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Tough Travel Questions We All Have Asked

We are professional travelers and not too often we get stumped by questions from our readers, so we compiled a list. These are travel questions that we get often and the answers aren’t so straightforward. 

 

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We are professional travelers and not too often we get stumped by questions from our readers, so we compiled a list. These are travel questions that we get often and the answers aren’t so straightforward. Hopefully these will shed some light on issues many readers have had and couldn’t find the answers to.

 

Cheapest Days to fly?

Travel can be expensive so it’s best to search for the cheapest flights.  The cheapest days to fly in the United States are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and international flights are cheapest on weekdays. Always check around because sometimes you will find a diamond in the rough and get a cheap weekend international flight or a unicorn in the cheap Friday flight.

 

 

Carry-ons are always free?

You would think so but as we have unfortunately found out many of the ultra discount carriers (think Spirit) charge for carry-ons. These guidelines should be present when you book so make sure you check your airline’s regulations.  Its getting more and more expensive to travel, especially with all these countless add-ons.

 

I saw cheaper tickets after I bought mine, what can I do?

You can always change your flights but most airline charge for this convenience. You may end up paying more than the amount you would have saved by switching. It’s always a good move to check with the airline before you attempt to switch, or even before you book.

You have 24 hours to change after your purchase. The Department of Transportation requires all U.S. carriers to offer a 24-hour grace period where you can change your flight at no charge. So officially you have 24 hours to find a cheaper flight on all U.S. airlines.

Southwest is the only U.S. carrier that currently doesn’t charge a change fee, so search away and book at your leisure with Southwest.

You other option is at the time of purchase. Some carriers offer refundable tickets, which allow you to change whenever you want but are often more expensive.

 

Why are security lines so long?

Well, they aren’t always long but they all seem to take forever. If you hate waiting, check the TSA app on your smartphone and get real time updates and wait times. If you hate waiting in general then you should obviously get the TSA PreCheck. Cut the long security lines and breeze through security checkpoints without taking your shoes off or laptop out of your bag. This service averages out to only $20 a year for the five-year period it’s active for.

 

Where did my favorite airline go?

Ok, airlines come and go just like other brands do. If you haven’t traveled in a long time then you may be wondering where your favorite carriers have disappeared. You may be missing AirTran, Continental, Northwest or U.S.Airways, all of which have recently disappear from airports. You soon will see Virgin America and Alaska merge into one airline and we aren’t sure what name they will adopt.

 

What airline has the cheapest flights?

No one airline has the lowest fare as the business is super competitive now. You will however find some low prices on the ultra discount carriers but they often have hidden fees like charging for carry-on baggage, which make them equal to other airlines. Your best bet is to check with comparison sites like Kayak.com and see what all the airlines are charging and then make an educated decision.

 

Why is airfare so expensive?

They aren’t always expensive; you are probably just looking at the wrong times. Try to avoid flying during holidays or when many people want to fly. The higher the demand the higher the prices. So if you want to save big bucks, simply book early and be flexible when you can fly.

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Travel

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

Woman Finds A Puppy Abandoned In An Airport Bathroom With A Note

What would you do if you were traveling in an airport and you found an abandoned puppy in a bathroom with a note detailing how it was abused? Well, that is exactly what happened recently at the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.     A woman found a tiny 3-month-old chihuahua mix with a […]

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What would you do if you were traveling in an airport and you found an abandoned puppy in a bathroom with a note detailing how it was abused? Well, that is exactly what happened recently at the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

 

A woman found a tiny 3-month-old chihuahua mix with a note that said the owner was fleeing an abusive relationship and couldn’t afford to take the puppy with her but didn’t want to leave it with her ex-boyfriend who has already physically abused the dog.

 

 

The note said, “Hi, I’m Chewy, my owner was in an abusive relationship and couldn’t afford me to get on the flight. She didn’t wad to leave me with all her heart but she had no other option. My ex-boyfriend kicked my dog when we were fighting and he has a big knot on his head. He probably needs a vet. I love Chewy so much, please love and take care of him. XOXOXOXOXOXO.”

 

 

 

Luckily the woman who found him alerted authorities and the little guy has since been relocated to Connor and Millie’s Dog Rescue. This rescue has covered all of little Chewy’s veterinarian bills and has nursed him back to health. Now, the story of little Chewy has gone viral and there are tons of families that want to bring him home.

Chewy is being fostered and is currently up for adoption but so far, Connor and Millie’s has been absolutely flooded with people wanting to adopt the little guy. The ending to this story is very happy as he has another shot at a good life with a family that will love and cares for him.

 

 

It’s things like these that make us realize it is good in the world and we just have to look for it extra hard sometimes.

Animals shouldn’t be mixed up in our relationships and especially not in fights. If you see something say something…
Animal abuse is a serious crime and should be treated as such.

Luckily, little Chewy got out and is finding a new, safe home.

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Travel

Travel Photography Tip #1 : Vantage Point

Vantage Point: A beautiful and instagramable travel photograph doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, instead, it is created. Photography can make anybody nervous and unsure about your approach, but a good eye is a start. Having a keen eye is crucial to being a photographer, but what about us normal, non-professional picture takers? That’s why […]

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Vantage Point:

A beautiful and instagramable travel photograph doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, instead, it is created. Photography can make anybody nervous and unsure about your approach, but a good eye is a start. Having a keen eye is crucial to being a photographer, but what about us normal, non-professional picture takers? That’s why I made this blog, for people who want amazing pictures but don’t know where to start. Let’s get your Instagram account some hearts and maybe some recognition from your friends and family.

I’m no Ansel Adams or Annie Leibowitz, but I sure as hell can take some cool travel pictures that will turn heads. I take the time to know the proper protocol that a professional may follow and I practice. That’s what is so convenient about digital photography, you can trial and error all day and all you have to do is erase your memory card and start all over again.

 

My first tip for taking amazing travel photography is Vantage point. This is the view that a photograph is taken from. When I speak of vantage point being important to photography, I’m talking about changing up the normal human eye level view. The most common vantage point for travel photography is eye level because it’s the easiest. Sometimes to make an omelet you must crack a few eggs.

A novice photographer will take most pictures from eye level and the results will look average at best. To spice it up here are my 4 keys to changing your vantage point.

 

1- Height

Get above the action to make a photograph memorable. A bird’s eye view is always a crowd pleaser because it’s not our normal view. The higher you get the grander the scale will become. A little work like climbing up a ladder or scaling some stairs will increase the majesty and magnitude of your photos.

 

2- Look Around

When taking a photo from eye level, scan around and see if something up or down takes your attention. A simple scan of your environment will sometimes reveal a very interesting subject and angle. Architecture and statues will benefit from this perspective. Sometimes an unusual perspective will be fascinating for the viewers. 

3- Subject’s Perspective

This is a harder concept to grasp but when shooting a subject, look at the world as it would. Meaning that if you are shooting a dog, try getting low and shoot it as if another dog was taking the picture. Similarly, if you are shooting a stature, try and get up to a higher vantage point to shoot it at eye level.

 

4- Get Dirty

This may be the most important and most overlooked tip for taking a great travel photograph. Sometimes you have to get dirty to get the job done. We all know you are wearing your new outfit but if you want a lasting pic, maybe you’ll have to ruin that shirt if you want the shot. If you aren’t totally prepared to lie on the ground or stand in a puddle to get the angle that makes the subject look epic, you will fail. Don’t be afraid to look odd, twist your body to contortionist levels to snap the most impressive picture.

Good luck out there and hopefully changing your vantage point will start you on the road to taking professional level pictures and ramping up your Instagram account.

 

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