Friday, September 30, 2011

Check Your Luggage Weight When Flying

Luggage weight can be a real problem. Checked luggage is limited in the United States to 50 pounds. You will pay extra anything over those 50 pounds. And if you do have a heavy suitcase, dividing your items up into two bags may or may not help.

Some US airlines charge a fee for the first checked bag. Almost all of them charge extra for the second. Yet overweight baggage fees are so high, it might still be a money saving technique to pay for that second bag.

To help figure out for yourself which is the best way to go, invest in a luggage scale. Then check the cost of baggage fees and overweight fees with the airline. Do the math. It might make sense to pay the fee for the second bag than to pay the exorbitant overweight fee.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Think the Hotel Room is Clean?

Don't count on your hotel room being really clean.

While the rug looks like its been vacuumed and the shower stall is clean, what is in your room that you cannot see?

Most hotels don't wash the bedspread between guests. So take the bedspread, rip it off the bed, throw it in the corner and don't go near it for the rest of your visit.

Since your should always be traveling with antiseptic wipes now is the time to pull them out and clean the TV remote and telephone handset.

It's great if you've got those plastic sealed glasses in the room. If you don't and instead have real glasses, wash them in hot, soapy water and then let them sit under the hot running water for about 3 minutes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Save on Buying Shipboard Souvenirs

If you are a fan of shipboard souvenirs, plan on taking a ship's last sailing of a season.

You will find the ship's collection of 'local' items on sale as it starts to get new merchandise for the new itinerary of the next sailing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Traveling Europe by Train?

If you travel by train in Europe, try to get to the station to get your tickets, and check things out, the day before you actually leave.

This way, if you need some assistance, you can hopefully find someone who speaks English and can provide you with the information you need.

You can also check out the station for things like places to eat, the restrooms and the location of the track that your train will be leaving from.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Looking For Unusual Accommodations?

This is kind of neat. The website showcases 149 unique properties around the world. These are the kind of places where your lodging, alone, is a story itself.

Some of the samples are rooms in an Ottoman palace, treehouses, a jumbo jet and an underwater hotel. It is a neat site to spend a moment just browsing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saving Airfare by Using Nearby Airports

I read this article about how to save on airfare by using alternative airports. An example is used, calculating the fare for a family flying into Key West and showing how much money they could save if they few, instead, into Lauderdale.

In my opinion it's a bad example. Key West gets very little traffic when compared to Ft. Lauderdale. I would a busier airport, used by a lot of low fare carriers, to be cheaper.

The idea to check nearby airports is an old one. Our local airport is not served by Southwest but an airport an hour away is. Would air be cheap enough to make the drive worthwhile? What about nearby airports at the other end?

In looking at a flight to Los Angeles, I checked fares to all of the five commercial airports in the LAX area. Looking at all kinds of combinations, I tried to find a cheaper fare than flying directly into LAX.

Did I find anything cheaper? Yes, I could save a few dollars driving to that airport an hour away. But by the time I added the cost of gas and the expense of long term parking, the savings were gone.

So, yes, check all your available options, but, in the end, your best option could simply be using your home airport to the airport closest to your destination.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Copenhagen Castle Concerts - Free!

On Wednesdays, during the summer, free concerts are offered in Copenhagen.

From May through the month of August, Copenhagen Castle Concerts puts on free performances of classical music in the churches of historic royal residences in and around Copenhagen.

The concerts begin 5 PM in May and June, start at 5:30 PM in July, and begin at 4 PM in August.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leave Your Garage Door Opener Home

If you'll be taking a trip and leaving your car in the airport parking lot, leave your garage door opener at home.

Have you ever thought about how much ID you have in your car: insurance docs, registration doc, receipts, etc, etc.

If your car gets broken into you have just given the thief your home address AND a way to get into your house: the garage door opener.

Leave your garage door opener home. and do not leave your home address in your car. Check with your state's Dept. of Motor Vehicles. It is OK to black out your home address on your insurance ID card. If not, keep it in your wallet or purse.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ask For the Senior Rate

I recently found a way to save money at a motel. At least at a motel in the Marriott chain.

We stopped at a Fairfield Inn and I asked the receptionist for the rate. Regular rate was $139. AAA and AARP rate was $132. I happy with any of the prices but the weather was lousy and we really wanted to quit for the night.

I went outside to talk with my husband and I then went back in and asked 'Is that really the best you can do?".

The desk clerk asked me if I was a 'senior'. Since I over 60, I said 'Yes'. She could give me the 'senior rate' of $118!!

Now I know.... In the future, I'll be sure to ask for a 'senior rate'.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Idea for Menu Help in Asia

Traveling to Asia? If your local Korean, Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant has bi-lingual takeout menus, carry a few copies with you.

That way if you are in a restaurant with no menu or a menu you can't read, you can give your bi-lingual copy to the waiter who can then point out to you what the restaurant can prepare.

And bring extra copies of the menu with you .... you might find the waiter wants to keep a copy.