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Stop Checking Your Bags And Start Living Free

Don’t Check your Luggage Airlines and airports are modern marvels which I’m amazed run as well as they do, but even well-oiled machines have their problems. Hundreds of airplanes, thousands of people traveling in different directions and each with bags of personal belongings, mistakes are bound to be made. There are too many moving parts […]

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Don’t Check your Luggage

Airlines and airports are modern marvels which I’m amazed run as well as they do, but even well-oiled machines have their problems. Hundreds of airplanes, thousands of people traveling in different directions and each with bags of personal belongings, mistakes are bound to be made. There are too many moving parts to trust a machine that big, that’s why I never check my luggage.

 

I hate checking my luggage when I fly and you should too. Checking a bag just complicates things and is essentially a waste of my precious time. I’ve logged hundreds of thousands of airline miles and the one thing I can definitively say is that checking luggage is bad news.  

I’m a professional traveler, one who lives out of a suitcase for weeks at a time and I never check my bag with the airlines. Checking luggage is another cost that these airlines tack on to an already hefty price tag. Checking bags cost extra money that I’d rather spend on my trip. Some airlines do offer free checked bags but restrictions usually apply, so its best practices to figure out your carrier’s baggage rules ahead of time.

 

Not only do most airlines charge you to check luggage, they regularly go lost and sometimes are even ransacked by airport employees. My mother had her digital camera stolen from a checked bag, granted she shouldn’t have checked her digital camera in the first place.  Theft and damaged bags is a serious problem that airlines and airports don’t seem to take seriously.

It’s no secret that airlines lose luggage and never give you a good excuse as to why. Many times they are just delayed because they missed a connecting flight, but any delay in not having your personal belongings can really ruin a trip.

 

Is there anything worse on a trip than the airline losing your luggage? How about checking your suitcase and when you get to your destination, something of value has gone missing? These scenarios can ruin a perfectly good vacation, so why put your fun in the hands of others? I’ve been burned by the airlines enough to learn my lesson and hopefully you can learn from my experiences too.

If you learn how to pack your carry on bag correctly and only bring the bare essentials, anyone can forgo checking of bags altogether. Now I understand that not every trip allows you to go checked bag free but to ease your travels I suggest you make an effort. Packing smart and planning ahead are your two keys to victory and a hassle-free experience.

 

I always tell people that if you can’t wear something multiple times during a trip then you probably don’t need to bring it. Of course, circumstances arise where you need to bring something special, in these cases you can make sacrifices to make it all fit. I tend to pack one less of everything I think I need. If I’m packing two pairs of jeans, I’ll toss one last second and go with my gut.

Always remember that hotels have laundry and it’s easy to do a quick load or two mid-trip to essentially double your wardrobe. Resorts and higher-end hotels will even offer a laundry service so you don’t even have to break a sweat. I love staying at AirBnb’s where you can choose laundry as one of your search criteria, so you know you’ll have in-house laundry.

For some people packing light is a terrifying ordeal and you can’t imagine not having choices. Sounds like my wife, but once she planned ahead and packed smart, she was amazed at how convenient packing light truly is. Save yourself the hassle of having a bulky bag when you get to your destination and enjoy the freedom of packing light.

Time is the most valuable asset we all have and you only get so much, so save as much as possible by not checking a bag. Arriving at the airport hours in advance and waiting at the gate for an hour or so is a real drag and is seriously cutting into your pina colada time. Save yourself an hour on each end of your flight and get your vacation on.

 

Tips to Pack Smart

Russian Doll

Everything has a home when you are packing smart, so learn from the Russian Dolls that your grandmother probably had. Russian dolls perfectly fit inside each other to save space, think about this principle with packing. Socks balled up can fit inside your shoes; extra purses should be packed with underwear or other small garments. If you pack like this then you will be amazed at how little space you actually need.

Plastic Bags

Pack each individual article of clothing in a plastic bag that has a zip top enclosure and vacuum seal each bag by sucking excess air out.  This packing trick is an excellent way to make extra room in your luggage and also helps you organize your bag.

Make a List

I’m a list maker and a double checker, but these practices actually help with packing smart. I try and plan out my outfits by checking what the weather will be like and packing accordingly.

Layers

Layers are your best friend when packing light. Believe me when I say that three shirts and a windbreaker pack much easier than a bulky winter jacket. Each layer can be worn separately to create varied looks.

Pack smart, pack light and never check your luggage again.


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Travel

Super Secret Summer Travel Deals

 Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

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The temperatures are rising, your kid’s school is winding down and it’s almost time for your yearly summer vacation, but how can you afford it? Not to worry, we have the super secret deals on all your summer vacation needs. Whether you prefer a beach destination, outdoors adventure or swanky five-star hotels, we got the hook up. Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

Cheapest Destinations

Of all the popular destinations this summer we found the three with the best deals and most enticing perks.

Canada

This is the season to check out Canada and see what this great country has to offer. Not only is Canada beautiful and widely overlooked on vacationer’s travel lists, but this is the country’s 150th anniversary so all of their National Parks are free to visit. Yes, I said FREE. You can check out what these amazing Canadian National Parks have to offer, like the pure unbridled natural beauty of Banff National Park for free.

Canada’s dollar is also worth less than the American dollar, so your money goes a long way up North. On average you will save 20-30% on everything because of the favorable dollar price.

 

Yellowstone

If you want to stay in the states, Yellowstone National Park is a great way to go. See the epic geysers and all the other natural wonders that prehistoric park offer.  Head up to Wyoming and check out the vast 3,500 plus square miles of untouched nature and see some serious wild animals. Expect bears, wolves, elk, bison and antelope, just to name a few.

 

Fort Lauderdale

If fun in the sun is your vacation of choice, Sunny Florida is a great way to catch some rays and swim in the warm Atlantic Ocean. Ft. Lauderdale is a much cheaper destination than its pricey neighbor, Miami. Get the same weather, same powder white sandy beaches and all the beach amenities for half the price of nearby hot spots. You can make day trips to Orlando for Disney or Universal Studios and check out the awesome Everglades National Park too.

 

Best Airline Deals

If you are looking to fly on vacation saving big on flights can help with your overall budget. Check out these airlines that are seriously cutting prices this summer and offering up great deals.

Norwegian

If you are looking for awesome deals check out Norwegian Airlines, who offer the best deals to Europe right now. The Scandinavian company is hooking customers up this summer so check them out if you want to go to Europe.

 

 

WOW

Offering the cheapest deals to Iceland and parts of Europe, WOW Airlines is hurting other airlines with their bottom basement prices. It’s a great time to fly to Europe with these super cheap deals.

 

Side Notes:

 

Avoid Sunday July 9

The busiest travel day this summer will undoubtedly be Sunday July 9th, the Sunday After July 4th. This day will be a nightmare on the roads, in the air and in terminals at airports and train stations all over the U.S. Avoid travel on this day if at all possible.

As always Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest and least busy days to travel so book your flights and trips on these two days.

 

Unlock some serious summer savings and turn the vacation of your dreams into a reality.

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Air Canada Announces the Gift of Travel Campaign

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Air Canada provides travelers with a unique opportunity starting this December. The company’s Gift of Travel initiative is certainly worth looking forward to.

Air Canada announces a new holiday campaign called the Gift of Travel. It’s the company’s new initiative that celebrates different actions done by several heroes in the community who are providing selfless possibilities to fellow Canadians.

The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted our freedom to explore the world and travel without increased border restrictions.  Air Canada’s Gift of Travel campaign aims to help procure funds for various organizations in Canada. The initiative also provides avid travelers with easier travel passes, enabling them to reach their dream destinations conveniently.

“Canadians from across the country have shown remarkable resilience, solidarity and generosity in the face of COVID-19 and we were inspired hearing stories of people who dedicated their time and energy to caring for others, making a memorable impact on other people’s lives. We are proud to launch this campaign with our Gift of Travel video featuring heartwarming stories of community heroes and share the gift of travel through a message of hope and optimism from our employees as we all look forward to brighter days ahead,” shares Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources, and Communications Officer at Air Canada. “We are also proud to continue our long-standing effort through the Air Canada Foundation in supporting communities through its inaugural Gift of Travel auction and the annual Aeroplan Matching Campaign,” she adds.

The same Gift of Travel campaign highlights with different inspirational stories about Air Canada personnel as they do community work, providing assistance related to the fight against COVID-19. These stories can be accessed via the company’s social media handles and website.

On 1 December 2020, the company will launch its Gift of Travel auction. The said auction will highlight rare aviation implements including the opportunity to fly or operate an aviation simulator. It will also feature a ride-on plane for kids and even a chance to have dinner with the company’s most celebrated chefs.

All proceeds of the said Gift of Travel auction will be given to various Canadian charitable groups and organizations that work toward better health for the youth and children.

Also, the Gift of Travel campaign will cover the yearly Aeroplan Matching Campaign week celebrations. This will feature the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program, an advocacy to help sick children to get the medical help they need.

Through the Air Canada Foundation, the charitable arm of the company, Air Canada specifically aims to help Canadian children and youth in their medical and health needs. The Foundation also provides financial assistance and in-kind aid to various charitable organizations in Canada.

The company’s Gift of Travel campaign also highlights a Gift of Travel pass that allows convenient travel to one of the six designated locations. This pass will be valid until April 2022 and will provide the bearer with utmost flexibility.

The COVID-19 outbreak has heavily affected Canadian’s capacity to travel wherever and whenever they want. With Air Canada’s Gift of Travel, however, more opportunities to travel—and even to help others—becomes a vivid reality.

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Travel

Best Ways to Save $ on Summer Travel

If you use these savings tips, you should be able to afford the most amazing vacations without breaking the bank.

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Summer travel season is upon us and if you haven’t started the booking process yet, there’s still time. We travel in the summer because it fits into our schedules with work time off, children’s school vacations and of course the weather is just right. Summer is also most destination’s peak season, meaning savings are rare but with our help, you’ll find them. We searched for the best ways to save big on your summer travel plans without missing out on all the fun. Pack your bags because with our help you’ll be able to afford any dream vacation.

 

Be Flexible

One of the best ways to save is being flexible with your travel plans. Picking the cheapest flights, hotels and attraction tickets can help make ant trip more affordable. Being flexible doesn’t just deal with time; it involves destination, activities and mode of travel. Often times a resort town will have neighboring towns with better deals and cheaper activities and accommodations. Maybe a train or driving is a more affordable mode of transportation. The point is being flexible with your plans and you can save big, meaning you can do and enjoy more on your trip.

 

Tues/Wed

If you don’t already know, Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly so if you are going for a week, try flying in and out on these days. These are generally the slowest travel days so you win twice. You’ll fly for cheaper and the airport and airplane will be less crowded.

 

Book Early

It may be too late to book early for the beginning of summer but you still have time to book trips near the end of summer and still get good deals. The more time in between the time you book and the time you travel equals savings.

 

Price Drops

Most major travel sites will offer price drop guarantees when you book early, so if the price drops, you get refunded the difference. These are free or a few dollars and are definitely worth it.

 

Membership Discounts

We are already paying for memberships like AAA or AARP, so why not take advantage of the incredible savings these organizations offer. Check with your respective organization and inquire about travel deals. You will be surprised by how large these discounts can be.

 

Book Online

Many resorts or airlines offer deals for booking online, so take advantage of these lurking online deals. They are often hard to find so do some snooping and see what kind of savings you can unearth.

 

No Rental Insurance

If you are renting a car, never get the added insurance; you are already covered by both your insurance and the credit card you used to pay. These rental car companies will lie and tell you that you need the added insurance, don’t fall for their trickery.

 

Pack Food

If you want to save big by doing almost nothing, simply pack some snacks. Food on the go is so much more expensive than bringing snacks, so save big by doing very little.

 

Package Deals

Search for package deals where they combine airfare, hotels and other amenities into one price. These are often huge deals and make everything seem so seamless. These sites are everywhere so do your research and find the best ones.

 

Deal Sites

Get daily deals from coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. These sites offer incredible deals for a fraction of the original price. We find huge savings on theme parks and hotels almost everyday.

 

If you use these savings tips, you should be able to afford the most amazing vacations without breaking the bank.

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