Can I Still Travel With My Electronics on International Flights?

August 15th, 2017 / blog / Comments Off on Can I Still Travel With My Electronics on International Flights?

This question has been a moving target since March, but the Department of Homeland Security announced a new policy for electronics entering the US.  As of June 28th, all airlines with inbound flights to the US are required to implement stricter measures for screening carry-on and checked baggage as well as vetting passengers before they board.  If they don’t meet the new standards, they are subject to the laptop ban currently in place for nine airlines from eight countries, or even have their airline certificate revoked disallowing entry into the US.

What does this mean to you as the traveler?  You should allow more time to go through security at international airports (3 hours) as airports and airlines work through the new procedures.  Be prepared to see more bomb-sniffing dogs, have your laptop or tablet checked by an agent and see new scanner equipment.

More About Tracking Your Luggage

July 15th, 2017 / blog / Comments Off on More About Tracking Your Luggage

Until “permanent” bag tags are available and universally recognized at all airports, there are a number of electronic devices available to minimize worry and keep track of your luggage while traveling.  This article may help you find the best solution for you: 10 Best Smart Luggage Trackers, courtesy of Anya Jones.

Take the Mystery Out of Tipping When Traveling Abroad

June 15th, 2017 / blog / Comments Off on Take the Mystery Out of Tipping When Traveling Abroad

Unsure of how much to tip for services such as porters, taxis, dining and guides while traveling in a foreign country? This article from Conde Nast Traveler is one of the most comprehensive summaries I have found and may help on your next journey: Your Guide to Tipping Around the World

Which US Trusted Traveler Program is Right for You?

May 15th, 2017 / blog / Comments Off on Which US Trusted Traveler Program is Right for You?

Have you been considering applying for a Trusted Traveler program but not sure which one is right for your type of travel, if any?  This helpful Homeland Security website summarizes and compares each of the programs for you.  Go to:  Trusted Traveler Programs

Awesome New Feature with Google Maps

March 15th, 2017 / blog / Comments Off on Awesome New Feature with Google Maps

Google Maps just introduced their new Lists Feature that lets you save places you would like to visit on maps for easy reference.  This could be as simple as organizing all the sushi restaurants or wine bars you want to try in your hometown or restaurants to consider while traveling.  This blog explains how simple it is:  Creating Lists with Google Maps

Checking Through a US Airport Faster

February 15th, 2017 / blog / Comments Off on Checking Through a US Airport Faster

Would you like to minimize your time transitioning through or checking in at a US airport?  A privately operated service called Clear is being expanded to four more major airport hubs in the US – Atlanta, LaGuardia, JFK & LAX.  This will considerably boost its existing service in 17 airports.  As opposed to TSA Pre-Check which expedites the security screening process at many US airports, Clear expedites your identity verification process.  Simply bypass the line and go to a kiosk for fingerprint or eye scan recognition, then go to the front of the line for security screening (or TSA Pre-Check line if you also have that service or Global Entry).  Clear comes with a hefty price tag, $179 per year so it may not be for everyone.  Check it out at:  Clear.

How Are Economy Class Fares Changing?

January 15th, 2017 / blog / Comments Off on How Are Economy Class Fares Changing?

In order to obtain the lowest possible airfare, you will likely have to give up on more conveniences. Starting this year, United Airlines is introducing Basic Economy Class that will lack advance seat assignment, put you at the end of the line for boarding and have stricter carry-on bag limits. If your main concern is just getting to your destination, then this may be the fare for you.

Electronic Luggage Tracking is Coming!

December 15th, 2016 / blog / Comments Off on Electronic Luggage Tracking is Coming!

Ever experience losing a bag while on vacation or traveling for business?  Soon to arrive is One Bag Tag, a “permanent” luggage tag recognized at all airports that will replace airline issued paper tags.  Etched in the barcode will be global tracking to avoid lost bags, a weighing scale and traveler information matched to your bag.  Sign up for launch updates at:  One Bag Tag

Elevate Your Cruise Experience

December 1st, 2016 / blog / Comments Off on Elevate Your Cruise Experience

Do you enjoy cruising the oceans, rivers or intimate canal waterways? Get the most out of your cruise vacation by considering these three essential elements:

    1. cruise, river cruise, BudapestExtend your vacation by adding on a land journey before and/or after your cruise. You likely will travel a great distance to begin your cruise, so why not make the most out of your investment of time and money by seeing more of the destination where you begin or end your cruise? Several options can be considered from an escorted group tour, private chauffeur-driven tour, self-drive exploration or city stay.Many cruise lines offer an escorted group tour or city stay but there are also many other sources that may be more affordable and offer much more flexibility.
    2. Private, customized shore excursions can add a more enriching experience to your cruise and allow you to focus on what is more meaningful to you instead of having to settle for what is designed for a group.Shore excursions are an additional cost by most cruise lines and are typically rather expensive as this comprises a large part of their revenue. A completely private experience for you and your fellow travelers will be more expensive than a group excursion offered by the cruise line, of course, but offers total flexibility and an opportunity to immerse yourself more in the destination. In addition, there are several companies who specialize in providing shore excursions in various parts of the world and do so more affordably and in smaller groups than most cruise lines.
    3. cruise, River cruise, couple,Upgrade your cabin if your budget allows for this as this can greatly impact your enjoyment of the cruise. A better location on the ship to minimize noise and motion, a larger cabin, having a balcony versus a window, or selecting a concierge or club level with added amenities, or butler service are all upgrades that may be well worth the additional expense.

Not sure what cruise is right for you, and what enhancements are available? Gateway Destinations specializes in premium and luxury cruises for individuals, families and groups to all worldwide destinations. As a member of the Signature Travel Network, we offer very competitive pricing and amenities on many cruises. Have your own group of travelers? We can help choose the right ship and itinerary, take care of all the details and secure added benefits for your group.

Is Premium Economy Seating Worth the Extra Cost?

November 15th, 2016 / blog / Comments Off on Is Premium Economy Seating Worth the Extra Cost?

Up until now, Premium Economy seating on US airlines (also known as Main Cabin Extra, Economy Plus, etc. depending on the airline) has offered very little more than a better location and sometimes extra legroom and has not even been available on international flights, but that is changing in 2017 with American Airlines. Their new 787-9 aircraft has a separate cabin for Premium Economy offering a 2-3-2 configuration with footrests, more legroom, free alcohol, better meals and noise-reducing headphones – very similar to what many international carriers have been offering for a while. They will begin this service with routes to Madrid and Sao Paolo but will be expanding it quickly. Delta Airlines is expected to follow suit. Pricing is not yet determined but is expected to be several hundred dollars more than Economy, and considerably less than Business Class.