Flight Delay Insurance Offered by Credit Cards

Award Wallet LogoAward Wallet has a blog post listing credit cards that offer trip-delay insurance, and the details for each one. In general, the best insurance is offered by the credit cards with the highest annual fees.

For example, four cards with $450 annual fee (Citi Prestige, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ritz-Carlton Rewards) will pay out up to $500 for delays as little as 3 or 6 hours.

All the other cards listed (with exception of Barclay Arrival Plus) require that your delay be at least 12 hours.

Which Credit Cards Have the Best Flight Delay Insurance?

Sub-$300 Round-Trip Flights to Hawaii Still Available

Hawaii Kohala Ditch Adventures
Hawaii Kohala Ditch Adventures

Aloha! There are still some great deals for flights to the different islands of Hawai’i. The Points Guy has a blog post about some $293 round-trip airfares from Albuquerque and Denver, both of which you can reach inexpensively on Southwest.

Airlines offering these fares include Alaska, American, Hawaiian and United. If you can wait a year, Southwest should be in the mix also.

Search Google Flights for your particular date pair(s) to see the low prices available now. Aloha.

7+ Ways to Find a Free Tour Guide When You Travel

Solo Travel SocietySolo Traveler World occasionally re-runs this informative post describing no- or low-cost ways to get a tour of a city when you travel.

One of the sources listed is Global Greeters. This is a network of individuals in 25+ locations around the world who will show you their city free of charge.

Another idea is the “free walking tours” that you can find online. Note, however, that the guides on these tours are charged (by the website owner) for every person who shows up for a tour…therefore, you should tip your guide generously so they don’t actually lose money.

While the blog post lists 7 sources of free guided tours, one of the commenters adds an eighth source…couchsurfing.

Yes, There Are Still Places With Free Parking on the Las Vegas “Strip”

Las VegasBack in the day, not long ago, parking at casinos along The Strip in Las Vegas was free. Nowadays that free parking is becoming a thing of the past, as budget buffets did.

But, there are still a few opportunities for free self-park on The Strip, and even free valet parking. MommyPoints has listed six, and a commentor added a seventh. Here is the list, generally from north to south:

  • SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
  • Hilton Grand Vacation
  • Fashion Show Mall
  • Palazzo and Venetian
  • Treasure Island
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Tropicana

Check the MommyPoints blog for details.

Record-Breaking Week for Firearms in Carry-On Luggage

Pistol in Purse X-RayAs reported on Travel Weekly, a new record has been set by passengers caught trying to take firearms through security at U.S. airports. In the week cited, 104 guns were found by TSA agents at checkpoints, breaking the old record of 97. Of the 104 guns found, 80 were loaded.

In all of 2017, the TSA found 3,391 firearms in carry-on baggage.

Many, probably most, of the firearms were carried by properly-licensed individuals. It’s likely that most were brought to the airport accidentally, with no sinister motives.

On Jan. 6, 2017, a passenger legally checked his 9mm handgun onto a flight headed for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Upon landing, upon retrieving his luggage he loaded the gun and shot 11 people at baggage claim, killing five of them.

Falling For the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon PostcardEd Pizzarello is a travel blogger, one of the best, with a young family. His blog is named “Pizza in Motion.”

Recently Ed and his family visited the Grand Canyon National Park, and he has been publishing a detailed series of posts about their visit.

Ed chose to take the 2-hour train ride from Williams, Arizona, to the Grand Canyon. He recounted that trip, with photos and prices of all the options, in this post.

Yesterday he posted about his 5-hour visit to the South Rim. You can read that here.

Coming soon are posts about where they went after leaving the park.

Seven Classic Travel Scams to Avoid

Sign in Quito, Ecuador
Sign in Quito, Ecuador

When you are traveling you are in unfamiliar locations and situations, surrounded by people you do not know, and often in a hurry. That is part of what makes these classic scams so effective.

The author of this blog post has given them names:

  • You dropped your wallet
  • Say cheese
  • Do unto others
  • It’s in the bag
  • Friendship bracelets
  • The hotel welcome
  • Taxi turmoil

http://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Seven-Classic-Travel-Scams-That-Can-Be-Avoided

There are other scams, of course, and if you travel you will encounter them at some point. I’ve been very lucky so far in avoiding loss, but am aware that could change at any time while traveling.

My best advice is to make a photocopy of the information page of your passport, keep a spare credit card and some cash somewhere other than your purse or wallet, and (men) keep your wallet somewhere other than your back pocket.

Google Flights Getting Even Better

Google LogoMuch to the (probable) dismay of online travel agencies like Hipmunk and Expedia, Google has a feature called Google Flights that shows airline schedules and prices in an easy-to-use format.

Recently, Google Flights has been gaining additional capabilities that make it even more useful to travelers. For example, the site gives an idea of how much legroom a flight has by showing “seat pitch”, like 28″ or 31″ (larger numbers are better). You can also see if a flight offers wi-fi, if seats have power ports, and if there are extra fees for things like seat selection and overhead-bin usage.

Recent additions include price tracking and suggestions for the best days to purchase a ticket (based upon historical price trends).

Note that Google Flights does not show the schedules for every carrier, Southwest Airlines being a notable example.

 

Another Worry for Children: Will Santa Find Them on Christmas Eve if They Are Away from Home?

HomeAway BuildingHomeAway® is an Austin-based leader in vacation rentals. HomeAway’s corporate headquarters at 5th and Lamar features a human-size birdhouse visible from the street outside. Right now, during the holiday season, the birdhouse is festooned with typical Christmas decorations.

My family frequently uses VRBO.com for lodging in larger cities. HomeAway owns VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner). Airbnb and Booking.com are HomeAway’s largest competitors.

HomeAway analyzed data from popular metro destinations and saw growth in suburban stays during the holiday. Cities that experienced an increase in suburban demand include New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

“This data suggests that holiday travelers are straying away from the city experience and choosing the suburbs to be closer to family, without having to cram everyone into Grandma’s house,” said Melanie Fish, family travel expert at HomeAway.

HomeAway found that the top ten U.S. destinations for holiday travelers are:

o Four Corners, Fla.
o Breckenridge, Colo.
o Park City, Utah
o Kihei, Hawaii
o Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
o San Diego
o Lake Tahoe, Calif.
o Cape Coral, Fla.
o Honolulu
o New York

Family matters to travelers. 95 percent of parents agree it’s important to be with family at Christmas and seven out of ten kids surveyed said their ideal Christmas is spent with their family, according to the 2016 Kid Holiday Survey.

Here is the big worry among younger children traveling during the holidays to see family members: Nearly half (42 percent) of children surveyed fear that Santa won’t be able to find them on Christmas. To ease this concern, HomeAway has an interactive tool, RerouteSanta.com, that lets children communicate with the North Pole about where they will be on Christmas Eve.