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December 2014
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March 2015

Winter Travel

Winter travel is appealing to many people across the country. Whether you prefer to escape bitter cold temperatures to a sunny paradise or hitting the slopes atop a snow crested mountain, winter travel offers plenty of reasons to getaway. But successful winter travel means navigating through the snow, ice, sleet, or even freezing rain that can be unavoidable during this time of year. To that end, here are some travel tips to help you avoid spending time stuck in airports or on the side of the road.

Managing Flight Disruptions

1) Airport woes can happen anywhere. Delays and cancellations are the biggest problems for frequent travelers, especially if your travel plans include one or more flight connections. If non-stops flights are unavailable or out of the question and you must connect, connect via a warmer hub such as Phoenix or Dallas; versus Chicago or Minneapolis for example.
2) Arriving at the airport early if your flight is affected can score you a better chance to hop on an earlier flight or book a different connection.
3) Purchasing travel insurance can pay huge dividends. Some benefits of travel insurance can reimburse you for substantial fees in the occurrence of covered trip delay or cancellation. Other advantages can include reimbursement for hotel stays, meals, and local transportation.


Safe Winter Driving Tips

1) Safety is at the forefront when it comes to driving during the winter months. Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Some key tips to remember:
A) Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
B) Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids.
C) The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten.
2) Watching weather reports prior to a long-distance drive can help in determining if you should cancel your trip all together or if you can reroute your trip to avoid the path of the storm.
3) Before any trip you should make sure that your vehicle is in peak condition. Keeping at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle at all times and packing essential items such as extra blankets, food, water and any needed medication is advised.


Striking A Winter Deal

1) January and February are great months to find affordable winter vacations that provide far less crowds than December. Keep in mind with the holidays over, most schools are back in session and parents head back to work which equates to less congestion when traveling during this time.
2) In the coldest months, deals frequently emerge to lure hibernating travelers from their den. Some of the best travel deals are during “dead weeks” of mid to late January when, according to Peter Greenberg, travelers can save about 25%.
3) Many times after the holidays, airlines are left with half empty planes to fill. Airlines will often offer abundant fare sales and decrease ticket prices in order to fill these open seats. These winter sales may not always be advertised so checking out websites such as airfarewatchdog.com can be beneficial.


 

Nervous flyer

Does getting on an airplane make you nervous? If so, you’re not alone. According to Budget Travel, more than 25 million Americans suffer from flight anxiety, making aerophobia (fear of flying) the second largest fear in the U.S. after public speaking. 

You might be thinking your fear is warranted after nearly 1000 people died from plane accidents in 2014. But if your fear is so bad you’re thinking about skipping your next vacation, hold that thought. Here are five tips to help you combat flight anxiety and get you to that well-needed trip.

1) Flying is now safer now than it’s ever been before

Since the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 and most recently the devastating crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 162 people on board, the thought of stepping onto a plane might make you cringe. Despite what you hear in the news reports, flying is actually one of the safest ways to travel with less than one accident occurring for every 1 million flights. You’re more likely to get into a car accident on the way to the airport than wind up in a plane crash.

2) Share your feelings

Don’t conceal your fear. Many times if you share your apprehension with the gate agent when you check in and the flight attendant when you board, you’ll receive assurance and support. Often times, flight attendants will go out of their way to check in with fearful flyers several times during the duration of the flight, so don’t feel embarrassed to admit that you’re nervous about flying.

3) Avoid a hyper state of mind

Many nervous flyers drink caffeine or alcohol products while flying. This is a costly mistake that is important for travelers to understand and avoid. By pumping your blood stream with coffee for example, the caffeine actually intensifies your anxiety and can make you dehydrated. When you travel, make sure to drink planet of water and non-caffeinated liquids.

4) Treat turbulence like a pot hole

For many flyers, encountering turbulence is the most challenging and terrifying aspect of any flight. Pilots are thoroughly trained on air turbulence and typically receive general warnings from air traffic control or other pilots in the area flying near the same altitude. When air turbulence occurs, picture yourself in a car driving over a pothole instead of thinking about being in the air. It’s also important to keep your seatbelt fastened and allow your body to flow with the air movement instead of tensing up.

5) Choose the front of the cabin

At check-in or when selecting your seat at time of purchase, nervous flyers should ask for a seat at the very front of the cabin when at all possible. If air turbulence occurs during the flight, the effects are often less noticeable in the front of the aircraft than in the rear. If you have an extreme dread of flying, don’t try to overcome your fears on a long flight. Take the shortest flight you can and preferably in the biggest plane possible.

It’s important to keep these few tips in mind before you step into the airport. Visualizing your destination and imaging yourself there can be a powerful antidote to stress-and can help keep you focused. Close your eyes, relax, and focus on the positive aspects of your journey.

 


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Every year we witness cutting edge technology and a wave of new gadgets, but which ones are essential to travelers? From the mother of all suitcases to a device that can jumpstart your car, mobile devices, and easily fit in your backpack or purse, here are our top five gadgets for 2015 travelers.

1) The Smartphone Selfie Stick

By the end of 2012, Time magazine considered “selfie” one of the top 10 buzzwords of theyear. Quickly sweeping the world, “selfie” has become common enough to be monitored for inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary. This opened up the doors for tech companies worldwide to create products such as The Smartphone Selfie Stick. This telescoping pole works with cell phones and cameras allowing you to capture photos of everyone in the selfie including scenic background images that otherwise may be harder to fit in a manual selfie shot.

2) Prynt

Remember when Polaroid cameras let you print photos immediately? A France-based company, Prynt is helping bring back those memories by developing a smartphone case that can instantly print your snaps. With smartphones continuing to advance their technology in HD lenses, it’s becoming increasingly popular to keep the bulky, digital cameras at home and rely on smartphones to capture your memories instead. Designed to support 30 sheets of paper and printing in less than 30 seconds, Prynt offers a new, revolutionary way to print your vacation or day-to-day photos quickly and most importantly, in a high quality fashion.

3) GoPro

Although GoPro isn’t new this year, its popularity has greatly increased and has become America’s fastest-growing camera company. Highly differentiated from what a smartphone can do, GoPro is making sharing life easier than ever. GoPro has changed the way travelers document their adventures and the company’s informative blogs now provide helpful GoPro travel tips to capture better photos and footage.

4) Cobra JumPack

Venturing on a road trip? The Cobra JumPack is the easy to fit in your palm, handy gadget booster that will rescue you when your car, motorcycle, boat, or other vehicle’s battery is dead. This tiny gadget will also charge your smartphone, tablet, camera, or other mobile device rapidly. The Cobra JumPack will charge devices multiple times in one charge making it perfect for emergencies like a power outage, traveling, or anytime your slowly wasting cell phone battery decides to give out on you. The Cobra JumPack includes jumper cables and two different re-charging methods, a wall charger for home and a 12V car charger. For $129.95 you can protect your travels and have portable power on the go.

5) Trunkster

What does the luggage of the future look like? Meet Trunkster, the world’s most revolutionary luggage which features zipperless entry for fast access, includes a removable battery with USB port, and has a built-in scale and GPS. With a fancy sliding door, high-tech travelers who are desperate to ditch the traditional zipper suitcases will be in luck. Beyond the sliding door, Trunkster comes with a built-in digital scale to help you avoid overweight luggage fees. The built-in battery allows you to charge your phone and mobile devices right from your luggage. For an additional $40 fee you can activate the bag’s GPS service and never worry about finding lost luggage again. For the frequent traveler who prefers fast and easy access to their belongings, and true convenience of powering up smartphones before a long flight, Trunkster is for you.