Traveling 101
Travel Tips, Deals, News, Discounts

Essential Travel Items for Flying Abroad

Thursday, 8 March 2012 05:08 by Mandy

Packing for international air travel usually means bringing only the essential items in order to save room, limit the number of items that can be lost or stolen, and to travel lightly simply because it’s easier. A lot of what you’ll pack depends on the climate you’re traveling to and the activities you’ll be doing there. A raincoat may be an essential item in one destination and a waste of space in another. A good rule to follow is to pack only the essentials that you don’t want to have to purchase once you’re there.


What not to Bring: This can be almost as important as the essential items to carry. Don’t travel abroad with any item that will either draw attention to you or be irreplaceable if you lose it, including your wedding bands and engagement rings. Expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, and extravagant clothing are all good examples. You should never travel with your social security card, birth certificate, or any other irreplaceable paperwork.


Passport: This item may seem pretty obvious, and you won’t get very far without it, but many travelers carry a photocopy of their passport and extra passport photos in a safe place apart from the passport in case it’s stolen. Having these items, including proof of your identity and lawful entrance into the country you’re in can save you a lot of headaches when getting a stolen passport replaced outside the country in which it was issued.


Travel Insurance: Travel insurance can be purchased on a trip-by-trip basis or as a multiple trip package for those who travel frequently. Its purpose is to protect the traveler against losses incurred by any number of unforeseen circumstances that could happen when outside one’s home region, including medical expenses, accidents, emergencies, theft of personal property, and even cancellation of a trip in which money has already been invested. Travel insurance does not cover things like auto insurance for one’s rental car. 


Traveler’s Checks: Traveler’s checks seem old fashioned in a world where everything seems to be instant and electronic, but they’re actually still the safest, most secure way to protect yourself against the dangers of traveling with cash. You can exchange the checks for cash currency in another country for use at places that don’t accept them, without ever having to carry large amounts of cash on your person. While traveler’s checks can be stolen just like anything else, they’re hard to use without a matching ID and can be voided before use if you copy and save the serial numbers on each check first.


Prescriptions: This is an item to be double and triple checked because they’ll be very difficult to fill once you leave the country. Patients on extended trips who foresee needing prescription refills abroad may be able to make arrangements through their doctor ahead of time to travel with extra supplies or fill a prescription in another country.


Device Chargers: Your phone, camera, computer, iPod, and anything else you charge on a daily basis will need to be charged while traveling, too. Limiting the number of devices you’re bringing can help a lot. For example, a smartphone with a camera, MP3 player, and Internet access can turn four or more devices into one. Just make sure you bring an extra charger for that one device in case you lose the first.


Calling Card: International roaming charges can be very steep, so many travelers opt out of mobile phone service altogether when traveling abroad, even if they carry their phones for other purposes. While your phone’s service provider can offer you an international calling plan on extended trips, many travelers limit phone time by carrying a good old fashioned calling card for emergencies and keeping in touch with loved ones.


Corrective Lenses: Much like oral and topical prescriptions from a pharmacy, you won’t be able to get new prescription lenses in another country without a big cost to you and an even bigger hassle. If you wear contacts, bring one or more extra pairs in addition to your backup glasses. If you wear glasses exclusively, get a second pair with cheaper frames to have on hand as a backup.


Swimsuit: While you can buy a swimsuit almost anywhere, finding one that looks and fits perfectly is next to impossible, so pack an extra if you have it. It’s the one thing people always seem to forget!


Most importantly, bring your thirst for adventure, appreciation of other cultures, and a positive attitude. Bon voyage! 

Going Against the Grain with Ontario International

Thursday, 8 March 2012 00:32 by Mandy

For those living in the greater Los Angeles area I’m sure that the first airport that comes to mind when planning your next trip is LAX, the problem with this is that everyone in the greater Los Angeles area thinks this way and it shows when you arrive to the lengthy security and baggage check-in lines. It’s situations like this that make alternative airports such as Ontario International a diamond in the rough, whether for business or for pleasure Ontario services direct flights to some of the nation’s top cities.

Like LAX, Ontario Int. offers flights 24 hours a day all throughout the week allowing you more freedom than usual when planning your departure and arrival times which is perfect considering that both of Airport Parking Connection's partners:Sunrise Airport Parking and the Park and Fly Hilton Ontario offer 24/7 complimentary shuttle services to and from the airport creating even more traveling convenience. With the quick turnaround times on baggage claim, short security lines and a variety of food/beverage venues to choose from Ontario airport is a nice calm alternative to the busy norm of LAX.

So next time you need to travel out of the Los Angeles area whether for pleasure or a short business trip don’t forget the Ontario diamond in the rough along with Airport Parking Connection's partners who will allow you to avoid the hassle of finding someone to drop you off and pick you up from the airport.

Best Airport Ideas for Traveling with Kids

Monday, 5 March 2012 02:03 by Mandy

While taking your children on vacation can be one of the best experiences of their lives (and yours) navigating the airport can be a stress inducing activity that may leave you feeling exhausted and spent. If you are traveling somewhere with one or more kids, use some of these ideas to help your trip go smoother than you ever thought possible. Here are some ideas for what you can bring when flying out of Denver International Airport or Detroit International Airport.

  • Bring games or other activities to keep the kids occupied.

With longer wait times at the airport than ever before, you need to make sure that you are keeping your children occupied or they will drive you (and everyone else) nuts. Bring as many coloring books, handheld electronic games, dolls and toys that you need to make sure that they are happy and their attention is occupied for those long waits.

  • Don’t forget the snacks.

A hungry kid is not a happy one and this can lead to whining and crying that can really make the airport experience unpleasant. Bring some crackers or cookies along with you, as well as some cut up veggies so that your kids have something to snack on while you wait. This also saves you cash, which is very important when traveling with kids.

  • Get there early.

Anyone with kids knows that doing anything with them can take double as much time as it should. Kids do not always understand that they need to have a sense of urgency, especially at the airport when you are running late for your flight. If you are traveling with children, ensure that you are leaving for the airport much earlier than you need to. Having plenty of time will help to cut down on your stress level and you will not have to hurry your children along as much.

  • Be organized.

Make sure to have all of your tickets and identification cards in order and ready to go when you need them. You can bring a small pocketbook that is just for holding IDs and other pertinent flight information and then put it in a prominent spot in your purse or carry-on bag. Having everything in one place will also help you get through the airport much easier, as you will not have to dig through all of your things every time someone needs to see yours or your children’s IDs.

  • Travel with Another Adult

If possible, travel with another adult so that you can keep better track of luggage and kids. Assign one adult to luggage duty while the other handles kids, which can significantly help to make security checks and getting through the airport much smoother. If your child is able to walk, they can go through metal detectors on their own. If not, you need to carry your child through, so be prepared for this.

Flying with kids does not have to be the nightmare experience that many parents say it is. All you have to do is plan your timing carefully, bring plenty of activities for kids, and get to the airport early.  If you are looking to make the airport experience even less stressful, try reserving your denver airport parking or detroit airport parking online with Airport Parking Connection, Canopy Airport Parking, and Valet Connections.  

The Hottest Events to Travel to in 2012 and Beyond

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 01:15 by Mandy

Every year, there are must travel to events that are exciting and out of the ordinary. 2012 is no exception, as there are thousands of unique and fun-filled events to check out all over the world. Here are some of the hottest 2012 events you may have already checked out and some that are coming up!

  • Mardi Gras -- New Orleans, LA

Of course, Mardi Gras is held every single year, but this year is as important as ever. The gulf coast is getting back into the swing of things, and the city of New Orleans is finally back on its feet after the devastating hurricane more than 7 years ago. More people than ever are heading to this wild carnival of fun, so why not check it out this year? The party runs from February 4th to the 21st.

  • Launch of the Titanic Belfast – Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Take a trip to Ireland at the end of March for the grand opening of a new shipyard museum celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. View never before seen artifacts from the ship and enjoy being a part of history.

  • 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, CA

Come enjoy the 75th anniversary of this iconic bridge in San Francisco over Memorial Day weekend. The annual Golden Gate festival will be bigger than ever as locals and tourists alike eat, drink and dance in celebration of this large and beautiful industrial work of art.  

  • The Diamond Jubilee – London, England

This huge celebration is in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years of leadership. There will be 1,000 boats in a pageant on the Thames River to commemorate the queen’s rein, as well as festivals, food, drink and music. This will take place the first week of June.

  • The Summer Olympics – London, England

London has another huge event this summer, this one on a national scale. The 2012 London Summer Olympics kick off on July 27 and last until August 12. More than 10,000 athletes from all over the world will compete on the world’s stage and hundreds of thousands of spectators will fill the city to see the events.

  • GrapeFest – Grapevine, Texas

This massive celebration of all things wine and champagne kicks off in mid-September in Texas. The largest champagne cork shoot-off ever will take place, as will a healthy amount of wine drinking and fun.

  • 2013 New Year’s Eve – New York City, New York

One of the largest parties in the world takes place in New York City every year on New Year’s Eve. People often book their hotel rooms, flights, and JFK, EWR, and LGA airport parking a year or more in advance, so if you are looking to join the party, book now!

For all of the above events, especially the London Olympics, it is wise to make your travel plans as soon as possible. Waiting too long can mean missing out on getting a hotel room or flight, so book early to get your spot and to save money. Prices will rise as the events get closer especially with the rising cost of flights, baggage fees, and parking.  Try reserving your airport parking online at Airport Parking Connection in advance to find great deals at your favorite airports, LAX, ATL, DIA, MDW, and ORD.

Dining on Vacation: How to Eat Well on a Budget While Traveling

Monday, 27 February 2012 02:45 by Mandy

When you are making your travel plans and mapping out your budget, there are a number of areas where you can cut corners to save cash. You can opt for less expensive hotels and smaller rooms to save money and you can choose cheaper flights reserve your airport parking online with discounts. You can also decide not to do any expensive shopping. One aspect of travel that you cannot simply cut out of your budget is eating. Food can be one of the biggest expenses when you are traveling, but if you follow some of these tips you can slash your food budget in half without starving.

Research Restaurants Beforehand

One of the best things that you can do is to hop online before you leave for your vacation and check out restaurants in the area where you will be vacationing. If you are staying in a popular tourist spot, look for restaurants that are off the beaten path. Some sites allow you to filter by price range, so that you can see how much you will pay per meal. This goes a long way in helping you to select which dining establishments are worth your time and which should be completely ignored.

Choose a Hotel with Free Breakfast

Often, the more expensive hotels do not have a free continental breakfast, while the affordable ones do such as the Renaissance Arlington Capital View or the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel around the DCA National Airport for example. This is great, as you can not only save money on your room, but you can get all of your morning meals for free. If the hotel that has the best price for you does not have free breakfast, do not pay the high fees that many hotels charge for food. Instead head outside and find a café or small coffee shop that carries breakfast foods.

Make Lunch Your Splurge Meal

If there is a restaurant that you are dying to try that is not exactly budget friendly, go there for lunch instead of dinner. Lunch portions are often smaller, but have better prices. This way, you can try fancier places without shelling out as much cash.

Drink Water

Fancy cocktails, beer, wine and soda can all cost you a lot of extra money when you are dining out. Tourist areas often charge extremely high prices for these drinks and many restaurants do not even give you free refills on soda. Stick to water when you are traveling and you can save a lot of money. Water is also healthier for you, which is a great bonus!

Purchase Snacks at Grocery Stores

Instead of buying snacks from expensive cafés, purchase munchies and other things that you can keep in your hotel room at a local grocery store. Then, you will have the in-between meal food items that you need without having to break your entire food budget. Purchase bottled water, sodas and juices as well at the local grocery store, so that you can stay hydrated without having to buy these beverages at triple their usual price in the restaurants.

You really can save money on dining when traveling, as long as you make wise decisions and plan ahead!