Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Travel a lot? A few traveling tips that might help!

I had my share of traveling this past year. While it has been fun, there are occasion it hasn't. Here are some thing I've picked up and might help you out.

  1. If you are traveling between two locations often and staying at the same hotel most of the time, you could ask them to store some of your liquid items. Such as toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. This way you wouldn't have to check in your bag
  2. Try to sign up for the frequent members card available through the airlines and hotels. Point add up fairly quickly.
  3. If you have your points spread out across multiple hotels and airlines, try to consolidate the points into a few frequently used one. Most hotels and airlines offer conversion process for you. A company called points.com have contract with a few of them, including American Airline. This way you could use the benefit of that company quicker
  4. Usually close to holiday season, these companies will try to get you to use your points. This is because they will be closing their books and these miles / points are consider as a liability to them. If you plan to use your miles / points, this would be the best time to do so. You don't have to use it on travel, most places allow you to get gift certificate to various retailers like amazon.com and starbucks. Or you could redeem them for merchandises.
  5. Delta Airline offer complimentry upgrade to first class on most of their flights if you are a gold member or higher. Take advantage of it, especially when it does not cost you any miles or points. Other airline companies such as American and United cost points / miles to upgrade.
  6. Check in early. Give yourself at least 2 hours for domestic flight and 3 hours for international flight. You might get to the airport quick, but going through the security check point is where you could never estimate time with. You'll never know a group of people in line that day are slower than usual.
  7. If you have just carry on, check in online and print out your boarding pass the night before. Companies like Southwest airline determine by how early you check in to determine your boarding priority. It pays to board the plane early, especially when overhead bin spaces are valuable these days.
  8. Research your destination early. Use google map to obtain map of the location where you will be staying and try to memorize the map and directions. This will help get you to your destination quickly and safely.
  9. Try not to book connecting flight with less than 1 1/2 hours in between. You want to leave enough time to get from one gate to another. Large airport like Atlanta, Chicago, and others have multiple concours. It is a long run / walk between them. This also give you some space in between if your flight arrive late.
  10. If you have a laptop, bring it a long. Airport such as Oregon International offers free wifi internet access. You could use it to check on flight status, email, and kill times while waiting for delayed flight.
  11. Before booking your ticket, visit http://www.seatguru.com/. You will be able to look up the carrier and type of plane you will be flying on and see which seat gives you the best deal. You could also see if they offer inflight power plugs for your laptop or individual LCD monitor to watch movie on. Use http://www.flightview.com/ to track the progress of a flight. It will show you where the plane is located in the air and estimated arrival time.

Last and most important, always be polite to the flight attendents. They have no control to flight delays, lost luggages, etc. You should not vent your fustration to them. It will not make things better or faster. The rule of thumb I go by is "It is always better to be piss off, than to be piss on". Life continues....

Hope you find these tips useful. If you have some of your own, please do share them for other to read and learn as well. Have a fun and safe trip......

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