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Monday, November 10, 2014

Holiday Travel Tips

Need holiday travel tips? Here's a link to my November 14 appearance on Let's Talk Live. Below is a recap of the discussion.

1. Book your flights early in the day. Morning flights are less prone to delays. Furthermore, if you do get stranded, you have a day filled with alternative options ahead.

2. Fly in and out of secondary airports. BWI is likely going to be less crowded than Dulles; Midway an easier go than O'Hare. Fewer crowds during the holidays often equal fewer hassles.

3. Book non-stop flights, even if they cost a little more. With the potential for delays, cancellations and lost bags at a premium during the holidays, it's best to go for the most hassle-free options.

4. Avoid luggage fees by booking flights with an airline-branded credit card that offers one free checked bag for everyone on the reservation.

5. Speaking of checked bags, don't follow a one-person-packs-one-bag rule. Distribute everyone's stuff among the checked bags. That way, if one suitcase gets lost, everyone still has clothing.

6. Obvious Wisdom: Check all essentials in your carry-on. That includes chargers, cell phone, medicine, basic toiletries, and a change of clothing.

7. Obvious Wisdom 2: Don't travel on peak holiday travel days. Since Christmas and New Year's Day are on weekdays this year, it may be a bit easier to find decent "off-peak" flights. For example, if you choose not to fly out Christmas Day (which is perhaps the best day to travel), heading out on the Friday or Saturday after the holiday is likely to be better than on the Sunday.

8. To get alerts on low fares, check out www.airfarewatchdog.com..

9.  Keep a handle on the weather where you are, where you are going, and everywhere in between by checking www.weather.com. Travel insurance may help if you encounter weather delays along the way. In addition to covering additional costs like hotel overnights or meals, many travel insurance companies will also assist in re-booking you should a flight be cancelled. Before signing up, though, always read the fine print to know exactly what you are purchasing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Choosing A Private School for Your Child

When is a travel journalist not a travel journalist? When she is commissioned to write a piece about private schools for The Washington Post Magazine. I wrote the lead story in the section below. Parents, I would love to get your feedback. Enjoy.

PrivateSchools 11.02.14