Airports, travel, and delays go hand-in-hand. Here's how top travel bloggers pass the time.
For better or for worse, being stuck in an airport is an inevitable part of most vacations. Whether you have arrived several hours early for an important international flight, have a lot of time to kill between connections, or – worst of all – are stuck because of a delay, chances are you’ll lose anywhere from a few hours to a few days of your vacation staring at an arrival board, eating stale pretzels, and tapping your toes.
Here are some suggestions from top travel bloggers on how to make the most of that wasted time and get the best value for your vacation time.
Is your carry-on luggage about to be checked? Here's how to protect your bags, even if you think they're within airline carry-on regulations. Updated for 2021!
In my last post, I discussed the search for a carry on bag that worked. Finding the perfect travel bag is easier said than done! But once you have the ideal bag, you still have to do all that you can to keep it safe. This time, I am offering the following 10 tips for carry-on luggage so that you can make sure your trip is a successful one.
1.) Know the carry-on rules for every airline of your trip and read them carefully. Many allow a carry-on bag AND a personal item (like laptop case, purse, camera bag). But some allow only one bag. And some are more strict about having your laptop case just filled with a computer and accessories, not magazines and shampoo. (Here's a comprehensive list of the major airlines to get you started.)
Would you be ready to have your carry-on bag weighed and measured at the airport?
A probable disaster...
Do you think you're an organized and prepared traveler? Consider the following scenario and imagine how you would fare.
It's late at night and you’re in Belgium. In just a few hours, you'll be flying to Bangkok via Istanbul, where you’ll have a 12 hour layover to go enjoy the city. You'll be in Bangkok for just under 24 hours before hoping on a cheap regional flight to Myanmar, where you'll be spending the week, travelling to 3 different cities via train and ferry. It's adventurous, it's a bit crazy, and it's the kind of thing a lot of people are doing these days – making the most of a short amount of travel time, grasping every opportunity to enjoy a city. (And we happened to follow this exact itinerary!)
How we maximized our status miles to book the world's cheapest round-the-world flights. (Updated 2022!)
My husband and I are about to undertake an incredible journey. We've cashed in every frequent flyer point we've ever had and spent 80,000 points each to purchase tickets to Australia. Except we don't really have tickets JUST to Australia - we have tickets around the world. And while we spent 80,000 points, we really got 200,000 plus points worth of tickets. Confused? So were we - at first.
I travel with paper maps - and I know I'm not alone!
After months of backpacking in my university days using tiny maps torn from the pages of Lonely Planet and Let's Go, I remember when websites like MapQuest and MapBlast were the new, hot thing. It seemed incredible that I could just type in an address and get directions for where I wanted to go. And it made travelling seem so easy! No staring at incomprehensible map squiggles – I just had to tell the driver to turn left on Main St. in 2km.
Updated for 2022! Rules, Regulations, and Travel: Everything you need to know about mastering travel toiletry 3-1-1 kits.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the role of travel toiletry 3-1-1 toiletry kits – you know, the small, see-through kits we all must present to the airport security staff to prove we have limited liquids. They're a key component of travel toiletry kits (or travel dopp kits or travel shaving bags, depending on your preferred vocabulary!)
So much has been made of travel toiletry 3-1-1 kit restrictions and regulations that many travelers believe it poses a huge problem. Some people will even pay to check their luggage because they cannot fit all their liquid toiletries in the regulation size bag. And if the delays at security are any indication, there are many people who still don’t understand the regulations or are trying to get around them.
But if you pack smart, and choose the right products, a 3-1-1 kit will never be a hindrance. Let me try to convince you!
Our car rental tips and tricks will help you save money on your next trip.
Having spent so many of my traveling years relying on public transit and my own two feet, the idea of renting a car still seems a bit counter-intuitive. Surely it would be cheaper to buy a weekly transit pass for the city I’m visiting?
A bad experience renting a car for a weekend in university seems to back me up. I grabbed a car from the first agency at the airport, was promptly scared into taking extra insurance, and wasn’t well-informed about the max miles for the weekend (yep, not everyone is unlimited).
Combined with a Sunday evening return when NO gas stations were open, my final bill for 48 hours for the car was nearly $350. And all this so I wouldn’t have to take a taxi for a big grocery order and so I could show a visiting friend the countryside! That experience burned me, and served as confirmation of my mother’s fears that car rental agencies were shady swindlers to be avoided at all costs. Since then, I've learned a few car rental tips and tricks to help me save money and make the most of my travel experience.
Traveling with children can be a delight... or a disaster!
Two friends of mine were flying on medium length flights across North America today. One was on a full flight with a large amount of elementary school kids. The other was held up in an airport lounge on a delayed flight with several babies around. Both were having their nerves tested - including the friend with three kids of her own at home! It made me think of my own experiences with kids on planes.
Here's how you survive economy class with style!
What REALLY makes an economy class trip feel a bit more like first class? I recently saw a list by a well-respected travel site that listed such radical moves like bringing bottled water, toiletries,and nice socks. Really? Exactly WHO is getting on a plane without water? This isn't some kind of revolutionary list of suggestions – anyone who’s been on a plane once will have figured this out within 20 minutes!
One of the first, but sad, rules of being a global traveler with a coffee can budget is to fly economy class. While standards can vary by airline, there is no denying that first class has it much nicer. But with a bit of foresight, you can enjoy a much more comfortable flight than your surrounding neighbours – maybe even just as nice as the muck-ity mucks in first class.
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