02/3/12

Finding the Right Travel Group for your needs

Finding the Right Travel Options for Your Personal Travel

 

Traveling Tips for Single Women

 

All Women's Travel Groups

Membership site

Planning a trip and looking for a safe way to get around a new city or even travel the country with like-minded women?  Then consider 5W-Women Welcome Women World Wide.

Based in the UK, this site is a great place to find a friend in the places you travel and get to know the location on a deeper cultural and local level.  Taking advantage of the program gives you opportunities to see a side of the location that is often hidden to most travelers. The membership site provides information for a fee.

Another membership site is Women Traveling Together, check out the link here. Find a trip or activity that speaks to you.  This is a membership site so you know the people you contact are serious about this organization.

The Free Options

 If you are a bit on the light side when it comes to the cash for a local guide or you’re looking for some ready-made experiences without having to pay club dues or membership fees, then consider a free source like meetup.com. 

This site can offer you information about meetups in cities across the globe for everything from rock climbing to wine lovers.  Note that this site is run by the members of each meetup and should you consider creating a meetup of your own that is something that could enhance your travel experience.

 

Senior Travel

 

Group Travel

If you’re retired but you’re not ready to park it in the barkolounger and call it quits, then Walking The World is a great site to find others interested in traveling and learning the lay of the land by walking.  This is a great opportunity to meet peope from all over the world and explore new and interesting places.  Cruising is another way to find great senior options look into options from AARP or sites like Senior Cruises.

Volunteering or working abroad

The baby boomers of today might be more active and more ready to continue working past retirement age.  With a social consious that has this demographic active, one of the best options to keeping fresh and involved is to volunteer, but this ain’t your local church social.  Check out this link; Volunteering abroad over 50.

 

Single Parent Travel

 

Travel options

Single Parent Travel

Traveling with kids presents an additional set of logistics that you must consider.  There are a number of agencies and travel companies that offer specific travel for single parents and grandparents.  Check out this link for more information – Qualitytime travel offers a great set of links to find what fits your budget and your likes.

Finding travel that fits your needs is important.  Finding yourself on a tourbus full of 20 somethings when you’ve just retired can make a critical difference in the enjoyment of your trip.  Use the links listed in the article to find something that fits your needs.

02/3/12

TSA keeps loose change adding up to five figures

Spare some change Buddy?

 

Spare Change adds to TSA budget

Spare change left behind by travelers  in airport security bins adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of extra money.

So you’re in a hurry to get through airport security and get to your gate for that flight that’s just about to board, so instead of scooping up that change you have in the bin, you leave it behind.  Well, you’re not alone and in some major airports that change adds up to some pretty impressive numbers.

Found Money Windfall for TSA

 

According to an online article for NBC San Diego, a number of airports saw a five -figure amount left over the course of a year.

  • JFK New York’s International Airport   $46,918.06
  • LAX  California’s International Airport  $19,110.83
  • ATL Georgia’s International Airport  $16,523.83
  • SFO California’s International Airport $ 15,908.02
  • MIA Florida’s International Airport $15,844.83

You might be wondering where the money goes, well it all goes into the operational budget for TSA and is typically used for general maintenance or upkeep.

In this economic crunch time it’s a wonder that anyone would leave any money behind, but if it’s just a few cents it might not be worth your time and effort to collect it.  With this attitude the money left behind will continue to help TSA budgets, but they can’t count on the amount so they will continue to use it as long as we the travelers continue to leave it for them.

02/2/12

City Spotlight New Orleans LA

New Orleans, LA

 

Tennessee Williams Festival

Looking for a really cool place to visit this year?  Well take a look at New Orleans and see what a great things are happening this year.  People might still think New Orleans is suffering from the after affects of Katrina, but they are back in business and business is good.

This year is going to be special with the coincidence of the 100th birthday of Tennessee Williams which will be celebrated by the Tennessee Williams Library.  Incidentally, the Library is celebrating their 25th anniversary and will be holding a Festival between March 21-25 with actors, playwrights, broadway stars, and authors in attendance.

Mardi Gras 2012

If you think of New Orleans, you think of Mardi Gras and that’s because it is the number one place to celebrate.  Mardi Gras is scheduled 45 days before Easter so the dates change each year so the Fesitval Parade starts on February 21st.  There are Festivals, carnivals, events, dance, music, and thousands of things to see and do.

March is a happening month for New Orleans and one event you want to make sure to check out is the “Running of the Bulls.”  This quirky event is actually roller derby and this year celebrates the fifth year of this fun event.

The French Quarter Festival will be in full swing in April and the cost- FREE!  Check out this page with more information for the soon to be announced dates of this festival and find out what’s in store.

So you like Jazz?  Great – New Orleans is the place to be this August with their annual Jazz Festival called the Louie Satchmo Armstrong Summer Festival.  Check out who’s coming and when to book your tickets.

New Orleans has something to offer for kids and adults alike.  Spend a few minutes looking at the event calendar on the New Orleans City Page and find the right festival to attend.

02/2/12

Delta Airlines 1 Day Atlanta or Detroit Sale

Delta's 1 Day Sale

Delta’s 1 Day Sale

Delta has a new sale going on to certain US cities but you have to purchase TODAY Feburary 2, or you won’t get the sale prices.

Here’s the low-down on what you need to know

  • Travel is from Atlanta, GA or Detroit, MI and select cities
  • Fare prices are EACH WAY based on a Roundtrip
  • Ticket must be purchased by February 2,  2012
  • Travel must be completed by May 16, 2012
  • 10 day advance purchase
  • Saturday night stay over
  • Blackout dates : April 4, April 11

Check out more cities and fares here.

For more sales and offers check the Cheap Flights page.

02/1/12

DOT New Goverment Regulations require all fees shown on tickets

New consumer protection from hidden airline fees

 

On January 26th, the Department of Transportation has enacted a new safety measure for airline consumers to protect them against “hidden fees” and taxes that often aren’t disclosed until the “purchase” button is pushed.  Now, when a flight is booked, the DOT mandate requires airlines to disclose the total cost.  An additional rule requires the airline to allow refunds and changes on non-refundable tickets for up to 24 hours for purchased tickets without a penalty as long as there are at least 7 days before the actual flight.

 

Spirit Fined

Spirit Airlines has recently been fined for not disclosing the total amount of ticket prices and has also added a warning sign to their online booking site that expresses the company’s distain for the new rules.  In addition they are now charging and additional $2 for each ticket and telling passengers it is for the “Department of Transportation Unintended Consequences Fee.” 

Spirit Airline’s obvious displeasure over the fining and the fees is also

gathering a number of angry responses from consumers.  A visit to the Spirit Airlines website now shows the popup has been toned down and appears on their heading instead and states “New Government Regulations require us to HIDE taxes in your fares.”  The wording implies the Government wrong-doing, when in fact the fees have always been present, just not shown.

This policy is causing waves and several airlines have been caught up in fines for not disclosing the full amount of the ticket – read about it here.  The cost to the additional fees charged by Spirit Airlines may become an industry standard but the ruling of this law may be in jeapordy as Rob Lovitt reports on Overhead Bin.

The FAA today received word they were granted the $63 billion dollar FAA budget that will give the agency the funds needed to update the failing airline traffic control system and maintain federal regulations. Joan Lowy has a great article listed here.

This year is proving to be an interesting year for the airline industry and there is no telling what will happen.  Stay informed and check out TravelNewsYouCanUse for more information.

02/1/12

Citibank taxes Airline Miles

How “Free” are your miles?

 

Citibank has recently sent out a new tax form for American Airline Frequent Flyer members who started accounts and were given miles as incentive.  The 1099 form was sent out and immediatly raised concerns for travelers.  Ben Mutzabaugh has an article about the issue here.

The miles were given as a “reward” for setting up an account and considered “money” for nothing, putting it into the catagory of taxable income.  Citibank has rated the miles with a value of 2.5 cents a mile which equals about $625 for the 25,000 miles it offered when opening an account.

IRS confusion over Citibank AA Frequent Flyer Miles

 

The IRS can’t seem to figure out the rules on this one either.  The confusion compounds when considering that Citibank considers the miles worth 2.5 cents but likely purchased them for much less.  Also, the incentive miles gained though purchases are not considered “income” by Citibank so why is one set of miles taxable and the other is not? 

David Lazarus of the LA Times has a great article detailing more of the issue and his contact with the IRS, be sure to read his article here.

02/1/12

The Rumor Mill – Delta to Acquire American Airlines? Or Maybe US Air?

Rumors of possible airline consolidation

 

Delta Airlines Merger

The travel industry is a-buzz with the rumors that a potential takeover might occur as Delta looks at American Airlines.  Delta is the second largest airline after previously taking over the failing Northwest airlines in 2008 and now it looks as if they have taken an interest in American Airlines.

On November 29th of 2011 American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due in part to a loss of business travelers and Union negotiations.  The filing did not affect travelers but has put a strain on the daily business of one of the third largest US carrier.  The recent announcement that American Airlines plans to lay off and cut pensions will affect more than 81,000 workers world wide.

 

Monopoly?  Or is this the trend toward a global airline?

 

The possibility of a merger between Delta and American has some opposition as the merger will undeniably result in less opportunity, less competition, and higher prices for travelers.  Similarly a merger between Delta and US Airways would spell disaster for competition in the Northeast and many other locations where both airlines are currently competing for air dominance.

These rumors are still just that – rumors.  Delta has not made a formal statement about its future plans to acquire either airline, but the possibility that federal regulators would allow a merger is still on the table.

If you’re interested in learning more about these rumors and what the industry is saying then check out this article from MPR here and for more information on the American Airlines bankruptcy then read this great article from The Star-Telegram here. For information on the possible merger between US Air and Delta check this article here from Tulsa World News.

01/31/12

Mobile World Congress 2012 Barcelona Spain

Mobile World Congress 2012 Barcelona Spain  27 February – 1 March

 

World Mobile Congress 2012

This year’s Mobile World Congress will be one of the largest exhibition conferences this year.  With a chance to look at the newest in innovation for mobile phones an communications the opportunities to network and gain advantage in this field are immense.

If you haven’t purchased your airline tickets yet or set up your hotel reservations, time is running out.  At this time the congress has secured a majority of the open hotel rooms available and trying to find one on your own isn’t going to happen.  Outside travel agencies will receive a big goose egg when looking for hotel availability, but if you’re still looking for accommodations then you’ll need to check this link here.

The Mobile World Congress will include an exhibition, conferences, networking, training, and presentations of world brand products.  The event is not to be missed.  If you are looking for more information on this event be sure to check out the website to find the events you wish to attend.

01/31/12

Virgin America Fares to Fly By Sale

Virgin America Sale – get your tickets by FEB 3!

Virgin America has some great sales available from a number of major cities to include Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and many more. Check out these rules and book your travel before Feb 3.

  • Book travel by Feb 3
  • All travel requires a minimum 7 day advance purchase from travel date
  • Travel dates between Feb 6 – Feb 29
  • Travel Days Monday – Saturday

 

Virgin has Last Minute Deals too!

Virgin has last minute deals for travel  as low as $99 each way Travel between Feb 3- Feb 10 and tickets must be issued by 3 Feb – hurry to check out these fares before they are gone!

01/31/12

American Airlines Sale to Central America

American Airlines Sale to Central American getaways.

 

Take a Trip to Central America

Planning a trip to Panama City, San Salvador, or San Jose (Costa Rica not California!)?  Well look no further.  American Airlines is running a sale out of Miami, Washington D.C., New York, Orlando, LAX, Philidelphia and many more locations.

Here’s the information you need on these netsaver deals…

  • Tickets must be purchased by 2, Feb 2012
  • Travel must be between 3, Feb and 28, April
  • Travel must be completed by 30 April
  • Travel Valid Monday – Thrusday (other days are higer fares)
  • Blackout dates 21 March – 1 April / 5 April / 7 April – 9 April
  • A Saturday night stay is required
  • Max stay is 90 days

So now that you know the rules, go check out the fares and find your vacation prices.