Travel Hacks: How to Pack Your Jewelry

Traveling with some key jewelry pieces is a great way to spruce up a limited wardrobe, but there are concerns about loss or theft.

Here are some travel hacks using everyday household items to help keep your jewelry organized, courtesy of herpackinglist.com.

Consider when packing

Leave your valuable jewelry at home, and definitely don’t bring pieces of sentimental value or emotional value that you’d be upset about losing or getting stolen. Instead, pack a few statement necklaces from your costume collection. They can dress up the most basic outfit, add a splash of color to neutral pieces and transform an ensemble from day to evening with ease.

How to pack

Here are some inexpensive items around the house to pack and secure your pieces:

  • Carabiners: You know those hooks climbers use? They can also be used to hook together bracelets or even necklaces by simply clipping them on.
  • Cling Wrap: Keep your delicate necklaces from getting tangled by laying them out on a piece of the “Press‘n Seal-style Cling Wrap (pull out a piece that’s long enough to fold over your jewelry). Fold the cling wrap over your necklaces and Press’n Seal your jewelry into place.
  • Contact lens case: These are great for keeping smaller items like stud earrings secure.
  • Craft store bead organizer or fishing tackle box: These are very useful if you’re planning on bringing multiple items; take advantage of the different size storage areas.
  • Drinking straws: A unique way to prevent your necklaces from getting tangled is to simply thread one side of the chain through a plastic straw and attach it at the other end. It keeps one side rigid and tangle-free.
  • Erasers: Keep the backs to your stud earrings from getting lost in transit by sticking them in a simple eraser like the ones from your school days.
  • Glasses cases: Use your glasses or sunglasses case for bracelets, earrings, and smaller items—but only if it closes securely.
  • Index cards: Push the posts of earrings through the cards or wind bracelets and necklaces around them.
  • Mint tins: Those empty metal mint containers make great jewelry containers. Add a few cotton balls to keep your pieces secure so they don’t bounce around inside the box.
  • O-rings: Metal ring clips that are used for crafts and school projects can also be used for rings, bracelets and necklaces. Simply open them, slip your jewelry pieces on, and pack them away.
  • Pill containers: Do you have an extra 7-day pill organizer? Use it to store rings and earrings on-the-go.
  • Safety pins: Loop your hoops or dainty necklaces through a safety pin like you would with the carabiner.
  • Styrofoam plate: Simply stick your earrings through the plate, which is best for studs and dangling earrings, then secure it under clothes in your suitcase.
  • Toilet paper roll: Use an empty toilet paper roll to loop your bracelets around it and then string your necklaces through the tube itself.
  • Travel soap dish: Store bracelets, earrings, and rings in an extra travel soap dish. It can protect everything and keep it in one place.
  • Washcloth and rubber bands: Simply line up your necklaces on a washcloth, roll them lengthwise and fold in half, adding rubber bands to each end to keep them secure.
  • Ziploc bags: If you have plenty of bags, place one item in each bag with end of the necklace zipped in the top. Rings and earrings can be placed into bags together.
  • Wine corks: Similar to erasers, use wine corks for earring backs.

Source: https://herpackinglist.com/how-to-travel-with-jewelry/

How to Get Through the Airport Faster

During the summer travel months, the country’s airports are more crowded than ever. But there are some things you can do to reduce your stress and make sure you catch your flight on time, courtesy of the TSA.

Apply for a trusted traveler program, such as TSA Pre®, Global Entry or NEXUS. These help expedite the boarding and security check process. To find out which trusted traveler program best suits your needs, see the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Program comparison chart.

Make sure you have proper ID, such as a driver’s license or other state photo identity card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a U.S. passport. Important: Make sure that your name matches your boarding pass. For a list of accepted IDs, see the TSA’s Identification page.

Don’t pack prohibited items. Knowing what is prohibited at the airport and on planes will help the screening process go much quicker. Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. If you’re not sure what’s prohibited, check the TSA’s list of prohibited items.

Leave plenty of time. Arrive at least two (2) hours before your flight when flying domestic, and three (3) hours early when flying international. Allow for more time at larger, busier airports.

Be prepared for airport security checkpoints by having your ID and boarding pass out. Remove large electronics from bags, such as a laptop; remove 3-1-1 compliant liquid bags and consider checking your bags instead of carrying them on to save time.

Review the TSA’s liquid rule

According to the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule, you are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.

Additional advice from a travel expert

Wall Street Journal travel writer, Scott McCartney, shares some useful travel tips he’s compiled over the years talking to travelers like you.

McCartney thinks the most important thing when going through airport security and dealing with the TSA is to be consistent and have a routine. For example, it’s very easy to end up losing your driver’s license when walking through the airport because you’re taking it out of your pocket a lot, and you may forget where you put it. His routine is to instantly put his license back in his wallet before he moves on.

When it comes to carryon baggage, make sure you put items, such as books, electronics and liquids back in the same compartment every time, so you know exactly where they are and where to unzip to get to them. He also thinks it’s good practice to put larger bags through the x-ray belt first, with the laptop being the last thing that goes through.

If you get delayed at the metal detector or body scanner, your laptop will be the last to come out, and you’ll have the laptop bag already. You don’t want to be standing there holding your shoes, laptop, etc. without a bag.

McCartney also suggests printing your boarding pass early. Here’s why: Not only does it eliminate a stop at the airline’s check-in counter — if you don’t have to check a bag — but it’s an important way to claim your seat on the flight. If you’re an infrequent flyer flying on a less expensive ticket, and the flight is overbooked, those who have not checked in are in greater danger of being bumped from the flight, if the airline has to bump somebody and can’t get enough volunteers.

Since compensation is based on the price of your ticket, airlines typically look for the cheapest tickets, and so, if you check in and claim your seat early, it makes it harder for the gate agent to bump you from the flight.

For more flying tips, visit TSA.gov. To learn about how you can receive expedited screening through TSA Pre®.

To make your trip to the airport quicker and less stressful, let Hoyt Livery do the driving. We’ll get you there and home again safely and on time!

https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck

Pack Smarter: Flight Attendants Share Baggage Packing Tips

If you fly regularly, you know the annoyance of having to check bags, especially if you have to pay extra for them.

Even worse is getting to your destination, tired and jet lagged, and realizing your luggage didn’t make it to the baggage claim. The carry-on bag helps you avoid these frustrations, but it can also be frustrating to try and fit everything you’ll need on your trip.

What flight attendants and frequent fliers have known for years is that with the right bag and some smart packing techniques, you can cruise through security, onto the plane and out of the airport with ease.

First, get a good carry-on bag.

It’s called a 22″ spinner carry-on bag. It’s the bag you see speedily rolling behind many pilots and flight attendants as they make their way to their next gate. Look for a sturdy, well-designed but lightweight bag with roomy pockets and a wide wheelbase. Spinner carry-ons get their name because of their four wheels. Bags with four wheels are easier to move around than those with just two. Airlines require carry-on bags that are small enough to fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment. Maximum size limits are typically 22″ long x 14″ wide x 9″ tall and 40 pounds. That’s why the 22″ spinner is a popular carry-on size. Most airlines allow you to carry on one small bag plus one personal item, including a laptop, purse or briefcase as long as it doesn’t exceed 36″ total and fits under the seat in front of you.

Understand what you can pack.

While you’re allowed to carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in your carry-on bag, there are restrictions you must be aware of before you pack. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website, all liquids, gels, and aerosols must be in 3.4 ounce (100ml) or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or rolled up are not allowed. All liquids, gels, and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. For more details about what you can carry on an airplane, visit TSA.gov/311.

Utilize all the space.

The key to maximizing space in a 22″ spinner carry-on is to roll your clothes into “tubes” instead of folding and stacking them like in a store. Rolling saves space and also helps prevent wrinkles. It’s also easier to select what you want to wear from your bag without unpacking the whole thing. Roll several items together to prevent more wrinkles. Don’t pack them in the carry-on bag as soon as you roll them. Once all the clothes are rolled, stand the carry-on up and pack heavier things such as shoes and books first at the wheel-end of the case so they don’t move around and crush the other items. One flight attendant claims she can pack clothes for 10 days by rolling instead of folding them. Another advocates the use of vacuum space saver bags.

Wear your nice, and harder to pack clothes and shoes on the plane. They won’t wrinkle or take up space in your carry-on. Even if you’re able to pack everything you want in the bag, keep in mind the typical 40-pound weight limit.

Best and Worst U.S. Airlines

If you fly for work or pleasure, you know that your choice of airline can make a big difference in the overall experience. Many people are loyal to one company, swearing their favorite carrier is the most reliable, least expensive, etc.

In an ever-changing industry, with merging companies and new baggage fees and restrictions, it’s more challenging to know which one is the top performer.

In March 2019, MONEY Magazine published the results of an airline study. They compared hundreds of data points across the major domestic airlines — weighing 39 factors including the average cost, price changes, fees, customer experience, and on-time performance — to determine the country’s best—and worst.

Here’s where the airlines landed.

1. Alaska Airlines

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: $407
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: $0.16
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 82.70%

For the second year in a row, Alaska Airlines earned MONEY’s best domestic airline title.

Alaska boasts the highest customer service rating among U.S. airlines, according to Travel + Leisure, as well as some of the shortest delays. Value’s there too. The airline offers the second-lowest ticket fares among U.S. airlines, at about 16¢ per kilometer, according to Rome2Rio.

Formerly a small-market airline servicing mostly the West Coast, Alaska expanded into dozens of new markets after its merger with Virgin America in 2016. In 2018 the company announced a new nonstop route between New York City and San Jose and opened a new airport lounge in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Alaska Airlines’ other major perk comes from its popular loyalty program, named the best for frequent fliers by industry expert FlyerTalk in 2018. Unlike most other rewards systems, Alaska fliers can redeem their miles for flights on a number of partner airlines, such as Emirates and American. The airline also sold miles for a little bit cheaper in 2017, according to The Points Guy founder Brian Kelly.

Finally, frequent fliers agree the airline offers top-notch customer service: Alaska has won J.D. Power’s customer service survey award 11 years in a row—and the airline shows no signs of slowing down in 2019.

2. Southwest

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: $396
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: $0.27
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 78.99%

3. Delta

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: N/A*
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: N/A*
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 85.62%

4. Spirit

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: $254
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: $0.15
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 80.63%

5. American

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: $353
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: $0.24
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 78.03%

6. United

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: $417
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: $0.33
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 79.77%

7. JetBlue

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: $389
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: $0.32
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 70.59%

8. Frontier

  • Avg. price per roundtrip flight: $311
  • Avg. price per kilometer flown: $0.16
  • Share of on-time arrivals: 68.82%

Methodology for the study

MONEY analyzed 1,600 data points for about 80 air carriers, including the nine leading domestic airlines and about 70 of the largest international airlines. Price factors were weighed most heavily in determining the rankings.

Criteria included average cost per kilometer, average price of a coach flight, and year-over-year price changes; percentage of on-time arrivals and average length of delays; and customer satisfaction ratings for food, in-flight and customer service, value, comfort, loyalty programs, and in-flight entertainment.

Criteria for domestic airlines also included baggage fees and flight change fees; canceled flights, delayed flights, and delayed flights due to carrier; overall experience rating, mishandled bags, and consumer complaints; and year-over-year improvements on all of the above.

Hawaiian Airlines was excluded from domestic airlines because of a substantial lack of data.

Data providers for all three rankings include Rome2Rio, FlightStats, Skytrax, Travel + Leisure, American Customer Satisfaction Index, U.S. Department of Transportation, J.D. Power, and the airlines.

* The average roundtrip flight for Delta was $411.60 in 2017, according to Rome2Rio, but the data provider didn’t have the necessary data for 2018. Median airfares were used for Delta’s 2019 ranking calculation instead.

Source: MONEY Magazine

America’s Best and Worst Airports

Few things try a traveler’s patience like a bad airport experience. To help you plan better, USA Today published the results of a Fundera survey ranking the best and worst U.S. airports.

Fundera, an online marketplace for small business financial solutions, used various data points to rank 46 airports, including those with the highest volumes of traffic, as determined by the Federal Aviation Administration, plus airports in Alaska and Hawaii.

The ranking was based on several weighted factors, including flight delays and cancellations, airport lounges with Wi-Fi, proximity to downtown, parking rates and average hotel rates using Bureau of Transportation Statistics airport performance data and publicly available airport, map and pricing information.

Key results of the study

The best airports for business travelers, led by Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, are dispersed throughout the country, not centralized in one region.

Dallas Fort Worth International and Denver International rounded out the top three airports. The best airports earned the most points for flight availability, on-time flights, and access to airport lounges.

Smaller, regional airports didn’t make up in flight performance or convenience what they lacked in flight availability. Memphis International was the worst airport for business travelers, followed by Anchorage International and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport claimed the top spot in a newly minted list of best U.S. airports for business travelers with Memphis International Airport being named the worst.

The 5 best airports for business travelers

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

  • 386,900 annual flights
  • 82 percent on-time departures and 85 percent on-time arrivals
  • 1 percent of flights canceled

2. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

  • 319,100 annual flights
  • 78 percent on-time departures and 78 percent on-time arrivals
  • 1.93 percent of flights canceled

3. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

  • 263,000 annual flights
  • 78 percent on-time departures and 80 percent on-time arrivals
  • 1.76 percent of flights canceled

4. Denver International Airport (DEN)

  • 233,700 annual flights
  • 0.62 percent of flights canceled
  • Affordable, $8-per-day airport parking

5. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

  • 220,300 annual flights
  • 82 percent on-time departures and 81 percent on-time arrivals
  • 0.83 percent of flights canceled

The 5 worst airports for business travelers

46. Memphis International Airport (MEM)

  • 14,600 annual flights
  • Airport is 12 miles from downtown
  • One airport lounge with Wi-Fi

45. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)

  • 17,200 annual flights
  • 1.76 percent of flights canceled
  • Expensive, $275-per-night average hotel rates

44. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)

  • 18,800 annual flights
  • Two airport lounges with Wi-Fi
  • Airport is 13 miles from downtown

43. Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)

  • 19,100 annual flights
  • 79 percent on-time departures and 79 percent on-time arrivals
  • No airport lounges with Wi-Fi

42. Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)

  • 24,400 annual flights
  • 75 percent on-time departures and 76 percent on-time arrivals
  • One airport lounge with Wi-Fi

Source: USA Today

LaGuardia Terminal B Update

Back in December, the first phase of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $8 billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport (LGA) opened to the public.

The remodeled Eastern Concourse of LaGuardia’s Terminal B is a $4 billion construction project intended to help upgrade an airport that Joe Biden likened to being in “some third world country” in 2014.

The first phase of improvements included a new concourse and 11 gates at Terminal B. Here’s an overview of what the finished LGA will look like, courtesy of 6sqft.com.

Visible improvements already include “wayfinders” embedded in the floor—dark-shaded tile down the middle to guide passengers to a gate, with white accents emanating from the shops. Once a passenger reaches a gate, the subtly patterned tile gives way to a carpet with no pattern.

Along the way are mostly upscale restaurants and stores, including outposts of Shake Shack; McNally Jackson (the Manhattan Bookstore); La Chula Taquería (the Mexican-food eatery with roots in Harlem); Irving Farm Coffee Roasters (which was founded as a cafe near Gramercy Park); FAO Schwarz; MAC cosmetics; and private pods for massage, manicures/pedicures and treatments for acne and wrinkles.

Upon completion …

Terminal B will measure over 1.3 million square feet, including the newly opened Eastern Concourse, which measures 250,000 square feet and has 18 gates. The terminal’s parking garage opened in February and includes 3,100 parking spots, all equipped with a system to provide a real-time view of available spaces.

Two pedestrian bridges will be constructed across active plane taxi lanes, connecting the main departures and arrivals hall that will open in 2020 with the two island concourses. According to the company, Skanska USA, who is leading the design and construction, the bridges will offer travelers views of the Manhattan skyline as they head to and from their gates.

Terminal B, serving Air Canada, American Airlines, Southwest and United, and Terminal C, serving Delta, will be able to hold 30 million passengers per year after the redevelopment wraps up.

By the numbers

The LGA project is part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s $8 billion rehab of the airport, which will extend to other terminals as well. Eventually, the new buildings will span 2.7 million square feet, 72 new gates and six new concourses. In December 2018, 243,000 square feet opened.

The massive project includes 40,000 tons of steel—10,000 individual steel pieces, measuring 12,000 tons and will weigh more than the Eiffel Tower, according to Skanska USA. The upgraded terminal has 55-foot ceilings, new floor-to-ceiling windows, fig trees, porcelain-tiled floors, park-like seating areas, wonderful eateries, state-of-the-art bathrooms and a children’s playground.

In an effort to stay green, Skanska recycled 21,604 tons of concrete from the demolition of the original structure with about five million pounds reused at the job site.

United will join in the middle of 2019, and the remodeled area for ticketing, check-in, security and baggage claim — known as the “headhouse” — is set to open in 2020, according to Gateway. Currently under construction is Delta’s Terminal C, and has an expected opening in 2021. And an environmental review is underway for the proposed AirTrain, which will provide a reliable trip to LaGuardia from Midtown Manhattan in 30 minutes.

Click here to visit the website and see more photos.

Source: 6sqft.com

What to Know About the Shutdown and Air Travel

After the longest government shutdown in American history has seemingly ended, travelers should keep in mind that the shutdown was actually placed on a three-week hiatus.

Here’s an overview of how the shutdown affected airports and air travel, and what to do if it returns, courtesy of the vox.com.

How does the shutdown affect agents?

TSA agents make up 51,000 of the 420,000 federal employees who are considered “essential” staff. During a government shutdown, they do not receive their paychecks. According to WNYC, the TSA is one of the lowest-paying federal agencies; the typical starting salary of an agent is $17,000 (other estimates say it’s closer to $25,000).  While they were to be paid for their work eventually, they did not know when, and this likely negatively impacted morale, on-the-job performance, and attendance.

Was airport security compromised?

On January 14, one out of every 13 airport screeners (employees who screen passengers and luggage at security checkpoints) nationwide didn’t come into work. According to CNN’s sources, the screeners likely did fewer random pat-downs, bag inspections, and other screenings. That created a potential security vulnerability — an ironic, if potentially dangerous, situation given that the root cause of the shutdown is a fight over border security.

A scary thought: According to TSA, in 2017, 3,957 firearms were recovered in carry-on bags at American airports and 84 percent of them were loaded.

Although TSA spokesperson Michael Bilello tweeted during the shutdown, “security standards remain uncompromised at our nation’s airports,” the president of the national TSA employee union Hydrick Thomas told CNN that the number of TSA callouts “will definitely affect the flying public who we [are] sworn to protect.”

Were airport lines longer?

Although it depends on the airport, many major hubs reported longer lines. The TSA stated, “While national average wait times are within normal TSA times of 30 minutes for standard lanes, some airports experienced longer than usual wait times.”

Some airports had to closed terminals due to lack of staffing and filtered more travelers through fewer checkpoints. The George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston closed a checkpoint in Terminal B due to low staffing, funneling those passengers to terminals C and E. Miami International Airport closed checkpoints in Terminal G and diverted passengers to other terminals, also citing low staffing.

At New York’s LaGuardia Airport, employees and flyers were confronted with “endless lines,” ABC News reported. At Terminal C, which houses Delta, passengers waited 90 minutes in security lines. A similar situation arose at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which was already dealing with a TSA agent shortage.

Were flights getting delayed or canceled?

Flight delays may have been caused by winter storms, but in the end, the government shutdown led to widespread delays or cancellations. Southwest Airlines was supposed to start flying to Hawaii early this year, but the shutdown kept the company from pursuing that route. Hours-long delays and finally cancellations at LaGuardia were cited as major reasons why the government put the shut down on hiatus.

Air traffic controllers are also essential employees, and therefore have also been working without paychecks. Air traffic control, understaffed before the shutdown began, reached the point at which the government needed to reduce flight volumes, which caused carriers to cancel some flights. In the future, if the government shutdown occurs again, an extended shutdown could lead to entire airports cancelling flights, with only a “subset of the airports” running, said Bruce McIndoe, founder and president of global travel risk management firm WorldAware, formerly iJet.

The shutdown also stalled modernization efforts of the air traffic control system, he said. “The modernization efforts the FAA has put forward require constant and ongoing work, and this really takes those efforts off course,” said Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. “When you put critical modernization efforts on the shelf for three weeks, it’s going to take months to ramp those efforts back up.”

What travelers can do

While there’s not much travel buyers can do beyond pressuring their elected officials to not allow another shutdown, they should allow more time to get through airports in case of disruptions, McIndoe said. Should it reach the point of flight cancellations, corporate travelers might look to defer trips when possible. However, he said putting travelers in cars instead of planes is not ideal, given the substantially higher risk of accidents in car travel versus air travel.

Source: vox.com

Female Safety When Traveling for Business

When women travel for business, whether to a local conference or international destination, there are unique issues and concerns they have to face, and often alone, on the road.

Here are some business travel tips for women to help you stay safe on the road, courtesy of Entrepreneur.com.

Female travelers increasing—and so are safety concerns

This year, the Upside Travel Company reported that nearly 50 percent of all business travel bookings are for women, and that number is steadily rising. With this comes the growing awareness that women face more travel safety risks compared to their male counterparts. According to 2018 survey research by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and AIG Travel Inc., a disturbing 83 percent of women polled said they’ve experienced a safety issue or concern in the last year while traveling for work, yet only 53 percent of women always or sometimes report these experiences to their travel managers. The research also found that only 18 percent of corporate travel safety policies specifically address female safety needs.

Here are some travel safety basics women should keep in mind on the road.

Know your business trip insurance.

If you’re an employee, ask your employer for its travel insurance program documentation so you know what’s covered for you. If you’re self-employed, research your options for purchasing travel insurance. Sites with updated 2018 recommendations include Consumers Advocate or Travel Insurance Review. Also, be sure to save an electronic version and print a hard copy of the travel insurance benefits, then share your insurance details with a trusted family member.

Stay in a good hotel in a safe area.

When selecting a hotel, choose a well-known and reputable one. Interestingly, some hotels offer women-only floors, so don’t hesitate to ask before you book if that’s a personal preference. MaidenVoyage.com also offers a list of certified female-friendly hotels worldwide. Also, consider booking your flight arrivals for daylight hours so you avoid arriving after dark, especially for international arrivals.

When traveling internationally.

It’s recommended you visit the U.S. Department of State where you’ll find information for every country in the world including visa requirements, safety and security conditions, health and medical considerations, local laws and areas to avoid. It’s also wise to know the location of the closest U.S. embassy or consulate at your destination. Check the option to enroll your trip so you can receive safety alerts and your embassy can contact you in the event of an emergency.

Make copies of your passport and ID.

Whether traveling domestic or international, always make copies of your passport ID page to make it easier to file a report and get a replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy with a trusted contact at home and carry one with you. Do the same with your trip itinerary in case your smartphone is lost or stolen.

Leverage technology and apps.

Lastly, take advantage of the latest technology to stay in the know. Apps like TripIt show neighborhood-specific safety scores, including relevant categories like: women’s safety, physical harm, health and medical, theft and more.

Pack smart and don’t stand out.

It’s always wise to pack modest clothing and avoid packing or wearing expensive jewelry, bags, shoes or other accessories. You don’t want to stand out as having valuables that someone would want to steal. It’s also smart to pack shoes designed for comfort and mobility, so you can move quickly if needed.

Also, consider packing a decoy wallet with a small amount of cash and expired credit cards. If someone rifles through your bag, that’s the one they’ll take. Then wear a hidden money belt with your “real” wallet contents.

Other important items to pack include: chargers for your digital devices, a travel plug adapter if you’re traveling internationally, at least a two-week supply of any medication you’re taking and any special medical ID bracelet or tags.

Be strategic when checking in.

When checking in to your hotel, ask the clerk to write your room number on a piece of paper or on the key sleeve, rather than saying it out loud. Also request a room near the stairs or elevator so you don’t have to walk through empty corridors at night, and don’t stay in a room on the first floor or near exit stairways since they are more accessible and prone to theft.

When you arrive to your room, check to make sure it has a peephole, deadbolt and working locks on the windows, adjoining door and balcony door. If there are any issues, request a new room that’s secure.

If there’s ever a knock on your room door, call reception to confirm the identity of anyone there, and if the door to your room is ever open or unlocked when you return, don’t enter. Go back to the front desk and inform them of the security issue.

Play it safe on the street.

If you need to use your mobile phone in public, try to stand still with your back to a wall or window, since walking and talking will limit your awareness and make you an easier target. Also, keep your head up while walking, stand/walk confidently, never look lost, and don’t walk alone or visit an ATM at night.

As always, follow your intuition: if you feel a bad vibe from somewhere or someone, listen to your gut instinct and remove yourself from the situation.

Be smart with your smartphone.

Travel with clean digital devices that have limited banking information, sensitive data, personal photographs or compromising information, and always be aware of potential avenues for cyberattacks, such as using the free Wi-Fi in public locations.

Also avoid posting information about upcoming travel dates, and don’t publish your whereabouts in real-time online. You can share details after you are safely back home.

Source: Entrepreneur.com

Strategies for the Best Seats on a Plane

If you’ve ever flown, you know that a good seat can mean the difference between an enjoyable and painful flight. But what seat should you reserve? Aisle or window? Front, middle, or rear?

Every traveler is different. Some of us fall asleep before the plane takes off, and others travel with children, or struggle with long legs. Or you might easily get airsick or have anxiety about flying. So, there isn’t one best seat for everyone.

Here’s a summary list of the best seats on a plane by category:

Best seat for a smooth ride: A seat over the wing of the aircraft

Turbulence is virtually unavoidable while flying, but choosing a seat near the middle of the plane, over the wing, will make a bumpy ride less noticeable. The further away you sit from the wings, the more noticeable turbulence will be. If you picture the airplane’s movements in response to turbulence as pivoting around a central spot (the center of gravity), you can imagine folks near the nose or tail will move up and down more than if you’re seated near to the pivot point.

If you have a choice between multiple aircraft on the same route, picking a bigger plane usually means a smoother ride. Heavier airplanes typically react less to bumpy air. Most airline sites display the aircraft type next to the fare prices.

Best seat for sleepers: A window seat near the front

If you like to sleep away a plane ride, pick a window seat near the front, and preferably on the left side of the plane. Being on the window means people in your row don’t need to wake you up to go to the restroom, and the flight attendant doesn’t need to reach over you to give refreshments to the other people in your row. Plus, leaning against the window is just more comfortable and you can control the lighting (lower the shade).

The front of the plane is less noisy, and the left side windows tend to be off-center due to the front door’s positioning. This allows you to rest your head against the column between windows, for a more comfortable rest.

Best seat for most legroom: An aisle seat in the 2nd exit row

If you’re a tall person, you want to try to get yourself a seat in the emergency exit row, preferably an aisle seat. Many planes have two over-wing exit rows, and the second row is best because the first exit row will not be able to recline in front of you.

Best seat for fastest plane exit: Any seat close to the front of the plane—on the left side for dual aisle aircraft

You might have already spent hours on the flight, but sometimes the last 15 minutes while you wait to get off the plane can feel like the longest of it all.

Selecting a seat near the front of the aircraft will mean the quickest time to deplane. If you are flying on a plane with two aisles, choose a seat in the front with access to the left-hand aisle. The plane’s boarding door is always on the left, so that aisle tends to move quicker than the right-side aisle.

Best seat for the safety conscious: A seat towards the back of the plane

Popular Mechanics recently conducted a study that examined every commercial jet crash in the United States, since 1971, that had both fatalities and survivors. The study concluded that where you sit in a plane actually significantly impacts your chance of survival in the extremely unlikely event of a plane crash.

The study found that in US airline crashes, passengers who sat in the back of the plane had a 69 percent chance of survival, compared to 56 percent chance for those who sat over the wing, and 49 percent for those in the (front 1/4 of the plane). The study concluded that the passengers in the back of the plane were the safest.

Best seat for traveling with kids: A bulkhead seat with the kids by the window

If you travel with kids, you know the dread of getting stuck in the center seat, with kids squirming and fussing. Then there are the last second emergencies to the bathroom. It can be embarrassing, but the right seat can make things easier.

When traveling with kids, try to get a bulkhead row. These rows offer extra space in front, so kids can stand up to get the occasional wiggles out (when the seatbelt light is off, of course). This also means kids aren’t bothering the row in front of you, which cuts down the number of glaring looks you get.

The bulkhead seats are also often near bathrooms, making last-second bathroom emergencies a bit easier.

Once you have a bulkhead row, it is best to position kids against the window or middle seat (when traveling with two kids), avoiding the aisle seat (or reserving it for yourself). The window is a healthy distraction for kids, and more importantly it avoids them from being hit by beverage carts, passengers rushing to the bathroom, or tumbling into the aisle.

Best seat for A/C power – varies based on airline

You will want to look into each airline for how they offer A/C power on their planes if you are planning on using it. Some airlines, like Alaska Airlines, offer an individual power outlet and USB plug for each seat. Other airlines like United Airlines have one shared A/C outlet per row.

For airlines with shared outlets, you will want to focus in on the middle seat, since the shared power outlet is usually under this seat, against the chair leg closest to the aisle. If you or a travel companion have the middle seat, then using this outlet becomes a lot less awkward.

Best seat for larger passengers – select an aisle seat

Selecting an aisle seat is your best bet as it allows you to lean out into the aisle so you aren’t compressing the person next to you. What most people don’t realize is that the aisle armrests lift up, making for a much more comfortable ride. When you first sit down, feel for a small button or lever, located under the armrest, almost against the seatback. Holding this down will unlock the armrest, allowing you to lift it all the way up and giving you a lot more space.

Every passenger is going to have certain flying and travel styles that will make different seats a better choice for them. Reserving the best airline seat ahead of time can take a lot of stress out of traveling.

Source: millionmilesecrets.com

Traveling by Air with Holiday Foods

We celebrate Thanksgiving with food, and lots of it! Driving with prepared Thanksgiving side dishes or leftovers is one thing, taking food items on a flight is entirely different. Thankfully, the TSA offers travel tips for flying with food.

Here are some best practices for traveling with food, courtesy of lohud.com.

More than 25 million people are expected to travel over Thanksgiving weekend with the Sunday after the holiday the busiest travel day, nearly a seven percent increase compared to last year. And more people than you may realize are flying with food, from side dishes like yam and stuffing, to fully cooked turkeys. In fact, at least four out of five people travel with some kind of holiday food, according to Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which held an information session at Westchester County Airport on the do’s-and-don’ts of traveling by air with holiday foods.

The Westchester County Airport which usually sees 2,200 to 2,500 passengers a day, will see approximately 3,000, an increase of more than 20 percent, said Farbstein. That is why she stresses getting to the airport two hours early. With all those extra bags — and food — the TSA has a lot to screen.

Pies and pastries are the number one item the TSA sees and screens during the holiday, followed by meats. TSA also sees a lot of wine bottles, canned cranberry, cornbread stuffing mix, sweet potatoes and those crunchy onions that go on top of bean casseroles. Tara Gavin, a TSA agent at Westchester County Airport, said she especially sees packed food from college students travelling back to school after the holiday.

How to Pack Food for Flight

So, when it comes to food, what goes in your carry-on and what goes in your checked baggage? “If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it,” it’s technically a liquid and goes in your checked bag, said Farbstein.

Both she and Gavin suggest tightly packing what you can and wrapping it in a plastic bag (or two) for your checked baggage, to avoid leakage. After all, who wants a gravy spill on a new shirt, especially before the holiday? “I’ve even seen duct tape used,” said Farbstein. Similarly, you should pack carry-on food items in spill-proof containers and wrap them as best as you can, again using plastic bags within your bag.

Gavin said TSA agents won’t open your packaged food but will instead use a wand around it for testing. It’s best to put those items in a bin separate from the rest of your luggage when going through the security check. Note that even if you have TSA-Pre approval, you’ll have to go through the process.

Seeing all those homemade or store-bought goodies may make TSA employees hungry, said Gavin. “We may want to eat it,” she said, “But we won’t.”

If you have any questions regarding traveling with food over the holidays, go to @AskTSA on twitter. You can also reach the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.

Source: lohud.com