Jody‘s crew found a couple articles dealing with ways you can be ripped off while traveling.
FoxNews.com has an article about the 10 biggest travel ripoffs and ways people are getting fleeced anywhere:
- Excess baggage charges
- Trip insurance
- Shady taxi drivers
- Eating like a tourist
- Manhattan hotels
- Airport airline clubs
- Uniformed “guides” at airports
- Changing money on the black market
- “Minimum” fees as restaurants or clubs
- Insanely high booze taxes
You can read the full article for more information.
In another article on CNN.com, their article lists travel fees and how to avoid them (some may be similar to the FoxNews.com article):
- Baggage fees
- Ticket exchange fee
- Resort fee
- Car rental airport fee
- Phone or in-person booking fee
- Seat selection and priority boarding
- Single supplement
- In-flight amenity fees
- One-way penalty and airport surcharge on car rentals
- Award ticket fees
You can read the tips to avoid the fees in the article.
There are a couple websites which allow you to design your perfect trip. This is helpful if you don’t want the extra expense of a travel agent.
The first one is Opentrips, a UK site which features designing your own trips. You can then invite people with like interests (friends or strangers) to join you. As of this writing, their homepage features trips such as “Write a cookbook in Italy’s Cilentro region” for foodies, “Cross the Alps! On your roadbike! No bags!” for the adventuresome. Many of these trips seem to center around food in different countries. Where would you like to go?
Another similar site is Tripobox. This is for you to design a trip for a group of your friends. You browse the hotel, restaurant, and activity offers in certain cities such as Berlin, Miami, Chicago (they are working on more). Add your favorite offers and plan your trips.
On their travel site, Jody found that CNN lists 20 of the biggest travel mistakes and asks you to list yours in the comments section. Here is their list:
- Not buying something you like as soon as you see it
- Not checking your phone plan before traveling abroad
- Trusting “near city center” descriptions
- Taking the “super” shuttle
- Not tightening shampoo caps all the way
- Thinking you know the perfect time to book a ticket
- Trying too hard to chisel out a bargain
- Not changing money at the airport
- Underestimated the hell that is Heathrow
- Buying cheap flip-flops
- Fearing street food
- Buying a drum on the first day of a three-month trek across Asia
- Over-reliance on guidebooks
- Not buying the full insurance policy
- Obsessive photography
- Not checking visa requirements before departure
- Attempting Berlin in a weekend
- Using a credit card to get cash
- Not printing out reservation details
Of course this is just the main points – for more information and elaboration on these points, check out their webpage. Don’t forget to look at the comments section – there are some more good tips from readers.
~ Jody Victor
Ever want to go someplace and you’re all alone? You’d like to stay at a more upscale place but can’t afford it on your own?
Well now there’s a way. A new site, EasyNest, has a way to make that happen.
They say you can share the cost and make friends.
Another similar site is FOFTravel (Friends of Friends Travel) where you can exchange travel services. You might find free accomodations, travel tips, storage facilities, etc.
There’s a Facebook app, tint.travel that attempts to do the same thing through Facebook friends.
~ Jody Victor
Jody‘s crew, out and about, has some first-hand tips for flying.
- If you wear heavy jewelry, put it in the bin at the security check point.
- Try to have the items you need to put in the bins ready at the top of your bag.
- Make sure you have more than 7 minutes between landing time and the connecting flight’s boarding time.
- Never refuse the snack. If you aren’t hungry, put them in your bag. You might need them if the connecting flight is too turbulent and they don’t come around.
- Don’t expect taxi fares from the airport to be based on mileage. You may have to pay a flat rate. (cha-ching!)
- Try not to get the seat next to lavatory. People don’t always close the door when they are done.
- Use as small a bag as you can. Some of the airlines have a metal corral that you can try to fit your bag in to check for size, but they seem to be shrinking.