Posts Tagged "Travel"

Pittsburgh International Airport will be the first in the U.S. to allow non-fliers past security into the gate areas of their airport since new security regulations were put in place after the 9/11 terror attacks.

According to Pittsburgh Intl. spokes people, all those wishing to enter the gates will go through the same security scrutiny, there will be no reduction in security measures. Pittsburgh Intl. will begin its “myPITpass” program on Sept. 5, under which non-flying visitors can get a day-pass in the airport ticketing area. If the program is popular, PIT may expand the passes beyond the weekday, 9-5 access.

This is a major, positive move for PIT, which was one of the first airports to sport the modern design which included a collection of stores for guests to shop in. Their “Airmall”.

Even today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes “Airmall is home to several stores or restaurants like Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans, and Bar Symon that are not found elsewhere in Pittsburgh.”

In its early days, the retail area proved to be hugely popular with both local residents and with fliers. The airport even touted “street pricing” for Airmall stores, promising customers there wouldn’t be a big mark-up just for shopping in the terminal.

“When the airport first opened, we used to come Christmas shopping out here because you have specialty shops,” local resident Tony Purcell tells Pittsburgh TV station KDKA while discussing the impending change in access there.

But post-9/11 security changes that restricted terminal access to ticketed fliers abruptly curtailed access to the airport shops. PIT hopes to change that with its myPITpass program and rekindle the cities love of the Airmall specialty shops.

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If you are looking to squeeze in one last burst of summer fun – we’ve only got about 27 days left of the season – Anastasia State Park in Florida might be an calm, easy last minute vacation spot. Rated as one of America’s “prettiest beach campsites” by CNN Travel, the park offers many activities for all ages and is located just minutes from downtown St. Augustine which has even more to offer vacationers.

Jody Victor‘s Crew found that Anastasia State Park has 1,6000 acres of vibrant ecosystems which house all kinds of wildlife. There are approximately four miles of beach to explore and visitors can experience a panorama view of sea, sand and a 19th century lighthouse from the dunes—this spot is highly recommend for romantic sunset viewing.

There is also an estuarine tidal marsh, home to much of the parks plant and animal life. For the adventurous there is a self-guided nature hike that leads visitors through the maritime hammock and eventually on to ancient sand dunes. Historians will appreciate a visit to the Coquina Quarry, an archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to construct the nearby Castillo de San Marcos National Monument—this site is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Beyond beach-bumming and swimming, visitors can also bird watch and beachcomb. The park also has bicycles, paddle-boards, kayaks, canoes and sail boats for rent. The campground offers modern amenities and start at 28 dollars a night.

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A recommendation by the International Air Transport Association might be the death knell for the worldwide symbol of business travel: the roller bag.

The International Air Transport Association has put out a recommendation that cabin bags be 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches to create more space for passengers to store luggage. This would mean passengers on American or Delta Air Lines would need bags roughly 20% smaller. Southwest passengers would lose about 40% in bag space.

At a time when airlines are making record profits, due to cheap gas and more efficient use of planes, it is no surprise that this proposal – which would essentially force passengers to pay to check their current luggage or buy new luggage – is drawing a lot of criticism.

Although no North American airlines have yet adopted the policy, many overseas airlines have and this precedent makes it easier for the other airlines to follow suit. However, on the whole, North American airlines make significantly higher profits per passenger than overseas companies—some of whom make as little as one dollar per passenger.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer has become a voice for the average traveler by holding a press conference this past Sunday urging airlines not to adopt this new policy as it will add additional cost to middle-class families trying to take vacations and cause many business travelers to have to purchase new luggage. He too noted that airlines are making record profits while already charging for many little extras like checking baggage, leg room, head phones, pillows and snacks.

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Popular east coast destinations like Myrtle Beach, The Outer Banks and Virginia Beach will almost certainly be affected by Hurricane Arthur. Coastal regions from Virginia Beach to just south of Myrtle Beach already have Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warnings in effect.

Arthur is now producing winds up to 80MPH and is located about 150 miles south-southwest of Cape Fear, NC. The Hurricane Warning extends from the Virginia/NC border to Surf City, NC including the popular Outer Banks area. The primary impact time for the Carolinas and southeast Virginia will be later tonight and Friday. North Carolina governor Pat McCrory has placed 25 counties under a state of emergency as a precautionary measure ahead of the storm.

Even the City of Boston has taken preemptive measures and moved it’s Boston Pops July 4th celebration to today in anticipation of bad weather related to Hurricane Arthur.

Please be safe and consider either canceling or delaying your travel plans if the destination is in an at risk area! More information available here:

~ Jody Victor

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Jody Victor knows that for many, packing is their least favorite part of planning a vacation. That, and lugging an overstuffed suitcase behind that falls over, whose wheels don’t work properly only to arrive to the check in to find out their luggage is overweight and they have to pay a fee. On the other hand most vacations require a variety of clothes, from comfy, casual and even formal wear depending on the destination. Not to mention shoes and toiletries. Here is some information to help you with your travel packing.

Many vacations involve special sporting items like fishing rods and tackle, large camping gear, snorkeling and scuba gear and golf bags, to name a few, are going to be a hassle to get on a plane. These kinds of items are best shipped to your destination or even rented. Additionally if you feel your luggage is going to rack up extensive baggage fees, shipping the luggage to the hotel might be a better and easier option. Although not very elegant, if the vacation allows one could pack their clothes in bags less heavy bags than airplane worthy luggage and let a sturdy shipping box be the luggage.

An easy trick you can try is rolling rather than folding some of your clothing items. Undergarments, t-shirts and pants can all be carefully rolled to save space. Using airless bags or clothes compressors can also aid in maximizing space.

Packing less is the most straightforward way of saving weight and space. Though many of us normally wash an outfit after a single wearing, many items can be worn several times without washing. We aren’t exactly suggesting people wear dirty clothes, but that pair of jeans the button up worn over an undershirt can likely be warn again if you weren’t particularly active that day. An alternative would be making time to take advantage of either the hotel’s self-service laundry or a local laundromat. If you budget allows, check with the hotel about laundry services.

Another tip some will find less than ideal is to minimize personal care products. Even a hefty collection of travel sized items can take up a ton of space. Most hotels don’t have top of the line shampoo, conditioner and soap. But it’s probably not going to ruin your hair and skin to use their products.

Try a few of these ideas the next time the fight between your suitcase and wardrobe has you stressed out the week before you leave on vacation.

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