plane at sunrise
Podcast

Episode 19: In Transit – High Flying

  • Booking:
    • Discount flight notifications for deals from your nearest airport delivered to your email nearly daily for  $25/year – NextVacay.com
    • Join frequent flyer programs and look for ways to double dip
    • Prices often change late Monday nights so Tuesday is the best time to shop. Some advice suggests 3pm EST is the best time to shop for a fare on Tuesdays.
  • At the airport:
    • Research baggage prices and buy ahead – find out if the prices will increase if you wait to purchase at the airport
    • Also research size requirements as weight and dimension can differ by airline
    • Container store has nice small bottles for carry-on fluids
    • TSA Pre-check or  Global Entry are nice options for reducing your wait and streamlining your security experience; your credit company may reimburse this – look into it
    • Clear is a new option in a few airports
    • Global Entry is also a nice option which helps you clear customs faster when returning from out of the county; it includes TSA pre-check benefits
white airliner wing on top of sea clouds
Blog

Beware of the Basic Economy Airline Tickets

We’re all looking for a good deal on airfare and today’s easy access to travel sites allows us to compare and contrast fares across airlines. Travelers may expect to tack on additional costs to the ultra low cost carriers’ tickets but beware that the basic economy tickets on major carriers may also lack some of the standard options. These lower ticket prices may include restrictions like no seat choice, no carry on baggage, no upgrades and no qualifying frequent flyer miles. Read the fine print and be sure that the airline ticket you purchase does in fact include the options that are important to you. We love a good deal at LTP, but not at the expense of our upgrade eligibility!

woman walking on pathway while strolling luggage
Blog

Don’t Lose Your TSA PreCheck Privileges

Do you enjoy the (usually) shorter lines and less hassle of the TSA PreCheck line? If so, you’d probably be disappointed to be declined the opportunity to enter that line because your membership expired. These memberships are only good for 5 years.

The TSA began selling PreCheck memberships in December 2013. More than 420,000 travelers signed up in the first six months, with a total of 750,000 travelers signed up in the first year. This means that thousands of memberships are expiring each month this year. Most users can renew their membership for $85 through an easy online process and memberships can be renewed up to 6 months in advance of the expiration date. To learn more, check out the TSA website .

Cuba
MicroBlog

Tip 99: Favorite Tips (part 1)

We appreciate anyone who read all #100days100traveltips that might have just taken a bit over 100 days.  But anything good is worth waiting for, right? 😉  Here’s a quick summary of our favorites:
Top Airport tip?
  • Rebecca – don’t expect USB charging ports to work – the hardly ever do – so you’ll want to carry a wall plug and find an outlet near a seat or in a restaurant
  • Michelle – buy a snack – you never know how long you’ll be on the flight
  • Sandy – bring a refillable water bottle

Top Hotel tip?

  • Rebecca – join the rewards programs and take advantage of dual reward credit earning with other travel partners like the rental car
  • Michelle – ask for a better room or upgrade, the worst they can say is no
  • Sandy –  be aware of resort fees!

Top Road trip tip?

  • Rebecca – look at the gas gauge to know which side to fuel up your rental car
  • Michelle – take lots of snacks, especially for driving at night
  • Sandy –  Look for fun opportunities to make fun pit stops along the way at unique places
MicroBlog

Tip 81: Avoiding Germs on Airplanes

As a frequent passenger on red-eye flights over the holiday season, I cringe as I try to fall asleep listening to a cacophony of sneezes and coughs. I walked onto the plane healthy and I’d like to walk off healthy in 6 hours, thank you very much!

To cut down on the germs surrounding you, pack small anti-bacterial hand sanitizer wipes with you. As soon as you get seated on the plane, wipe down the armrests, the table tray and any buttons used to control the entertainment system.

MicroBlog

Tip 77: Have copies of Passport

Luckily we haven’t needed it yet, but we scan and email ourselves copies of our passports before a big trip.

My parents like to take physical copies with them, but I have decided electronic copies are ok for now.

What has worked best for you? Have you found this helpful in the event a passport is stolen or lost?

MicroBlog

Tip 75: Cuba travel advice

Yesterday we shared a tip on making sure you carry toilet paper with you while visiting the island. That was honestly the best advice we got prior to our trip so it felt worthy a separate post.

Here are some other tips:

  • You will need a visa if traveling from the US. Airlines and cruise lines sell them. They are about $75/person and can be issued immediately.
  • CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) is the main currency. There is another option, the Cuban Peso, bur that is more for locals. The CUC is pretty much dollar to US dollar but the exchange taxes the conversion of US dollars something like 13%. It is more advantageous to convert from Euros so we had planned ahead and brought those instead. Also, US banks cannot concert the cash for you so it is something you have to do once you are in Cuba.
  • As of this writing, you can bring back 100 cigars and 1 liter of rum duty free per adult traveler. It is best to buy both from official retailers to avoid fakes.
  • There are hundreds of classic cars for hire relatively inexpensively. A fun way to view the city!
  • Drink only from sealed, bottles beverages.

Havana highlights: