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October 2010
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December 2010

  Puppiesinspace
Don't want to leave your beloved pet behind next time you travel? Here are some tips to traveling with pets from The Frugal Traveler:

1. Research your destination's pet-friendliness first.  For example, England will let you bring your pet if it is properly documented and from a list of approved countries. Otherwise, Spot is in for a six-month quarantine. And check out your hotel before you book a room. Pettravel.com lists pet-friendly hotels across the world. Go to Petsonthego.com for more information on international pet travel.

2. Send them separately. Sites like Petrelocation.com are like doggie travel agents, setting up travel arrangements for pets to anywhere in the world. They will handle paperwork, deal with customs officials, make pet hotel reservations, and arrange pickup for your animal's departure flight.

3. Bring your pet's medical records. Some countries require pets to be current on vaccinations, while pet daycare centers often require medical records.

Happy Trails to you and your pets!


Travel board
Flying home this Thanksgiving? You might want to leave for the airport now. Seriously, forget your luggage and the kids - there's no time. Flying the friendly skies is about to get even crazier.

A loosely organized, but possibly highly effective boycott of full body scans is scheduled for this Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year. Experts are saying that even if only a small percentage of passengers participate in National Opt-Out Day, it could cause big delays.

Participants are being asked to decline the full body scan in protest of what some are calling overly-invasive security measures. The average body scan takes about 10 seconds. If a passenger declines they are submitted to a full pat down, which can take up to four minutes. A process that would take 100 passengers 15 minutes  might take at least 6 hours if all of those passengers decline the body scan. If 20 percent of holiday fliers are selected for body scans as expected, tens of thousands of fliers could be in the position to protest.

So, what do you think about full body scans - a necessary precaution or a violation of our rights?


Student travel

Tourism board representatives from around the world met in Beijing last month at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) to discuss a campaign to promote youth and student travel.

The WYSTC included discussions on creating a global strategy for student fares, security, visas and the need for consistent data on international arrivals. The goal is to create products and policies that will help make travel more attractive, accessible and affordable for young travellers.

The youth and student demographic is worth $136 billion (US) a year to the global travel industry, and tourism organizations plan to up their marketing efforts and lobby governments to recognize the importance of investing in the younger market.

The conference will most likely result in a clever marketing campaign to entice students to broaden their horizons by traveling the world. And although young people  rarely worry about the dangers of being far from home in a foreign land, their parents most certainly will.

So, how do you protect your child when she's traveling the world? The first step is to make sure she has proper medical care abroad. Medical coverage, like Study USA-Healthcare™ from USI Travel Insurance Services is a must.

Study USA-Healthcare™ is cheaper than most domestic health plans or plans offered by your child's school.  And with coverage including medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and 24-hour access to multi-lingual assistance services, they’ll have the help they need when you can't be there.

For more information on Study USA-Healthcare™ , or other travel insurance programs, go to www.travelinsure.com.


Cruise

Stuck on a cruise ship with 4,500 other cranky passengers, no air conditioning and nothing but spam on the menu. Talk about a travel disaster.

The Carnival Cruise Ship Splendor finally returned to port Thursday, three days after an engine room fire cut power throughout the ship, leaving it adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

Although Carnival is reimbursing passengers for the cost of their trip and transportation home, nightmare-cruise passengers are not always so lucky.

This past October, two days into a 12-day voyage, the crew of the Celebrity Century discovered the ship's rudder was damaged. The cruise was cancelled, stranding passengers in a small port in southern France during a country-wide transportation strike.

Many of the passengers complained that the crew of the Century were very little help, and had to rely on travel agents and their travel insurance concierge service to help them find their way around France and back home.

With USI Travel Insurance Select Elite, you can receive reimbursement if your trip is cancelled and our concierge service can help you make transportation arrangements to get back home in an emergency.

Planning a cruise? Learn a lesson from these ill-fated trips. For more information on cruise insurance, visit www.travelinsure.com/who/tourcruise.asp.


You may not be ready to think about the holidays, but now is the time to start planning if you want to travel by airplane.

Airfare demand and fares have increased dramatically in 2010 and are expected to continue to rise according to American Express Business Travel Group.

Unfortunately, capacity isn't keeping up with the increase in demand, rising less than two percent over the year.

All this might mean a struggle to find affordable seats for those who wait to book their trip.

Here are some tips if you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for holiday travel, or miss out on booking a flight altogether:

  • Don't book a flight for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving - the busiest travel day of the year. Book a seat on the first flight on Thanksgiving morning to avoid the crowds and what airlines call "peak travel day fees."
  • Consider taking a bus if your destination is less than 400 miles away. Tickets are as little as one to thirty dollars  each way, and these days buses are more rider-friendly.
  • Use your frequent flyer miles for your hotel instead of your ticket. It could be harder to use them for airfare, and hotels have made it much easier to redeem your miles.

And don't forget to protect your holiday travel plans with travel insurance!