Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lost luggage


You've patiently waited for all the bags to take their turn on the conveyor belt. No more seem to be exiting the chute. And, yet, yours is not there. You couldn't have missed the bright red tape on the handles. Surely no one else took it.

It's lost.

What do you do?

First, make sure you have the baggage claim ticket. You know those things the check in counter staples to your envelope or hands to you? Don't immediately discard that little piece.

Most airlines have a counter or office in the baggage claim area. Talk to them and fill out the missing luggage form. It's possible your bag was sent to the wrong place and you'll have it in a couple of days. If it is truly lost, you can file a claim for damages. Keep in mind...you will have to make a list of everything that was in your bag. Whew!

And, you will only receive the depreciated value for those items in your bag. You know those shoes you paid $500 for just last year in Venice? You won't receive $500. Bummer.

So, don't pack valuable, essential, or priceless items in your checked bag. Make sure your name and address are clearly marked on your bag. Add contact info to the inside of your bag. When the ticket counter puts the destination tag on the bag and hands you the claim ticket, make sure it reads the correct destination. AND...hang on to the claim ticket.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Cancelled Flights Due to Unforeseen Issues


With the recent events in Paris, many people visiting or there on vacation weren't sure what to do first or how to get back to the US. Check out these tips from a fellow traveler who was there.

Always have your airline phone number in your phone. Put your current flight information there as well. Then, contact the airline as soon as possible to rebook your flight. In times of a situation like Paris, airlines are aware and will usually do what they can to help.

If you have a relative or friend in the US, call them to see if they can get through to the airline quicker than you can.

Keep your phone charged.

When you need to get to the airport, get there much earlier than normal. There will be lines of people.

Stay patient.

If you've registered with the State Department, STEP, you will have access to the local embassy. This helps both you and your family or friends in the US.

Call your phone carrier and request temporary international cell service.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Do you know where you parked?





Two weeks ago you parked your car in the airport long term parking lot and left on a fantastic vacation to Europe.

Now, you've picked up your luggage, made it through customs, and arrived at the shuttle bus stop. All you need is to remember where you parked your car.

If you had taken a photo on your phone of the section where you parked...you'd be able to pull it up and head right to it. If not, you could always try to remember. I'm sure you'll find it.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Where are my car keys?


Let's say you've been gone for 10 days. When you parked at the airport parking lot, you stashed your car keys in a pocket or in your carry on bag. After all, you won't need them for 10 days.

Now you're riding the shuttle to your car...and you can't find your keys.

Plan ahead and find the keys before you get on the shuttle to the parking lot. If you've really lost them, you can deal with it at the airport terminal instead of standing in the dark by your car taking everything out of your bag.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Ship Those Gifts


Traveling this holiday season? Taking gifts with you? You do know you have to leave your gifts unwrapped per TSA guidelines, don't you?

Have you thought about shipping the gifts ahead of time? If you have several packages or ones that are awkward to pack, you might be better off shipping them ahead of time and not worrying about how to get everything packed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Follow That Map


Have you ever been in an airport AND in a hurry? Did it seem like everyone in the entire airport was following the same path as you?

Did you know there may be shortcuts in airports to get from one hallway or one point to another? How do you find them?

Take a good look at the airport concourse map. It shows all the hallways, the elevators, etc. You may just find a better way then following along after every other traveler.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Leftover Currency


You're at the airport, ready to head home after a couple weeks in Italy...or wherever. You have some leftover Euros. What do you do with them?

You could bring the Euros home and use them next time.

You could buy something at the airport.

You could find a chain coffee shop, like the one you have back home. Buy a gift card with the exact amount of leftover Euros. Whatever it translates to when you get home...it's a cup or more of coffee.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Charge Everything


The day before you leave, remember to charge all your electronic devices. I have a power back up for my phone and tablet. When I take a bunch of photos, they can drain my battery more quickly.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Help! I lost my passport...


There's probably no worse feeling than that of not finding your passport...when you're in a foreign country.

You've looked everywhere. It's nowhere to be found. It may be lost. It may be stolen. It's just gone.

What do you do? Search everything one more time. I mean everything. Did it get wedged in your suitcase behind your shoes? Did it get covered up with the morning's newspaper? Look everywhere.

Then, if it's gone...

Contact the police in case it really was stolen. Contact your local embassy. If you've registered with STEP (see a previous post on this), you'll know where the embassy is, the phone number, and other pertinent info. You'll have to show up in person at the embassy to get an emergency passport to get home. Once at home, you'll need to apply for a new passport.

When you're at the embassy, you'll need to show ID. If your wallet was stolen, take someone along who can vouch for you.

It would be a good idea to have a preparation kit of sorts with you in a different place than where you keep your passport. If you received two passport photos when yours was taken, put that in your 'kit'. Include a copy of your US birth certificate...not the original. Include a copy of your passport and a copy of your flight itinerary and tickets. If your phone is password protected, you could keep a file with this information on it.

If you've registered with STEP...this process will be easier.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

City Pass...Museum Pass...Check them out



My tip about buying a city pass or a museum pass made it into the latest newsletter from Journey Woman. Check out this link to see all the great tips for this month.

http://www.journeywoman.com/BestTravelTips/best-tips-december-2015.html




Gate Guru


Have you ever used Gate Guru? It can be found at www.gateguru.com.

Why would you check it out? Several reasons:

You can save your upcoming and past trips. This means you can put your itinerary here, including any info you might need that day. Think of hotel reservations, phone number of your hotel or destination, and more.

If you need to, you can even rent a car thru here.

And, of course, get important information about your gate.

Let me know if you've tried it.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Enjoy


No travel info today...just a reminder of a fantastic dessert in Venice. Yum!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Don't Toss Your Boarding Pass


You've arrived at your destination. What do you do with the boarding pass? After all, you don't need it any more...right?

Don't toss it in the hotel or any other wastebasket. Why?

As with most documents, your boarding pass has information about you on it. And, that information can be accessed by a site reading the barcode on your boarding pass. You don't want your phone number, frequent flyer number, your account PIN, or any other personal information to be accessed by someone who shouldn't have that info.

Save it and shred it when you get home...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Globes and Atlases


Looking for a unique gift for some kids this year? How about a globe or an atlas?

Our world seems to be getting smaller all the time. Let the kids see the world from the perspective of a globe. You can also check out National Geographic's Kids World Atlas to have them start learning where other countries are in comparison to the US.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What is STEP?




Do you know what STEP is and why you should know about it? The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

Why do this? You will receive emails about your destination, including issues, danger zones, or safety conditions. This will also help the US Embassy contact you in an emergency, natural disaster, or family emergency. If you are at home and a family member is traveling abroad, the US Embassy will assist you in contacting them in case of an emergency here at home.

It's a great program and one I use all the time. The link: https://step.state.gov/step/.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

How Much Do You Weigh?


When you purchase a new piece of luggage, there are so many things to think about. How much does it weigh? How are you going to use it? Will it be for checked luggage only or do you want it to do double duty?

Let's think about how much it weighs. First, do you know the weight limit for checked luggage? Airlines will tell you what their weight limit is, so check their website if you don't already know. For domestic, it's often 50 pounds. But, check to make sure. Does the weight of your bag make a huge difference to you? Shop around to get the right weight, if it does.

But, you may find discrepancies in weight when shopping online for luggage. The manufacturer's site will give you a weight of the bag. So will any other sites selling that same bag. The problem is, sometimes those sites differ from each other in what the bag weighs. That could be a problem if weight of your bag is the only concern you have.

What do you do? Check more than one site. If the difference is great enough to matter to you...you might want to check it out in person. Weigh it for yourself.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jessup Cellars Event



 Jessup Cellars’ Third Annual "Art House Short Film Series" Opens
Saturday, December 12 at its Napa Valley Yountville Tasting Gallery




New for 2015/16: Jessup Cellars Offers $75 Local’s Season Pass

(Yountville, CA, November 12th 2015) Jessup Cellars 3rd Annual Art House Short Film Series opens Saturday, December 12th at Jessup Cellars Tasting Gallery in Yountville, California. The winery and art gallery pairs award-winning short films from the San Jose and Walnut Creek Short Film Festivals and the Napa Valley Film Festival. Each screening night features a guest filmmaker and Q&A, with all films paired with a Jessup Cellars wine and a Chef MikeC wok-popped, flavored-infused popcorn, e.g., Fried Chicken & Mash Potatoes Popcorn paired with Chardonnay.

Over the past two years, the series has become a sell-out hit with both locals and visitors to the Napa Valley. New for the 2015/16 series, Jessup Cellars is offering a $75 Local's Season Pass for all four screenings, which will take place on the second Saturdays of December 12, January 9, February 13 and March 12 from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. Tickets are $35 each and available online at series ticketing partner CellarPass.com.

"As a film buff, I look forward to our winter short films series with great anticipation and expectation. The format is so dynamic and immediately rewarding," explains Tracy McArdle, General Manager for the Good Life Wine Collective, which includes Jessup Cellars, Handwritten Wines and Humanitas Wines. "Within a short series of frames, these award-winning stories unfold and close…and then it's on to the next film, wine and popcorn pairing. It makes for a perfect date night!”

From animation to comedy to drama, Jessup Cellars Art House Short Film Series has built a loyal following by taking its guests on an emotional and inspirational ride through the cinematic and culinary arts. The screenings are be followed by meet-and-greets with filmmakers and the opportunity to purchase Jessup Cellars wines in support of indie short film projects. To learn more visit JessupCellars.com.

About Jessup Cellars
Jessup Cellars Tasting Gallery is located at 6740 Washington St., Yountville, California and open 10am to 6pm daily. Celebrating the art of the blend, its wines are sourced from the finest vineyards throughout Napa Valley. Guests at Jessup Cellars may choose to taste at its wine bar or relax with sit-down, hosted wine and artisan cheese tastings in it’s spacious gallery amongst curated art by regional and national artists. The winery also specializes in hosting interactive cultural experiences with a focus on supporting the arts. To learn more about Jessup Cellars, visit JessupCellars.com or call 888.537.7879.


# # #

Passport Pages


More passport facts you may not know...

Many countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within the next six months. Always check the expiration date before you book your next trip.

Traveling to South Africa? You need at least two blank pages in your passport or you won't be admitted to the country.

New Posts...Old Posts


Recently I discovered my Travels and Escapes blogs were not being forwarded to Facebook and Twitter. Apparently something happened. So, unless you subscribed to this blog...you missed all my great travel tips, my exciting travel recommendations, and my travel photos.

Since I couldn't have that...I enlisted the help of my web guy. I'm now back on track.

Why do I tell you this?

I'm going to re-post some of the posts from the last couple of months. If you've already seen them, lucky you. You get to read them again. If you missed them, here's your chance to read them for the first time.

Enjoy and Have Fun Traveling...wherever you escape.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pier 2620 Hotel Completes $17 Million Remodel






Check out this San Francisco hotel...Pier 2620 Hotel


Full renovation of 233 rooms creates contemporary hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, NOVEMBER 10, 2015 – Pier 2620 Hotel announced the completion of a $17 million renovation to its 233 updated guest rooms, with the exterior revitalization planned for 2016. The hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco, at the crossroads of Historic North Beach and renowned Fisherman’s Wharf.  

Now operated and managed by Fillmore Hospitality, LLC, the former San Francisco Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf has been renovated to embody the vibrant qualities and diverse experiences that people associate with the city.

“We’re thrilled to have undergone such an expansive remodel,” said David Eisenbraun, General Manager. “Our goal is to live and breathe all that San Francisco has to offer, and our newly revitalized rooms are directly representative of San Francisco’s seafaring history.”

Chicago-based Laurie Miller of Anderson/Miller, Ltd. designed Pier 2620 Hotel’s new look, with custom touches throughout the rooms – from furniture to artwork to d├ęcor – all inspired by the city’s industrial waterfront.

“We looked at every element, every item in the room with a strategic eye to the hotel’s place on the wharf,” said Miller. “Our goal was to create an authentic, San Francisco feel with industrial details that we believe will resonate with the hotel’s visitors.”

Pier 2620 Hotel is a tech-friendly, welcoming environment that blurs the lines between the stereotypical “hotel” experience and the quintessential San Francisco home. “We want to share the best our great city has to offer,” added Eisenbraun. “It starts with giving guests a highly personalized and truly memorable experience. But we also provide local insights tailored to their needs to help them enjoy an authentic taste of San Francisco culture. Our staff does so much more than simply manage hotel room inventory.”

Pier 2620 Hotel is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Connect Collection, an international portfolio of hotels that connect people to friends and family, business associates, and interesting neighborhoods. Inspired by local culture, the smart, well-appointed, eclectic, and welcoming hotels within this collection seamlessly combine value with comfort and convenience to relax the guest’s busy, on-the-road life.


About Pier 2620 Hotel
Located in the heart of San Francisco, at the crossroads of Historic North Beach and renowned Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 2620 Hotel prides itself on speaking the language of the locals, and sharing the best that San Francisco has to offer. Newly revitalized in 2015 by a $17 million renovation, Pier 2620 Hotel is designed to make every aspect of the guest experience warm, colorful, and memorable through the intuitive use of technology throughout the guests' stay to personalize their experience, combined with seamless integration into the San Francisco culture. 

Previously the San Francisco Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf, the hotel’s operations and management were acquired by Fillmore Hospitality, LLC and reopened in late 2013. Pier 2620 Hotel offers 233 stylish and contemporary guest rooms with free Wi-Fi, a well-equipped, glass-enclosed fitness center overlooking the courtyard, and multiple meeting and event spaces. The hotel also boasts a wide selection of world-class wines available at its EvenKeel Lounge.

Visit Pier 2620 Hotel at 2620 Jones St., San Francisco, CA.
Pier2620Hotel.com


About Fillmore Hospitality, LLC
Fillmore Hospitality provides a full spectrum of investment management and property management services to owners of hotels and resorts throughout North America. The company brings an extensive background of 25+ years in the hospitality industry, and a valuable perspective that provides a comprehensive understanding of assets needed to make a venture successful. Fillmore Hospitality entirely embodies the elements of hospitality, and maintains that providing high quality customer experiences is of the highest priority. 

FillmoreHospitality.com


About Preferred Hotels & Resorts Connect Collection
Pier 2620 Hotel is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Connect Collection. All guests of Pier 2620 Hotel are eligible to enroll in the iPrefer guest loyalty program, which extends points redeemable for cash-value Reward Certificates, elite status, and special benefits such as complimentary Internet to members upon every stay at more than 550 participating Preferred Hotels & Resorts locations worldwide.




















Arrondissements


Paris is a collection of arrondissements or numbered neighborhoods. The first is in the center of Paris and the rest of the neighborhoods spiral outward from that one. One and Two are the most central.

In the 1st you will find the Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens, and part of the Ile de la Cite.

In the 7th is the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, home to Napoleon's tomb.

The 8th is where you'll find the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde, and awesome shopping.

The 9th is home to the Opera.

The 18th you will find a hilly neighborhood and also home to Sacre-Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, and Place de Tertre.

Check them out...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Relax...


If you're looking for a relaxing, yet wonderfully accommodating, place to stay in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico...check out Villa Herencia Hotel. You won't be disappointed.

More later...

Check my Instagram page for more photos as well. I'm wkvh...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sole4Souls

(Napa, CA, November 4, 2015) --Humanitas Wines is partnering with Sole4Souls , along with Napa Valley businesses and student volunteers, to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes this holiday season. These shoes will be collected and sold to micro-entrepreneur partners in places such as Haiti, Honduras and the Philippines, creating an opportunity for thousands in developing nations to start and sustain small businesses selling shoes and clothing. This program, which runs through end of December, is a powerful way for people who are without a traditional job or training to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Humanitas, part of the Good Life Wine Collective along with sister wineries Jessup Cellars and Handwritten, will use the family-owned wine group’s dry goods storage building in southern Napa to house the shoes prior to national and international distribution. Visit the Soles4Souls Napa Valley Shoe Drive Facebook page to learn more and get a list of local drop-off sites.

“What a pleasure to work with such a plugged in, socially aware company,” said Soles4Souls CEO, Buddy Teaster. “Humanitas understands the power of a business that cares enough to make a difference with their employees, customers and community. The shoe collection and fund raising efforts will have a meaningful impact here at home and around the world. And people will have a great time in the process.”

Additionally, Soles4Soles is part of Humanitas Wines’ Shop to Drink Charitably holiday fundraising drive for three worthy charities, which also includes the Edith Sanford Breast Foundation and Shelter Me . By visiting the Humanitas WinesDrink Charitably page, shoppers may designate 20% of their purchases to one of these select charities.

Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. They advance their anti-poverty mission in two distinct ways: Free distribution and micro-enterprise. They live by the saying, “Give a person a fish and they eat for a day; teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime.”

Since 2006, Soles4Souls have collected and distributed 26 million pairs of new shoes to those in need in 127 countries around the world and all 50 states in the U.S.

ABOUT HUMANITAS WINES
Founded in 2001 in a backyard shed (The Shed-Teau) by wine industry executive Judd Wallenbrock as a way to give back to those less fortunate, Humanitas donates 7% of all revenues to charity. At the Humanitas Tasting Annex in southern Napa, the winery offers appointment only Pay it Forward tasting experiences that feature exclusive tours of its winery facility, along with molecular gastronomy spoon bite pairings developed by master instructor and cookbook authorChef MikeC . For its visitors listening pleasure, the winery also has one of the largest vinyl collections in wine country. Wine lovers who wish to Drink Charitably may order wines online or join a Humanitas Wine Club atwww.HumanitasWines.com or by contacting its hospitality team directly at (707) 253-1405.

ABOUT SOLES4SOULS
Soles4Souls is a not for profit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith- based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Soles4Souls is committed to the highest standards of operating and governance, and holds a four-star rating with Charity Navigator.Visit soles4souls.org for more information.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Secret of the Purloined Bracelet



My latest mystery is available on Kindle...FREE for a very limited time. Check it out and let me know what you think.

This is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Purloined-Bracelet-Hidden-Truths-ebook/dp/B01690D5R4/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1447362718&sr=8-1&keywords=secret+of+the+purloined+bracelet

Monday, November 9, 2015

Parque de Bombas


Built as the main exhibit pavilion for the 1882 Exhibition Trade Fair, it then had a life as the fire station in Ponce for over 100 years. Now, it's a museum dedicated to Ponce's firemen.

Check out the Moorish influence.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ponce or San Juan?


Most people immediately think of San Juan when you mention you're traveling to Puerto Rico. Most of the time, they would be correct.

Recently, we did travel to San Juan. But, we included a trip to the south side of the island and visited Ponce and the area surrounding it.

I'll tell you about the mountains, driving, meeting a huge semi on a one and a half lane road...and more. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wake Up in Paris and Hit the Streets


For an amazing view of Paris, head to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Be sure to purchase your tickets on line before you go to avoid long lines.


Take a tour around the Arc de Triomphe.

Spend some time in the Galeries Lafayette. Don't forget to check out all the ceilings, stained glass, and art deco.





Friday, October 30, 2015

Markets...More Than Food


In Beaune, France the markets provide plenty of opportunities for photos. Sure, the food is great. But, so are the photos.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Use the Metro



When in Paris, use the Metro. It's an easy and safe way to travel throughout Paris. Remember to pay attention to your purse or backpack.

If you know you will be using the Metro several times, buy a set of 10 Metro tickets. It's a better value and comes in handy. You can also get a free app with a Paris Metro map. Probably easier than looking at a large map...


Monday, October 26, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ride the Loop





Take a train ride in Georgetown, Colorado. The Georgetown Loop is an historic mining and railroad park. Only 45 miles west of Denver, this a a fun way to see part of the history.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Global Entry and Your Passport


If you have Global Entry and you renew your passport...you'll need to update the passport number associated with your Global Entry memberships before you travel with your new passport.

It's an easy process. Log into GOES, go to update the document's number, and add your new passport number.

Also, if you have a name change or a status change, you'll need to go in person to get that changed on your Global Entry. Go to the same place where you obtained your original one.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

REAL ID


REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the states and the Federal Government to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents, which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification. REAL ID implements a 9/11 Commission recommendation urging the federal government to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.”
DHS is implementing REAL ID through a period of phased enforcement over the next several years. In particular, the date for implementing the prohibition on boarding aircraft travel will be set after an evaluation of earlier phases and will not occur sooner than 2016.
Check out more facts at http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Is Your Passport Full?


You probably already know your passport lasts 10 years before you need to renew. But, did you know there has been a recent change on adding pages?

It used to be, if your passport was full...no problem. Additional pages were inserted by the State Department. Not any more.

Now, if your passport is full, the State Department requires you get a new passport.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cheers!



Any fall trips planned? Do these include wine area trips? Perhaps Napa Valley?

Harvest in Napa Valley was early this year. With only about 75% of the normal rainfall this year, winemakers tell me that created smaller clusters of grapes with highly concentrated flavors.

Those fires that could have been close didn't have an impact. In fact, the winds that could have brought smoke to the vineyards blew away. So, no noticeable smoke for the wines.

Quantities will be down due to the smaller clusters. Taste remains to be seen...but winemakers are optimistic. We'll have to wait and see...or taste.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hopper


Many sites review and give info on the latest and greatest travel apps. Fathom listed their favorites a few weeks ago. Hopper was one.

Hopper is a travel planning app that gives price predictions for airline tickets. Nice, huh? How does it work?

Tell Hopper your destination and approximate dates. It will then tell you when you should book for the best rates within a few months of that. But, it also tells predicts when rates will fall or rise. How does this help you?

You could arrange your flight dates to coincide with the lower prices...if you are flexible on traveling. You might also get some peace of mind knowing you did a decent job of scoring a good fare.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Get Up and See the Sunrise


It is worth it to get up early if you want the perfect sunrise shot. Same goes for finding the perfect sunset shot.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Have Some Patience


When taking travel photos, chances are you're looking for the right shot all the time. Right?

Many great photos are the result of patience...lots and lots of patience. The supersized, lumbering bumblebee that landed on the flowers will come back. Keep watching.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Suitcases and Advertising


This post is reprinted from www.smartertravel.com.

When it comes to saving money, budget travelers are known to go to extremes. Maybe that's why Orion Travel Technology has devised a pretty extreme way to save money on bag fees.
Orion's new idea may be a game changer. The company is offering to pay your bag fees for you. The catch? Your luggage will become a rolling advertisement for one of their partners.
In exchange for toting company logos around the world with you, Orion will send you two customizable suitcases (one 21" carry-on and one 29" bag) and a gift card for $50 that can only be used at the airport ticket counter. The annual membership, which costs $19.99 after the first six months, covers your bag fees for up to six trips a year. To prevent anyone from using the gift card without using the luggage, the card will only work after scanning the UPC code on the branded suitcase.
When you order your suitcases, you'll have the choice of personalizing the back of the luggage with your favorite movie character or sports team. But this is not the advertisement. The front of the suitcase is left blank for you to stick the easy-to-remove logo skins Orion sends you each time you travel.
Though the program is not scheduled to be implemented until February 2016 and the companies Orion will be working with are not yet clear, this could be an indispensable new service to travelers with very tight budgets. Not only can you save on bag fees, but the bags are also included in the membership, which could be helpful if you're looking to replace your luggage.
Though it's impossible to tell how smoothly the system will work once it gets going, it shouldn't be hard for Orion to find people willing to test it out. There are people out there willing to sell the advertising space on their foreheads, so what's a few ads on your suitcase compared to saving hundreds on bag fees?

I love the idea. What are your thoughts about doing this? Would you?


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tell a Story



When you travel, do you take photos? Do they all look the same?

If so...try telling a story with your photos. If you want to showcase your trip to a new restaurant, you might just focus on the food. But, add in some photos of the neighborhood or the landscape. You might add a photo of the flower arrangement sitting by the door.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Your Bag Took a Different Trip


You've checked your bag. It has everything in it you need for your two week stay in France. You land in Paris. And...your bag does not show up.

It turns out the agent accidentally tagged the wrong destination on your bag. It happens.

Next time check to see what the destination is for your bag. The claim check will tell you. It's just one way to make sure you and your bag arrive in Paris at the same time.

And, don't pack everything in one bag.