Special offer

Rules to Travel By

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS

These "Ten Commandments of Travel" will help you avoid problems and even enjoy business and leisure trips.

1.  Travel is difficult and it costs too much.   Think and plan ahead.  If you think you're going to get it as easy as the $49 flight commercials you see on tv, think again.  Be as flexible as you can and be ready to act.

2.  Book smartly.  There is so much information available out there.  Check out farecast.com to see what your flight has cost in the past to see if you are actually getting a good deal or not.  Allow yourself plenty of time by arriving a day or two early for a wedding or cruise.  Airlines aren't dependable enough to cut it that close.

3.  Plan for trouble.  Always have a backup plan.  Ask your pilots how much "duty time" they have left in the day.  If your flight is delayed and they don't have much duty time left, start trying to get another flight or a hotel.

4.  Learn something.  Have fun when you travel.  Build in an extra day to try the regional cuisine, see a new city, and learn local culture.

5.  Enjoy perks that pay.  Sometimes you can get lucky and find deals on better seats, valet service, and VIP airport club day passes for when you really  need them. 

6.  Stay local.  Concentrate your spending to generate quicker connections to free perks.  If you prefer an airline, use it often to get perks.  Become a VIP customer at your favorite hotel chain.

7.  Never check anything you can't live without.  Sometimes you have to check luggage, but never check something you MUST have: medicine, valuable papers, jewelry, etc.

8.  Play the upgrade game.  Each company has their own games, so play wisely.  For hotels, its best to show up late at night and try and get the upgrade to a suite when the clerk knows its not going to rent. 

9.  Ask nicely.  Even if you aren't treated nicely by airport staff, don't stoop to their level.  You're not the one trying to check-in hundreds of thousands of people in one shift.  If you treat them nicely when their frustrated, it will get you farther in the long run.

10.  Be kind to your fellow traveler.  Be helpful and kind to those traveling around you.  Before you recline your airplane seat, ask the person behind you if its ok to descend into their space.