Traveling 101
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TRAVEL EMERGENCY 3W’s! What do you do - Where do you go - Who do you contact?

Friday, 19 April 2013 02:07 by Admin

It is with an angry and broken heart that I am writing this- as I hear and read these horrific reports of Monday’s Boston Marathon Bombings along with the Baghdad Bombings that killed some and injured many. While I am beside myself as you may be too wondering what kind of evil is consuming our country/world today with these recent unsought massacres, rogue attacks and terrorizing bombings, I ask: “what would I do?”

In some of the news reports relating to Boston I kept hearing how people could not get a hold of loved ones to see if they were ok or vice versa via cellular networks. Others resorted to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, etc. to reach out. Able bodied locals were able to navigate there ways to safety, but what about the masses that were visitors? Reports of participants and supporters that had traveled afar to be part of the events were suddenly in a more vulnerable state than locals, they were not only devastated by what had just happened but completely lost and out of their surroundings. Luckily they were still in the U.S. what about those out of the country? What about being completely out of your element, out of your country, different laws, language barriers, foreign geographical locations and experiencing a “Travel Emergency”. This would prompt me to ask myself these TRAVEL EMERGENCY 3W’s after the initial what just happened?!

What do I do?

Where do I go?

Who do I contact?

In a Travel Emergency, what is the protocol? Are there centralized locations to go to for further instructions, an emergency number aside from 911, is this posted in plain site for visitors, or are they debriefed of such protocols upon arrival? It seems as though these unforeseen tragic circumstances are becoming more of a trend and at that I say, “we must mobilize to be prepared in the best way possible!”

My advice: Get to know your surroundings and there emergency protocols.

LOCALS: Contact your city/county and see what systems are in place and get connected and share this with your family and friends, establish a plan to get to safety and meet up in a designated area.

VISTORS: No matter where you’re traveling to if it’s out of your surroundings, get educated and be prepared! Research your destination, see if they have specific locations, numbers, etc. to go to in case of an emergency, plot and save those in your smart phone, device or notebook. Make sure to share this as well as your accommodations info. with a trusted source from your hometown that may be able to help others contact or track you in a case of emergency.

Examples of helpful systems in place- Upon doing some research I’ve found different ways that Govt., State, County and City entities have put systems in place just for this purpose. Most heavily rely on a landline, internet or satellite connection, but prove to be very effective. As a local to some of these I never even knew these existed so please check with your local community and GET PREPARED TODAY!

Govt. Emergency Website: Source for Travel Emergencies and Crises: Travel.State.Gov - A Service Bureau of Consular Affairs/U.S. Department of State http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html

City/County Websites- San Diego Emergency Websites: http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/ http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/oes/

SD Emergency App- Though this seems more directed towards natural disaster preparedness “the App can be customized to address any emergency situation, it’s an informational platform”- William Smith, County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services), some of the APP features that would help any extreme emergency are: • Maps • Get involved (where your help may be needed) • Shelter locations • Social Media • Latest News stream http://www.readysandiego.org/SDEmergencyApp/?nomobileredirect=true

As humans we have a “fear of the unknown”, while we may not be able to predict what can happen, we can harness that fear and have better control of it by being prepared to handle any situation in any surrounding. Unfortunately in our world today it seems as though “being prepared” is necessary and becoming a way of life. Instead of just earthquake and fire drills our children have terrorism drills and security with special ops training. I don’t know what is going so wrong with the world today, but I know we can’t live in fear, instead live in the state of mind “We won’t stand down!”

Best Travel Websites of 2012 – Airport Parking Connection

Thursday, 13 December 2012 03:31 by Admin

Here at Airport Parking Connection, we pride ourselves on being able to find you the best deals on airport parking across the country. We are also keeping a keen eye on the travel industry, constantly keeping tabs on the movers and the shakers in the business. As the end of the year approaches, we’ve compiled a list of the best travel websites of 2012. These are the companies that we feel are genuine in their business models and progressive in their means of delivering outstanding travel services.

Trip Advisor – Trip Advisor syncs with your Facebook page as soon as you enter to provide you with real time updates of all the travels and reviews that your friends have posted. Search for any city and find real reviews from real people for everything from the cheapest hotel deals to the best local hole in the wall eateries in town. 

http://www.tripadvisor.com

Lonely planet – Do you know that you want to travel, but don’t know where to go quite yet? The Lonely Planet is a great place to start your research. Seasonal blog posts, stories, and adventure ideas give you the best ways to travel depending on your budget and time frame.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com

Virtual Tourist – Get the best insights from the locals through by using Virtual Tourist. One the largest travel markets, New York City, has over 7,000 local members who live in the city providing almost 20,000 tips of the best food, lodging, and entertainment. 

http://www.virtualtourist.com

Pinterest – Yes, seriously. Forget what you heard about what, and who is supposed to go on Pinterest and take a look. This is one of the best sites for travel ideas. Why? The travel images posted aren’t sponsored and the community is absolutely massive. The users simply post their favorite travel locations and the cream rises to the top. Still not a believer? Head over to Pinterest, click the “Travel” category, and start browsing – you’ll have a Pinboard full of travel ideas before you know it!

http://www.pinterest.com

Air BNB – Young, single, and looking to meet new people? No, this isn’t a creepy dating site. Air BNB is a worldwide community of people willing to put your up in the guest room of their apartment or home, or rent the entire room or apartment to you for much cheaper than any hotel. We highly recommend this for any classic Euro-backpacking-trip you embark upon. With a community rating system that lets you know exactly what you’re getting into, it’s one of the best ways to travel cheap!

http://www.airbnb.com

Travel and Leisure – Professionally written, engaging, and frequently updated travel articles can be found on Travel and Leisure. A polished, aesthetically pleasing resource for travel ideas and destinations.

http://www.travelandleisure.com

Airfare Watchdog – Looking to fly at the drop of a deal? Head to Airfare Watchdog when you’re looking to fly cheap. This is an amazing site for spontaneous weekend endeavors. As of the moment of this blog posting, I could book a flight from San Diego to Portland for $40 round-trip! The site also allows you to set alerts for deals flying to locations of your choosing – a great money-saving resource.

http://www.airfarewatchdog.com

StumbleUpon – Stumble is still a great choice for finding interesting articles and photographs, regardless of the topic. Link with your social media pages to save your favorite stumblings. If you want to dodge the agendas of the major travel sites, head over to StumbleUpon for the best of the web, wherever it may be. You’ll never know what will come up next!

http://www.stumbleupon.com

TravelPod – With 64,439 travel experiences shared on TravelPod this week alone, there is no arguing that this is a massive community of travel bloggers. Browse by location or author to read the best adventures and how to plan for your own travels. After you trip is over, blog your own experience and share it on the site!

http://www.travelpod.com

Yapta – Always wondering what the best day to book your flight is? Worried that the difference in booking on a certain day could potentially be hundreds of dollars? Yapta’s M.O. is to save you money by tracking changing flight prices before and after you buy your airline tickets. After you book, simply enter your information into the Yapta system and they will send you alerts with price changes so you can fly for less, even if you book for more.

http://www.yapta.com

LAX Airport Parkers to Get a Major Christmas Deal with Premier Parking USA on Airport Parking Connection

Monday, 3 December 2012 04:13 by Mandy
Airport Parking Connection has partnered with a brand new facility opening at LAX on December 15th, 2012, Premier Parking USA.
 
"Premier Parking USA at LAX announce their Grand Opening to the public on December 15th, 2012,” says Mandy Fitzberger, Online Marketing Manager for Airport Parking Connection. “With the lowest daily rate and just in time for the Holidays, customers can find the best deal and reduce the hassle of searching for LAX parking with Premier Parking USA and Airport Parking Connection .”
 
Airport Parking Connection provides service connecting the local communities to fifty-three airport parking regions across the U.S. Airport Parking Connection is committed to providing the best parking rates available for off-airport parking options nationwide. For more information, visit Airport Parking Connection or press inquiries email support(at)airportparkingconnection(dot)com.
 
About Premier Parking USA: Premier Parking’s mission is to save you money while connecting you to a network of friendly and efficient parking facilities nationwide. Locations under Premier Parking’s management continue to offer customers the best parking value available in the market with most facilities offering a fast and free shuttle service.

Overweight Traveler Procedures to Blame for Death?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 02:35 by Admin

The travel section of NBC News recently covered a story of a 425-pound woman who, while attempting to return from an overseas trip, was turned away by three different airlines and kept from returning to the United States. Vilma Soltesz, unable to receive proper treatments for her weight condition, died overseas, resulting in legal action from Soltesz’s husband and family. Amidst statements being spun by airline representatives, questions are being asked of overweight traveler procedures and which responsibilities fall on the traveler and which fall on the airline.

Before I go any further with the discussion, I feel that it is important to state that this is a tragedy that could have been avoided. The loss of a human life was completely unnecessary in this situation, and that it is now our responsibility to question procedures in an appropriate manner to make sure situations like this can be handled rationally and in line with the safety of all parties involved.

Vilma Soltesz’s death was tragic and avoidable, raising the discussion of how it could have been avoided, who is responsible for accommodating who, and how things should change moving forward. There are a number of questions that need to be addressed to come to a reasonable and fair solution to the issue of accommodating overweight passengers:

At what point does personal responsibility take precedent over the responsibility of the airline carrier to accommodate an overweight passenger? The article discusses how the flights would not take Vilma because they did not have seatbelt extenders large enough to fasten around her. Is it Vilma’s responsibility to make sure she is physically capable of travel, or should airlines, as a whole, carry extenders that can accommodate any person of any size? At what weight or size do you draw the line?

Vilma took the initiative of booking two seats next to each other from her departure flight out of New York and landed overseas in Budapest without a hitch. Why are some airplanes equipped with appropriate means to accommodate a passenger her size and others are not?

The family’s attorney, Holly Ostrov Ronai, is suing the three different airlines for 6 million dollars on the grounds that they violated the Air Carrier Access Act by not providing the proper accommodations, ultimately leading to her death.

DOT Spokesman, Bill Mosely, counters by explaining that every airline has a right to deny a passenger service if they deem that it endangers the safety of the other passengers and thus, the flight.

Both sides have completely legitimate and viable stances and it will be interesting to see how the case is resolved. The issue seems to be in the grey area that exists in the policies for providing travel services for overweight passengers. Apparently, some airlines are more lenient with the size of the person flying on their plane, while others have stricter standards. While numeric and steadfast standards could possibly be seen as a solution (example: you must be under [this weight] to fly), airlines would suffer backlash from customers feeling as though their freedom of lifestyle is coming under attack, continuing the trend of hypersensitivity towards obese passengers (or “customers of size”, as some say).

All of the public relations spinning and framing does not detract from the fact that someone lost their life because of the lack of set standards that exist for these situations. How do you think this should have been handled? Are airlines responsible for accommodating any sized passenger, or should travelers be held to a set of standards before being allowed to travel? Is there another solution?

One thing is certain, something needs to change.

You can read the original story here: http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/obese-flier-turned-away-airlines-dies-overseas-1C7277987

Saving and Budgeting for Your Next Vacation

Tuesday, 2 October 2012 02:01 by Mandy

Many families today are on a tight budget, and they might believe that the idea of a vacation is out the window. It doesn’t have to be that way. What you might want to do if you do not have as much money for your vacations is find ways that you can budget and save leading up to the vacation so it isn’t such a financial burden all at once. The following are some tips that might be able to help some families get to the point where they can still take their vacation when the time comes.

Cull the Number of Vacations

How often do you and the family take vacations each year, and how long are those vacations? Some families will take two to three vacations a year. Others will go on one long holiday for two to three weeks. It might not be practical to do this for people who are on a budget. You have to be able to get back to work, and you have to make sure that you will have enough money to pay for the vacation. Instead of taking an extra long vacation or taking several vacations a year, you may want to take just a single vacation. Doing this will still let you have the time you need to relax, unwind, and enjoy your family, but it should not break the bank.

Save Each Week

One of the mistakes that many families make and that they pay for throughout the year is that they simply put their entire vacation on their credit cards. Even if you have a low interest rate, you are still going to be paying interest on your vacation. This means that in reality, the vacation is costing more than you thought it would, and you are probably going to be paying on it all the way until your next vacation when you can just add more debt to your credit card.

Something that you might want to do instead is offset the amount that you are spending on credit by using cash for some of your vacation needs. For example, if you put away just $20 per week, and your significant other did the same, you would have $160 per week saved or $1920 per year if taking an annual vacation. This means that you could put that money that you save toward your vacation and pay for things such as the airfare, the hotel, or the meals. That’s with just $20 per week! If you saved a bit more and cut back on some of the things that you really do not need, then you could probably pay for just about your entire vacation.

Think Practically

When you are planning your vacation, think practically. You can save some money by finding places to stay that have their own kitchens. Eat some of your meals at the hotel or in the cottage so that you do not have to spend money eating out. Little things like this can make a vacation far more affordable.