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5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Luggage for Your Next Trip

Almost all travelers have a Nightmare Luggage story. You spent a lot of money on a fancy brand-name bag that broke on the first leg of the trip. You skimped on the price and got exactly what you paid for. The bag that you thought would be comfortable and versatile turned out to be neither as you dragged it over the cobblestones of Florence or hefted it on aching shoulders through the crowded, narrow streets of Kathmandu. Choosing the wrong luggage can waste precious travel time and energy, and can cause a lot of aches and pains. Choosing the right luggage will free you up to enjoy your trip without any unnecessary aggravation. To help you pick the best possible bag for your next adventure, here are five simple questions you can ask yourself to help select the bag that is best for you. Malibu Bay is the most lightweight collection from Ricardo Beverly Hills, combining durable materials and easy mobility. What are the baggage restrictions and limits of all the airlines with which I will be traveling? Some countries have more restrictive guidelines that are more stringently enforced. Smaller airlines in Europe, for example, require smaller and lighter bags than those in the US. Make sure you know what the requirements will be so you don’t get stuck having to pay hefty fines or finding new luggage at the last minute. I am always happy to answer your questions regarding airline baggage restrictions, and will advise you on the requirements of all the airlines with which you will be flying. Am I an over-packer or a shopper? If...

Worried about holiday airport lines? Try these tricks.

We all know how it is. Any mention of the state of airport travel today — especially the lines and the TSA — will inevitably elicit groans of frustration, eye rolls, and a profusion of stories about airport security nightmares. It’s true in many ways that traveling by plane in the 21st century lacks much of the glamour and carefree, effortless elegance of, say, 50 years ago. We live in a different world with much more complex problems that need to be addressed. But since you have to go through the lines and security no matter what — how about making it as painless as possible? Here are some easy tips to help you breeze through your next security screening, even during the frenetic holiday season ahead. 1. Get organized. Sounds like stock advice, right? Here are some specifics that can shave precious minutes and hassle off your wait time. Check your flight status before you get ready to leave your house, or download a smartphone app like TripIt that will automatically notify you of any changes to your itinerary.   Check in to your flight online. This is especially helpful if you are not checking any bags.   Ed Hewitt, features editor for The Independent Traveler, offers this sound advice: Before you leave for the airport, put everything essential you need to check in and get through security (identification, credit card, boarding pass, etc.) in an easily-accessible part of your wallet or bag. “This way, you don’t waste your (and other people’s) time fumbling around for them at the moment you need them.” Then, he says, “Pack out...

Do I Need a Passport for My Trip?

In my 30-plus years as a travel professional, I’ve been asked many questions about passports. The most common question is, “Do I need a passport for my trip?” Personally, I think every US Citizen should have a passport. I have seen too many people miss out on an amazing last-minute travel opportunity because they aren’t prepared. If you are over 16 years old, your passport book is good for 10 years from the time you get it, so the pro-rated cost is only about $15 per year. This is certainly an excellent value considering the authentic adventures that it makes available to you. While it can be somewhat laborious applying for your first passport, you can simply renew by mail every 10 years. How is a passport different from a passport card, and do I need a passport to travel to Canada or Mexico? Passport card example – from the website for US Passports and International Travel A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies your identity and your citizenship. Only the US Department of State and US Embassies and Consulates have the authority to issue or verify US passports. Most foreign countries require a valid passport to enter and leave their borders. All US citizens traveling internationally by air must present a valid passport to reenter the US. To cross by land only into Canada or Mexico, you may use a less expensive passport card, but if you plan to get a passport card, why not go ahead and get the real thing? For more information on how to apply, read: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html Do I need a...

Should You Buy Travel Insurance for Your Next Trip?

These last several weeks, it has been heartbreaking to witness the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria across the Caribbean, southern Texas, and Florida. This hurricane season more than any other, I’ve been feeling prompted to write a post about whether you should purchase travel insurance for your next trip. People often ask me, Should I buy travel insurance for my vacation? My answer is almost always yes. Travel insurance protects the investment you have made for your luxury vacation or honeymoon from the unexpected. And trust me, after more than 30 years in the industry, I’ve been witness to a surprising array of difficult situations that my clients could not have foreseen. During an international trip, there are plenty of things that can go wrong, from severe weather or lost luggage, to an unexpected illness in the family or a missed airline connection. With so many variables and a handsome investment on the line, it is prudent to arrange for the convenience that travel protection provides. Damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 Fortunately, the majority of the time, you won’t have to use it. But here’s the thing: Emergencies happen when you least expect them. My clients who planned to honeymoon in the US Virgin Islands certainly did not plan for category 5 Hurricane Irma to play a part in their marriage celebrations. Thankfully, however, they were fully covered, so paying for a lavish, bespoke honeymoon in the Virgin Islands that they didn’t get to enjoy was NOT in the cards! In fact, as long as you purchase the insurance before a hurricane or tropical...

How to Catch Some Sleep on Your Next International Red-Eye Flight

Sleeping well on a long-distance flight is a skill that has taken me years to perfect, and only after much trial and error have I found a system that consistently works for me. Here are a few ways that my clients and I have shared with one another to make red-eye flights more conducive to productive rest. With a bit of extra planning, these tips can mean the difference between starting your next vacation abroad with vitality and eagerness, or lumbering through the early days after your arrival in a sleepy fog. ONE) Choose the latest departure times and the most direct flights. While crossing many time zones always poses its own sleep challenges, do your best to pick a flight time and schedule that will sync up most naturally with your sleeping and waking times. Leaving in the evening will work better than trying to get REM sleep at three in the afternoon. Air New Zealand Business Premier is available on 777-300 and 777-200 aircraft TWO) Dress in soft, warm clothing, and enclosed shoes. Even if you’re traveling to a tropical destination, the flight itself is often brisk. While the airline provides thin blankets to its clients, it’s wise to wear a light sweater over a short-sleeved shirt (so that you can easily add or remove layers, depending on the temperature), long, comfortable pants that reach to your ankles, and enclosed shoes. I’ve seen far too many travelers futilely attempt to cover both their arms and feet with the provided blankets. So plan ahead: The more comfortable you are, the more easily you’ll be able to slip into...