Travel Tips Posts

How to Prepare for Flight Delays

Flight delays rank up at the top of traveler’s worst nightmares. Delays claim the sanity of victims worldwide on a daily basis, but they needn’t be the bane of your existence. While you can’t control weather patterns or the airline’s tardiness, you can be a savvy traveler and avoid the fear, turmoil, and uncertainty of flight schedules with just a few tips and some preparedness. Read this list of ways to prepare for flight delays before your next trip and you’ll be cool as a cucumber if you get a delay announcement! 

Flight_Delays_800

1. Before your trip

Nobody likes the stress of last-minute changes so try to be as proactive as possible before your trip to minimize chaos. Just in case you have delays or your flight is canceled, have your airline and hotel’s customer service numbers handy. Depending on the delay, you may need to move your hotel and/or car rental reservations, especially if you’re traveling across time zones and will be missing the check-in time. You won’t want to lose a whole week’s worth of reservations for a no-show. As well as having phone numbers loaded on your phone, try to get a few helpful apps downloaded. In addition to downloading some time-killing apps such as fun games, you should also download Hopper, a last-minute flight app that will help you if your flight happens to get canceled. You can usually book another flight quickly and significantly cheaper than if you were to deal with the airline directly.

New Screening Technologies and Procedures at Airports

Airlines are acutely aware of the fact that most people find flying (and the whole airport process) to be a hassle at very best. In their attempt to make the security process faster, more efficient and dare I say even safer, many airlines are turning to new technologies to alleviate their customer’s frustrations and concerns. If you’re an avid flyer and you’re curious as to what’s coming soon to an airport near you, take a look at these 5 new screening technologies and procedures.

Screening_technology

1. 3D checkpoint scanning

With the use of specialized CT scanning machines, TSA officers will be able to get a three-dimensional, detailed and rotatable viewing of passenger’s bags for more thorough screenings. This will help keep everyone onboard safer; weapons and other illegal items will be detected with more accuracy thanks to the three-dimensional imagery. On top of keeping fliers safe, this is also great news for those that were impacted by the recent laptop ban. Once 3D scanning is implemented nation-wide, passengers will be able to safely pack their laptops and even carry liquids on-board again since security officers will be able to get a clearer view of your packed items. This exciting technology is being tested in a handful of airports right now with plans to roll out more of these smart machines in the coming months. 

When Do I Need a Visa to Travel?

APR_Blog_Hero_Visa

International travel can often seem tricky to those who don’t country-hop frequently. Between passports, visas, birth certificates and the varying rules from country to country, it might seem easier to just stay home than to plan a foreign trip. But we’re here to set the record straight and alleviate your traveling stress with a breakdown of Visas so you’ll know exactly what you need for your next vacation!

 

1. Traveling Without a Visa

If you’d like to travel with just your passport and not have to go through the hassle of applying for an international visa, you have plenty of options including the entirety of Europe. But be aware that there are restrictions. You can only stay in certain countries for a set period of time without obtaining a visa. If you’re vacationing or heading out on a business trip for less than a month, your options are vast. There are many countries that allow US Passport holders to stay for up to 30 days, like Aruba, Jamaica, Thailand or the Dominican Republic. Some countries let you stay for up to 90 days without a visa such as Sweden, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Bermuda, France, Greece and New Zealand. If you’re looking to travel for up to 6 months, you can gain entry to Mexico, The Bahamas, United Kingdom or Canada with just your passport.

Where Can I Find the Best Travel Deals?

Are you putting off traveling for lack of funds? There are a few sites that I keep in my travel planning arsenal that save me hundreds of dollars on hotels, flights and car rentals every time I book. Take a look at my favorite travel deal websites so you can stop pinching pennies and start planning your next vacation!

Website_Deals_800

 

Flights

1.) SkyScannerThe flexibility of this website is astonishing. You can search for flights throughout a whole country or region which means no more having to search each local airport separately. You can also leave the arriving city open-ended and the site will list the cheapest flights from your departing city first, which is great if you are unsure of a destination or are very budget-driven. The site also allows you to search an entire month’s worth of flights to ensure the very best deal.

2.) Secret FlyingDon’t book a flight without checking Secret Flying first. This site aggregates all airline price errors (that the companies legally have to honor) and it happens more often than you’d think!

3.) Airfare WatchdogThis comprehensive website compiles all discount and mistake fares in one place to save you a ridiculous amount of money. Use the “top fares” feature to snag the lowest prices or comb through all of the budget airlines in one fell swoop.

How to Make Friends on Vacation

Make-friends-on-vacation4

The best types of vacations are those where you come home with some great new friends. There’s nothing like bonding over shared experiences to create an instant friendship with someone and vacations are usually rife with such moments. But, let’s be honest. It’s difficult to strike up a conversation (let alone a friendship) with a perfect stranger in this day and age of technology-driven obliviousness and guarded attitudes. Solo travelers are at even more of a disadvantage since approaching new people without support can be daunting. And even though single travelers tend to like the peace and quiet they get from traveling by themselves, loneliness can still set in and it’s nice to be able to connect with someone else on your terms. Luckily, there are a number of resources to help you navigate these tricky friendship-making waters with ease.