Friday, July 30, 2010

Travel Tips

green suitcase
green suitcase,
originally uploaded by painting faces.
I have an upcoming trip and wanted to share a few tips that I've acquired in my travels AND in my time in the travel industry.

Airlines have become unpredictable in a few ways. And I've found a few things to counteract their unpredictableness.

As a teenager, I flew for the very first time. As a rookie traveler, I had all my clothes, makeup and even my mothers wedding rings packed into my suitcase. Luckily, when I woke the morning of flight I had an impulse to remove those rings and put them on my finger instead. I say 'luckily' because when I landed at my destination, it turned out that my bag had landed there hours before me. And being that said bag was a standard BLACK piece, someone else walked off with it. And I've still never seen it again, over 10 years later.

From there forward, I've traveled with more recognizable pieces. It's not as easy for a thief to pick up my current lime green with florescent yellow tag and get away with it unnoticed. ...Curling ribbon doesn't always do the trick for setting your black bag apart from the other black bags, either. Get creative! Use an old necktie luggage tag, paint your favorite saying across the front, get a funky design or color as I have.

Avoid some of the baggage blunders that Smart Money has pointed out about baggage handlers!

Statistics show that airlines lose over 10,000 bags every day. Holy Moly, Batman.. That's a LOT of bags. And what happens if yours is one of those? Possibly ending up in Paris, Texas instead of Paris, France? Then what?

Some may argue that travel insurance is a waste, but time and time again, I see an otherwise horrible situation (to the traveler) be corrected in a mere phone call or two. Travel Guard's policies have a delay coverage. Meaning even if it's lost for only a day, you could get compensation on the underwear and toothbrush you needed to purchase to get you through!

I've also learned to not showcase my insurance purchase on the outside of my luggage, but rather tuck the identification card in one of the front pouches. I had a friend who used to throw bags and let me know that if you brag outwardly about your insurance, baggage handlers may be more inclined to open your bag and take something that their wife might like for her birthday. Just sayin'.... be discrete.

If you are unable to get everything you need into a carry-on plus one personal bag (which to me translates to my smaller rolly-luggage plus a REALLY big purse), be sure to not put EVERYTHING into your checked piece. If yours doesn't show up, you don't want to be completely S.O.L. for your entire trip. Throw a 3-1-1 bag into your purse so you at least have something. And if you're like I will soon be and traveling to see clients, travel ready to see clients. You'll be presentable even if your bags don't arrive.

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