Archive for Travel Tips
PUTTING AIRLINE TICKETS “ON HOLD” 15 Nov 2013
Purchasing airline tickets can be frustrating as the cost is often a moving target. The U.S. Department of Transportation now mandates that US airline carriers allow consumers to put a flight “on hold” without fear of a price increase for up to 24 hours OR cancel within 24 hours for a full refund. The purchase has to be at least seven days prior to departure and must be made directly with the airline. Currently, American Airlines is the only US airline that allows you to hold a flight for 24 hours without cost; others have opted for a free 24-hour cancellation period.
LEASE OR RENT A CAR WHILE TRAVELING ABROAD? 15 Oct 2013
Did you know that you can lease a brand-new car while driving in some foreign countries? If you plan to drive for an extended period of time (typically 2 1/2 weeks or longer), you may be able to lease versus rent your car. This can save you considerable money, is easy to do, and you get to experience a new vehicle. Call us today to see if this may be a good fit for your next driving vacation.
TSA PRE-CHECK PROGRAM 15 Sep 2013
Want to save time when going through security at airports? You may be eligible for the TSA Pre-Check program. If you are a frequent flyer with a US airline, you may be invited to apply for this program through them; several major airlines are already offering this service. In the near future, you will also be able to apply online at TSA Pre-Check. A passport is not required, but a $85 enrollment fee will be charged.
Not only does TSA Pre-Check allow you to go through a designated screening lane (at airports where available), but benefits also includenot having to remove your shoes, laptop, jacket, belt or plastic bag for liquids. Kind of like the “good old days,” remember?
U.S. SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM 15 Aug 2013
In light of the recent increased threat to Americans and westerners living or traveling abroad in certain countries, you may want to consider enrolling in STEP, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, offered as a free service by the U.S. Government. Through this program, you will be contacted in case of an emergency. A consular officer can also assist Americans who encounter serious legal, medical or financial difficulties while traveling. The government has offered this service for quite some time, but recently changed the name to increase its awareness. Call us for more information or go to www.step.state.gov.
UPDATE ON GLOBAL ENTRY 15 Jul 2013
The number of US airports offering Global Entry service, or expedited Customs clearance processing, has increased significantly since the program was introduced several years ago. Even if you travel out of the country only a few times each year, you may want to consider enrolling in this service through the US government. The cost is currently $100 to apply, and your enrollment lasts for five years. If you are a Platinum American Express cardholder, you can get reimbursed for this cost as one of the card benefits (must use the card to pay for the enrollment).
The benefit of enrollment is saving time when going through US Customs upon re-entering the United States. You can skip the long Customs lines and proceed to the nearest kiosk with your machine-readable passport. Many major US international airports now have kiosks available.
For more information and to apply, to to: http://www.globalentry.gov