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Sunday, December 5, 2010

15 More Incredible Must Know Travel Tips

1. Before You Go Join every airline's frequent flyer program from jet Blue to Continental's One Pass even if you fly just once a year.  In any situation, from better seating to bumping passengers off flights, the airlines always pay more attention to and take better care of the passengers they consider loyalist, whatever their mileage balance. 2. Buy One Way Tickets   These days, there's no price difference between buying a one way ticket and a return. It's way smarter to buy two one-ways. That's because if the first leg goes unflown, the second is automatically cancelled. So if you miss your flight, you end up shelling out for two replacements. Keeping them separate avoids this problem. 3. Get The Best Fares at http://www.kayak.com/and  www.Hipmunk.Com 4. Make Photo Copies & Photos Whether you travel domestically or abroad, make photo copies of your passport and ID and stuff them in your hand luggage in case you lose the originals. It makes them a lot easier to replace.  And while you're at it, snap photos of your luggage and keep them handy on your cell phone in case your luggage is lost. Airlines often complain that traveler's can't describe a lost bag which makes it harder to find. 5. Never Pack A Single Suit Case For Each Family Member For more than one person, never allocate a single suitcase. That's because if dad's case is lost, he's not left with nothing to wear but mom's swimsuit. Instead, divvy up clothes for each family member across s the cases so no one will be left shirtless. 6. Check Your Hotel's Website  Most hotels list comprehensive amenities. So you can avoid lugging around an iron or hair dryer when you don't need to. 7. Watch Your Books Watch how you pack books. That's one big reason why TSA guards search your luggage. A column of stacked books shows up on X-rays as a blank space. That triggers a search by hand. So pack your books in layers across the case rather then piled up. 8. Remember 311 The 3-1-1 rule which limits you to 3 one ounce containers in a 1 quart zip lock bag. One clever way around this is to use solid shampoos and sunscreens from http://www.lush.com/ 9. How To Handle Cancelled Flights Planes are cancelled for a lot of reasons besides weather.  Weather issues rarely result in refunds.If the airline has to nix a flight because of mechanical or labor issues, you're entitled to the next flight to your destination on ANY airline, rather than the same company's next scheduled route. For cost reasons, that's what they're likely to offer you. If so, politely decline and ask to be "FIM-ed". That stands for Flight Interruption Manifest which is the code for switching to another airline's schedule. And no matter what, minimise your plane problems by standing online at the ticket counter while calling  your airline's customer service HQ on your cell phone. Work with whomever you reach first. 10. By A Lounge Pass When there's a delay or a snafu, shell out $25 for a lounge pass. Besides buying you drinks and a comfy chair, it will mean you have quicker, easier access to desk clerks than the chumps stuck in line at the main airport. It's also a family stress buster on Christmas Eve. 11. Avoid Outdated Guide Books When you buy a guide book, flip to the small print and check out the publication date. If it's more than 2 years old, it may be outdated. Plus guidebooks sometimes  hit the book shelves a year after their printed. So watch out. 11. Best WiFi Reception Since a  few airports offer free WIFI reception, it may be spotty. So just lurk outside the airport lounge and piggyback off the gratis signal offered to VIPS. 12. Avoid Credit Card Fees If your traveling overseas, most credit card companies levy fees on foreign transactions. Only Capital One levies NO handling fees and fair exchange rates. 13. Beef Up Your Memory Buy the biggest memory card your camera can handle even if you rarely need to empty it. Holiday snaps pile up quickly and its a pain to ration out how many snaps you can take. 14. Insider Info The best way to get on the ground insider info is by having breakfast at a local sit down cafe and linger over your coffee. Forget Starbucks or other chains. Wait  staff folks are least rushed at breakfast  and will often like to chat up a friendly guest. This is especially true if you come back more than once. 15 Survive The Language Barrier  Even if you flunked high school French, just carry a small note book and pen. No matter how rough your sketch, people will get the gist of what you're trying to convey. A

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