Fuel Prices and Air Travel Tips

Many Americans look forward to the excitement of the holiday season, and the opportunity to get away. Corporate travel is down, so those who look hard can find some bargains out there.

Recent surveys show that Americans are adjusting to high fuel prices by creating modalities that lessen the price sting at the pump. The more popular modes of operation are to take fewer holiday trips, cut down on traveling time, use different and varied types of transportation, and travel on off-peak days. The majority of those traveling plan to spend less on traveling than on actual gift purchases.

If you’ve been through an airport lately, you may have gone into an odd looking booth that put off a puff of air from the ground. The Transportation Security Administration has deployed so-called Explosives Detection Trace Portals. These can detect, in seconds, concealed explosives with bursts of air. There are fourteen airports across the country participating in this pilot program. They are scheduled to continue testing the new technology into next summer.

So,here’s what you can do to your get holiday’s off smoothly:

  • Be patient
  • Use “park-n-save” whenever possible
  • Book early — if you see a low fare don’t hesitate
  • Confirm reservations — have your entire itinerary re-confirmed a couple of days ahead of time. Especially re-confirm numbers, addresses and phone numbers for the place or places you will be staying
  • Get to the airport in plenty of time to check in and get through security
  • Travel during off-peak times to find the best deals
  • “Map the trip” by bringing travel brochures, maps and a schedule of activities to do at the place you’re visiting. It is good for you to have plans for the whole day, but travel guides can give some good spur-of-the-moment for family fun.
  • Plan for delays by packing snacks, diapers and entertainment for the kids
  • Pack emergency contact info — give every family member a list with numbers of local visitor services, your family physician, credit cards (in case of theft), and a family member or friend who is not traveling with you as an emergency contact.
  • Take phone numbers of hotels, pet sitters, and house sitters
  • Prepare the kids by telling them different fun facts about the places you are going to visit. make an emergency plan, and have your kids repeat it, so you are sure they understand it.
  • Do not pack your valuables you must have, such as cameras or medication in your checked luggage
  • Use technology — make sure your cell phones work properly, and make sure that your carrier provides service coverage in the area you are visiting. Consider the use of a walkie-talkie set with the kids in crowded places, or when kids and parents separate for particular activities
  • Leave at home knives, lighters and such … take off coats, remove computer from your bag, and have your boarding pass and photo ID ready to show TSA personnel
  • Just in case your luggage tag becomes separated, place identification information inside your bag
  • Get travel insurance — your existing insurance plan or credit card may already have coverage for unexpected travel issues, check into it! especially look for “rental car collision damage,” theft, and lost luggage coverage, and “travel delay” insurance
  • Plan a budget, bring travelers checks, credit cards, and discount coupons for attractions and restaurants
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