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Travel Tips

How to avoid the dreaded middle seat:

  • Book your flight early and choose your seat then.
  • Book online where you can see the available seats and choose the most desirable one.
  • If you are a member of a frequent flyer program, mention it at the desk.
  • If you are traveling with a small child, make sure it is known.
  • Don't forget to mention if you are a shareholder in the airline.
  • Ask to be placed on a list for a better seat when you arrive at the airport.
  • Ask if there are any upgrades available.
  • When you arrive at the gate, ask the attendant if there is someone with an aisle seat who would like to switch. There may be two people traveling together who ended up on separate rows and would be willing to switch.
  • Oftentimes there is a window or aisle seat in a less desirable section of the plane, especially near the rear of the plane near the restroom and the food preparation area. Ask the gate attendant if there is someone who would like to move forward.

Cancelled Flights

At the first mention of a canceled flight, get in line for the ticket agent. While you are in line, call the airline and see if you can make the changes over the phone. This will help you get your seat on the next available flight before they are all taken by the people ahead of you in line. If you are a member of a frequent flyer plan, make sure you mention it to the ticket agent on the phone or at the airport.

Check in to your hotel early

Do you have an early flight and don't want to spend hours in a hotel lobby? Try these methods to get an early check-in.

  • When you book your hotel, ask if early check-in can be guaranteed. If not, ask if it can be requested and noted on the reservation.
  • If you book your hotel online, look for a place to request early check-in. If there is no specific early check-in request box, look for a special requests blank.
  • The day before you are scheduled to arrive, call the hotel's front desk and check on your request for early check-in.
  • Once you board the plane, you usually have 15-20 minutes where you can still make a phone call. Call the hotel again and check on your request for early check-in. If you are told you can check in early, ask for the person's name and ask if he or she will still be on duty at your approximate arrival time.

How do you locate an airport?

Locating an airport can be a tricky business. Try some of these sites for help.

  • AirNav.com - Search for airports by cities, even the small ones. Use advanced search to get nearby airports limited by distance.

Make Notes

As you travel, make notes about the trip. I jot down notes in my Pocket PC about the following:

  • Plane type - Did I like a particular seat on a particular jet? For example, I like a 757 over an S-80. Was there a particular row that was more comfortable? Did my computer bag fit well under the seat? Was engine noise a problem?
  • Hotel room - Make a note of the hotel and room number if you really liked or disliked the accommodations. For example, does the room have high-speed internet access? did you like the TV? Did the room face a noisy street? Did the climate control work as desired? Does the room face west and have cooling issues? Are there sufficient electrical outlets? Was there an iron/ironing board? Was the room close to the elevator or at the end of the hall?

The Best Time of the Year to Visit Disney World

How do you find out what the best times of the year are to visit Disney World? Research it on the web. The Travel Forums at FrappyDoo offer some insight.

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