Traveling should be fun. To help make sure it is, we've put together this list of common questions and expert advice.
Yes, it's okay to surf the web wirelessly, but think twice before entering personal information such as banking passwords or credit card numbers when connected wirelessly. Open hotspots are also hotspots for hackers. Here’s how it works: Though you think you’re logging on to the Internet through a legitimate wireless hotspot such as an airport’s, cafés or hotel’s complimentary Wi-Fi service, wireless hackers are creating look-alike networks to steal your information. The network’s name might be the same as the legitimate name or it might be different. For example, when turning on your laptop at the airport you might be asked if you want to join the "Free Airport Wireless" network. It may be the real thing, or it may be a hacker’s network. If it’s the hackers, your laptop is an easy target.
No! Most Airline programs have rules against this, and you could be denied boarding if caught. Further, with today’s airport technology, your chances of getting caught are good. Besides, many of these items are easy to copy or fake, so you might end up the victim of fraud.
Check several itineraries. (Different routes or days traveled could save you money and get you more points.)
Check airline partners. (Many airlines have partnership agreements that can earn you frequent-flyer points on your regular airline.)
Stay in hotels on your program. And charge meals and services to the hotel room to earn even more points. (You can even use credit cards that earn you extra points.)
Use rental cars on your program.
Use plastic bottles and only fill them half way (in case they’re crushed or the contents freeze and expand), place plastic wrap over the top, and put the cap on tightly over the plastic wrap. You also might want to pack them in plastic freezer bags.
Pack them in your carry-on luggage, so it will be less likely to be lost. Your carry-on bags will also do less harm to temperature-sensitive medications. Additionally:
Carry your medication in their original bottles to help avoid security questions.
If you have any questionable drugs or particularly large supplies, you might want to bring a letter from your doctor stating you have a legal right to use these drugs.
If you’re traveling outside the U.S., check to see what you can take with you. (Legal medications here might be illegal elsewhere.)
Your driver’s license or other government-issued picture I.D., such as a passport or state I.D. card (the name on the ticket must match the name on your I.D. exactly); the ticket’s confirmation number; and the credit card the ticket was charged on.
Before you leave for the airport, contact the airline for an update on the flight schedule. (Late flights will mean an even more crowded airport with longer lines everywhere, so be sure to arrive early enough to make your flight.)
If available, avoid the long lines at the counter using curbside or off-airport check-in or electronic ticket kiosks.
Try calling first, rather than just showing up. This can be a better way to get the cheapest rates when you don’t have a reservation. If you drop by, the hotel might quote a higher rate, because they know you’ll be less likely to leave just to shop around for a better rate. Also, tell them you’re calling around and ask for the best rates that they have available.
You might consider a during-the-week, four-day cruise, instead of a three-day weekend cruise. Because it’s harder for people to get away during the week than on the weekend, there can be less demand for the four-day cruise, so you might get that extra day for less money.
You save money, because agents can give you the most up-to-date information on how to get the best value.
You get priority customer service, because The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) requires its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics.
It’s more convenient, because most agents offer one-stop shopping for all travel arrangements.
It’s easier, because agents have access to education and resource materials to make your travel plans go smoothly.