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More Bed Bug Tips!

According to USA Today, the University of Minnesota has done extensive research on bedbugs!  Before your overnight stay in a hotel or motel, take along these travel tips:


•Pack a flashlight to inspect for bedbugs.


•When arriving at a hotel room, do not unpack. Place your bags on a dresser or in the bathroom and inspect your room immediately.


•Bedbugs can be seen, so remove the bed sheet and mattress pad, and inspect the edging, seams and other areas.


•Inspect the headboard, and use the flashlight to look in the space between the wall and the headboard. Inspect the furniture near the bed and look behind pictures on the wall.


•If you find bedbugs, ask the hotel to move you to another room that's not adjacent to the one you inspected.


Your On A Roll!
On your next Getaway, try rolling your clothes into tightly contained cylinders, then place into your luggage or carry on. When you roll your shirts and pants, it helps to keep out wrinkles and you can actually fit more in your suitcase!


Snag Your Jet Lag

During your next flight, drink lots of water during your flight. Airplane cabins 

are extremely dry and dehydration makes it very difficult to recover. Purchase extra 

bottles of water at the airport after you go through security; you can't bring liquids 

in through the security checkpoint, but you can purchase them afterward. Continue 

drinking water once you reach your destination, and stay away from alcohol or 

caffeine on the plane; both are diuretics, which really dry you out.

Luggage Label

Instead of the that ugly red piece of yarn tied to the handle of your luggage, 

try slapping on a bright piece of duct tape to the 'bottom' of your suitcase!  

Luggage usually comes down the chute wheels first. This way, you'll be able to 

spot yours right away!

Don't Delay!

Use technology wisely! Remember, when setting up alerts with your airline to 

notify you of delays, also be sure whoever picks you up at the airport gets these 

alerts, too!

Pocket Peace!
From a public market in Prague to a crowded wine tasting in the Finger Lakes, you can never be too careful. If you're carrying a wallet, take the time to make the transfer. Move your wallet from back pocket to your front pocket. Pickpockets are everywhere and they'll come up empty-handed with you!

Glyde to a Cheaper Guide!
The new website www.Glyde.com can save you a lot of cash when it comes to finding your next travel guide to your favorite city or country. You'll pay top dollar in the bookstore but a used one is just as good and at a fraction of the price. Sometimes up to a 90% savings!


What A View!
On your next Getaway, if you want to find a hotel room that doesn't overlook the parking lot, try the website www.RoomsWithGreatViews.com . Travelers have submitted great photos of views from their room, giving you all the information you need including the room number!


Woof and the Roof!
Nearly 30 million Americans travel with their pets every year but pet-friendly hotels are sometimes hard to find. Here's a travel tip with bite! Try Motel 6, Best Western or Red Roof Inn. They all have chain-wide policies to accept pets! Individual properties do, however, have their own discretion on how policies are applied on an individual basis, so call ahead!


Turn Around Your Mid-Week Blues!
Flying anytime soon? Go mid-week! You can expect shorter lines and better air fares on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for domestic and international travel.


Move Over Trip Advisor!
We all know that TripAdvisor.com is the big guy when it comes to travel ratings and recent travel experiences from 'real' travelers. But there are a few others that can offer very useful travel information too.

www.TravelPost.com 

www.Raveable.com

www.Oyster.com

Teachers go to the Head of the Class!
From time to time, cruise lines will offer special discounts on select sailings to customers who are teachers! Qualifying teachers must present a photocopy of teacher's certification, union card or letter from principal on school letterhead. So, if you're a teacher and going on a cruise, do your homework and check around!

One of my favorite travel web sites isHazelMail.com. They will convert your vacation photo into a postcard and send it anywhere in the world for $1.50! Your friends, family and co-workers will love your very personalized postcards from your next Getaway!

Free Upgrades? I like to use this one... "This is a very special trip for us". A very good line to use at the front desk when checking into a hotel. Say it with a smile and politely inquire about a room upgrade. More times than not, you'll score!

Staying healthy...

On your next Getaway, bring along 'Sanitizing Wipes! Even the cleanest-looking hotel rooms can be full of germs. When you arrive, wipe down all surfaces like the TV remote control, telephones, light switches, doorknobs and toilet flush handle. Don't forget to remove the bedspread!

Traveling with kids?

Bathroom stops can sometimes be a challenge. Gas station, fast food and rest stop restrooms can sometimes be a little scary, so.... Look for a chain motel! Just off highway exits, they are usually right in the lobby and much much cleaner!

Stranded! 

Bringing your passport on your next Getaway? Before you leave, be sure to make 2 copies of your identification page. Keep 1 copy with you in a separate part of your luggage. Leave the other copy with a friend or family member. This way, if your passport is lost or stolen, you have a back-up that can be sent to you in an emergency.

Picnic = quiet travel! 

Pack a picnic when traveling with the kids on your next road trip this summer! Not only will you save money, but kids tend to use up more energy at a picnic site along the way. Which means, they may nap a bit when you get back in the car!

Dear Robbers...

Just to be safe, on your next fly-away Getaway, don't put your home address on your luggage tags! You don't need to let everyone know where your empty home is located! Use a business card in your luggage tag and put one 'inside' your luggage too!

Get insured!

Whoops! After just recently jumping into the ocean with my cell phone in my bathing suit pocket, I know the importance of 'cell phone insurance'. Also, travel insurance is a very smart idea in case of medical issues or trip cancellation. Policies differ so be sure to shop around!

What's the hold up? 

Heading to the airport anytime soon? Do yourself a favor and wear slip-on shoes. You will be removing your shoes at security! Not having to un-tie and re-tie your shoes over and over is a better way to go!

Make a list! 

Two weeks before I leave for a Getaway, I make a list of 'things to do' and 'things to bring'. As time gets closer to my departure, I am still adding to the list as things come to mind. On a separate part of a table or counter, I gather those items that are on my list, then check them off. Bring passport, leave note for mailman, check thermostat, etc. It makes organizing much easier and I usually don't forget anything!

More choice = lower price! 

When searching for the best deal on airfare, try a web site that gives you 'all' airline choices like www.Kayak.com It makes the search for best fares and schedules much easier!

Heavy traffic!

I didn't know our seats were next to the bathroom! Don't make this mistake when choosing your seat assignment on-line for your next flight! First, go to www.SeatGuru.com. You will find every airline and each of their plane's seating chart showing you which seats on your flight are good ones and which seats to avoid!

Reviews that Reveal! 

When trying to choose the right hotel or resort, I always go to www.TripAdvisor.com. Reviews come from real people who were just customers; honest comments that give you a clear picture of where you're about to spend your money. They also list the most popular properties with people's #1 choice. A very revealing website!

Damage Control !
On a recent Getaway, I noted front bumper scratches on my rental car.  A rental representative assured me it was OK.  I insisted she still document the damage on 
my contract before I accepted the car.  Good thing!  On my rental return, the damage was seen and, without the written documentation, I was about to be charged!  Here's the deal... At bigger airports, you simply get your keys and are told where the car is located in the lot. There is usually no one around!  My advise is to inspect the car yourself before you leave and if you see any damage, get someone from the rental car companyto 'write it down'!


Car Rental Coupons!
Trying to find a bargain on your car rental?  Booking engine autoslash.com posts
'coupon codes' for car rental companies and even tracks your booking after you've 
made it for better offers!


Laptop Mix-Up!
One of the biggest problems at airport security these days is laptops getting mixed up.
To avoid picking up the wrong one, simply tape your business card to the bottom of 
your laptop.


Carry-On Crunch
With so many travelers trying to escape the 'checked-bag fees', everyone now has extra carry-on. As a result, no overhead space anymore! Good chance you'll be forced to stick your carry-on under the seat in front of you which leaves you no foot room.  Try purchasing a 'choice-seat' when choosing your seat assignment on-line. The fee is less than the 'checked-bag' charge and it bumps you up to an early boarding Zone which gives you plenty of time and space to stow your carry-on bags.


Rome Relief
While walking the beautiful streets of Rome, Italy, you only have to buy water once!  I use my water bottle everywhere I go by 'filling it up' all over Rome from the free-running water stations. They're everywhere with cold, clean, fresh water from the mountains!  Hard to believe but true!


Time Your Ticket! 
Don't you hate it when the fare on the airline ticket you just bought, goes DOWN? www.Bing.com/Travel has a Farecast feature that tries to predict price changes. 


Disney World Weather
A lot of people escape the cold northeast this time of year by heading south to Disney World In Florida. Here are a few 'weather related' tips on your next getaway 
to the happiest place on earth. 
 
*Forecast: Rain!  Hollywood Studios is your best bet. Most rides and lines are indoors 
and sheltered. 
 
*Forecast: Cloudy!  Animal Kingdom is your best bet. The big cats and great apes 
are more active and in-sight when the clouds hide the sun.
 
*Forecast: Hot! Epcot has the longest 'time spent' indoor attractions maximizing your 
air-conditioned moments.
 
*Forecast: Sunny! Magic Kingdom all the way!


Ship N' Save!
Want to avoid paying all those luggage fees next time you fly?  It may be cheaper to send your stuff ahead in a special Luggage Box with handles with UPS or Flat Rate Priority Mail through the US Postal Service.  Bring some essentials in your carry-on bag and ship the rest to your final destination!  Just make sure it arrives at the same time or before you do!


Power Sharing!
Ever try to find an electrical outlet at the airport to plug in your laptop or even charge your cell phone?  Not easy!  Bring along a small 'multiplug power strip' in 
your carry on!  Ask whoever is using an outlet to plug into your power strip and share the power! Now you can both charge all your gadgets at the same time!


Show Me the Fees Please!
Hidden hotel fees are on the increase and the best way to avoid them is ask about mandatory charges first!  Everything from 'housekeeping' to 'early check in' are 
starting to show up on hotel bills as 'extras'.  Look at your bill closely before they run your card. Unless you were aware of these charges beforehand, politely dispute them on checkout!


Get Lucky!
A 'late' check in can sometimes result in an upgrade at the hotel.  The chances of an upgrade increase even more if you're staying just one night.  Rooms are not likely to be sold later in the day anyway, so you 'get lucky'!
 
When to Book...
According to Travel & Leisure, the best time to book a hotel room for the best rate is one week before your trip.  Booking 'months' before really does not give you 
the best rate in most cases. T&L's research shows that your best rate, on average, is one week out.  For an even better rate? Pay in advance!  Ask?


Rental Rate Relief!
Looking for the best car rental price? Check out the new on-line consolidator www.autoslash.com ! It searches out discounts, applies them to your rental when you book and automatically rebooks you at the lower rate if the price drops!

Table Tactic!
Can't get a reservation at the best restaurant in town? Try this technique that works most of the time. Use the concierge at your hotel to make that reservation. They have a lot of pull. Or, if your hotel doesn't have this service, contact the concierge at the big hotel across the street! It works!


Wipe Out!
Bring your Lysol Wipes to wipe down these 4 very important items in your hotel room! 
1. TV Remote
2. Telephone
3. Toilet Flusher and Seat
4. Door Knob
5. Faucets

Freeze the Fees!
Baggage fees for your flight seem to be the new reality. To avoid the fees, fly airlines like Southwest where you can check 2 bags free! Get 1 free checked bag on JetBlue. 

Free Is Good!
If you are visiting New York City and you want to avoid the $20 admission fee to the Museum of Modern Art, wait until 4pm any Friday and get in free! Free Fridays at MOMA are from 4pm-8pm every Friday!

Gotcha Covered!
Travel insurance is the smart way to go especially on expensive, long distance trips. Cancellations, interruptions, delays, even volcanic ash!... You just never know! Be careful because each plan is different! Compare insurance plans with the site www.quotewright.com 

Supersize My Stay!
It may be easier than you think to get your hotel room upgraded! Think of a special occasion you might want to celebrate on your stay. Birthday? Anniversary? First time in NYC? Then, a week before you arrive and after you've made your reservation, find out who the hotel manager is and e-mail them your request for an upgrade to make your stay even more enjoyable. Also mention that it's your first time at that property. No fibbing on this one. They can check. Be truthful and courteous and you'll be amazed at what the hotel will do to make you a happy customer!