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Travel Tips, Secrets and Links
Recommended Information That Saves Time and $$
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These days everyone is looking for tips and secrets when it comes to making travel arrangements. Over the years, my family has learned a few tricks and researched the best travel links that will save you time and maybe even some money. We have broken the list into a catagories. If you have some ideas that might help folks, please email them to us on our Contact Us page.
Travel Links and Tips for 2018
Flying, Airport & Car Rental Resource Links

SeatGuru.com - This site has information about airline seating including details
about each seat by aircraft.

Transportation Security Administration - The TSA website is about airport security and prohibited items.

Flight Status - This site includes current airport delays and flight status.

Airline Baggage Fees - This site shows the baggage fees and sizes by airline.

WebFlyer.com - Single source of expert information on frequent traveler programs.

AutoSlash.com - Compares car rental prices from 12 rental agencies including all the majors.

Travel Documents & Security Links

US Passport Office
- The US Department of State passport office has applications and renewal information.

VisaCenter.Com - The Visa Center can assist you in obtaining all travel documents including visas.

US State Department Travel Warnings - Check travel warnings and alerts.

Online Travel Booking Links

- Find flights to destinations around the world by date as well as an open date option, where there are special deals from carriers and travel providers.

Travelocity.com - Make travel arrangements for flights, hotels, packages, cruises and rental cars.

Expedia.com - Make travel arrangements for flights, hotels, packages, cruises and rental cars.

Orbitz.com - Make travel arrangements for flights, hotels, packages, cruises and rental cars.

CheapTickets.com - Make travel arrangements for flights, hotels, packages, cruises and rental cars.

Kayak.com - Compare travel prices from several sites at once.

InsideTrip.com - Airfare search engine that compares 12 comfort factors including things like legroom.

Review Sites for Hotels, Cruises and Vacation Destinations

- They provide traveler reviews and information on destinations. Excellent site!

CruiseCritic.com - Members review cruise ships and cruise lines.

TravelPost.com - Find hotel reviews on this site.

US Travel Resource Sites

- Find US factories that offer tours. These are great for family vacations.

US-Parks.com - The US National Parks Travel Guide includes park passes and junior ranger programs.

MuseumLink.com - Find lists of US museums by state.

USTouristAttractions.com - This is a guide to US tourist attractions.
When our family travels we always look for ways to get free upgrades, special attention at a hotel or just save a little money. We've probably tried everything in the book and although some work better than others, we do have a few secrets that might help your family. Try a few and let us know via our Contact Us page. We would also love to hear any tips you have that have worked. We will update this page as we find more.

1. Cruise Upgrades - The best way to get a cruise upgrade is to book a 'guaranteed room'. We cover this on our cruise page, but when you make your reservation some cruise lines offer you what is called a guaranteed catagory which means you are promised that catagory at a minimum but you won't get a cabin assignment until closer to the cruise. If available, they normally will upgrade at least one catagory. We have had great success with this tip.

2. More Room on Your Flight - Getting free upgrades on airlines is very difficult unless you are a frequent traveler with status. It seems everyone these days is either Gold or Platinum so unless you have status, don't expect free upgrades to business or first class. You can, however, try something that might give you more room. When booking for two passengers try booking the aisle and window seats on the three seat side. The only available seat will be your middle seat. Most travelers will opt for these seats absolutley last. You have a good chance of have the whole row.

3. Free Baggage - If you are traveling with at least one passenger that does have status with your airline, be sure that everyone in on one reservation and checks in together. Most airline companies waive baggage fees for status flyers and anyone traveling with them.

4. Contact Hotel Manager in Advance - Emailing or calling a hotel manager with some nice words while requesting the best rooms available can get you a better location or even an upgrade. We normally let the manager know that we specifically chose his/her hotel and will certainly pass on our appreciation when completing their review. Managers are often incented when they receive excellent reviews. Just knowing you are coming and do plan to fill out a hotel review may be enough to get a few perks. Worth a try.

5. Smile and Ask - Sometimes all it takes is just asking for an upgrade or feature. Remember, the folks that work at hotels, airlines and airports normally deal with demanding and upset customers all day. We have found that just asking for an upgrade with a bright smile and a few nice words works more often than you think. If you do get an upgrade, be sure to fill out a survey for the company and give that agent some kudos.
Travel Secrets for 2018