Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Strategy For Extra Room on a Plane

If you are traveling with someone else and your flight offers a 3 - 3 or 2 - 3 - 2 configuration, book the window/aisle seat on a 3 - 3 or the two aisle seats on the 2 - 3 - 2 seating arrangement. Since middle seats are the last seats to be chosen, if the flight is not full you have the chance of getting an empty seat between you and your companion.

I recently used this technique on flights to Lima, Peru. We lucked out on both our domestic and international flights going south. Almost had it on the international flight back but seating confusion with other passengers put one of them between us.

Still, it was nice to know it works some of the time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Perks With Airline Affinity Credit Cards

Some people do not like to use the airline affinity credit cards because they have a fee of about $100 per year. But if you travel a lot, the new benefits available by using these cards may more than outweigh the fee.

If you pay for your ticket (or the taxes and fees on a frequent flyer ticket) with the matching credit card, you may now be able to enjoy perks such as priority boarding and one piece of checked luggage for no fee. We recently fly to and from Lima on frequent flyer tickets with taxes paid on an AA affinity card and had priority boarding. Very nice, getting on board early -- no fighting for overhead bin space and not worrying about holding up the line.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Traffic Report - Driving to Toronto From Western New York

We live in Western NY and have driven to Toronto many times. We always have used the Lewiston-Queenston bridge because, in the past, that has been the fastest way to get across.

Not anymore!!!!

It took us over an hour go get across and the traffic was just as bad in the other direction. Afterwards we learned there is a new outlet mall right over the bridge on the U.S. side and Canadians are coming over, in droves, to shop.

We returned using the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls and it was much faster and much easier.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Singapore Tourist Information

If you'll be traveling to Singapore and want an easy to carry travel guide, there is an app for that.

Called "Singapore: The Savvy Guide," it offers recommendations on Singapore sights, dining and off-the-beaten-path experiences. It is available for $3.99 from the iTunes app store and works with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Guide to Jewish London

There is a new guidebook from Interlink Books called "Jewish London: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Visitors and Londoners." It provides information on Jewish-heritage sites and has directions and maps for several walking tours.

" The book is a must for anyone interested in exploring Jewish life in London past and present." --June Sawyers Chicago Tribune

The book can be purchased through Amazon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

RFID Chips and Identity Theft - Protecting Your ID

Since 2007, all US passports have carried Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips. Some credit cards also have them. Unfortunately, these devices can be scanned by a nearby person with the right equipment, raising concerns about identity theft. Fortunately, there are now many products available to protect your information and they are not expensive. Here are a sampling of the types of wallets available:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Don't Lean on Hotel Windows

 Do a Google search on "hotel Window fall" and you will find enough results to demonstrate that you should never lean against a hotel window. There are stories of windows simply falling off of a hotel building. And other stories of guests who leaned against a window which then dislodged.

Whatever the reason or the cause, never lean against a hotel window. Actually, never lean against a window in an high-rise building.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Get Help Planning Your Cayman Vacation - Cayman Dept of Tourism

There is now a free information service called the Cayman Concierge that is staffed by personnel who are experts on the Cayman Islands. Some of the staff members have worked in the Cayman Department of Tourism for over 20 years. The team can help visitors with many of the experiences available on the islands, including bioluminescence kayaking, blue iquana tours and helicopter flights to looks for turtles and eagle rays.

The service can be reached by email at

Berlitz Cruise App

Berlitz offers a full cruising guide which has route maps and details on 285 cruise ships. It also has information on specialized cruises and how to go about getting the best cruise bargains.

Now, there is an app for that. The ship data is also available for $9.99 as an app for Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Look for "Berlitz Cruise Ships" in the app store.