial sector would involve so much traveling, but auditors are out there as much as international jet setters and professional athletes.</p> <p>An auditor's job is to make sure than any given organization is utilizing its resources efficiently, whilst complying with all financial laws and rules. Every public company must, by law, undergo an annual audit. And these public companies are everywhere. As an auditor, you will travel to these companies, spending several weeks combing through the files and procedures. That's several weeks at a time that you get to spend in a city or town that is not where you call home (though beware, they're not always exactly glamorous locations).</p> <h2>2. English Teacher</h2> <p>The people most in need of help with English skills are those not living in English-speaking cities and countries. So an English teacher, or ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor, must be prepared to travel all over the world helping people to speak the language. Many ESL teachers not only get free travel benefits, but free accommodation and even free meals. There are even opportunities to work on military bases, if that's something that interests you. When you're not teaching English, you're taking in the local sights and sounds on someone else's dime.</p> <h2>3. Au Pair</h2> <p>Au pairs are usually hired by wealthy couples that both work full time, and require help with their children. The job can take you all over the world, working in France one year, and Australia the next. Room and board is usually given to you as part of the job, along with a salary and other benefits. The downside is that most of your time will be taken up by caring for another family, but if you're young and single and want to see the world at little cost to you, this is a great place to start.</p> <h2>4. Unit Photographer</h2> <p>If you are very good with a camera, the world is your oyster. Sure, the world's best photographers are in demand everywhere, but you don't have to be Annie Leibovitz or David Bailey to travel the world in style. One of the best areas to go into is entertainment photography. Movies and TV shows are filmed on location all over the world, and as a unit photographer you will be required to take still shots of the action as it's being filmed. The benefits, other than free travel and accommodation, are obvious. You get to be on the sets of some of the biggest shows and films in production, seeing them long before they come out in theaters. Your food will be supplied on set every day. You'll also get to hang with the cast and crew. This is a great job that most people don't even know exists.</p> <h2>5. Hotel Inspector</h2> <p>Wherever there are hotels, there are hotel inspectors. And there are hotels all over the world. Hotel inspectors are required to stay in places that run from Five Stars all the way down to Zero Stars (the ones that look more at home in horror movies than travel brochures). However, for the most part the hotel inspector will spend most of his or her days on the road, going from hotel to hotel, and rating the food, accommodations, customer service, and cleanliness of each hotel. This will involve flying to some parts of the country, and everything on the trip is paid for.</p> <p>You also have to be a master of disguise. As one hotel inspector noted, &quot;A hotel can scramble to clean up its act in seconds if it knows an inspector is checking in, and it's always a battle to make sure no one is on to me. That's why we disguise ourselves. I used to grow a beard every other year. One inspector I know dyes her hair. Another uses fake glasses. To keep my cover, I'll pay with credit cards that I've taken out in made-up names&hellip;&quot;</p> <h2>6. Writer</h2> <p>Obviously travel writers get the most gigs, but you can find a variety of writing jobs that come with a heavy dose of free travel. If you're a food writer, you'll have to go to the many different places around the world that serve the latest foods (which you will also be reimbursed for). If you follow sports teams, you will be on the road as they go to their various engagements. If you cover entertainment, you'll be in New York one day, and Hollywood the next. Yes, it's not an easy career to break into, but once you get a gig at a major publication, you can expect a lot of your time to be away from the office. Writers have to experience life, not read about it on the Internet.</p> <h2>7. Advertising and PR Executive</h2> <p>Advertising and PR may not be what is was in the eighties, but it's still a glamorous profession in many ways. As an account executive or PR employee, you will often have to travel around the country, or the world, to meet with clients and liaise with local press outlets and print shops. Once again, any travel you go on will be covered in full by the company, and that includes food, hotel bills, and anything else you need to live your life while on location.</p> <h2>8. Athletic Scout</h2> <p>As a scout in the sports industry, you need to find the best talent all around the country. Whether it's baseball, basketball, football, hockey, or soccer, you must be out there all the time making sure you get to the best talent before anyone else does. Some scouts work exclusively for one team, others freelance for several. As you go from college to college, and city to city, all of your travel and accommodation is paid for by the professional teams you're scouting for; and these teams are not exactly hurting for money. True, you'll have to sit through a lot of games, but if you do this for a living you'll love the sport anyway. Getting paid to travel the country watching sports? That sounds good to most people.</p> <h2>9. Roadie</h2> <p>Every music gig you've ever been was made possible by the crew of roadies working tirelessly behind the scenes. The roadie, or technical support staff, is responsible for helping the bands set up for a gig, and tear down after it. It's by no means an easy job. There is a lot of lifting and carrying involved, and there is often a need for musical ability or knowledge, especially if you're going to be tuning instruments for the band members. But the perks&hellip; oh, the perks.</p> <p>For a start, you're going to be traveling with some big names in rock, pop, metal, and every other genre that does nationwide (and even worldwide) tours. You will be on the road constantly, traveling from town to town, city to city, and country to country. You get to eat and drink well, and rub shoulders with the rich and famous. And you don't even need formal qualifications or training.</p> <h2>10. Field Service Technician</h2> <p>Due to the nature of the job, the FST has to go to the equipment, not the other way around. It could be elevator repair, heavy-duty equipment maintenance, or even train engine repairs and rebuilds. As a FST, you go where the work is, and you get paid to travel, stay in hotels, and get your per diem for meals and other expenses. Many companies offer on-the-job training too, so you can become qualified as you travel.</p> <p><em>Have you held any of these or other jobs with a lot of travel? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Unexpected Jobs With Insane Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-e-books-to-help-you-make-money-travel-and-change-your-life">Three E-Books to Help You Make Money, Travel, and Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-perks-you-should-be-demanding-from-your-employer">6 Perks You Should Be Demanding From Your Employer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income Travel career perks travel wanderlust Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1255271 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Times You Should Drive Instead of Fly http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-convertible-travel-78189393-small.jpg" alt="man convertible travel" title="man convertible travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unless you're absolutely terrified of soaring the friendly skies, you may choose flying over driving any day. Since you can arrive at your destination faster and you don't have to deal with a tiresome drive, flying is often a no-brainer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays?ref=seealso">The Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>But even if flying is your preferred way to travel, there are times when driving makes more sense.</p> <h2>1. You're in No Hurry</h2> <p>If you don't have to be at your destination by a specific date or time, driving might be the lesser of two evils. You can take your time, travel at your own pace, and perhaps break up the trip over one or two days to avoid travel fatigue.</p> <p>Even if you booked a hotel for one or two nights while driving to your destination, the cost of driving &mdash; including fuel and food &mdash; might be cheaper than flying. And when you bring your car on vacation, there's no need to rent a car, duh.</p> <h2>2. You're Traveling With Your Family</h2> <p>I didn't realize how much airline tickets had skyrocketed until I was booking tickets this past June. Traveling as little as two hours in the sky costs an average of $450 round-trip per ticket.</p> <p>If you have a family, multiply this number by four (or however many family members you've got), and you're looking at $1,800 for plane tickets alone. And as we all know, vacation expenses involve more than just plane tickets. You have to factor in accommodations, a car rental, food, and entertainment. Frankly, most people don't have this kind of cash to spend.</p> <p>But if you pile your family or friends in the car and hit the road, you only pay for fuel. If it costs $50 to fill your car, and you fill up four times during the course of the trip, $200 sounds a lot better than $1,800.</p> <h2>3. You're Traveling Last Minute</h2> <p>Booking an airline ticket months in advance is one way to snag a low price. But life happens, and sometimes we have to travel last minute. Several factors influence the cost of airline tickets, such as oil prices, distance, and the timing of flights. And unfortunately, if you're booking a flight within seven days of a departure date, you're going to pay a premium. So, if you have to travel last minute, you might be better off driving.</p> <h2>4. You're a Heavy Packer</h2> <p>Not only is there the cost of purchasing airline tickets, you might pay a checked bag fee between $25 and $35 per bag. And if you overpack and your suitcase weighs more than 50 pounds, there's an additional charge.</p> <p>This isn't an issue if you pack light or have a carry-on item. However, if you're traveling with a family or if you're a heavy packer, multiple bags are inevitable. And the more luggage you pack, the more you'll pay in airline fees. But if you drive a car, SUV, or van, there may be plenty of space for luggage and any other items you need to bring.</p> <h2>5. You're Looking for a Bonus Experience</h2> <p>Driving has its headaches, which is why some choose to fly instead of drive. But if you want your entire trip to be an unforgettable experience, the fun can begin the moment you pull out of your driveway.</p> <p>Select a scenic route on the way to your destination and take advantage of a few photo opportunities. Or if there are popular attractions and landmarks along the way, spend a couple of hours exploring. Why not hike amidst Sequoia trees in Northern California or spend the day at Lake Tahoe in Nevada?</p> <h2>6. Your Car Is a Comfortable Ride</h2> <p>Even if you don't mind driving to a destination, you have to consider your car's comfort level. You don't want to spend two or three days recuperating from back, hip, or leg pain after your trip.</p> <p>But if there's ample leg room, the seats are soft, and you're confident that you can make the drive with little or no discomfort, give it a shot &mdash; especially if there are one or two other drivers in the car. You can drive a little and then rest your eyes, or recline your seat and rest your back. It might not be the fastest way to get to your destination, but at least you can enjoy a comfortable trip while saving money.</p> <p><em>Do you want to share other reasons why driving is better than flying sometimes? Let me know in the comments below!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Times You Should Drive Instead of Fly" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-should-drive-instead-of-fly">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-airline-fees-that-are-actually-worth-paying">8 Airline Fees That Are Actually Worth Paying</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips">10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel car trip driving family travel flying Tue, 04 Nov 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1250603 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-hotel-check-in-484378693-small.jpg" alt="couple hotel check in" title="couple hotel check in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's nobody better than a professional traveler to know how to get great hotel rates, free upgrades, and tweak their rooms to make their stay as comfortable as possible. In this article, a panel of professional travelers share their 25 best hotel hacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>Credit Cards, Membership Programs, and Status Hacks</h2> <p>Before even searching for a hotel, some professional travelers start their hotel hacking with credit cards, membership programs, and status hacks to ensure the red carpet is rolled out well before they arrive.</p> <h3>1. AAA Membership</h3> <p>Chris Guillebeau travels the world (all of it &mdash; having recently completed his mission to visit every country), and is a New York Times bestselling author, founder of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>, and writes for a small army of remarkable people at <a href="http://www.chrisguillebeau.com/">ChrisGuillebeau.com</a>. When he's not staying at a hotel for free with frequent flyer miles, Chris says a simple membership with AAA can go a long way.</p> <p>&quot;A small investment in AAA membership (which anyone can join, from anywhere in the world) can save an average of 5%-10% on many hotel stays. Even if it doesn't save money, rates booked through AAA are usually cancellable until the day of arrival, which helps a lot with flexibility.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Use Hotel Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses</h3> <p>Matt Kepnes aka <a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com/">Nomadic Matt</a> is author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399159673/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0399159673&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=55LXWNOPLJ2PJKLH">How to Travel the World on $50 USD Per Day</a>, and has been traveling the world since 2006. Matt advocates applying for hotel credit cards with hefty sign-up bonuses that will afford you up to a week's worth of free accommodation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a>).</p> <h3>3. Transfer Miles From Universal Credit Cards</h3> <p>Although Matt likes the occasional sign-up bonus, his steadfast hotel hack surrounds the use of universal miles, using travel rewards credit cards that allow you to transfer points to any number of airline and hotel programs. &quot;You can transfer those points to hotel loyalty programs and redeem them for free rooms.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>4. Get Automatic Status With Your Credit Card</h3> <p>Al-Nawaz Rajan generally pays 2-star prices for 4-star hotels, and shares his travel hacking tips on <a href="http://www.creditwalk.ca/">Credit Walk</a>. He's a fan of using platinum cards that get you upgraded status at hotels just for being a card member. Some of those cards come with a hefty fee, but the upgraded status is worth its weight: &quot;Some of the benefits of higher status include late checkout, free breakfast, Internet, upgrades to suites/better rooms, additional point earning, and welcome gifts.&quot;</p> <h3>5. Get Your Status Matched</h3> <p>Once you have status with one hotel or brand, you can get that status matched with other hotels. Elizabeth Houck has flown over a million miles in search of budget premium experiences, and has lots of great advice to share at <a href="http://www.elizabethhouck.com/">ElizabethHouck.com</a>. She says getting your status matched is as simple as calling the loyalty line and requesting a Status Match or Challenge.</p> <p>&quot;Brand Y will want a copy of your most recent status statement from Brand X faxed or emailed (sometimes mailed) to them. Follow Brand Y's requirements and instructions and usually within a couple of weeks you will have status.&quot;</p> <h3>6. Earn Status With Cheaper Hotels</h3> <p>If you're still working on getting status to begin with, Elizabeth suggests focusing all your efforts and hotel points on one brand. This doesn't have to cost a fortune either: &quot;Most hotel loyalty programs are based on nights, not dollars spent. If you need X number of nights for status in a particular program, consider short one-night stays in a 'lesser' property to achieve status for less bucks. Think Park Hyatt vs. Hyatt House or Hyatt Place.&quot;</p> <h2>Hotel Hacks for Booking</h2> <p>The trick to hacking your way into booking hotel bliss is to know where to find the deals, and how to book them. Here are some creative ideas.</p> <h3>7. Email the General Manager</h3> <p>Elizabeth Houck is now consistently upgraded to the king suite at one particular hotel, because she emailed the general manager after having a mediocre experience at their hotel. &quot;I wrote the GM about the experience and he was happy to extend a fantastic rate for me to give the hotel another chance. Needless to say, the upgrade to the king suite on my next visit was well worth the few minutes it took to write the email.&quot;</p> <p>Once she had a relationship with the GM, Elizabeth wasn't afraid to ask for more. &quot;In a follow up phone call before my next arrival, I asked for exactly what I wanted &mdash; a good rate, no resort fee, and a king room. I then emailed him confirming my stay.&quot;</p> <h3>8. Use Bidding Sites</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete Heck of <a href="http://www.hecktictravels.com/">HeckticTravels.com</a> sold everything in 2009 to travel the world, and have been named 2014 National Geographic Travelers of the Year. They enjoy the deep discounts offered by using hotel bidding sites.</p> <p>&quot;We are recent converts to <a href="http://www.priceline.com/">Priceline.com</a> and <a href="http://www.hotwire.com/">Hotwire.com</a> &mdash; two sites that have allowed us to save big money on hotel rooms. While we never know the exact hotel we will be staying at before we book it &mdash; we only choose by location and &quot;star&quot; rating &mdash; their prices are deeply discounted we have never been disappointed.&quot; (For more information on how to bid on hotels, see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals">3 Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a>).</p> <h3>9. Call the Hotel</h3> <p>If it's your first stay at a given hotel, and you don't have a reason to contact the general manager, you can still negotiate a good deal. Mike Richard has been a professional traveler since 2006, and is the founder of <a href="http://www.vagabondish.com/">Vagabondish.com</a>. His advice is decidedly low-tech but effective: Simply call the hotel and ask them for a deal.</p> <p>&quot;This works especially well with mom-and-pop hotels or smaller chains. Find the best possible deal online, then call the hotel and see if they'll do better. I find better deals more than 75% of the time.&quot;</p> <p>Mike adds that the hotel has incentive to give you a deal, since by calling them directly to book, they won't have to pay commissions to a third party booking site.</p> <h3>10. Go Last-Minute With Groupon</h3> <p>If you have some flexibility (and nerves of steel), wait until the last minute and use sites like <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11675857">Groupon</a> to nab a deal. This tip comes from Kristin Addis, a former investment banker who quit her job to travel full-time, and now blogs about her nomadic adventures at <a href="http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/">Be My Travel Muse</a>.</p> <p>&quot;You can get a room somewhere like Las Vegas the day of or the day before for much, much less, but of course you must be very flexible!&quot;</p> <h3>11. Use Country/Currency Arbitrage</h3> <p>A few professional travelers polled use country/currency arbitrage to nab a hotel deal. Kristin says &quot;sometimes looking at booking engines specifically geared towards Australia, for example, can result in savings if booking in Australian Dollars. If I'm using a travel credit card that doesn't charge fees for foreign transactions and has fair rates for currency conversion, it can be a great way to save some money on a room.&quot;</p> <p>Erin Bender of <a href="http://www.travelwithbender.com/">Travel With Bender</a> concurs. &quot;Search in different country-specific versions of the same website and also try an incognito browser window. For instance <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11307852">Expedia.com</a> can be cheaper than expedia.com.au even when you take the currency exchange rate difference into consideration.&quot; Erin has traveled the world since 2012 with her husband and two young children.</p> <h3>12. Go Long</h3> <p>Erin also suggests if you are staying somewhere for more than a week, contact the hotel directly to negotiate a lower rate. It's less work for the hotel to keep one customer than to turn over the room constantly; &quot;we have saved up to 75% on nightly rates by negotiating a better monthly rate with the owner.&quot;</p> <h3>13. Use Price Guarantees</h3> <p>When she's not actually traveling, Deia Bong spends her time figuring out how to travel more, and then writes all about it on <a href="http://www.nomadwallet.com/">Nomad Wallet</a> (and on Wise Bread). She benefits from price guarantees offered by major hotel chains.</p> <p>&quot;Some hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton will match the lowest price you can find and give you freebies or further discounts on top of it.&quot; As an added bonus, by contacting the hotel for their price guarantee and booking directly with them (as opposed to using the third party site where you may have found the lowest rate), you'll earn loyalty points for your stay. &quot;Each hotel chain has a different system for handling price-matching requests, so check their website before making a claim. If your claim is approved, the extra discounts are added automatically.&quot;</p> <h3>14. Use Booking Sites With Low-Price Guarantees and Loyalty Benefits</h3> <p>&quot;If you don't like the idea of sticking with one hotel chain's loyalty program, use booking sites with lowest-price guarantees instead. I personally like the loyalty program at <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11200399">Hotels.com</a>, which gives you one free night for every 10 nights you book through the website &mdash; this goes for the 100,000 eligible hotels on the website,&quot; offers Deia.</p> <h3>15. Advise of a Special Occasion in Advance</h3> <p>Although you can always mention a special occasion at check-in and hope for an upgrade if it's available, Nicole Connolly does it in advance.</p> <p>&quot;If you are visiting a hotel for a special occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary, let the property know when you make your booking as many hotels will give you a complimentary upgrade to help you celebrate. You might be lucky enough to find yourself in a Deluxe Spa Suite with champagne and chocolates awaiting your arrival.&quot;</p> <p>Nicole and her husband Michael have been full-time travelers since 2012. They are travel writers, bloggers, and travel consultants, and they share travel tips and destination guides at <a href="http://www.suitcasestories.com/">Suitcase Stories</a>.</p> <h2>Hotel Hacks at Check-In</h2> <p>Even if you've booked your hotel without points, status, or a special occasion to celebrate, you can hack your way into a decent room with these tips.</p> <h3>16. Slip 'Em a $20</h3> <p>Elizabeth Houck once read that the easiest way to get an upgrade in Las Vegas is with a $20 tip at check-in.</p> <p>&quot;I tried it and jackpot! I've literally done this dozens of times and only once was I not upgraded. At check-in, you always provide ID and a credit card. I simply pull out a $20 bill, fold it, and place it under my cupped hand at the counter; reception always notices. If I get a special view, or upgrade, or some other perk, they get the money; if nothing is available I've not committed myself. One time I asked for an upgrade and only had a $5 on me, but it was enough to get a king corner room.&quot;</p> <h3>17. Offer a Review</h3> <p>Sabrina Iovino of <a href="http://www.justonewayticket.com/">JustOneWayTicket.com</a> has been traveling almost non-stop since 2008 and spends a lot of time in hotels and resorts around the world. If she doesn't book a good hotel deal in advance, she tries to get a deal on the spot.</p> <p>&quot;It helps to mention something like 'are you also on <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/">Tripadvisor</a>? I'd love to write a review...' &mdash; sometimes it leads to an upgrade, better rooms, or a free breakfast.&quot;</p> <h3>18. Ask to See a Few Different Rooms</h3> <p>Nick and Dariece are the nomadic couple behind <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/">Goats On The Road</a>, which inspires others to turn their travels into a lifestyle. During their many years of sleeping in foreign beds, they've learned a few tricks to make their stay comfortable.</p> <p>&quot;We recommend asking to see a few different rooms when you arrive. Why? Because more often than not, the owner or manager will try to get rid of the least desirable rooms first. You may find yourself sleeping in a dark damp room with a view of the neighbouring building, when there's a lovely bright room with an amazing view of the city right next to you! Rooms in hotels can vary greatly. Ask to see a few &mdash; it can't hurt.&quot;</p> <h2>In-Room Hotel Hacks</h2> <p>Once you've checked in and are pleased with your digs, here are a few hacks to make your stay even more comfortable.</p> <h3>19. Ask for Dishes</h3> <p>Rhoni Speed of <a href="http://www.livingourlife.com/">Living Our Life</a> and her son have been traveling on a budget for over 16 months, enjoying culture, language, food, and helping others. Instead of spending a small fortune eating all meals out, she keeps some meals simple.</p> <p>&quot;I will always ask for some dishes in our room even if we do not have a fridge, in order to have breakfast or snacks on our own to save money and time and for just relaxing.&quot;</p> <h3>20. Towel Heaters Are Clothes Dryers</h3> <p>Hotel laundry services are ridiculously expensive, and a little hand laundry is a necessity when you travel full-time as Rhoni and her son do. &quot;If they have towel heat racks in the bathroom I will do some hand-washing of clothing and use the racks for dryers.&quot;</p> <h3>21. Stream Shows to the Hotel's Big-Screen TV</h3> <p><a href="http://www.matt-gibson.org/">Matt Gibson</a> is a Canadian travel writer and photographer who has lived in Taiwan, Guatemala, Mexico, the USA, and traveled extensively on four continents in the past decade. He always carries a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DR0PDNE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR0PDNE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MO57NG36EB2IFZFW">Google Chromecast</a> with him.</p> <p>&quot;If your hotel has Wi-Fi and your TV has an HDMI input (which most do), then you can use the Chromecast to stream video online to the hotel TV from your computer, tablet, or phone, so you can keep up on your favorite series' on Netflix no matter where you are.&quot;</p> <h3>22. Use the &quot;Do Not Disturb&quot; Sign for Security</h3> <p>Matthew Karsten of <a href="http://www.expertvagabond.com/">ExpertVagabond.com</a> has been exploring the world as a professional travel blogger and photographer for four years. &quot;If you're staying in a cheap or sketchy hotel somewhere and don't want to leave your expensive stuff alone with housekeeping, just keep the &quot;Do Not Disturb&quot; sign outside your door for the length of the trip. They won't know if you are in there or not, and who really needs the room cleaned every single day?&quot;</p> <h3>23. Don't Use the &quot;Clean Room&quot; Sign</h3> <p>As an addendum to Matthew's tip, don't use the &quot;Clean Room&quot; sign. It not only tells housekeeping that you would like your room cleaned, but it also tells everybody &mdash; including potential people up to no good &mdash; that you're not in the room.</p> <h3>24. Override Thermostat Motion Sensors</h3> <p>Being on the road three to four days each week as a flight attendant, Glenn Ward appreciates a comfortable (and cold!) hotel room. He uses <a href="http://www.lifehacker.com/override-your-hotel-room-thermostat-and-set-it-as-hot-o-1462595059">this trick from Lifehacker</a> to override the thermostat. &quot;Now when I go to bed at night I don't have to worry about not moving enough to engage the sensors and keep the room cold,&quot; says Glenn.</p> <h3>25. Keep the Power On With a Spare Card</h3> <p>Many hotels use key card systems that are rigged so the power is only on in your room when you stick your room key/card into the slot by the door. This means when you're out, there's no air conditioning and no power to charge your electronics. Override this by sticking an old credit card or membership card (in some cases a simple business card will work) into the slot.</p> <p><em>What's your best hotel hack? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel hotel hacks hotels lodging travel hacks Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:00:08 +0000 Nora Dunn 1240314 at http://www.wisebread.com 24 Train Hacks From an Amtrak Veteran http://www.wisebread.com/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-train-travel-dv2047006-small.jpg" alt="train travel" title="train travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amtrak isn't easy to love, and yet so many of us do.</p> <p>The pleasure of watching one region of the country transform to another before our eyes &mdash; without having to keep those eyes on the road or stay strapped into seat belts &mdash; makes up for our rail system's failings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think?ref=seealso">Here's Why Bus Travel Is Cheaper, Easier, and More Awesome than You Think</a>)</p> <p>This summer, my husband and I took our three children from Chicago to Oakland by rail &mdash; 2,729 miles on the Southwest Chief and Coast Starlight. Along the way &mdash; and on some of our past Amtrak adventures &mdash; we learned these hacks to help make American train travel cheaper and more comfortable.</p> <h2>Cost</h2> <p>Travel by train isn't as cheap as we would like it to be &mdash; here's how to cut the price.</p> <h3>1. Coach Ticket Prices Can Vary Depending on When You Book</h3> <p>Try buying your ticket 11 months in advance. If the price goes down at any time after that, call Amtrak and <a href="http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/43091-cancel-and-rebooking-at-lower-price/">ask them to adjust your fare</a>.</p> <h3>2. You Probably Qualify for a Discount</h3> <p>AAA members get 10% off. For our trip, that discount was more than the cost of the AAA membership fee, so I joined, even though I <a href="http://carfreemom.com/">don't own a car</a>. Discounts are also available for <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/discount-train-fares-for-kids-seniors-military-students-and-more">military, seniors, and other organization members</a>.</p> <p>Up to two children (age 2-12) ride half price, per paying adult.</p> <h3>3. Sign Up for Amtrak Guest Rewards</h3> <p>Amtrak's <a href="https://amtrakguestrewards.com/">rewards program</a> is like frequent flyer miles, except that you earn points based on how much you spend, not how far you travel. I earned enough on our summer trip for a free local trip.</p> <p>Not only can you earn points to spend for future travel, but you can buy points. Why would you want to do that? Because for a few routes around the country, it's <a href="http://www.nonstopawesomeness.me/2011/07/hack-amtrak-legally-immediately-save-76-percent/">cheaper to purchase points and use those to pay</a> than it is to simply buy coach tickets. I learned about this hack on the blog Nonstop Awesomeness, but the <a href="http://www.nonstopawesomeness.me/2011/07/hack-amtrak-legally-immediately-save-76-percent/">numbers in that post</a> are out of date. It still works though. For example, to travel from Vancouver, BC, to Eugene, OR., costs $88 for a coach ticket, if you pay with cash or credit card. Or you can pay for it with 1,500 points, which you can <a href="https://amtrakguestrewards.com/">buy from Amtrak</a> for $41.25. That's more than 50% off!</p> <h3>4. Check for Special Offers</h3> <p>If you are leaving in one to two weeks, check the <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/rail-deals-every-week-25-off-amtrak-fares-across-the-us">SmartFares section</a> for 25% coach discounts.</p> <h3>5. Consider a Rail Pass</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/california-rail-pass">California pass</a> gets you seven days of travel within three weeks for $159, and the <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/take-the-trains-across-america-with-usa-rail-pass">USA pass</a> has 15-, 30- and 45-day options. Compare the pass cost to a straight coach fare; for our trip, booking individual tickets was more affordable.</p> <h2>Upgrading to Sleeping Rooms</h2> <p>Sleepers are a <em>lot</em> more expensive than coach. For instance, if I were to book two tickets from Chicago to Los Angeles for next week, getting a two-bed sleeping compartment would add $587 to the price. That's $293 a night &mdash; pretty pricey for a tiny room without a private bath.</p> <p>But if you don't sleep well without lying flat, or if you're easily awakened by lights and sounds, it's worth trying to find a good deal on a sleeper for overnight trips. Keep in mind that the cost of the upgrade to a room includes meals in the dining car &mdash; which cost a fortune if you pay the menu prices.</p> <h3>6. Book Far in Advance</h3> <p>Amtrak bases its sleeper prices on availability, so the more beds available, the cheaper they are. When I tried booking the same trip mentioned above 11 months in advance, Amtrak quoted me the same price for the coach seats &mdash; $169 each &mdash; but the bedroom was only $461 extra for the trip, or $230.50 for the night.</p> <h3>7. Book at the Last Minute</h3> <p>This strategy only works if you are okay with sleeping in coach if you fail to snag a last-minute upgrade.</p> <p>After having a hard time sleeping in coach on the first leg of our cross-country trip, I started checking sleeper prices for the second leg, an overnight from Williams, AZ., to Los Angeles. The website showed the same high prices as a month before departure. However, it also showed that plenty of rooms were available, so I suspected a last-minute price drop might occur.</p> <p>When I called Amtrak several hours before departure, I was quoted a lower price &mdash; just $221 extra for one night in a family bedroom. That's a steal! The same bedroom, for a trip several months from now, is currently priced at more than $500 above coach. Warning: If you are using a discount like a AAA membership, you might lose it if you change your ticket less than three days in advance.</p> <h3>9. If You Don't Like the Price Now, Price the Trip Again Later</h3> <p>Some travelers report that prices dip on Thursdays and Fridays, or early in the morning. Be aware that if you ask to change rooms, the price might go up, because the room you are already holding <a href="http://trn.trains.com/sitecore/content/Home/Railroad%20Reference/Passenger%20Trains/2006/06/The%20scoop%20on%20sleeper%20pricing.aspx?sc_lang=en">decreases the availability</a> on the car as a whole.</p> <h3>10. If the Website Won't Let You Book the Room, Call</h3> <p>We have five people in our family, but the two younger kids are both pretty small. According to the Amtrak website, family bedrooms are only for four people. But when I called a reservation agent and asked for the family bedroom, she was able to book it &mdash; and when we got on board, there was plenty of room for all of us.</p> <h3>11. You Probably Can't Upgrade Onboard for a Discount</h3> <p>In the past, some passengers have reported being able to snag a cheap sleep if any bedrooms were empty after the train departed. I asked the conductor about this on the Southwest Chief, and he said this is no longer allowed. The reason he gave is that too many conductors were pocketing the money!</p> <p>Other passengers reported <a href="http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,3052299">as recently as 2013</a> that you could book a sleeper onboard, but at the same price as online.</p> <h3>12. Check the Price of a Bedroom for Daytime Trips</h3> <p>The price might be similar to coach, and riding in the bedroom is more private. You might even get a meal if you travel at the right time.</p> <h2>Baggage</h2> <p>Trains are good at hauling freight &mdash; even if it's just your luggage.</p> <h3>13. Check Your Baggage Up to 24 Hours in Advance of Departure</h3> <p>If you plan on touring a city before getting on the train, you don't have to pay for lockers &mdash; just drop off your bags at the check-in window. This can also make boarding time much less hectic.</p> <p>I couldn't find the 24-hour rule listed on the Amtrak website, which notes only that baggage must be checked a minimum of 45 minutes to one hour before departure, depending on the station. But when I called an agent, she told me that you can check bags 24 hours early systemwide. Still, it's not a bad idea to call and verify that your particular station's baggage claim is open and willing to take your bags before making a special trip.</p> <p>Note that if you do this, your bags might reach your destination before you do. But unlike airlines, Amtrak will check your claimcheck before handing over your bag, so they should be safe waiting for you there.</p> <h3>14. Don't Stress Over Carry-On Restrictions</h3> <p>No one looked twice at the mountain of luggage our family dragged on board. In fact, the train staff happily helped us pile it onto the abundant shelving. This is also good to keep in mind if you miss the cut-off for checking in luggage, or if you're taking a route that doesn't allow checked bags.</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p>There's no denying the elegance of the dining car and there's no denying how costly it can be.</p> <h3>15. Bring Plenty of Food</h3> <p>On our summer trip, the longest leg of which was two days, we limited ourselves to a small soft-sided cooler and a grocery bag of shelf-stable food. Next time we will bring much more food, including a rolling cooler. There was plenty of room onboard, and prices in the dining car are high &mdash; like $7 for a kid's hot dog and $16 to $26 for adult dinner entrees.</p> <h3>16. The Cafe Is Much Cheaper Than the Dining Car</h3> <p>It's only microwaved pizza and such, but it'll get you through the day if necessary.</p> <h3>17. Get Free Hot Water in the Cafe</h3> <p>The cafe will not microwave your food, but if you bring instant noodles or anything else designed to be warmed up with hot water, you're golden.</p> <h3>18. Buy Food in Stations or the Neighborhood on Longer Stops</h3> <p>The staff will let you know when the train will be stopped for 15 minutes or even half an hour. This is the time to dart outside and forage.</p> <h2>Comfort and Enjoyment</h2> <p>Traveling by train isn't exactly speedy. You'll have a lot of time to ponder the nature of existence, to read a good book, or to interrogate your fellow travelers.</p> <h3>19. Bring Supplies to Hack your Environment</h3> <p>Clothes pins or safety pins can hold your curtains closed so the light doesn't wake you up at dawn. Duct tape can secure any squeaky wall panels &mdash; or any holes in your baggage.</p> <h3>20. Bring Earplugs and Eye Shades</h3> <p>In coach, there are always some lights on for safety, and I wouldn't have slept a wink without my eye mask. Despite posted rules, some passengers on our train persisted in taking phone calls and watching movies without headphones well past 10 p.m. And there are always station announcements in the wee hours.</p> <h3>21. You Can Probably Get Away With Bringing Your Own Booze</h3> <p>I heard the cafe car attendant admonish one passenger who was drinking a beer in the lounge that he could not have alcohol not purchased onboard outside the bedrooms. However, it's not like anyone's searching your bag. My husband and I brought a good bottle of bourbon and subtly enjoyed a nightcap without a problem.</p> <h3>22. Make Friends With the Staff</h3> <p>Being on good terms with the staff can help with many of these hacks. Plus, friendly staff members will let you know when an upcoming stop will afford enough time to get off and walk around, and keep you posted on how much time remains before your stop.</p> <p>In the sleepers, your car attendant can make or break your trip. Ours' was so kind that he went to the 6 a.m. serving of breakfast and got five to-go plates for us so that we would be able to eat in our room before getting off the train. (Yes, they accept tips!)</p> <h3>23. Expect Delays</h3> <p>Download the Amtrak app to for updates on when your train will really depart. If you are not taking the train from the beginning of the line, you can also call Amtrak the day before to ask if the train is running behind. Keep in mind that they can make up time along the way.</p> <h3>24. Enjoy the Trails and Rails Program</h3> <p>If your train is part of this program, you can hear National Park rangers make presentations in the lounge about the parts of the United States you're crossing. This program &mdash; in which we learned about the Santa Fe Trail &mdash; added hours of entertainment to our trip.</p> <p><em>Do you have any Amtrak Hacks (Am-Hacks?) that weren't covered? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran" class="sharethis-link" title="24 Train Hacks From an Amtrak Veteran" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-on-amtrak">Travel on Amtrak</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there">Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-getting-the-lowest-rate-from-travel-websites">4 Secrets to Getting the Lowest Rate From Travel Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel amtrak railroad train travel travel hacks Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1233184 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/passenger-sleeping-airline-477799187-small.jpg" alt="passenger sleeping airline" title="passenger sleeping airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is unfair and so is air travel. Two passengers may pay the same price to fly the same route, but have completely different experiences. Because airlines have varying standards of service, your comfort depends a lot on which airline you choose. Before you purchase your next airfare, check to see whether the airline offers the little things that might make the flight more enjoyable for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Almost Luxurious</a>)</p> <h2>1. Seat Design</h2> <p>Airplane seats seem to shrink by the day. Passengers regularly fight over reclining seats and armrests. At the end of the journey, tall people limp off planes with bruised knees, while everyone else is just happy to be able to stretch again.</p> <p>To get more personal space in Economy Class, <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_americas.htm">stick with these airlines when you fly within the U.S</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Frontier Airlines</li> <li>JetBlue Airways</li> <li>US Airways, and</li> <li>WestJet.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_global.htm">For international flights</a>, choose:</p> <ul> <li>Aerolineas Argentinas</li> <li>Air China</li> <li>Air Namibia</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>Avianca</li> <li>Ghana International Airlines</li> <li>Malaysia Airlines</li> <li>Royal Jordania Airlines</li> <li>Saudi Arabian, or</li> <li>Thai Airways.</li> </ul> <p>At the other end of the spectrum are airlines with extra small seats.</p> <p><a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_americas.htm">Domestic airlines with cramped seats</a> include:</p> <ul> <li>AirTran Airways</li> <li>American Airlines</li> <li>Hawaiian Airlines, and</li> <li>United Airlines.</li> </ul> <p>However, in the case of AirTran Airways, the prices may be <a href="http://www.hopper.com/research/airline-comfort-customer-satisfaction-per-dollar/">cheap enough to excuse such tiny seats</a>.</p> <p>And because small seats are even more painful for long international flights, you may want to <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_global.htm">avoid flying Economy Class on these airlines</a> altogether:</p> <ul> <li>Air France</li> <li>British Airways</li> <li>Cathay Pacific</li> <li>KLM</li> <li>Lufthansa, and</li> <li>Qantas Airways.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Entertainment</h2> <p>Experiencing the miracle of flight means staying still in the same seat for hours, staring at the back of the seat in front of you. This is why in-flight entertainment is crucial.</p> <p><a href="http://www.techhive.com/article/2070166/in-flight-entertainment-which-airline-offers-the-best.html">For domestic flights within the U.S.</a>, Virgin America provides the best in-flight entertainment, with free live TV and basic cable channels. If you're willing to pay more, you can gain access to movies and TV shows. If in-flight entertainment is important for you, you may want to avoid American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways.</p> <p>If you're flying internationally and want first-class entertainment, you can't go wrong with <a href="http://www.theemiratesgroup.com/english/our-company/Copy_of_awards-accolades.aspx?brand=Emirates">Emirates</a>. This airline has consistently won the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards for the World's Best In-flight Entertainment every year since 2005. Besides hundreds of channels of entertainment, Emirates also offers live updates from BBC News. You can also use the in-flight system to phone someone, send text messages, or send emails.</p> <h2>3. Food</h2> <p>Airplane food has been the butt of many jokes, but some airlines do try to offer decent food on board.</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/09/17/master-sommeliers-and-michelin-stars-take-to-the-skies/">Delta Air Lines</a>, for example, creates its dishes by collaborating with Michelle Bernstein, who is an award-winning chef, and Andrea Robinson, who is a Master Sommelier.</p> <p>Thanks to similar efforts on the part of non-American airlines, you can get a taste of authentic international fares while flying. Some of <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/09/17/master-sommeliers-and-michelin-stars-take-to-the-skies/">the best</a> <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/diningtravel/restaurants/foreign-airlines-best-food">airlines</a> in terms of food are Air France, Turkish Airlines, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates Airline, and Etihad Airways.</p> <h2>4. Wi-Fi and Power Outlets</h2> <p>Gone are the days when you could truly unplug during flights. Not all airlines offer Wi-Fi and in-seat power yet, but it's now possible to stay productive in the air.</p> <p>According to a research by Routehappy, 38% of domestic flights now offer Wi-Fi on board. If this is something you want, choose Virgin America or AirTran next time you fly. Many of Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines planes are also equipped with Wi-Fi.</p> <p>Only a small percentage of international flights offer Wi-Fi. You'll have better chances of getting Wi-Fi on board if you fly Lufthansa.</p> <h2>5. Customer Service</h2> <p>It's tough to rate airlines based on something as intangible as their quality of service, but Skytrax, a UK consultancy company, tries regardless. <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Airlines/AirlineA-Z.htm">Skytrax gives airlines star ratings</a> based on &quot;the quality of their front-line product and staff service standards.&quot; Seven airlines have received its five-star rating: ANA All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hainan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines.</p> <h2>Additional Resources</h2> <p>If you need more in depth information about the comfort and amenities of an upcoming flight, refer to these additional resources.</p> <h3>Routehappy</h3> <p>If you're a discerning passenger, <a href="https://www.routehappy.com">Routehappy</a> is the booking site for you. It gives every airfare a happiness score, which is determined by a slew of factors: seats, entertainment, Wi-Fi, power supply, food, airport amenities, and many more.</p> <h3>Momondo</h3> <p>When this website shows you its search results, there is a smiley (or frowny) face for every airfare. <a href="http://www.momondo.com">Momondo</a> rates every flight on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how long the flight will be and how cheap the airfare is.</p> <h3>Hipmunk</h3> <p><a href="http://www.hipmunk.com">Hipmunk</a> sorts its search results by &quot;Agony,&quot; taking into account the airfare price, flight time, and number of layovers.</p> <h3>SeatGuru</h3> <p>This site is a treasure trove of information on plane seating. If you already know your flight, <a href="http://www.seatguru.com">SeatGuru</a> can help you find the best seat in the plane. It has also rolled out a feature to search and book flights. Its Guru Factor (or G-Factor) rates flights on a scale of one to five based on seat comfort and in-flight amenities.</p> <h3>AirlineEquality.com</h3> <p>At <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com">AirlineEquality</a> you can find ratings and reviews on legroom and service. The website design needs a little updating, but it's run by Skytrax and has some useful information.</p> <p><em>How do you fly comfortably? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips">Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class">The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel air travel airline comfort flying Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Deia B 1230390 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's Why Bus Travel Is Cheaper, Easier, and More Awesome Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/megabus.jpg" alt="megabus" title="megabus" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buses are making a comeback. The number of <a href="https://las.depaul.edu/centers-and-institutes/chaddick-institute-for-metropolitan-development/research-and-publications/Documents/Intercitybuspressrelease.pdf">inter-city bus departures has been rising</a> since 2006, according to a study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.</p> <p>And it's no wonder why. Airfares used to be cheaper in the recession days of 2009, but <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/01/16/cost-flying-keeps-climbing-airfares-rise-12-percent-in-5-years-not-counting/">they have risen by almost 12% since then</a>. As of January 2014, the average domestic roundtrip flight would cost you $363.42. As airfares get more expensive and plane seats get smaller, people are increasingly seeking other alternatives, and that means a bus boom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there?ref=seealso">Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get There From Here</a>)</p> <p>And these are not the buses your grandparents used to take either; these companies have impressive social media followings and equip their vehicles with high-tech toys.</p> <p>So here's why &mdash; and how &mdash; you should take your next trip by bus.</p> <h2>Reservations</h2> <p>There are a couple of aggregate booking websites for buses, but they leave out some of the bigger companies, which makes them rather useless for comparison shopping. Generally, you're better off booking through the bus company directly.</p> <p>The biggest and most established long-distance bus company is <a href="https://www.greyhound.com">Greyhound</a>, which covers the U.S. and Canada. Other bus companies &mdash; like <a href="http://www.trailways.com">Trailways</a>, <a href="http://us.megabus.com/">Megabus</a>, <a href="http://www.boltbus.com/">BoltBus</a>, <a href="http://www.luxbusamerica.com/">Lux Bus</a>, <a href="http://www.vamoosebus.com/">Vamoose</a>, <a href="http://www.tripperbus.com/">Tripper Bus</a>, and <a href="http://www.redcoachusa.com/">RedCoach</a> &mdash; may not serve as many cities, but may compete on service or amenities.</p> <p>All of these bus companies have websites through which you can check bus schedules and make reservations. You can also purchase the tickets over the phone or at the station. If possible, visit the station ahead of your travel date to buy the ticket in person. I've heard horror stories about technical issues with online booking that lead to hours of frustration with various customer service representatives.</p> <p>You can't choose your seat at the time of booking, so come early and get in line if you want seating options.</p> <h2>Price</h2> <p>Most bus companies offer low prices. After all, they know that customers would probably rather pay a little bit more to fly if bus fares weren't ridiculously cheap. On average, an inter-city bus fare is 79% cheaper than an advance-purchase airfare. The difference is even bigger when bus fares are compared with airfares purchased at the last minute, according to the Chaddick Institute study.</p> <p>Some companies, such as Megabus and Tripper, often advertise $1 seats. But these promotional fares are rare, and you need to time your reservation just right to get them. To improve your chances of getting these fares, check the bus websites a few weeks before your travel date.</p> <p>There may be other discounts that bus companies don't advertise, so explore the website thoroughly if you book online or ask the company representative if you book by phone or in person. Greyhound, for example, offers special companion fares if you travel with a friend and advance purchase discounts if you book your seats at least one week before the trip. There are also discounts for students, members of the military, and veterans.</p> <h2>Amenities</h2> <p>The inter-city buses of today are generally clean, comfortable, and reliable. A typical bus has a lavatory on board and air conditioning.</p> <p>Power sockets and Wi-Fi are becoming common as well, although the Wi-Fi can be rather spotty, in my experience. In rural areas, there may not be any phone data service, so prepare to be disconnected from the Internet. Check your emails and post your social media updates while you still have Internet connection at home or at the bus station. <a href="http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/6-best-budget-bus-companies-in-the-us,7430/">For the best Wi-Fi connection, travel with Vamoose, RedCoach, Tripper, or Lux Bus</a>.</p> <p>If you happen to travel on a luxury bus, you may get to watch movies on the screens on board. However, the selection is likely to be limited, so store some good movies on your laptop or download a nice ebook before the trip.</p> <p>Most buses have plushy seats that recline and plenty of legroom. But some bus companies take things one step further, with Lux Bus and RedCoach providing leather seats in their vehicles.</p> <p>There are even luxury buses with attendants who distribute free snacks and alcohol as you sit back in your big seat. Yes, bus travel can get quite classy.</p> <p>But even with the comfy seats, it can be difficult to sleep. Inter-city buses often make multiple stops along the way to your destination and you may even have to change vehicles. Check your route for these stops and transfers, then pack some sleep aids if you think you'll need them.</p> <h2>Safety</h2> <p>You may meet some colorful characters when you travel by bus, but the biggest danger of bus travel is the possibility of traffic accidents. For example, the vehicle may not comply with safety regulations or the driver may drive under the influence.</p> <p>The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains safety records of bus companies and rates companies based on their safety standards. You can access this information on your smartphone using the <a href="http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/saferbus-mobile-application">Saferbus</a> app for Android and iOS. There is also a guide for the app on FMCSA's website and Facebook page if you need help using it.</p> <p>There's always a small risk of your bag being misplaced, regardless of whether you fly or take the bus. Keep your valuables with you instead of checking them in for storage underneath the bus.</p> <p>When you travel by plane, it's usually easy to hail a taxi at the airport. But when you get off a bus in a small town, you may find yourself alone in the middle of nowhere at an ungodly hour, so pay attention to the times and the locations of your pick-ups and drop-offs. Don't assume that every bus station is a busy transportation hub; make transport arrangements beforehand to get yourself from the bus station to your bed for the night.</p> <p><em>Any more bus travel tips? Let us know in comments below!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think" class="sharethis-link" title="Here&#039;s Why Bus Travel Is Cheaper, Easier, and More Awesome Than You Think" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there">Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less">10 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for When You Travel (and How to Pay Less)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-amazing-and-undiscovered-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap, Amazing, and Undiscovered Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-popular-vacation-spots-that-arent-worth-the-money-and-where-to-go-instead">7 Popular Vacation Spots That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money (and Where to Go Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel bus bus travel cheap travel inter-city bus Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Deia B 1224429 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flight-delay-499437107-small.jpg" alt="flight delay" title="flight delay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Call it the week that airline travelers couldn't take it anymore. Three different <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/another-passenger-fight-over-reclining-seats-has-caused-a-flight-to-be-diverted-2014-9">flights were diverted</a> so passengers could be removed, all of them squabbling over one issue: Reclining seat backs.</p> <p>In one case, a traveler <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-knee-defender-passenger-20140904-story.html">used a Knee Defender</a> device to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. In all the cases, the real issue was that flyers are now packed so close together in coach airplane seats that they can't help invading one another's space.</p> <p>&quot;Travelers aren't sardines. There's a line there of comfort and the quality of experience,&quot; Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2014-09-16/dot-chief-speaks-out-on-knee-defender-controversy">Condé Nast Traveler</a> in an interview after the rash of in-flight meltdowns. &quot;My hope is that the industry sees these incidents as a message from consumers that maybe they are getting a little close to that line.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel?ref=seealso">The 8 Scariest Things Possibly Coming to Air Travel</a>)</p> <p>Legroom isn't the only issue bugging us in the air these days. Overall, airlines garner <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-18/business/ct-biz-0618-airlines-satisfaction-20130618_1_southwest-airlines-customer-satisfaction-jeff-smisek">worse customer satisfaction scores</a> than almost any industry. How far we have come since jet setters made selections from cheese carts and wandered freely through <a href="http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/03/13/lets-reminisce-airplanes-piano-bars-cocktail-lounges-pubs-restaurants/">lounges with live music</a>?</p> <p>Like flight delays, this list could go on forever, so we've kept it to the top five things that suck about flying.</p> <h2>1. You Can't Move Your Legs</h2> <p>It's not just the Knee Defender users who noticed.</p> <p>A standard coach seat has always been too narrow for most people to sit comfortably, with 17 to 19 inches between armrests. But as airlines have pushed to add revenue, they have moved the rows closer and closer together, so that now there is only <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/30/travel/airline-seats/">31 to 35 inches</a> from one seat to the one behind it. Not only does this cause reclining seats to bash into knees, but it makes it nearly impossible for a window seat passenger to get up and use the restroom without sticking her butt in the face of the middle and aisle-seat passengers.</p> <p>Many international flights now have an <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304384104579141941949066648">extra seat squeezed into each row</a>, too. Too-narrow seats force passengers to let their arms dangle into the aisle, where they get clobbered by the drink cart and by other passengers hauling bags and car seats.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>It's pretty clear at this point that Knee Defenders aren't the way to go, and besides, most airlines ban the devices. All you can really do is pony up for an extra legroom section like <a href="http://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/products/travelproducts/Pages/EconomyPlus.aspx?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_campaign=business_pillar&amp;utm_term=extra_legroom&amp;gclid=CKif5_L47cACFUMYfgodYSMALA&amp;gclsrc=ds&amp;dclid=CLCo9PL47cACFTDPRAodRm4Anw">United's Economy Plus</a>, finagle an <a href="http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/8067465/how-to-get-exit-row-seats-chart/">exit row seat</a>, or at least try for the aisle so you can throw your legs out there (watch out for the beverage cart).</p> <p>Also, consider leaving your own seat upright to avoid contributing to the discomfort of others. A recent survey revealed that if you recline your seat, <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2757312/Which-passengers-make-flight-hell-Seat-recliners-taken-spot-new-survey-smelly-passengers-soared-second.html">other passengers hate you</a>.</p> <h2>2. You Can't Get Anything to Eat</h2> <p>Once upon a time, your wish was your flight attendant's command.</p> <p>&quot;People were given pillows, blankets, magazines, playing cards, pens and a hot meal, wine, top-shelf liquor &mdash; and that was just in economy,&quot; former Pan American World Airways flight attendant <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/airline-decline-flying-high-reached-lows/story?id=9832262">Anne Sweeney told ABC</a>.</p> <p>Nowadays, many airlines &mdash; AirTran, Southwest, Spirit &mdash; have no meals on board, while others &mdash; JetBlue, American &mdash; <a href="http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/a-guide-to-airline-meals-and-snacks">sell boxed meals</a>. Most international travelers still get a hot meal, at least &mdash; probably to avoid violating any international treaties on torture of prisoners.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Not much, except carry a meal onboard.</p> <h2>3. You Can't Find Room for Your Bag</h2> <p>Spud Hilton, travel editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, kicked off a carry-on controversy when he created the the <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2014/06/23/carry-on-hall-of-shame/">Carry-on Hall of Shame</a> to highlight passengers trying to haul larger-than-regulation bags onto planes.</p> <p>They don't want to pay to check the larger bags &mdash; and who would? But Hilton says these passengers aren't just cheating the airline, they're cheating you.</p> <p>&quot;The increasingly aggressive disregard for the size standards &mdash; which has led to flight delays, a much longer boarding process, abusive passengers, and increased theft from gate-checked bags &mdash; also is disregard for everyone else on the plane,&quot; Hilton wrote on his blog.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Call out overhead bin hogs. If you don't have the nerve to tap someone on the shoulder to inform them that their suitcase doesn't qualify as a carry-on, you can snap their picture and <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2014/06/05/time-to-smack-down-carry-on-offenders/#24011101=0">upload it to Twitter or Instagram</a> with the hashtag #CarryonShame. The publicity could push the airlines to start enforcing their own rules.</p> <h2>4. You Can't Get Away From People Like This</h2> <p>Remember when people used to dress up to fly? Or at least get dressed?</p> <p>Passenger Shaming, on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PassengerShaming/photos_stream">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/passengershaming">Instagram</a>, posts photos of <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tBfOEfS6lk/?modal=true">shirtless</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tAjeJtS6po/?modal=true">barefooted</a> passengers, people <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tF5GMDy6jf/?modal=true">making out in their seats</a>, and even a kid <a href="http://instagram.com/p/s_ik5_S6pw/?modal=true">using a potty chair</a> in the aisle. Even <a href="https://twitter.com/Donald_Driver80/status/512666823523696640">Superbowl champions in first class</a> can't always avoid other passengers behaving badly. Then there's the auditory pollution from passengers who play movies with no headphones, and the air pollution from those who douse themselves in cologne.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Bring a <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/travel/ridiculous-travel-accesories-that-will-c1409151932617.html">curtain to shield your eyes</a>? Take a sedative and try to sleep through the indignity? Play Bozo Bingo? Whatever gets you through the flight.</p> <h2>5. You Can't Get There on Time</h2> <p>2013 was the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304347904579308640380117768">worst year for flight reliability</a> in the past five, with only 78% of flights arriving on time, according to FlightStats, Inc.</p> <p>The most miserable delays are tarmac delays, when passengers are stuck in planes on runways for hours without going anywhere. Tarmac delays have gotten so bad that the government stepped in to assert passengers' right not to be held hostage on runways, but they still happen. In fact, last year <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2013/10/25/dot-hits-united-with-record-fine-for-long-tarmac-delays/3188127/">United had to pay $1.1 million</a> in fines for 13 times it left passengers stranded in their seats for more than three hours &mdash; including two planes where the toilets weren't working.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Fortunately there are strategies for <a href="http://www.parksleepfly.com/blog/how-to-avoid-flight-delays/">avoiding flight delays</a>. Fly nonstop, fly early in the day, and don't connect in Denver in the wintertime. If you have a choice, some <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-airports-for-avoiding-flight-delays">airports have fewer delays</a> than others.</p> <p>This list could go on and on.</p> <p>Poor customer service, lost luggage, germy tray tables, out-of-control children, turbulence, security lines &mdash; what's not to hate about air travel these days? While there is not much we can do about many of these discomforts, we actually have a ton of power over the flight experience &mdash; of other people. Be the change you want to see in the air. Be polite. Help parents of small children. Don't leave your gum in the seatback pocket. Thank the flight attendant. Flush. Don't block the aisle. And for goodness sake, keep your shirt on.</p> <p><em>What's your worst in-flight experience? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel">The 8 Scariest Things Probably Coming to Air Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clipped-wings-can-consumers-fix-air-travel">Clipped Wings: Can Consumers Fix Air Travel?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel air travel airlines airplanes airports Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1224393 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-airport-78655089-small.jpg" alt="businessman airport" title="businessman airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling is always a fun and exciting experience, but getting through the airport can be a struggle. If it happens to be an unlucky day, you'll get stuck with long lines, rude airport security officials, or delayed flights. Luckily with just a little bit of research, there are many ways you can make your journey faster and more comfortable. We rounded up all the tips and tricks so you don't have to! Learn to navigate airports like a pro with the advice below. You'll be surprised how much time and money you end up saving.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Expert-Travel-Tips-31926521">Expert Travel Tips You Never Thought Of</a></p> <h2>1. Bring Your Own Ziploc Bags</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/ziploc%20bags.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Since TSA requires you to separate your liquids into clear plastic bags, it is always a good idea to bring spare Ziploc bags in case you lose one or if you're buying tiny travel liquids last minute. For carry-on bags, TSA has a <a href="http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/3-1-1-liquids-rule">3-1-1 liquids rule</a> and you are only allowed to have one quart-sized clear plastic bag.</p> <h2>2. Freeze Your Liquids to Bring on Planes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/frozen%20drink.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The only con to this trick is your liquids must actually be frozen solid like a rock. If you're on a long flight, however, consider freezing your favorite drinks.</p> <h2>3. Pack Your Own Snacks</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airplane%20snacks.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you can, you should avoid buying snacks and drinks at airports because they're overpriced. Instead, pack nuts, cereal bars, candy, and other dry goods to munch on while you wait for your flight.</p> <h2>4. Bring an Empty Water Bottle</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/empty%20water%20bottle.jpg" /></p> <p>Like snacks, water usually costs a lot more at airports. The best way to cheat the system is to bring an empty water bottle or canteen and fill it up once you get past security checkpoints.</p> <h2>5. Take a Nap at the Airport</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/napping%20airport.jpg" /></p> <p>Some airports, like London's Heathrow, offer <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2013-10-29/5-awesome-airport-nap-pods-around-the-world/2">sleeping pods</a> where you can catch up on rest between long flight transfers. Pay $39 for four hours and you can take a shower (body wash and towels are provided) and enjoy a comfortable nap (not on the airport floor). If you're traveling internationally, check to see if your airport location offers this sleeping amenity. Your body will thank you.</p> <h2>6. Pick the Checkpoint Farthest to the Left</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20security%20checkpoint.jpg" /></p> <p>If you hate waiting in line (and who doesn't?), research shows that most people are right-handed and tend to turn right first, so do the opposite and go left. For more on how to find faster airport security lines, follow <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/life/travel/2006/04/11/The-gate-less-traveled-Finding-faster-airport-security-lines/stories/200604110205">these tips</a>.</p> <h2>7. Sign Up For a VIP Airport Lounge</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20vip%20lounge.jpg" /></p> <p>If you're a frequent flier, you can use your flyer miles to buy a membership to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/vip-airport-lounges-how-to-get-in/1">airport lounges</a>. Most lounges also offer day passes (under $50). These private, fancy spots are perfect for resting and offer amenities such as a great bar and knowledgeable staff.</p> <h2>8. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Free Things</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/free%20flight%20gifts.jpg" /></p> <p>Especially when it comes to flight upgrades. Take advantage of special events; if you were recently married (on your honeymoon) or have a birthday, tell the airline staff &mdash; they may be willing to upgrade you. Traveling alone also makes it easier to ask for a flight upgrade as well as just simply asking! Do so quietly, and the worse that can happen is a polite no.</p> <h2>9. Bring Alcohol on the Plane</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/mini%20alchohol%20bottles.jpg" /></p> <p>You're allowed to take bottles of alcohol that are 100ml or less through security as long as they fit into your one-quart Ziploc bag.</p> <h2>10. Wear Your Extra Luggage</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/excess%20baggage.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Worried about your carry-on going over the weight limit? Wear the heaviest items and wear layers to get past security. Then head to the nearest bathroom and switch out of the clothes.</p> <h2>11. Fly Red-Eye</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/night%20flight.jpg" /></p> <p>If you really hate packed airports and rush-hour traffic and don't mind overnight flights, try booking a plane that leaves past 10 p.m. You can simply go to sleep and wake up at your next destination without all the usual airport hassle.</p> <h2>12. Collect Unused Hotel Toiletries</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/hotel%20toiletries.jpg" /></p> <p>And bring them with you next time you travel. These mini bottles are the perfect carry-on items, and you won't have to shell out the extra money for reusable bottles or travel liquids.</p> <h2>13. Sign Up For TSA Precheck or Global Entry</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/global%20entry.jpg" /></p> <p>These programs allow you to bypass long lines and get into another country twice as fast. <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/locations">Check to see</a> if you can apply for global entry.</p> <h2>14. Store Your Laptop in an Easy-to-Access Place</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/laptop%20bag.jpg" /></p> <p>If you don't have a laptop case, invest in one. Security usually makes you scan your laptop separately, so always have it in an easy-to-reach spot of your bag or suitcase.</p> <h2>15. Always Check For Free WiFi</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20wifi.jpg" /></p> <p>There is also a trick circulating that adding &quot;?.jpg&quot; to the end of a URL allows you to access the Internet for free.</p> <h2>16. Wear Glasses</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/glasses.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you wear contacts, you'll notice how your eyes often get really dry during the flight (as well as the rest of your skin). Glasses may not make a fashion statement, but you'll be comfortable, and you can always switch into contacts once you land.</p> <h2>17. Bring a Light Scarf or Sweater</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/sleeping%20blanket.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Always expect an airport or plane to be cold. Bring a light blanket or extra sweater, hoodie, or scarf to keep yourself warm before and during the flight.</p> <h2>18. Bring Wet Wipes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/wet%20wipes.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Planes are one of the easiest places to catch germs and a cold. Pack wet wipes to use during the flight or while you're at the airport. They'll keep your hands clean and refresh your face after a flight.</p> <h2>19. Check Airport Real-Time Conditions</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/flight%20status.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Check to see <a href="http://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/">what's happening</a> at your airport (whether there's a delay in flights, long lines, or other issues) before you leave your home.</p> <h2>20. Wrap Your Luggage Handle</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/luggage%20tag.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're the type to worry about someone else taking your luggage, make your suitcase identifiable by tying brightly colored fabric or ribbon to the handles. You'll be able to spot that red bow amid all the black suitcases rolling out.</p> <h2>21. Carry a Portable Battery Charger</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/portable%20phone%20charger.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Airports have charging stations, and that's usually the spot everyone gravitates toward. And often you can't get a seat next to an outlet, so you end up standing off to the side while keeping an eye on your phone that's charging. To be on the safe side, carry around a small portable charger that you can pull out anytime.</p> <h2>22. Skip the Taxi Service</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20bus.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Check out the local transportation systems at your airport destination. See if there are air trains you can take to a regular metro or a bus that will take you to your destination. Avoid taxi services if you can, but if you really want to travel via car, check out services like Uber (which can be a lot cheaper in European countries).</p> <h2>23. Download Offline Google Maps</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/google%20maps.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>In case there is no WiFi when you land at your destination and you have a limited online data plan, download the Google Maps app beforehand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The airport is no picnic, but you can make it bearable with this collection of clever air transport how-tos and workarounds. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Travel-Essentials-Help-You-Save-6349005">Pack These 11 Travel Essentials to Save Money</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Make-Money-While-Vacation-35370117">10 Ways to Earn Money While You're on Vacation</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Travel-Guide-Apps-33481576">6 Travel Apps For the Best Vacation Ever</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-get-more-legroom-on-your-next-flight-for-free">5 Ways to Get More Legroom on Your Next Flight — for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips">Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Travel air travel airlines airport flying Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:00:03 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1214846 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Tips That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Next Trip http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-that-will-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-tips-that-will-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-vacation-488003955-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank vacation" title="piggy bank vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on tips that will save you hundreds on your next trip, things you can rent out for extra cash, and things you can get for free.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Travel-24627929">39 Tips That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Next Trip</a> &mdash; To save on your next trip, check out underrated places and buy your tickets at the right time. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.purewow.com/entry_detail/money/11107/Surprising-things-you-can-rent-out-for-extra-cash.htm">Surprising Things You Can Rent Out For Extra Cash</a> &mdash; Did you know you can rent your driveway for extra cash? [PureWow]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dailyworth.com/posts/2964-8-surprising-things-you-can-get-for-free">8 Surprising Things You Can Get for Free</a> &mdash; Don't pay for eBooks, you can read books for free by checking them out from your local library. [DailyWorth]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/15-small-purchases-costing-you-big-money-stop-throwing-money-away">15 Small Purchases Costing You Big Money: Stop Throwing Money Away</a> &mdash; If you purchase apps or video games, you may just be throwing away your money. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T047-C011-S001-get-free-retirement-advice-from-financial-planners.html">Get Free Retirement Advice From Financial Planners On September 25th</a> &mdash; Today is Jump-Start Your Retirement Day, so be sure to get retirement advice from Kiplinger and NAPFA. [Kiplinger]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.allyou.com/budget-home/money-shopping/how-to-make-a-budget">Build a Budget and Make It Last</a> &mdash; Make a budget that will last by first calculating what you spend. [AllYou]</p> <p><a href="http://twocents.lifehacker.com/common-debt-traps-that-keep-you-living-paycheck-to-pa-1637915715">Common &ldquo;Debt Traps&rdquo; That Keep You Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck</a> &mdash; Skimping on insurance can cause you to live paycheck to paycheck. [Lifehacker Two Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.domainehome.com/bad-shopping-habits/">7 Bad Décor Shopping Habits to Stop Right Now</a> &mdash; When decorating your home, don't purchase everything from the same store. [Domaine Home]</p> <p><a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/keep-landline">3 Reasons You Should Definitely Keep Your Landline</a> &mdash; By keeping your landline, first responders will know where you are calling from in an emergency. [Real Simple]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-tips-to-help-your-preschooler-focus-on-reading-writing-numbers">8 Tips to Help Your Preschooler Focus on Reading, Writing &amp; Numbers</a> &mdash; To help your preschooler focus on reading, writing, and numbers, make it fun and be observant. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-that-will-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Tips That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Next Trip" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-that-will-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-incredible-places-you-must-visit-before-you-die">25 Incredible Places You Must Visit Before You Die</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel best money tips travel Trip Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1219953 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 More Travel Destinations That Aren't Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bangkok.jpg" alt="bangkok" title="bangkok" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems I may have struck a chord (or a nerve in some cases) with my last post <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-popular-vacation-spots-that-arent-worth-the-money-and-where-to-go-instead">about popular vacation spots that aren't worth your time and money</a>. When it came to collating the list, there were <em>way</em> more than seven pins in the globe, and now I'm turning my attention to another seven spots that I'd like to at least warn you about.</p> <p>These popular destinations may get all the press, and the tourists, but they're just not worth the price of admission.</p> <h2>1. Buenos Aires</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/buenos%20aires.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The name alone conjures images of a paradise on a par with the Garden of Eden. It's not. And you will pay a hefty price to find that out.</p> <p>A quick search on Kayak.com gives an average cost of $1580 for one round trip ticket with two stops, if flying out next week from Denver. That's quite a chunk of cash before taking into account hotel rooms, rental cars, food, and entertainment. This is a popular business destination, too, and it caters to those people looking for function over beauty. The hotel rooms can be plain to say the least, the food is nothing special, the buildings are in a state of disrepair, and the crime rate is nothing to brag about&hellip; unless you're a crime lord.</p> <p>Avoid it, and instead try the quiet beauty of Cartagena in Colombia (made famous in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FO0AA6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000FO0AA6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KQ77TP4AVCSUYDE6">Romancing the Stone</a>), or the stunning architecture of Lima in Peru.</p> <h2>2. Loch Ness</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/loch%20ness.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Being from a small Northeastern town (Northeast <em>England</em>) just six hours drive from the infamous home of Nessie, I had no excuse not to visit this place in my youth. It was, after all, on my doorstep.</p> <p>What I can tell you is that you will not see, and I guarantee this, a prehistoric monster swimming around in the icy waters of Loch Ness. It was a hoax that caught fire, and people continue to believe that it's true. The waters have been scanned over and over again, and nothing resembling a dinosaur has ever been found. However, that doesn't stop the tourists descending on this sleepy little town every year from all over the world. And that, readers, is the problem here. It's not that Loch Ness isn't scenic and beautiful; it's that it's full of tourists and crappy tourist souvenirs. If you really want to take in a loch, try Loch Lomond, Loch Ken, or Loch Awe. All of the beauty; none of the tack.</p> <h2>3. Bangkok</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bangkok.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>There are many wonderful parts of Thailand. Sadly, most people flood to Bangkok, and while it certainly has appealing aspects, it's not the jewel in Thailand's crown.</p> <p>With so many tourists flooding the city every day, it has attracted the seedier elements of society. Scam artists are everywhere, and you really have to be on your guard. Bangkok is also famous for its &quot;ladyboys,&quot; and that also attracts a certain crowd of people looking for ways to, shall we say, broaden their horizons. All of this makes Bangkok just too much of a let down for many travelers. Those who have experienced places like Sukhothai, Krabi, and Chiang Rai, find the urban sprawl and flashiness of Bangkok to be just too much of a tourist attraction. Definitely visit those Thailand destinations before checking out Bangkok.</p> <h2>4. Athens</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/athens.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Home of the Acropolis (where the Parthenon, Erechtheion, Propylaia, and Temple of Athena Nike are situated), Athens is one of those spots everyone has on their &quot;places to see before I die&quot; list. Sadly, it's an extremely expensive trip for what amounts to a few hours of historic building tours. After that, you have the city itself to explore, and that's not nearly as grandiose or breathtaking. Athens is known to have a lot of active pickpockets, and if you look like a tourist you're going to get marked. Some of the back streets house drug dealers, and thieves have become so brazen that they are holding up people in broad daylight.</p> <p>If you really want to appreciate Greece, stay at much more friendly (and less touristy) places like Halkidiki or Pelopennese, and then take a day trip to the Acropolis.</p> <h2>5. Pisa</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pisa.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Are you really so desperate to have your picture taken holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa? It seems that way for so many tourists each year, who spend thousands and thousands of dollars to come to a city that has one major attraction&hellip; and not much else. You will basically be surrounded by tourists who have all had the exact same idea; taking the same silly photo, and then scratching their heads wondering what to do with the rest of their vacation. Make Pisa a stop on a journey to a much better place, like Florence (birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci).</p> <h2>6. Bora Bora</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bora%20bora.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>More than one travel writer has referred to Bora Bora as Boring Boring. It really depends on what you want from your vacation, but if it involves anything beyond sitting in a hut and staring at the ocean, you're going to be disappointed.</p> <p>There's no denying that Bora Bora has some incredible clear water and white sandy beaches. However, there's no nightlife to speak of, and not much else in the way of exciting or interesting ways to pass the time. Why not skip Bora Bora and visit Guam? Yes, Guam. I have been there and I can personally recommend it. It may cost just as much to fly there, but there's much more to do, the beaches are just as stunning, and Guamanian food is incredible. The scenery is amazing, and there is a real sense of belonging and acceptance from the locals.</p> <h2>7. Hollywood Walk Of Fame</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/hollywood%20walk%20of%20fame.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>As a cinefile, there's a lot about the entertainment industry that I want to see. I love movie props and memorabilia, and the idea of walking around some of the sets of my favorite films is very exciting. What's not so exciting is walking up and down a gaudy sidewalk filled with pink and black stars featuring the names of famous celebrities. Seriously, what is the draw here?</p> <p>Every year, millions of people descend upon this section of glittery pavement, and every year a large portion of them must wonder what all the fuss is about. You're not going to bump into the owners of the stars and chat about it. You'll be lucky if you see a lookalike. If you really want the Hollywood experience, go to Universal Studios in off-season. During peak time, it will be as bad as Disneyland, but when it's less busy you can get on some amazing rides and movie experiences at a price you can afford.</p> <p><em>Agree? Disagree? Where have you gone that turned out to just not be worth it?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money" class="sharethis-link" title="7 More Travel Destinations That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-7-travel-destinations-not-worth-the-money">Another 7 Travel Destinations Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-popular-vacation-spots-that-arent-worth-the-money-and-where-to-go-instead">7 Popular Vacation Spots That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money (and Where to Go Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-and-track-expenses-for-your-next-vacation">How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Next Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-groupon-getaways-a-good-idea">Are Groupon Getaways a Good Idea?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel bad travel tourist traps vacation vacation deals Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1219250 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Scariest Things Probably Coming to Air Travel http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed-traveler-124821906-small.jpg" alt="stressed traveler" title="stressed traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hands up if you remember getting free meals on your flights.</p> <p>It wasn't too long ago that we got free checked bags, and did not have to pay for headphones or blankets, either. As time goes on, the airline industry is making changes that keep themselves in profit, and us wishing we had the money to fly first class. Or better yet, have our own plane. And things are only going to get worse. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach (Almost) as Luxurious as Flying First Class</a>)</p> <p>Here are eight &quot;innovations&quot; that may be coming to an airline that you fly regularly. Don't be surprised if you see these changes sooner rather than later. What was once something comedians joked about is going to become the reality for almost all of us.</p> <h2>1. Vertical Passenger Seating</h2> <p>That's a fancy ways of saying &quot;standing seats.&quot; If that sounds like an oxymoron, it is. But, the one thing this invention has going for it is money. Fairuz Romili, an aerospace engineering professor at the Universal Putra Malaysia, says the standing seat would &quot;lead to a 21% increase in passenger capacity, while dropping ticket prices by as much as 44%.&quot; Think about that for a second. Yes, it sounds (and <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/10/travel/standing-cabin-plane-study/">looks</a>) very uncomfortable. Yes, it will also lead to a huge amount of people in economy class, meaning it will take even longer to get drinks and snacks. But, if it dropped the price of a ticket from $300 to $156, would you take it?</p> <h2>2. Limited Lavatories (Or Toilet Fees!)</h2> <p>Can you hold it? You might just have to.</p> <p>Cheaper airlines, also known as budget airlines, are looking into a few bathroom ideas that can chop the price of your ticket. One idea is to have just one toilet per plane. On a smaller aircraft, not such a big deal. On a 747 or 777, you better learn to cross your legs and think of something else. The other option is to charge you to go; literally, spending a dollar to spend a penny. Either one of these would be pushed on you with some great marketing spin. &quot;We're reducing frills to bring you the best possible price on your flight.&quot; Great&hellip; until you have to wait 45 minutes to answer the call of nature.</p> <h2>3. The Fat Tax</h2> <p>Some airlines are already &quot;suggesting&quot; or insisting that obese people buy two seats instead of just one. Sometimes, in the case of <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/obese-man-forced-buy-plane-tickets-seats-rows-article-1.1484738">Les Price</a>, they don't even give you two adjacent seats, which makes no sense at all. However, soon it won't be just purchasing extra seats. You may very well have to &quot;weigh in at check in,&quot; and if you tip the skills over a certain weight, the price of your ticket will go up. For example, males over 250 pounds and females over 200 pounds will pay extra to fly on the plane, even if they fit into a single seat just fine. This could also impact healthy people, like bodybuilders and professional athletes, who are heavy without being obese in the real sense of the word. Imagine being told your ticket will cost one third more because you're a bit on the heavy side. It's coming.</p> <h2>4. Women Only in the Cabin Crew</h2> <p>Not that having only women in the crew is bad for passengers, but it certainly isn't good for any men looking for a career in that field. How will that save money, or be beneficial? Well, we already know that women earn less than men in the same role. But according to GoAir, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/29/travel/airline-recruits-women-to-save-fuel/">hiring only women makes sense</a> because they are, on average, &quot;15-20 kilos lighter than the average man.&quot; Is that sexism, or simply a statement of fact from GoAir? Well, however you feel about it, you can expect to see either less men in the air, or only people weighing less than a certain amount.</p> <h2>5. In-Flight Phone Calls Are Coming</h2> <p>Currently, the U.S. government says <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-moves-closer-to-formal-rules-barring-in-flight-cellphone-calls-1407096288">no to mid-flight cell phone conversations</a>. However, lobbyists will change that sooner or later, and when it happens you can expect your flight to be filled with inconsiderate people who absolutely cannot wait to make that call. This is, without a doubt, going to be the most irritating and awful thing to change the way we fly. Pack noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs. Lots of earplugs.</p> <h2>6. You're Doing Everything Yourself</h2> <p>We all like autonomy, but when we're flying there are still some things we like to have a trained professional for. Sometimes, they can really help when it comes to getting us on different flights, changing times, adding to our itinerary, and so on. The future is going to be completely automated. Right now, you can get onto a plane without really seeing anyone if you're doing a short hop without checked bags. That is going to change. You will be tagging your own bags and loading them onto the conveyor belt. You'll use a thumbprint to identify yourself and get on and off the plane. You'll even have to get your own food and drinks on the plane. Why pay people when you can do it for the airlines for free?</p> <h2>7. More Overbooked Flights</h2> <p>In the past, you would often fly with enough empty seats on the plane to lie down and take a nap. That will never happen in the future. To ensure &quot;maximum profit margins,&quot; every flight will be seriously overbooked. This will result in more delays at airports, and incredible complications with connecting flights and hotel reservations. You could always go and complain to someone, but of course, you'll be greeted by a computer terminal with no feelings about the matter either way.</p> <h2>8. Massive Aircraft</h2> <p>We already know about the ginormous <a href="http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a380family/">Airbus A380</a>. That's only just the beginning. Plans are already underway to build something bigger. One such idea is the <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2538651/The-future-air-travel-Three-storey-Sky-Whale-fits-755-passengers-virtual-reality-windows-self-healing-wings.html">Sky Whale</a>, which would hold 755 passengers split into three different classes (and only those in first would enjoy the experience). Getting onto a plane that big will take a long, long time. Getting anything to eat or drink will take equally as long. And getting off, well, don't make any immediate plans when you arrive at the airport. Of course, if one of these things ever crashes, it's going to be a devastating tragedy. And one day, Sky Dinosaurs could carry 1500 people at once. The cost of fuel by then will be so expensive, it will probably not cut the price of the ticket by much.</p> <p><em>What nightmarish future airline plans are you dreading?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel" class="sharethis-link" title="The 8 Scariest Things Probably Coming to Air Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-major-airlines-determine-when-and-how-you-board">Here&#039;s How the Major Airlines Determine When and How You Board</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-on-amtrak">Travel on Amtrak</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel air travel airlines cost cutting customer service Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1211247 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/first-class-airline-dv2073081-small.jpg" alt="first class airline" title="first class airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was once a time when you could show up at the gate early, dressed nicely, and have a smiling attendant hand you a free upgrade to first class without even asking for it. Now, access to the front of the plane isn't as easy, and requires a bit more of a scientific approach. But this doesn't mean you need to pay the full fare; in fact very few passengers ever do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">15 Airport Hacks by Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 of the cheapest ways to fly first class.</p> <h2>Before You Go</h2> <p>Before you even pack your bag, here are a few handy tricks for nabbing a first class fare.</p> <h3>Search and You Might Find</h3> <p>Most people search for economy fares, figuring that first class fares are out of reach. However this isn't always the case. I was recently searching for a ticket from Toronto to Lima. I did the standard search on a variety of search engines, all in economy class of course. Then, I performed the same search in first class, and &mdash; glory be &mdash; I found a first class flight, for $50 more than the equivalent economy ticket. Airlines will occasionally (and very quietly) offer deep discounts on first class airfare. It always pays to search your desired flight itinerary in both economy and first class.</p> <h3>Mystery Shopping</h3> <p>Using your eagle eyes to fill out a detailed questionnaire about your experience, you can score half price flights, free hotels, and other travel deals with mystery shopping. Half price off a first class flight is a pretty good deal, but it's even sweeter if you wait for a seat sale and get half price off the sale-priced ticket, or take advantage of periodic mystery shopping promotions that entail a free upgrade to first class. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-half-price-flights-and-free-hotels?ref=seealso">How to Sign up For Half Price Flights and Free Hotels</a>).</p> <h3>Frequent Flyer Miles</h3> <p>Although a somewhat obvious approach, I'm surprised at how many people stare at me with wonder when I tell them that all my long-haul flights are in first class, mainly due to frequent flyer mile accumulation. With a little patience and some attention to detail, you can acquire enough frequent flyer miles to fly in first class, which often represents the best value per mile you can get. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <h3>Frequent Flyer Mile Upgrades</h3> <p>Frequent flyer mile gurus will attest to the value of purchasing economy tickets and using miles for upgrading to first class. Although I can't attest to this technique (I usually book it in first class to begin with, just to be sure), you can learn more about it through the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free?ref=seealso">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>.</p> <h2>At Check-In</h2> <p>You've still got an economy ticket in your hand and your bags are packed, but hope is not lost. Here are some techniques for cheap (or free) first class upgrades.</p> <h3>Mention a Special Occasion</h3> <p>Make it known (in as natural a way as possible) that you're just married, or traveling home to hug your mother for your milestone birthday, or celebrating a noteworthy anniversary, and you might find yourself upgraded to first class for free.</p> <h3>Dress the Part</h3> <p>If you dress and act the part, an upgraded boarding pass could land in your hands. Depending on the route and airline, however, don't hold your breath. If you fly frequently for work, you're more likely to score an upgrade with your elite frequent flyer status rather than by having a snazzy suit at check-in.</p> <h3>Ask About Miles/Cash Upgrades</h3> <p>Occasionally at check-in, you can nab a good deal for a cash or frequent flyer mile upgrade to first class. It might be worth an extra couple of hundred dollars if you're getting an upgrade to a first class ticket which sells for thousands more.</p> <h2>At the Gate</h2> <p>No luck yet? That's okay. Here's how to play your cards right at the gate&hellip;</p> <h3>Arrive at the Gate Early</h3> <p>After checking passengers in at the front desk, airline staff usually move to the gate to print out rosters and do other administrative things. If you're at the gate early, you might catch them in this lull before the next rush for boarding begins.</p> <p>If you're sitting there looking nice and were cordial at check-in, the gate attendant might shuffle a few seats around and bump you up to first class. A sob story/special occasion can help if you manage to get chatting with them and ask them for an upgrade. This is how I got my first-ever free upgrade to first class. I'd miscalculated the time after 20-something hours of travel and was sitting at the gate with hours to spare and got chatting with the gate attendant about my mammoth journey, at which point she decided to make the next leg of it much more comfortable for me. It happened again in Australia after a ridiculous amount of continuous travel. I asked (some might say begged) the gate attendant for some reprieve on my final flight, and she pitied me with an upgrade to first class.</p> <h3>Volunteer to Be Bumped</h3> <p>Some airlines overbook their flights, such that at the gate they ask for volunteers to be bumped off their pending flight. In exchange for your benevolence, you'll be remunerated with things like vouchers for food, accommodation, future flights (in addition to your missed flight being rebooked for you), straight cash, and sometimes, an upgrade to first class.</p> <p>If you're eager to take advantage of this deal and don't mind missing your flight, don't wait to be asked to bump; volunteer in advance by (showing up early, and letting the gate attendant know that you're available if they're overbooked.</p> <h2>By the Way</h2> <p>Don't forget about business class. With most airlines and routes, there is very little &mdash; if any &mdash; difference between business class and first class. Although in some cases first class flights offer an additional level of opulence, few people could turn their noses up at a business class upgrade or ticket. It's not &quot;first class,&quot; but trust me &mdash; it's better than coach.</p> <p><em>Do you fly first class &mdash; for cheap? What's your secret? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class" class="sharethis-link" title="The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips">Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel air travel airline business class first class seat upgrade Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 1207169 at http://www.wisebread.com