First trip on a private jet? Here’s what you need to know

You know, this option doesn’t sound half bad–no security and searches, eating what I want, driving up to the plane to unload baggage, no waiting in long lines. I figure, if the cost is anywhere near what it costs in time and money to fly commercial, I’ll be hiring myself a private pilot!

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With more first-time private plane fliers heading into the skies, it’s important for travelers to know what to expect — and how to behave — on a private plane.

Source: First trip on a private jet? Here’s what you need to know

7 Surprising Things You Can Get for Free at Tourism Boards – SmarterTravel.com

When we travel, we almost always make a stop at the tourism bureau. Be sure to consider not only the city’s bureau, but also check out state and regional (think NAPA Valley or Big Bend in South Texas) bureaus.

We’ve scored great maps, discounts, really unique souvenirs, and suggestions we would have never gotten elsewhere.

Finally, I can usually satiate my compulsive postcard collecting habit.

The article below has some great suggestions

Source: 7 Surprising Things You Can Get for Free at Tourism Boards – SmarterTravel.com

A Guide to Air-Passenger Rights in the U.S. and Europe – SmarterTravel.com

Have you ever had something go wrong while traveling by air? If you haven’t yet, you will. The whole industry has gotten so complex that the pieces and parts are bound to collide at some point.

So you wait in an endless line or on hold for what seems like hours only to be told, “I’m sorry; there’s nothing we can do to help you.”

But wait! There just may be. You’d be surprised how many airline ticket counter reps or phone customer service reps don’t know their own carrier’s policies.

This actually happened to me: The counter rep told me there was nothing she could do to help me when a flight got cancelled due to severe weather. The weather at my departure location, College Station, TX, was fine; the weather at my destination, San Diego, CA, was fine. But the weather in Houston where my plane was coming from wasn’t fine. The plane couldn’t get from Houston to College Station early enough to get me to San Diego that day. I was going to miss a full day of a conference I had paid dearly for.

I asked about getting on another of the airline’s planes and taking a more circuitous route, or switching to another airline. The rep said, “No, they could not do that.” While waiting in line with nothing to do, I had been reading the airline’s policy on my exact situation. The policy, in fact, said they were obligated to do one or the other–or a combination of both.

I told the rep and showed her what I found on the airline’s web site. She called her supervisor and with heads together and much tapping on the computer keyboard, they agreed I was right and helped me find a solution. Granted, I got a complete tour of the Western U.S. that day and into that evening, but I was able to attend the opening of the conference the next day.

It pays to know your rights and where to go to find them.

Read this for more info:

A Guide to Air-Passenger Rights in the U.S. and Europe – SmarterTravel.com

The 14 Places in America You Have to Visit in 2016 – SmarterTravel.com

The year ahead will be one of technological innovations and historical significance in many American destinations. Here are the places across the U.S. to keep on your travel radar in 2016.

Source: The 14 Places in America You Have to Visit in 2016 – SmarterTravel.com

US National Parks Service Celebrates 100 Years

I am very well travelled across the U.S, so I was surprised when I visited the US National Parks Service’s website, “Find Your Park,” and discovered that I haven’t visited ANY of the national parks in my home state of Texas.

So, along with my New Year’s resolution to declutter and organise one room of my house every week next year until my house is perfection, I am resolving to visit all the national parks in Texas.

I plan to start with the Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park; I’ll get a history lesson as well. The park is so near to Austin that I think I’ll add on extra days and visit friends and great restaurants while I’m there. This should be great fun!

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A park can be a place, a passion or a state of mind. People all around America are finding their park every day. So get up. Get out there. Find your park. It might be closer than you think.

Source: Find Your Park

9 Rude Behaviors You Can Totally Get Away with Abroad – SmarterTravel.com

It’s all in how you look at things. We are all egocentric, the world over. What we consider rude, people from other countries wouldn’t even notice. So when traveling, especially to foreign countries, “do as the Romans do,” or at least, be considerate of the culture.

And try being considerate of visitors to our country. They won’t be totally familiar with our customs.

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Some of the behaviors we consider the height of rudeness in North America are surprisingly acceptable in other countries.

Source: 9 Rude Behaviors You Can Totally Get Away with Abroad – SmarterTravel.com