Expedia Deals

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dresses Under $20 – Go Travel Ready

Awesome and very cute dresses available through Go Travel Ready (www.gotravelready.com) - great selection and great prices.  Discounts, Discounted, Discount - already substantially low prices.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Give Me Hope Today: Hope Jewelry Collection! Prices Start at Just $3....

We should always have high hopes no matter what we are doing, from travel to meeting someone new or just having goals set for our lives to facing certain battles. There is always hope.

This jewelry collection called, "Hope Collection" features hope jewelry. It's an outward symbol that we are prisoners of hope and that hope is worth having for everything we hold dear and important in our lives. Most prices all are under $10 with average prices around $6.88.

Available through www.gotravelready.com

Michael Hathman

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Over 160 MUST HAVE Travel Tips

When I started traveling, I wished I had gotten a book of travel tips that could have been a “guide” for my use in my travel experiences. So, being the travel enthusiast that I am, I wanted to search the web for a great list that could work out in my favor and help others travel experiences richer and farless inconvenient. The tips shared in this document really are invaluable.

Here is my first reader’s tip: Read this free report in PDF format. Why? Because it contains great links to other helpful sites and resources that you can use. Additionally, I have included some links to products THAT ARE A MUST-HAVE that are available through my website, www.GoTravelReady.com, and my blog, www.gotravelready.blogspot.com and we also share important information that is neither on the website or blog that is featured on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gotravelready/.

These are the best packing tips you can have to make your traveling experience much, much easier and convenient. Not to mention the room you can save and maximize to FULL use is amazing. Consider these easy guides:

(1) ROLL. Don’t fold. Saves a lot of room and you may not need to check your bag.

(2) Bubble wrap is a must for the things you buy on your trip to keep them safe and prevent them from being broken.

(3) Make your luggage water resistant. Placing items in a zip lock plastic bag on the side and bottom a rain jacket or 2 other the other clothes helps keep things dry.

(4) Shoe and duster bags are great ideas to organize luggage and use later as a laundry bag.
(5) Dryer sheets in between clothing items keep clothing fresh and floral-scented.

(6) Use a shoehorn to get shoes on and off your feet. Cabin pressure can make feet bloat a little bit. A small zippered pouch that is always good to have in a carry-on bag—in it, stash all the things that you want to keep with you on a flight (headphones, earplugs, phone, wallet, etc.) so that when you board, you can just pull that pouch out, toss it into seat, and then place the carry-on in the overhead bin, quickly and efficiently.

(7) Use plastic lock bags to keep toiletries, cosmetics, make-up, toothbrush and toothpaste and jewelry – especially earrings.

(8) Use a clamshell suitcase. It’s great and durable – especially to put laptops inside and to divide clothing types on one side from the other such as casual wear on one side and beachwear on the other.
Luggage wheels are a MUST!
Was $243.62
NOW $177.88
(9) Staying in a higher-end hotel?  Check the closet and get the drawstring fabric semi-disposable bags to use for shoes and dirty laundry.

(10)  Need to make a business appearance.  Take a bottle of Downey wrinkle releaser with you.  Use it on clothes that got wrinkled during your trip.  Allow 30 minutes prior to wearing clothes.

(11) Use a plastic bag.  Flatten it out on a bed.  Put a “need-to-be-free-of-wrinkles” item on top of it and roll it up.  When you get to you destination, unroll it and hang immediately.

(12)  Using a rolling suitcase?  Pack your heaviest items toward the bottom for a better rolling experience.  I love rolling suitcases.  Talk about being far more mobile!

(13)  Picking up souvenirs?  Use a luggage scale.  If an item is too heavy, pack it in another suitcase.
Buying souvenirs and gifts while traveling?  This luggage weight is a MUST HAVE!
Was $15.96
 NOW just $7.88
(14)  Use the insides of shoes to pack little things – especially big size shoes.

(15)  Use a mesh or collapsible laundry bag on your trip to help keep clothes off the hotel floor and it can help you separate clean clothes from dirty laundry.
Using these mesh laundry bags are great to keep dirty clothes and shoes apart from clean clothes.
Was $17.34
Now Just $8.88
(16) Use a complimentary shower cap to use over shoes to keep the rest of the clothes in your bag clean.

(17)  Use shoeboxes for dress shirts rather than hangers to keep shirts crisp and ready-to-go (especially if coming from the cleaners).

(18)  If you can’t keep your cosmetic case completely liquid-free, store shampoo and conditioner in GoToob’s squeezable toiletry bottles. They come in TSA-approved sizes, and the caps include a spill-proof, no-drip valve.

(19)  Pack a hat – for warm or cold weather.

(20)  Do laundry FIRST.  THEN pack.

(21)  Bring a first aid kit with bandages, band-aids, ibuprofen, decongestant, hydrocortisone cream and maybe even some NyQuil.
First Aid Kits are a MUST HAVE for any travel anywhere.
Was $46.77
NOW $31.88.

(22) Bring a reusable water bottle or a collapsible one. $7 a bottle is a lot to save. Also, if you are out in the wilderness, having clean water is critically important so having a filtration system should be on your list.

Buying water can get super expensive especially at $7.00 per day.
Using a refillable and collapsible water container will really help with travel budget savings.
Was $13.72
NOW $9.88
If you are camping and may be far from a clean water source,
water filtration may be a smart choice.
Was $41.70
NOW $27.88
(23) Don’t bother bringing a second dressy outfit. You will never wear it – unless you are getting married and doing something special later, then, maybe, it may be worth bringing.

(24) Always use bags with wheels. Backpacks are great for hiking too.
Military Backpack - Ideal for hiking or long-distance traveling.
Was $59.37
NOW $39.88
(25)  Ideally, don’t pack clothes that require ironing unless you can help it.

(26)  If you are staying with them, bring a gift with you to give – before, after or during a trip.

(27)  Only pack clothes you’ve worn.  Never pack clothes you haven’t – you may regret it.

(28)  Don’t wear something on a trip you don’t like wearing at home all that much.  You will hate wearing it more on a trip.

(29)  Wear comfy shoes.

(30)  Eat local.  Discover great food.  Avoid McDonald’s.

(31)  Get tips from museum staff.  They can tell you about the best exhibits and which to skip.

(32)  Tip hotel housekeeping staff ($2 a day) – with a gratuity note.

(33)  Never carry your wallet in your back pocket or purse on the shoulder.  The best bet is a body pouch.
(34) Make notes on your trip. Knowing that town you stayed at or the artist’s work you loved is worth knowing.

(35) Bring a camera (or phone with a cam) and take pics.

(36)  If you remember to pack something, pack it right when you think about it or you will forget.
NOW ---- $117.88
(37)  Don’t know the language where you are traveling.  At least learn some useful phrases such as please, thank you, where is the bathroom, etc.

(38)  Wherever you are, wherever you are going, bring snacks.  I recommend against junk food.  But snack bars and breakfast bars are excellent.

(39)  Dry shampoo is awesome – especially if you don’t want to look nasty chatting with other people.

(40)  Remember your passport.

(41)  You will forget something.  Just accept it.

(42)  Advise your credit card company of your trip and put a “travel alert” on it so your purchases don’t get blocked.  Get their international customer service number while you are at it.

(43)  Going international?  Contact your embassy and advise them of your trip.  At the very least, get their contact number.

(44)  Make photocopies of your passport and leave one with friends and another tucked into your bag. Or, better yet, scan your passport and email a copy to yourself or put it on Google Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive.

(45)  Pack more underwear than you need.  One change every day is nice.

(46)  Stuffing socks in your shoes saves space and helps make sure your shoes retain their shape.

(47)  Match and pack your outfits together so you look good by the end of your trip.

(48)  DO NOT use a bathroom on a plane WITHOUT SHOES – no matter how swollen your feet are.

(49)  Toilet paper is not a given in many parts of the world, so pack and take small tissue packs with you.  You will be happy you did.  For maximum clean, baby wet wipes are also great.

(50)  Border control agents don’t get sarcasm.

(51)  If you can’t afford to lose (either emotionally or financially) – don’t pack it.
(52)  Never get into a cab that doesn’t have a meter.

(53)  If you need to go the bathroom often on a plane, get an aisle seat.

(54)  Bring a couple forms of entertainment with you on a flight – just in case.

(55)  Suffering motion sickness?  Ask for ½ ginger ale and ½ club soda to help settle your tummy.

(56)  NEVER EVER check these 4 things: toothpaste; prescription drugs; deodorant or pjs or Eye Mask Black Sleeping Eyeshade Eyepatch Blindfold with Earplugs.

(57)  ALWAYS wear sunscreen regardless of the weather or temperature – inside or outside.

(58)  Never bring more than 2 bags – anything more is too inconvenient to handle or track.

(59)  forgot something?  Check with the hotel before running to a drugstore. Most housekeeping
departments carry toothbrushes, combs, sewing kits, shower caps, and disposable razors free of charge.
(60)  Budget hotels usually never charge for WIFI but the upscale ones almost always do.

(61)  Never keep valuables in your car – NEVER.  Take them with you!

(62)  Check www.TravelAdvisor.com and www.TravelPost.com for travel info.

(63)  Join a travel forum like www.TravelAdvisor.com

(64)  Forums like those on www.TripAdvisor.com,  www.Fodors.com, www.Frommers.com  and www.LonelyPlanet.com all handle destination advice well. But bear in mind that sites attract different kinds of travelers: Fodors users can skew older and wealthier, for example, while the Lonely Planet fan is typically younger and more likely to rough it.  Also, check out www.CruiseCritic.com for a cruise lowdown, www.FlyerTalk.com for air travel, www.Chowhound.com and www.Roadfood.com for dining and www.Superfuture.com for a little bit of everything.

(65)  Update your social media status and ask for feedback on hotels and restaurants for various locations.  Posting, “What’s a good restaurant in Rome, Italy?”  The feedback could be surprising as much as revealing.

(66)  Don’t Snub the Bus.  www.MegaBus.com and www.BoltBus.com are great alternative modes of transport for anywhere from $1 - $30.  It’s super cheap and not bad for travel.

(67)  Use your SkyMiles.  They expire in 18 months anyway.  Use your credit too.

(68)  Buy travel insurance - the insurer, Allianz, is an excellent provider.  It’s good to have in case you have an unforeseen circumstance.

(69)  Bring some duct tape with you.  Eventually, you will need some and wish you had it.  Instead of the whole roll, wrap around a pen or a pencil.

(70)  Check with good websites (just click the icon below) like ww.Expedia.com; www.Orbitz.com; www.Travelocity.com to plan trips.  www.Kayak.com is a great option, but even this mega-meta-searcher doesn't pull up departure info and prices for every airline. To fill in the gaps, check www.Mobissimo.com and www.DoHop.com, which are good for locating flights overseas (within Europe especially), and www.Momondo.com, which says it scours more than 650 websites for the cheapest fares possible.

Top Deals - Save on Amazing Getaways on Expedia!

(71)  Check airport websites and look closely at low-cost carriers, like Spirit Airlines, AirTran and, in Europe, RyanAir, which will usually save you money on the fare — but be prepared to be nickel and dimed for everything else (including hefty fees for checking bags or checking in at the airport instead of online) and don't expect much in the way of customer service.

(72)  Check the costs of flight histories (if possible).  This way, you will get a good idea of what you should be paying.

(73)  Yes, it's more inbox clutter, but if you subscribe to the e-newsletters of the airlines, hotels and car-rental companies you like to use, you'll often find out before the general public about promotions like last-minute hotel discounts, weekend rental specials and flights that can suddenly be booked for fewer frequent-flyer miles. The prime deals are always snapped up quickly, so any edge helps. Note that for many of these promotions, you must enter a special code when booking — and if you don't, you'll be charged full price.

(74)  Unless your travel dates are absolutely set in stone, use flexible date searches for flights. Just about every airline's website offers the feature — in which you can retrieve prices for a few days before and after your selected dates — as do major sites like Travelocity and Kayak. It tends to be cheaper to fly on days other than Friday and Sunday, but don't assume anything. Flying just one day earlier or later than your ideal date could mean saving an easy $100.

(75)  E-Track your fare.  Once you have an ideal flight price in mind, track airfares with a service like www.Yapta.com or www.Hotwire.com's Trip Watcher. Simply register your route and dates, and when the fare drops to a price you've chosen, you'll be alerted via e-mail. It's way less time-consuming than the old method of doing a new search every few days — or every few minutes.

(76)  Booking directly with a hotel or airline may save you more money than going thru a travel site – save money by axing the middle man.  Check out these savings:

(77)  Check with www.DealBase.com to break down lodging with meals and any other component of your trip.

(78)  Shop after your purchase.  Hotels and car rental companies will discount drastically to use up inventory, so keep shopping — even after you buy. That $60-a-day rental car you reserved might end up being $30 the week before your rental date, or you may get an ocean-view hotel room for the price of the garden-view you reserved. Always review the cancellation policy first, of course.  Also, Priceline is an awesome way to get deals via a wonderful pricing system:

(79)  Get Credit.  www.Southwest.com, AlaskaAir and www.JetBlue.com will refund you the difference (as a credit for future flights) if the fare for your flight drops after you buy your ticket. Other airlines consider it an itinerary change and apply a fee of $50 to $250.

(80)  Coach Plus.  The line between business class and coach has blurred. Many airlines sell "premium economy" seating, with wider seats and more legroom, with first dibs going to the élite members of their loyalty programs. Also, some airlines, such as Virgin American and Spirit, don't charge much for their upper-class option; just don't expect the champagne and chateaubriand of yore. Other airlines — such as British Airways' spin-off OpenSkies, which flies New York–Paris and New York–Amsterdam — only have business-class seats, but at a fraction of what other airlines charge. And many airlines sell last-minute upgrades, but the catch is that if you check in online, you'll never see them (the upgrades show up only at check-in kiosks or at the check-in desk).

(81)  Reserve your seat.  Always reserve a seat at the time of booking, and if the airline or booking engine won't let you, keep revisiting until you can. The longer the flight, the more attention you should pay to get a decent seat: resources with detailed seat info include www.SeatGuru.com, SeatExpert.com, and www.FlyerTalk.com. Don't like the seat options? Select one anyway, then check back every spare minute to change it, including when you're on the plane. (If you're a member of an airline lounge club, ask the agents there to make seat changes for you. They're rumored to have more clout.) To snag a coveted exit-row seat, arrive at the airport early for check-in, since you can't select those seats online. Some airlines charge more for window seats or seats with extra legroom (including the exit row); whether it's worth paying depends on the cost, length of flight and your tolerance for discomfort.

(82)  Pick a 767.  All other factors being equal, fly on a Boeing 767: these aircraft have fewer of the dreaded middle seats because the economy rows are in a two-three-two configuration, not three-three. The planes have anywhere from 180 to 250 total seats, depending on the airline, and they're primarily used for long-haul domestic and some international flights.

(83)  BYOE - Bring your own everything. It's safer than putting yourself at the airline's mercy. Bring a travel pillow, a blanket or sweater if you tend to get cold, entertainment (PSP, iPod), headphones (preferably noise-canceling ones, which not only combat engine noise — brutal in the rear of the plane — but make it so that you can hear the plane's entertainment system). And, of course, food: while onboard prices aren't extortionate (a charge airports are far more guilty of), the quality is iffy and the selection meager.

(84)  DYOE - Do your own everything. Have an Internet connection? Use it. Many airlines charge a premium any time you interact with an employee, such as booking a reservation over the phone (instead of online). In fact, US Airways now charges $5 extra to passengers who check a bag at the airport (vs. doing it in advance online). And low-cost European carrier Ryanair announced it was mulling a £1 fee to use the aircraft lavatory. If airlines could find a way to make you fly the plane, they would — and they'd charge you if you couldn't.

(85)  Airlines are unbundling services that used to be included in the fare — snacks, checked bags, entertainment, wi-fi, seat selection. In other words, the airline experience is becoming à la carte, with fees for everything. TripAdvisor.com's meta flight search allows you to compare the entire flight cost, including fees (for checked bags, entertainment, and food and drinks), and Kayak.com has added a Calculate Baggage Fees tool.  Additionally, you can use www.IFlyBags.com to take the guess work out of figuring how much you will spend on baggage fees.  wwwSmarterTravel.com has a helpful downloadable chart listing all major airline fees. The only airlines that don't charge to check a bag for domestic flights are Southwest and JetBlue. (Checked bags are still free on most long-haul international flights.) And airlines have cut way back on baggage personnel — so the wait at the carousel is even more brutal now — as is the wait to check in. If you can pack in a single carry-on bag, do so.

(86)  Keep the babies busy.  If you have kids, buy a portable DVD player before the first time you fly with them. The players cost only about $75, and trust us, it's a worthwhile purchase even if you use it on just one trip. (Make sure the battery lasts at least two hours — and that it's charged beforehand.) We would also advise picking the cheapest unit possible since your kid probably doesn't care much about screen size or whether the player can handle digital files and will probably just scratch the screen and squish food into the crevices.

(87)  Board strategically.  Worried about your big carry-on bag fitting in the overhead bin? When selecting a seat, choose your row carefully. Airlines tend to board planes in blocks of five or 10 rows.  So, row 21 may board before row 19. Also, be bold: when the gate agent calls the group ahead of yours, get in line as soon as you see that people have stopped joining the line. The odds are that your group will be called before you reach the Jetway, and the worst that can happen is that you'll have to wait to board — at the front of the line.

(88)  Snap a pic of the luggage.  If you absolutely have to check a bag, take a digital photo of it (which will help you describe the bag if it gets lost) and a close-up of the airline's baggage tag (so you have a record of the airline's routing info). If nothing else, snapping the photo will remind you to verify that your bag is labeled with the correct destination airport code.  Also, make sure you use luggage tags on your bags and suitcases.  It’s important.

(89)  Eek out space.  Every fraction of an inch counts. To add a smidgen more legroom, stash the in-flight magazine and SkyMall catalog from the seat-back pocket in your overhead bin. Keep the emergency info card, though — there's no point in tempting fate.

(90)  Snooze through it!  The best way to survive the dreaded red-eye flight is to eat dinner at the airport and take a prescription sleeping pill — with your doctor's approval, obviously — after takeoff. Don't take it before you're airborne; you could be in trouble if the plane has to return to the gate (or worse).

(91)  Important 5 Points: You do have some control over whether you make it through your flight without getting sick:  1. Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth.  2. Bring a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer and use it after you've washed your hands in the aircraft lavatory.  3. Stay hydrated. Bottled water is horrible for the environment, but this is one instance when you're allowed to drink it guilt-free.  4. Order your drinks without ice — the water onboard is teeming with bacteria. 5. Get up and walk around once an hour. Humans weren't meant to stay in a sitting position for so long.

(92)  Join the Club.  Join a hotel's loyalty program, even if you're planning only a one-night stay. Many hotel brands hand out extra amenities to members: Omni, Fairmont, and Wyndham all give free Internet to members, for instance, and Omni delivers a free breakfast beverage to your room every morning, as well as presses two of your garments at no charge. Also, if the hotel is overbooked or has to give someone a bum room, the last person it will treat badly is someone it perceives as loyal.

(93)  Check around.  Hotel star ratings don't mean anything anymore. Before you book, read multiple reviews — in guidebooks and magazines, as well as ones written by previous guests on user-review websites — and demand that the hotel show you pictures of the kind of room you're going to reserve, not just any room.

(94)  When you negotiate with the front desk for a sweeter hotel deal — and you should — don't get hung up on rates alone. Hotel managers care mostly about occupancy percentage and the average nightly room rate, meaning it's against their interest to budge on the price. But they can find other ways to woo you, such as throwing in breakfast, parking or a room upgrade. If making these demands outright makes you nervous, try asking if there are other packages you might not know about.

(95)  Alternative Lodging.  There's nothing wrong with traditional hotels and resorts, but you shouldn't feel limited to them. Alternatives like B&Bs, house swaps, and farm stays may offer more value — and certainly more personality. Check out resources such as www.BedandBreakfast.com, www.DudeRanch.org, www.HomeExchange.com, www.Agritourism.net (working farms that welcome guests), www.CouchSurfing.com (a network of people who let travelers crash on their couches free of charge) and www.UHOTW.com, or Unusual Hotels of the World, where lodging options include train locomotives, lighthouses, caves, old jails, and treehouses.

(96)  The Internet revolutionized how to rent vacation homes directly from the owners, and the recession provided an incentive for tens of thousands of owners to put their second homes on the rental market, via websites like www.HomeAway.com, www.Craigslist.org, and www.VRBO.com, or Vacation Rentals by Owner. The result is that renters have a huge selection, along with the power to negotiate, especially at the last minute. (Unlike hotels, where not everyone on staff has the authority to lower a rate, the owner of a vacation rental certainly can go as low as he or she likes.) Be sure to do your research: ask for lots of pictures and references, ask about any construction happening on or near the property and use the satellite view at Google Maps or Google Earth to scout out the property's surroundings — because for all you know, a four-lane highway is just beyond the backyard.

(97)  Not So Much Location As Price.  When business and upscale travel is down (as it is now), you can get great deals through Priceline's opaque-bidding feature at high-end hotels in big cities — what Priceline calls four-star hotels. For the uninitiated, www.Priceline.com allows you to bid low prices on a hotel room — with the catch that you don't find out the exact property you booked until your credit card is already charged. Similarly, www.Hotwire.com shows you a price, but you don't know the hotel's name until after you've committed. (www.Travelocity.com has begun doing something similar with its Top Secret Hotels function.) Either model is an easy way to get half or more off the rack rate, so long as you don't care about the exact location or brand.

(98) Renovated?  Before you book, ask when the property was built or renovated — a Super 8 can be wonderful if it's only a couple of months old, and a W that hasn't been touched in years can be ratty. Beware low-priced motels and even midrange chains that haven't been renovated in more than five years.

(99)  Don’t Pre-pay.  Be wary of bargains that require advance booking. The discounts are usually decent — 20% off or more — but you must prepay for your entire stay, and cancellations and date changes are usually not allowed. If there's any chance you'll need to shift dates, reserve a room at a higher rate at a place that allows you to make changes at no fee within 24 hours of check-in.

(100) Bedbugs!  The first thing you should do in a new room: peel back the bedding and check the seams of the mattress for traces of bedbugs — bloodstains or actual bugs. And in any case, never, ever, ever put your bag on the bed. The main way travelers bring bedbugs home is when their bags get infested after touching bedspreads or mattresses. When packing or unpacking your bag, put it on an unupholstered piece of furniture — a dresser or one of those folding luggage stands. Also, avoid putting your clothes into dresser drawers, if possible. Keep your possessions in your luggage or hang things up in the closet instead. For the truly fearful, check the Bed Bug Registry, where travelers report bedbug sightings in North American hotels.

(101) Free parking.  More and more cruise ships leave from "drive-up ports," which save you money on airfare but can cost you in parking. Plan on arriving the day before your departure — always a good idea in case you're delayed, because the ships won't wait for you — and spend one night at a hotel that lets you park your car in its lot free for the duration of your trip. This is a common deal in port cities, more so in a tight economy. And if the hotel doesn't offer it as a published deal, ask.

(102) Book Last Minute.  Not long ago, the cruise industry announced that last-minute discounts had disappeared and that the best prices would always be booked four or more months in advance. That's hardly the case today. Not only are last-minute offers often cheaper than advanced bookings, but there are also tons of vacancies nowadays. Orbitz has even dedicated an entire Web page where cruises are discounted at the last minute by up to 75%.

(103) Tip!  The best way to get good service is to tip beforehand — that's especially true on cruise ships, where you're guaranteed to interact closely with the same staff members. So tip $20 to your cabin steward upon boarding — it's awkward but it works. You'll still probably have to pay a service charge at the end of the cruise; as with all fees, ask about it in advance.

(104) Car Rental Clubs.  Hotel loyalty programs are worth joining because you get perks, but car-rental clubs are essential. Loyalty program membership often means you don't have to wait in insane lines, fill out annoying forms or get relentlessly up-sold.

(105) Buy Advance Tix.  Always check attractions' websites to see if you can buy tickets in advance — you may have to pay a $1- or $2-per-ticket fee, but that sure beats standing in line. Timed entry is even better because it means you avoid both the ticket-buying line and the admission line, if there is one.

(106) Souvenir Shopping.  Finding souvenirs that were actually made at your destination is getting harder and harder (unless you're visiting China). When you're traveling abroad, get off the tourist track and look for unusual items in places like supermarkets, hardware stores, stationery shops and so on. Not only will the merchandise have unique character, but it will also be stuff that locals really use. And even if the product itself isn't so different from what's available back home, the packaging will be loaded with charm.

(107) Skip the Concierge.  When you're asking around for sightseeing or dining advice, avoid hotel staffers. They're often on the take. (In fact, many hotels license out their concierge operations to companies that get commissions on bookings for certain attractions and restaurants.) Instead, find establishments — shops, cafés, restaurants, galleries — that match your taste, and ask the folks there.

(108) Call for pennies or for free.  If you need to make a single quick call home, just use your cell phone. Most of them work overseas nowadays, and while you may be overcharged, you avoid the hassle of phone cards. (E-mail is obviously the cheapest option, but sometimes you need to hear someone's voice.) If you're planning on dialing internationally multiple times or for long periods, try Skype, a phone service that works via the Internet. You can call other Skype users for free, and connect to a landline or cell phone costs pennies per minute. Click here for answers to all your Skype questions, and here to download the Skype app to your iPhone.

(109) Maximize Your Smartphone.  Before you go buying a mess of travel gear for your next big trip, take a closer look at your iPhone. It's a multipurpose guide:

1. Before you leave home, e-mail yourself your itinerary, as well as all confirmation e-mails for hotel, attraction, rental car and other bookings. 
2. Use the GPS and the Google Maps app to find your way around. 
3. Take photos of anything you might be held accountable for (such as a torn carpet in a hotel room or a dent on a rental car) so you have proof it was there before you, as well as information such as parking levels and trail maps. 
4. Text-message home instead of calling, or download the free Facebook and Twitter apps. 
5. Add your destination's weather to the weather app. Download the Weather Channel's free app, which has far more detailed forecasts than the one that comes preloaded on the iPhone. 
6. Download audiobooks to listen to on your iPod. At Librivox.org, you can even get public-domain works for free. 
7. The iPhone's clock function allows you to have other time zones at your fingertips. And the alarm clock is far more reliable than a hotel wake-up call. 
8. See if your destination's newspaper has a free app, and download it to stay abreast of local news. 
9. Check out the app store for other travel apps, like Lonely Planet's travel guides, KICKMap for subway maps or OpenTable for restaurant reviews and reservations. Currency Exchange Rates can convert local prices. And iLINGUA has foreign-language phrasebooks (with audio pronunciations and photos you can point at if words fail). 
10. Download games — not just cutting-edge ones but also old favorites like Yahtzee, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit — for when you just can't bear to read your book anymore.

(110) Don’t forget an extra camera or cell battery recharger.  They come in very handy.

(111) Pack a sarong.  Sarongs can be used as a wrap when you are cold, a towel, a curtain, or a piece of clothing that can be worn many different ways.  You can wear it many different ways.

A sarong makes for a great way to protect from the sun and gives the wearer a versatile piece of clothing.
Was $13.67
NOW ---- $9.88
(112) Inquire the price of public transportation PRIOR to boarding.  If you do it after, without knowing the price, the driver could gouge you.

(113) Stay hydrated on planes.

(114) Put the hotel room # and address in your note or smartphone.

(115) Let someone at home know your plans.

(116) Don’t keep your money and credit cards in one spot.  Divide it up into different bags.

(117) Beware of public wifi.  It’s risky logging into bank accounts and such because hackers are always trying to hack and steal.

(118) Be patient.  No matter what happens or how long it takes, stay cool and wait.

(119) Wake up early.  Good people are up early too.  Bad guys sleep in so it’s much safer to move around without incident and the community is refreshed by sleep and makes for good interactions.

(120) Laugh.  Even at yourself.  Enjoy life.  You will find you have a lot more joy in your life and your travels if you do so.

(121) Meet local people.  Make friends.  You never know how much more enriching your experience can be.

(122) Take time to observe daily life.  You will be amazed at how much culture you can absorb.

(123) Backup your digital docs and photos.  It’s important if your phone, laptop or camera ever gets stolen.  Using an external hard drive is awesome or securing them on the cloud via Google Drive or Microsoft’s One Drive can really be a blessing.

(124) Take lots of photos – it makes for a great way to keep a photo journal of your travels.  Also, you may want to take an extra SIM card if you are afraid you might run out of room.

(125) There is always a way.  If you keep trying, you will succeed.

(126) Say hi and smile at locals.  It makes for good times and can get them to open up to you about any subject you may wish to discuss.

(127) It’s ok to splurge a little bit – every once in a while.  While traveling on a budget can get old after a while, spending a little more is really well worth it to bring some enjoyment to your adventure.

(128) Keep an open mind and don’t judge.  Opinions differ and so is everyone’s view of life.  You might be surprised at what you may learn.

(129) You can volunteer anywhere around the world:  http://grassrootsvolunteering.org/ - makes for an even more interesting experience – especially if you have a heart for volunteer work.

(130) Ear plugs are a must.  It’s a very, very noisy world out there.  Plugs are great at getting you some peace and quiet.

NOW ---- $6.88
(131) Get lost.  Explore.  If you want, you can get a GPS device so that you know where you are.  I suggest if you are bicycling or walking, you get one.  They are really, very handy to have on your person.  Normally, most phones have a GPS app.   But, if you are riding a bike, motorcycle or a scooter, having a GPS system that is weather proof is a necessity.

NOW ---- $143.88
(132) Security is always a concern.  Lock your suitcase, your laptop bag, and your drawers.  Divide up your money and credit cards and keep them in various places – “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket” because if the basket ever fails you, you lose a lot.  No need to take risks.  Also, be mindful of your surroundings at all times.

NOW ---- $19.88
Lock your valuables away in drawers and cabinets.
Locks help deter thieves.

NOW ---- $9.88
Never leave your luggage open - especially laptop cases.
This cable version is very versatile and flexible too.

NOW ---- $6.88

Having a laptop lock is A MUST HAVE.
All it takes is one moment and hotel or motel staff can come into a room and leave -
even if you are in the bathroom. DON'T risk losing it.
Was $10.08
NOW - $5.88

(133) Eat local food. If you don’t like hot, spicy food, be careful. 

(134) Say yes often. It may take you to new and unexpected and very delightful places. 

(135) Slow down. Cramming places into a tight schedule lessens enjoyment. Take time to explore and it will greatly enhance and enrich your traveling experiences. 

(136) Journal your experiences. If you ever want to write about your travels, these details are handy. Use an incredible note-taking app called Evernote it can really help and assist in your travels. 

(137) Leave your comfort zone. Try new things – even if they are a bit scary. I would love to try ziplining myself – somewhere. 

(138) Don’t plan too much. Travel is meant to be a leisurely activity, not an exercise event and jam-crammed schedule. Slow down. Enjoy. Even take some time to rest. 

(139) Pack light. Can’t say enough about this one. A professional traveler owns everything in his backpack. If you need something, you can always buy it. Keep the weight to about 35 liters. 

(140) Podcasts are awesome for killing time on plane, train, automobile and bus rides. Great entertainment can last for hours and enrich your ride. 

(141) Remember to be nice to your body. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat healthy, use sunscreen, and exercise often. 

(142)Call friends and family and stay in touch. 

(143)Explore. Don’t do what ALL the travelers do. Find unique places to go and restaurants to experience. Your trip will be better for it. 

(144)Travel more (even if it is somewhere in your state or province). Get out and explore and make new friends. 

(145) Bring a blanket. I went camping once without one for an overnight. Thank goodness we had a good fire going. Snuggies are really the best because they allow for more mobility.
NOW ---- $15.88
(146) Noisy hotel? Remember the earplugs. If that isn’t enough, complain to the front desk. Worse case, ask to get another room re-assignment or check out of the hotel altogether and demand a refund.

(147) Missing reservation at a hotel? Don’t make a new booking, at least not yet. Call your agent or the hotel. If they can’t find it, they should be able to replace your reservation at no additional cost. If you’re still charged for the first room—say, by a third party like a travel agency—dispute the amount immediately (within 60 days) on your credit card.

(148) Hotel pool closed? You may have grounds for a room credit. Ask nicely at the front desk about receiving compensation for amenities that were promised but not delivered, but be realistic; a resort won’t tear up your bill because the pool wasn’t open. It might, however, throw in a free breakfast.
(149) Room without a view? If your room isn’t the one you paid for, ask to be moved. If the hotel is out of rooms, you can ask for an upgrade or to have your reservation transferred to a comparable hotel (it’s called “walking”), at no extra charge.

(150) Missing ticket or ticket segment? Call your travel agent immediately, or, if it’s a direct booking, your airline. You shouldn’t have to pay to get rerouted. Don’t buy a new ticket—odds are, you won’t get your money back.

(151) Canceled flight? Get in line at the gate counter, but also pull out your smartphone to call the airline and, at the same time, try to rebook yourself online. You can often fix the problem before you get to the desk. Remember: Airlines won’t cover expenses for weather cancellations, but if it’s a mechanical or operational delay, you’ll likely stay at a hotel on their dime.

(152) Lost seat assignment? If the gate agent can’t sort out the issue, appeal to a flight attendant after you’ve boarded. Politely. The sooner you’re in the system with a request, the likelier you’ll get a seat. In the unlikely event you’re bumped from the flight, be aware that you’re due cash compensation under federal law (up to $1,300 for more than a two-hour delay on domestic flights or more than a four-hour delay on international flights).

(153) Overbooked flight? Don’t volunteer (unless you want to). Wait to be bumped, when the compensation is richer—up to $1,300 to cover meals and overnight accommodations. Keep in mind that volunteers can negotiate perks but are not entitled to anything until the airline has no choice but to deny a seat.

(154) Lost luggage? Don’t assume your suitcase is gone forever just because it doesn’t show up on the conveyor belt. Airlines claim most misplaced baggage is eventually reunited with customers; the industry line is that just 2 percent of bags fail to find their way home. Make a beeline to the airline office to fill out a lost luggage form (you might have as few as four hours to file a claim). There you should also receive a phone number for tracking your bag as well as an amount you can spend on replacement clothes and toiletries (ask if this isn’t offered). If your luggage is found, the airlines must deliver it at your convenience—not theirs. If the bag doesn’t resurface, be prepared to show receipts to support claims, and review the Montreal Convention to make sure you aren’t being shortchanged (www.dot.gov).

(155) Sick of long lines? The Transportation Security Administration’s new PreCheck program fast-tracks travelers in exchange for undergoing a voluntary prescreening. (Bonus: Shoes stay tied and your laptop stays in its case.) PreCheck is currently available for certain frequent fliers at more than a dozen U.S. airports; find the growing list at www.tsa.gov.

(156) Didn’t pack a passport? Some cruises stop in international ports but don’t require a passport; however, such “closed-loop” cruises are the exception. You should always pack this essential document (you’d be surprised how many would-be cruisers don’t). Getting an emergency passport isn’t much of an option. Even if you have a bit of time and are near a passport agency, you would have to prove that it’s a “life or death” emergency—a serious illness, injury, or death in your immediate family that requires travel within 24 to 48 hours.

(157) Sinking in fees? Onboard extras add up, from eating in specialty restaurants to playing arcade games. Eliminate your kids’ spending power: Ask the check-in desk to disable their key cards, which double as credit cards.  Hotel keys are now one of the greatest risks leading to identity theft.  I have had a friend who actually take a pair of scissors to the cards upon departure from the hotel or motel.

(158) No compact cars available? The industry-wide policy is to offer a free upgrade if the company runs out of cars in the class you reserved. A rental agent may try to pressure you to buy an upgrade or warn of a lengthy wait time. Don’t fall for it. Insist on the car you asked for, or a free upgrade.

(159) Charged for extras? Read your bill carefully. If there’s something on your bill that you don’t recognize, talk to a manager. Once you leave the lot, fixing your bill gets much harder. Among the “gotchas”: fuel purchase options and collision-damage waiver or loss-waiver policies. Watch what you circle and initial.

(160) Mechanical difficulties? If you pop a tire on a rental car, call the rental company, not AAA (otherwise the assistance help will count against your plan for roadside assistance). The company is responsible for transporting you and your broken-down car back to the rental location and providing you with a working set of wheels. Document the breakdown in writing so you aren’t blamed.

(161) Stopped at the border? Produce can slow you down in and out of California or Hawaii (leave the pineapple at the plantation). Keep IDs handy; children traveling with only one parent should bring a note from the other. And behave—the place to note displeasure is in a letter to Congress or at the ballot box.

(162) Collapsible Utensils – great for camping!

Always a great product to have in the event you are camping or hiking!
(163) Camping Knife (enough said). This is guaranteed not to be allowed on any flights governed by the TSA - just FYI.

Awesome for camping, hiking and hunting!
Was $40.47
NOW $26.88
(164) Recommend always having matches or a lighter.

(165) Become a GPS guru.

(166) Going to a really scenic place.  Get a camera drone and do your own videography!

Great for getting video of ocean, nature, beach, mountain and even volcano views!
Was $167.48
NOW $121.88

There’s a lot more coming and I am sure this list will be updated again.
Thanks for reading.  There is much more to come.  Subscribe to our blog today.

Michael Hathman


(1) https://expertvagabond.com/best-travel-tips/

(2) http://ordinarytraveler.com/articles/best-travel-tips

(3) http://www.everywhereist.com/my-55-best-travel-tips/

(4) http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,1912492,00.html

(5) http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/trip-tips-20-fixes/ 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Traveling to Scenic Destination? TAKE A DRONE! Drone Video Footage INSIDE Fireworks!

One of the greatest things you can do when you travel is to take a camera.  But, if you are going somewhere to catch the best scenic views of your lifetime, TAKE A DRONE.  Go Travel Ready (www.gotravelready.com) already sells them at a discount!  (Just click on the pic and order TODAY!

SYMA X5SW Drone with Cam $121.88   --   REDUCED PRICE
Compare other drones at $350 --  MSRP

I've also included some great travel footage from drone cams already AND IT IS AMAZING STUFF that I found on YouTube.  Check it out!

Personally, I am planning to use one when I go to the Rocky Mountains, Smokey Mountains, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon to get great views.  It's nice to run along beaches and (if ever close to a volcano) it's nice to get some awesome pics (just not too close or the heat can destroy the craft).

Here is some of the footage I have included in this blog...