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Category : Travel Tips and Tools

By Kimberly Milnes

New Carry-On Bag Rules – Don’t Get Stuck Paying Another Fee!

 

 

Since airlines introduced the “Check Bag Fee”, many of you have been packing light or trying to stuff it all in to your carry-on bag.  Well, recently many of the airlines introduced new size restrictions for carry-on bags. That means if your bag does not meet the new size restrictions you will have to check the bag and pay that $25 fee.  Even, worse if you have already checked a bag you might have to pay an additional $35, $40 or even $100, depending on where you are flying. It is CRAZY.

The biggest change is the width of the bag. It is now down to 14 inches, but most carry-on bags are 15 inches. So, as we approach the big Summer travel season I wanted to make sure you know the new rules so you can avoid being charged another fee.   Read more

By Kimberly Milnes

Where To Go In 2014

Where are people traveling?  What are the “hot” travel destinations?  Trip Advisor just released their list of the top destinations for 2014.  They created this ranking based on the number and quality of reviews that they received over the last year.   I wanted to share the list, as I think it can be a great place to start in choosing your next destination.

I have to say I found the list very interesting, as well as surprising. I was glad to see that it really covers so much of this beautiful world.  I do see Trip Advisor as a resource when doing research for a vacation. However, I think you have to make sure to read several reviews for a hotel, attraction or destination to really make sure you are getting a true overview and not just that cranky traveler review. In the end, along with the reviews as well as the knowledge and expertise provided by your travel professional you can make a decision that works for you and your family.

  Read more

By Kimberly Milnes

Travel Tips To Help You Save

I am always looking for ways to save on my client’s travel, as well as my own.   When I think about saving money, I put value at the top of my list. I believe it is best to not just see the total price, but to really look at what is included in that price.   A great example, my husband and I going to Cancun at the end of the month. Since we won’t have the kids we are OK with having a stop in our trip if it will save us money. But in the end saving $50 did not make sense when we can fly non-stop each way.

But, in the end I know we all want to save when we travel.  So, here are some tips on how to save while you are away.   As well, tips that will take the stress and hassle out of your family travel:

  1. Best time to buy plane tickets  –Tuesday Afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday are great days to check for cheaper rates. Airline sales agents will see what sold over the weekend and adjust prices on Monday, to be put in place on Tuesday. Also, prices usually will be the cheapest 6 weeks out from your travel date.  I also use the fare tracker on Kayak or Yapta to try to catch that great deal.
  2. Best days to travel – Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to depart and Monday the best day to return.   Weekends will most always be the most expensive days to travel.
  3. When should I book my plane ticket – one to three months before your travel dates.  As well, 6 weeks being the best time to book for many destinations. If you wait until 2 weeks before you are going to risk paying top dollar.  This is if you are flying domestic.
  4. Fly Non Stop – Especially when traveling with a baby or toddler.  If the cost is minimal, take the leap and save the added travel hours, possible loss of luggage or missing a connection.  It can certainly be worth the extra cost.
  5. Stop for Snacks –  Have your driver/taxi make a stop at the local grocery store to stock up on water, juice and snacks.  The few extras dollars on the taxi meter can certainly save you a lot at the resort.   Remember you can also bring water on board your cruise as well.
  6. Best Time of  Year To Cruise –   September and October, but to really save look for when the cruise lines open pricing for the next year, you can really save, or book at least six to nine months in advance.
  7. Bring a Water Bottle – I suggest bringing a water bottle for everyone in the family, as well one with a built in filter.  If you like a little flavor in your water, then pack some drink packs of Crystal Light, Hawaiian Punch or Snapple. I have seen boxes of these in the $1 bin at Target.
  8. Save on your Rental Car – Along with comparing rates on sites like Kayak,  make sure to search for coupons and additional discounts. A quick Google search can find you some great savings. Also, if you are open to it, find a rental location away from the airport.
  9. Bring Your EZ Pass – If you are renting a car, you might be able to use your EZ pass.  I have used mine all the way to Florida and also to Chicago.  The rental company will charge you a daily fee for the pass.
  10. Go With The Flow – Remember you are on vacation. Do not over plan your trip, be open to going a different direction.  When traveling with kids they may be having a bad day, so be open to changing your plans or maybe just hanging at the pool.

By Kimberly Milnes

Family Fun! “Muppets Most Wanted” Screening

 

Adventures By Kim wants to invite you and your family to enjoy a FREE Private Screening of the new “Muppets Most Wanted”!

Please join us for popcorn, soda and of course, The Muppets!  You will also have a chance to WIN some fun Muppet and Disney® prizes.*

We wanted to take this opportunity to say a big THANKS to our friends, old and new as Adventures By Kim celebrates 3 years of helping families create memories to last a lifetime while making their vacation dreams come true.

*Prizes provided by Adventures By Kim

 

 

If you have questions please email us at info@adventuresbykim.com

Where: Teaneck Cinemas, 503 Cedar Lane,  Teaneck, NJ 07666

When: Saturday, March 22, 2014 10am

SPACE IS LIMITED. You must RSVP to attend.

**3/14  The event is now FULL.  You can still RSVP and you will be put on our wait list.   If a space opens up we will email you. Thanks so much

By Kimberly Milnes

Bumped From Your Flight – Now What?

You have been counting the days until your much needed vacation. You arrive at the airport 2 hours early to make sure you have plenty of time to check in and get through security. When you get to the ticket counter to check in the agent says your flight is oversold and you have been booked on a flight 2 hours later.  What??? How can that happen?

As the airlines are flying fewer planes and booking them to capacity this is happening more and more. In 2012, nearly 59,000 people were bumped from their flights. So what do you need to know about your rights as a passenger or even better how to make sure this does not happen to you.

1. Know your rights – If you are bumped from your flight through no fault of your own. The airlines must get you to your destination, as well as give you compensation for the delay.   You can check the official Department of Transportation rules on voluntary and involuntary bumping. It is even a good idea to have a copy of the rules with you when you travel.

2. Show Me The Money – If you are bumped how much compensation are you due?

  • If you are bumped from a domestic flight and will arrive at your destination more than 2 hours past your original scheduled arrival time, you can collect 4x the cost of a one-way ticket or up to $1,300 cash.
  • If you are bumped and arrive within 1 to 2 hours of your original scheduled arrival time you are due 2x the cost of a one-way ticket or up to $650
  • International flights have different rules, you are due up to the $650 for delays from 1-4 hours and up to $1,300 for delays over 4 hours.
  • If you are owed money it is best to get a check instead of a travel voucher (a free round-trip flight, for example),  because vouchers come with restrictions and can be difficult to redeem.

3. Book The Right Airline –  JetBlue and Virgin America have almost NO overbooking or bumping issues. In fact, JetBlue has NEVER oversold a flight. Another reason I love that airline.

4. Who Gets Bumped? – If the airline has to bump a passenger they will usually choose them in this order:

  • Last To Check In – This is why it is so important to check in online 24 hours in advance.
  • Paid The Lowest Fare – If you are like me and are a fare shopper, really there is not much you can do for this item.
  • Don’t have advance seat assignments – When you purchase your flights make sure to choose your seat.  This is even more important when flying with families.   At the very least when you do your online check in confirm or choose your seats.   If you do not have an assigned seat in advance of going to the airport, make sure you arrive early to get a seat or at least be at the top of the list.

5. Join Airline Frequent Flyer Programs –  This will at least give you some status in the pecking order for who gets bumped. Make sure your frequent flyer number is attached to your reservation.

6. Fly Early in the Day –  This helps to avoid those passengers who were bumped or cancelled earlier in the day.

7. Fly Direct – The fewer flights you have to take the less chance you have of being bumped.

8. Buy an Upgrade – If you have a coach ticket you can purchase a seat upgrade to make it less likely for you to be bumped. Coach passengers are the first to be bumped.

9. Avoid The Rush – Try to avoid peak travel days.  Best days to travel are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.   Beware of holiday travel. The day before Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday periods can also be called “bump season”

10. How Do You Get Rebooked? – Once your original flight has left then work with the gate agent to get you booked on your new flight.  As well, the gate agent is usually the person who needs to process your compensation for being bumped.

11. The Exception To The Rule – There are a few exceptions to bumping rule and how you are to be compensated:

  • If an airline must substitute a smaller plane for the one it originally planned to use, the carrier isn’t required to pay people who are bumped as a result.
  • Flights on an aircraft with 30 through 60 passenger seats, do not owe compensation if you were bumped due to safety-related aircraft weight or balance constraints.

Of course, it is best to do all you can to avoid being bumped in the first place.  But if you are bumped make sure to know your rights and make sure you are compensated.

 

 

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New Carry-On Bag Rules – Don’t Get Stuck Paying Another Fee!
Where To Go In 2014