"did we arrive"? Eight mind-saving vacation travel tips
Come and fly with me
1. Morning routes are best to avoid delays. Booking an early flight instead of a later one gives you more options in case you crash; You will have a better chance of taking another flight on the same day. Flying direct is best, but if connectivity is essential, try flying through a southern hub like Dallas, Charlotte, or Phoenix, where you can at least eliminate weather as an issue. Note: Check out the secondary airports, which offer more flights and expanded and improved services.
2. Baggage regulations vary from airline to airline, but you can generally check two bags of less than 50 pounds each for free on domestic flights. Check with your airline as these rules are subject to change. Try to ship gifts ahead of time, but if you bring gifts on your flight, don’t wrap them; They may be checked by security. Keep expensive or fragile items in your hand luggage to reduce the chances of them being damaged or stolen. Note: Completely avoid baggage hassles by pre-shipping everything. Try sportsexpress.com, skycapinternational.com, or virtualbellhop.com.
3. Check-in procedures. Many airline websites allow passengers to print their boarding passes at home. Use a curbside skycap if you’re checking baggage; Some airlines allow them to issue boarding passes as well. Inside the terminal, find the self-service check-in kiosk, where you can quickly get your boarding pass and occasionally check your baggage.
4. Try to use public transportation, as airport parking lots fill up quickly on holidays. If you must drive, consider a private car park near the airport, which will take you to and from the terminal. Find, compare and reserve parking at major US airports at carparknet.com, airportparkingreservations.com, airportdiscountparking.com and parkingaccess.com. Note: If you live far from the airport and have an early flight, you may want to stay at the airport hotel the night before; Some allow you to park your car at the hotel until you return (parkleepfly.com).
5. No matter how well you prepare, you’re likely to end up at the airport. So check out The Travel Detective: Flight Crew Confidential by Peter Greenberg. Lists pilot and flight attendant’s picks for the best shops and services at airports and major cities around the world.
Hit the road, Jack
6. AAA recommends pre-mapping your route with an online mapping tool. Light the gas, buckle up, and get a full rest before setting off. Note: Limit yourself to eight hours driving per day; Take a break every two hours or 100 miles.
7. Prepare a road survival kit for each child: books, crayons, coloring books, magnetic puzzles, etc. The Car. Note: Check out travelforkids.com and momsminivan.com.
8. Rent a car? Confirm your reservation. The no-show rate for rental car outfits is 20 percent, so calling to confirm before you arrive lets them know you won’t be among those twenty. Try to get to the rental office late in the morning or early in the afternoon. Note: Inquire about express check-in programs in advance so you can skip any lines.
Don’t forget Spot and Video! Whether you are traveling by plane or car, be sure to properly identify your pet with a current tag or microchip. For advice on air travel with pets, go to http://www.aspca.org And click on pet care. If your four-legged friends don’t go, plan ahead and make sure they get the best care while you’re gone.