- November 13th 2012
- Unless you are traveling to a remote location, chances are there will be a washing machine in your hotel, or where you are staying. No need to take a lot of extra clothes that you may not wear!
- Fold or roll? Tissues or plastic? However you decide to pack your items, just remember to ask if there will be an iron at your destination. I personally like to use the space saving bags. They saved me a ton of room on a trip to Maui!
- Travel as lightly as possible. Many airlines are really cracking down on allowable luggage and charging high fees for overweight bags.
- Ship things home if they don’t fit in your bag after your trip. Even I did this a couple times. It’s cheaper than paying the high airline fees!
- Don’t pack a hair dryer or the big value size shampoo if you don’t need it. Hotels often have irons, hair dryers and other common items. Buy your shampoo and other items once you arrive at your destination.
- Really think about what you absolutely need, and then cut your choices in half!
- A good rule is if you are traveling for a week, take a shirt for each day, a pair of pants for every 2 days, underwear, and 2 pairs of shoes (you will wear one pair on the plane).
- If you are checking a bag and taking toiletries or seasonal items (like suntan oil, etc) a good tip I found is to take the tops off the liquid and place plastic wrap over the opening. Tightly screw the lid back on the bottle. That way, if somehow the lid pops open, the plastic will keep the liquid in the bottle.
- Just relax. We all forget something when we pack. If you forgot your favorite socks, it’s no big deal. You can always purchase more if needed.
For one of the best tips, plan your trip all the way through your airport parking. Visit our website to review the off-airport parking vendors in our network available at all the major U.S. airports. You’ll receive a great parking space at a great rate, transportation to and from the airport terminal, and help with your luggage. You can’t get any better than that. So, have a great holiday trip and we’ll take great care of your vehicle.
- November 9th 2012
I’ve compiled a few tips for those last minute Thanksgiving Flights and Airport Parking searches. Time’s ticking and if you are a procrastinator, you have just a few weeks left to get your flight booked. In an article from USA Today, airlines are expecting to have their planes at near capacity for each flight. The expected passenger volume is projected to be about 23 million passengers over the 12 day period of normal Thanksgiving travel.
Here are a few tips to check through as you search for any last minute deals:
- Stop what you are doing and start searching NOW. There are going to be few deals through the end of the year. Airlines have been raising their prices all year, and the chances of getting a last minute deal at the height of the travel season is pretty slim.
- Most travel analysts say that airlines already have blacked out Thanksgiving and the week of December 15, so if you see seats available on a flight you better just book it now.
- You may be able to get a better rate if you book a flight and hotel at once. Package deals may save you a couple hundred bucks.
- Try to travel light, but don’t over pack your carry on. Airlines are cracking down on checked bags and carry on. In fact, Spirit Airlines is now charging up to $100 for a carry on if you wait until you register the bag and check-in. If you register the carry on when you make your reservation, it is $35 (according to the Spirit website).
One thing to remember is authorities are advising travelers that during peak travel times, travelers should arrive two hours before their scheduled airline departure time. Add at least another hour on to that to find a parking space at one of the airport’s parking lots. Travel up and down the rows until you find a spot you may be able to squeeze into, drag your spouse, kids, and luggage to the nearest shuttle station and wait. And wait some more because it just left.
Instead prebook your parking space too at ParkRideFlyUSA.com. Some great reasons to prebook your parking space.
- We have off-airport parking vendors at all the major airports
- Guaranteed parking space
- great rates
- transportation to and from the airport terminal
- luggage assistance
Since you will have a reserved parking space, there’s no need to drive around the airport searching. Save time, money, and frustration and plan everything ahead. You will certainly be glad you did.
- November 8th 2012
The last time I flew, I raced to the ticket counter, but wondered why no one else was at the gate. It was a small airport, but I thought at least an agent would be available. Finally, after pacing up and down the counter, someone showed up. She looked confused, then did some tapping on the computer. “Didn’t anyone contact you? Your flight is canceled and you are rescheduled tomorrow at 6AM.”
I did not receive the many alerts I had signed up for with the travel site I used. #Fail on their part. Really, if someone contacted me, I’m fairly certain I would not have arrived at the airport! I didn’t say that, but I wanted to. Keeping in mind that this counter person did not single-highhandedly decide to mess up my trip home, instead, I just said in the nicest way “No. No one called me.”
Luckily, I had been visiting friends and I got an extra day. But, what could I have done if my flight in mid-trip? There are several options, but none are the “magical touch” that will go smoothly.
- On the Arrivals/Departures board make a note if there are other airlines with similar flights and make note of the flight numbers.
- You can go stand in line at the counter, or where the airline directs you, and wait to see how they will route you to your final destination. Be prepared to wait quite a while for your turn. Everyone in front of you in line will get their choices met first, so on to the next option…
- Call the airline and try to make alternate arrangements that way. Make sure you have your ticket number, record locator, and any other information you may need when you are on the call to help things go quickly. You may find you are already booked on the next available flight, or the customer service agent may assist in booking another airline if applicable. Always be prepared for options. Going through another airport, or a direct flight, may be a better alternative. If there is a weather issue, unfortunately, you may find that you are stuck at the airport and no flights are available.
- Hop online and try to rebook an alternate flight. Again, make sure you have all your flight information so you can breeze through the process.
The most important thing to remember is to try to be patient with the counter agent, the customer service rep, and the people who are all the the same situation as you are. It will make YOUR experience more enjoyable. By the way, during my trip my connecting flight got delayed the next day. So, always be prepared.
- October 30th 2012
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many travelers may be trapped for days. Although I was not one of the unfortunate few, I have been stranded at an airport due to mechanical failures, weather, flight cancellations, and other excuses given by the airlines. I have complied a few activities that help me pass the time.
- Walk the concourses in alphabetical or numerical order. Then, during my walk I will play the alphabet game, similar to “I Spy.” For example, I spy an apple at a cafe along my walk.
- Go to a club. If you can afford it and your layover airport offers it, you may be able to take advantage of an Airport Club. Many have day passes with various offers. Some airlines also have day airline passes to their own clubs as well. It may be well worth the price to get away from the hub-bub of the airport. Amenities may include free Wi-Fi, drinks or snacks.
- People Watch - I love to people watch, and can easily spend an hour or more just enjoying humans interacting with other humans. I tend to make up stories about each one to entertain myself as I pass the time.
- Ride the Tram! Some of the larger airports have trams or trains that run between the terminals. This adds and extra layer to my people watching adventure in the previous hint. If I am bored enough to ride the tram through all the stops for a complete round trip, I can really spin some good tales in my head regarding the people I encounter on the train.
- Airport Museums and Art Exhibits – Many airports now have museums and/or several art displays throughout the airport property. From San Francisco to Atlanta to Heathrow, art galleries are quite popular. From masterpieces to works from up and coming artists, the airport art gallery is becoming a very important feature.
- Practice your musical instrument. On one layover at DCA, I had chatted with a young lady about fiddle playing. I noticed her violin case and struck up a conversation about fiddle playing versus a concert with a violin. Our plane arrive late, and we both missed our connection. An hour or so later, as I was making my ABC walk, I found her in a corner of the airport, along with her mother, practicing a beautiful violin concerto. Who knows, I may have met a violin prodigy!
- Don’t try the stupid stunts that are listed on some sites. They will land you in airport jail, and you won’t need to worry about your next flight!
One thing to keep in mind is if you use ParkRideFlyUSA.com to secure your airport parking, our friendly lot operators will keep your vehicle safe and secure until your return. You will receive a guaranteed parking space at a great rate! For more travel tips, travel chats, and more, check out our page on Facebook. Let us know if you have any different tips or ways that you get through those long layovers!
- August 15th 2012
More Airlines Arriving on Time
This week in travel, it was good to hear that more US airlines are arriving and departing on time. The US Department of Transportation reports an improvement for the 15 biggest airlines, along with a reduction in incidences of flight cancelations and misplaced luggage. According to the DOT, the improvement results from tougher government rules and more oversight resulting in increased accountability. In contrast, airlines say their own work on improving both efficiency and customer service is responsible. Read the full story in the LA Times.
New Hotel Eco-Initiative
A group of 23 hotel companies has recently launched to Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, a standard way to measure hotels’ carbon emissions. HCMI 1.0 looks at energy consumption, total square footage, heated or air-conditioned space and carbon emissions data. Entering this information into a spreadsheet provides the result. At the moment the tool focuses on the corporate sector and allows calculation of the carbon footprint on a per hotel basis (rather than for an overall hotel group). It also allows attendees to know what their own carbon footprint is when they attend meetings and stay in a hotel. Read more in HotelNewsNow.
Tool for Business Travel Planners
Hipmunk has released a new tool to help those who coordinate group travel. It’s called Hipmunk Business Class. It allows a travel coordinator to see travelers’ Outlook and Google Calendar schedules when making travel plans and then get their approval for an itinerary from within the system. The new tool is intended to reduce the amount of communication needed for travel planning and eliminate errors. More on this on USA Today.