Ins and Outs of Travel

March 09, 2016

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People love to give travel tips and we love to read them. But I often find many of them unworkable. For example, I just received a leaflet from Conde Nast Traveler with the headline, Top Five Secrets To Savvy Travel.

TIP #1 – FLY ON A TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY OR SATURDAY The copy reads “Traveling on off-peak days – and off-peak times – means lower fares, a less crowded cabin, and a greater chance of snagging those elusive mileage-award seats. Taking two days off for a long weekend? Instead of a Thursday to Sunday OR a Friday to Monday trip, you can save by flying on a Saturday and returning on a Tuesday”.

NO Most of us have jobs and spouses, or children in school, or friends that we travel with on a trip. Making everyone’s school/work/vacation schedules sync can be tricky at best. This just adds another wrinkle.

TIP #2 – HOP BETWEEN CITIES AT MIDDAY The copy reads “When you’re traveling through Europe or Asia and need to get from one city to another consider scheduling transportation for the middle of the day. If you leave at dawn, you miss the sunrise – ideal for photography – and reach your destination at midday, when the light is at its worst for photography shoots”.

NO This tip seems to be for shutterbugs – only. Most people who travel from city to city like to leave early so that they can get to where they are going. Their concerns are: (1) will the plane leave on time, (2) how far is the hotel from the airport, and, (3) will the hotel live up to its billing.

TIP #3 – VISIT ISLANDS DURING THE SHOULDER SEASON “Peak season rates on islands often reflect nearby countries’ vacation periods rather than the best time to visit (Bali’s hotels, for example, fill up with Australians in January). In low season, many businesses shut down. Shoulder season, when crowds are thinner, but the weather is still good, is the solution”.

NO Frankly, I like the high season when the level of service is high and everything is up and running. I’ve come to this conclusion, after traveling for years – from mid-December to after New Years – to the Caribbean and Hawaii. For both of these spots, avoiding the hurricane season is the #1 consideration.

Vibrant Curacao with its eye-popping colors

TIP #4 – FIND THE HIDDEN DEALS “Sign up for e-mail notifications because the best airfare and hotel sales are largely unannounced. Airlines and hotel companies target specific subsets of travelers, namely: loyalty program members, holders of certain credit cards – and alert them by email. If you can make fast buying decisions, sign up for alerts from flash-sale sites that sell hotel rooms at a discount of 40% or more, for example, Jetsetter and Tablet Hotels.

NO Make fast buying decisions are the key words here. Who lives this way – other than retirees? Most of us have jobs/activities that have to be factored into our plans. Both of these websites (see above) have terrific photos. But, beware, this usually doesn’t tell the whole story.

TIPS #5 – FIND THE RIGHT HUMAN BEINGS “Get the best room for your dollar. For top-end hotels that have a reservation desk, ask for the manager, then give him your travel dates, and ask when the hotel is emptiest and thus has the lowest rates. Then ask, “If I come on that date, would there be a chance of an upgrade to an ocean view?”

NO To me, this comes across as excessively cheap and penny-pinching. Sorry, I have nothing further to say.

MAY WE SUGGEST…

We’re kicking off the spring (Easter Sunday is March 27th) and summer (Memorial Day is Monday, May 30th) travel season so it’s time to review your travel wardrobe. ADEA can help you fill in the gaps with must-have layering tops and easy-to-pack lingerie.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick



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