Tag: Travel TipsView All Tags
Have you ever sat next to someone who was gripping the armrest of their seat with eyes tightly shut, murmuring "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god" and occasionally whimpering? If so, then you've probably sat next to this contributor before.
The other week, I was on a Virgin America flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas when, as is usual for Vegas at this time of the year, we encountered strong turbulence just before landing. The pilot had the flight attendants take their seats for the last 15-20 minutes of the 50-minute flight, until the plane landed safely at McCarran International Airport.
Even though what was happening was akin to simply hitting a few road bumps while driving on a highway, I could not calm down. I cursed myself for not ordering a glass of wine — and for not picking up some illegal Xanax on my last trip to Mexico. Yeah, it was that bad (but you know, not this bad).
Once my seat mates started to show their concern, I finally managed to eke out an "I'm ok, just really scared." Fortunately, my seat mates —a Brit and an Aussie — were happy to talk to me until we landed. Mostly we talked about Vegas and what to do there, and after a few minutes I could breathe normally again. (And recommend places to go that I had read on VegasChatter #alwayspimpin.)
But last week, I was on another Virgin America flight, this one from Los Angeles to Newark, that encountered strong turbulence for the last two hours of the flight. It got so bad that at one point I had to push the flight attendant call button.
Need to give your credit card a workout? Street-level shops only scratch the surface of what you can find in Toronto, Canada's most populous city. Just below the sidewalk is PATH, an elaborate network of pedestrian tunnels that the Guinness Book of World Records considers the world's largest underground shopping complex. There are over 4 million-square feet boasting about 1200 retailers and services: everything from clothing shops to food courts, mall-like services to entertainment venues.
PATH links together dozens of office buildings, several subway stations (including Union Station), hotels and other points of entry. Once you head down into the maze-like sprawl, the corridors open up to shopping, food courts, services and entertainment totaling 18 miles of retail therapy. And from the Hockey Hall of Fame to the iconic CN Tower, PATH even paves the way to many of Toronto's best tourist attractions. Plus, since its hallways link downtown buildings in a weather-free and climate controlled environment, this subterranean shopping world is especially ideal when Mother Nature doesn't care to cooperate with the day-to-day lives of locals.
Naturally, being underground might make it more difficult to find your directional orientation. Fear not. Signs are color-coded and act as a compass. Blue for North, yellow for East, red for South and orange for West.
Your only challenge is choosing where to start.
[Photo: Rayme Gorniak/Jaunted]
Airport Transportation / Airports / BWI / IAD / Washington DC Travel / Public Transportation / Taxis / Travel Tips / → All Tags
There's no way to win when it comes to transferring between Washington DC's Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI). You either pay a ton for a taxi for the drive through Beltway traffic with a minimum drive time of one hour, submit to the stress of many public transportation connections for far cheaper and three hours' travel time, or see if any of the shared ride vans will take pity on you (and still have to pay a lot).
We found ourselves facing the conundrum of the IAD-to-BWI transfer this weekend, a situation brought about by the fact that domestic airfares from BWI were, like, six times cheaper than if we had left from IAD. We knew what we were getting ourselves into with an IAD-BWI switch, and we steeled our resolve for a rough journey after our call to a few shuttle services only returned with the news that they were already fully booked.
The internet isn't any help, either. Google "easy transfer between IAD and BWI" and you end up on inaccurate Tripadvisor threads from 2008, or help forums where the general advice is to try and change the flight to operate from DCA instead. Not helpful, internet!
What is helpful, is the good ol' Information Desk at Dulles Airport, which has actually printed little "8 Ways to BWI" slips of paper for similarly stressed travelers. Here, we share the valuable tips:
Have you ever landed in a destination for the first time and debated between taking a train and a taxi? Would a taxi be faster? Would a train be cheaper? Is traffic bad? When's the next train?
Well, in a move that could potentially set a new standard in airport service, Heathrow Airport is now helping you answer that question. Europe's busiest airport has installed digital smart screens at baggage claim that display taxi and train information in real time, including prices, traffic, and travel times that will help passengers make the best decisions for onward travel.
New York City / Tourism / Skyscrapers / Architecture Travel / World Trade Center / Cheap NYC / How to Get Tickets to / Travel News / Travel Tips / → All Tags
Add May 29 to your iCal. That's the date the One World Trade Center's observatory opens to the public, for 100th-story views from the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
Entry won't be cheap, at $32 for adults 13-64 and $26 for children 6-12 (children under 5 are free), but it is significantly more affordable than tickets for the Burj Khalifa's Observatory, which run $55 for adults during peak visitation hours.
The very first batch of tickets will go on sale tomorrow, April 8, at 10am EST. Of course complimentary admission is extended to family members of those killed on 9/11, and to the rescue and recovery workers who worked at the site in the months following the tragedy.
The five words every traveler hates to hear: “Your flight has been canceled.” After the initial oh-crap moment wears off, what do you do?
There’s a plane full of people in the exact same situation, so you have to act fast. Getting to your destination suddenly becomes a game of airline hot potato with passengers vying for seats on the next available flight.
Time is of the essence, but you must also keep your cool and avoid an emotional outburst. Nobody wants to deal with a meltdown – ticket agents or fellow passengers. Trust us on this one.
Since we like to be somewhat prepared, here are 5 ways to 'Keep Calm and Carry On' when your flight is canceled:
Travel Tips / Upgrades / Airfare Deals / Hotel Rooms / Las Vegas Travel / HotelChatter / VegasChatter / → All Tags
By now you've all probably seen or heard of this ridiculous video from a faux socialite, named, well, you'll see if you watch the video.
He made headlines yesterday with his obnoxious first class travel hacks that included tips such as booking a refundable plane ticket just to get lounge access then canceling the ticket before the flight takes off; faking a peanut allergy to get a seat change; printing fake business cards to take advantage of corporate rates and finding the weakest hotel employee to badger for a suite upgrade.
If his fake tan, Hermes belt or girlfriend who flashes her breasts in biz class doesn't turn you off, then you might actually make it all the way through this largely pointless video. (At the end, he does redeem himself, only slightly, to say that he tips the people who take care of him very well.)
While people have been faking life-threatening scenarios or pretending to be more important than they really are for ages now to get upgrades (see also, travel "journalists" who promise coverage to publications they've never written for in exchange for free trips or actual journalists who think they can threaten PR with no coverage unless they get the upgrades they want), this video is sure to infuriate the hotel and airline industries for exposing holes in their system and for manipulating employees who are just trying to do their job.
However, as this Frank Abagnale-wanna-be says, these "tips" do require a lot of chutz pah to pull off and not everyone is gonna be up to such a long con. (Besides, we'd rather sit in the middle seat in coach than up in first with him.)
With Spring Break on the horizon, as well as Easter and Passover, many of you might be heading out for a much-needed vacation. But some of you might be heading home. Our Millennial contributor, TipsyTraveler, has some tips on how to deal with that trip like the real adult that you are. Or at least, that you think you are.
We travel a lot in today’s society. Some of us travel for work, some of us travel just for
mileage runs funsies. But for many of us, there was a point in our lives where we practically needed to travel…to get away from home (and never come back).
I’m from a medium-sized Midwestern town. I used to make fun of it a lot. Still do. For as long as I can remember, getting out of there was my only goal in life. Once I finally did (oh what a happy day), I began to develop that nostalgic appreciation for my hometown and the life I once knew there. Some days, I’d even describe the geography of my upbringing as quaint. But no matter how many positive memories I conjure up, it’s never enough for me to actually want to go back. At least not permanently.
Every now and then though, we have to go back. Maybe it’s for a best friend’s wedding or a sibling’s graduation. Maybe a new life was brought into your family, or maybe one was taken away. No matter the circumstance, even if it’s a good one, the mere idea of revisiting your hometown can cause night sweats.
I’ve found myself on various visits back in my childhood bedroom screaming into a pillow because ohmygodwhyamIbackhere. What do you do when the new baby nephew you came home to meet is tired and wants to sleep the rest of the day? What do you do when you fly home for Thanksgiving but Thanksgiving is just one night of gluttony yet you had to book a 6-day trip because travel costs are seriously messed up during the holidays?
No matter the scenario, if you have to go back home and you really don’t want to, try some of the below advice. Rather than drown in a sea of woe, you might as well make the most of it…even if the most you can make is sandwich that you didn’t have to buy ingredients for because your mom stocked up the fridge in honor of your triumphant return.
Travel Tips / Lake Tahoe Travel / California Travel / Nevada Travel / South Lake Tahoe Travel / → All Tags
Driving down the main drag towards the Nevada State line in South Lake Tahoe
Most of South Lake Tahoe is owned by California, but the very eastern tip is property of Nevada. The road that runs along the border between the two states is appropriately named Stateline Avenue, and as you cruise east on the Lincoln Highway, it will be very easy to know when you are nearing the border. Especially at night.
The two states operate under two very different approaches that are never more evident than they are in the town's nightlife,when the casino lights come on and locals and tourists alike begin to imbibe.
Travelers heading out for the night should be aware of a few contrasts of the law that exist within a block of each other. Drinking in public is okay in Nevada, but a ticketed offense in California, for example. Here are the main differences to keep in mind as you head out for the night in South Lake:
Travel Tips / Lake Tahoe Travel / South Lake Tahoe Travel / California Travel / Adventure Travel / → All Tags
As the largest alpine lake in North America with over a dozen ski resorts and epic Ponderosa Pine covered wilderness, Lake Tahoe is a year round destination for active, adventure travelers. The town of South Lake Tahoe is slowly but surely developing a softer side to complement that once-rugged atmosphere, but we'll dive into that later this week. First, let's take a look at the best way to get there.
Lake Tahoe's own small airport hasn't run commercial flights in over a decade, and there remains three options for travelers flying in: San Francisco, Sacramento, or Reno. Where you're coming from will obviously determine the best fare and route, but all those things being equal, the Reno airport shines through as the clear winner in terms of proximity and convenience once on the ground. Driving times from San Fran and Sacramento are three and two hours respectively, but the drive from Reno to South Lake is just over an hour.
Travel Tips / Budget Travel / Airfare Deals / TheFlightDeal / FareDealAlert / Airfarewatchdog / → All Tags
Let's be realmost leisure travelers have to mind the money when it comes to booking a trip, and airfare is often the largest obstacle to clicking "purchase." The key to removing that obstacle is finding a great deal on airfare, which can seem a fool's errand considering all the websites, booking engines, and "book on Tuesday" tips on the topic.
The trick to scoring shockingly cheap flights (like our recent Kauai trip, or that $200 surprise to Abu Dhabi) isn't much more than sitting down and thinking through your travel goals so you'll be ready to whip out the credit card the moment the deals pop up.
How to Get to / Andorra Travel / Spain Travel / France Travel / Europe Travel / Bus Travel / Travel Tips / → All Tags
The itty-bitty country of Andorra is carved from the Pyrenees, with its cities all nestled in green valleys surrounded by snow-topped mountain peaks as if ripped from a Ricola commercial. Our routing to Andorra began with a flight to Barcelona, and a trip to Barcelona's bus stations to ask which would be the next bus to Andorra. We advise you to do a little more advance planning than that, and we're here to help.
With no airport and no train system, Andorra is perhaps one of the least accessible countries in Europe. It likes it that way, however; Andorra has been independent since 1278 and, at only 180 square miles, ranks as the sixth smallest European country (the five smaller are Vatican City, Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Malta).
Its tallest peak (Coma Pedrosa) is nearly 10,000' high, and the population is approximately 85,000 people, which pales in comparison to the nearly 10 million annual tourists who come to Andorra for skiing, duty-free shopping, and the Caldea spa.