Sunday, December 30, 2007

PinkBird's Travel Pointers (Volume II):

We flew back to the DC/Baltimore area last night...First Class.
Not only did we fly in the section with free "adult beverages" and real plates, we also got free round trip tickets to use to go anywhere in the 48 contiguous United States.
Since I love those types of travel situations, I thought it was high time for another edition of PinkBird's Travel Tips.

1. I will start with how to score free tickets. Just ask. Yup. Ask at the check-in desk if they will be needing volunteers to give up their seats. I have noticed that American Airlines usually announces over the PA if they need volunteers, but United may only put up a "message" on the flight info board behind the desk. Either way, it doesn't hurt to ask, you may be put on a list and they will call you if they need to give up your seat.
And, if they do, you will get a voucher for a free flight (and sometimes for meals and hotels too, depending on how much time there is between the flight you should have been on and the one you will be bumped onto). If you have a few hours to kill, or don't need to be to your destination in a hurry, why not wait a few hours and get free travel in return? Also, asking if they need people to volunteer before they make the PA call, can put you at the top of the list. Just remember to be polite and friendly...the flight attendants will take note of that.

2. I hate to iron, (and, rarely do), especially if I’m on vacation. I also hate travel-creased clothing. You can buy a travel-size bottle of spray-on wrinkle removers. But, what I have found works even better is to pack a small spray bottle that creates a nice fine mist. Fill it with water when you reach your destination and mist your clothes then just smooth out the wrinkles with your hand. Plus, if you're traveling in hot areas you can the use that spray bottle to mist yourself for an instant cool down (I had a friend in college that would do this, I always thought it was such a great idea).

3. Small travel-sizes packages of tissues are great and have so many uses (seriously!). I carry them in my purse when traveling (or going to music festivals) because they can be very helpful if the bathroom is out of toilet paper. I like to use a non-disposable cloth handkerchief also, but sometimes they can just get messy and take up needed room in my carry-on or purse.

4. As a woman, I like to pack a few skirts because they look dressier (and pack lighter) than jeans or shorts and they are much cooler in warm climates. Long or short, skirts can work with anything and are easily dressed up or down. (Plus, they make using a squat toilet so simple!)

5. If the airline does loose your luggage and you have to buy new things (clothes, razors, toothpaste, etc) make sure you keep your receipts! By sending the airline copies of the receipts they can—and will pay you back. Interesting story...British Airlines (whom I later found out is notorious for lost luggage) lost our bags when we returned from a trip to Africa. It wasn't too bad as we were going home. But, we still had to go buy little things like toothbrushes and my husband needed a razor, etc. It cost about $25 to replace the stuff we needed, after sending letters with copies of our receipts to BA they sent me an apology and a check (for more than 4 times what they “owed” me to show how “truly sorry” they were!)