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

Great Gift Ideas for Travelers

Of all the travel gadgets articles I’ve read, this one has got the very best I’ve seen. These are unique gadgets that promise to be very useful.

Many of these would make great gifts for the traveler in your life.

Got any great products you’ve discovered? Share with us!

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Can’t sleep? These 10 gadgets will help you get the rest you need in strange spaces no matter how bad the conditions.

Source: 10 Tiny Gadgets That Will Help You Sleep on the Plane – SmarterTravel.com

Top In-Flight Celebrity Meltdowns – Jetsetter

I really hate flying. No, you don’t understand; I really HATE flying.

The packing hassles, extra fees, tight spaces, long waits, and inconveniences for restrooms, eating, and sleeping have made car travel very appealing to me. My husband and I are driving from Central Texas to Assateague Island, VA for an upcoming trip. 23 hours and 1500 miles promises to be far more pleasant than flying.

So when I read this article about celebrities acting up during flights, I thought, “They are doing what the rest of us wish we could do.” Right?

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Celebs—they’re just like us, right? They go grocery shopping, fill their cars with gas, pick up their kids from school. But the similarities end when it comes to airline travel. Read on for the seven most legendary in-flight meltdowns, from Alec Baldwin v. American Airlines to Liam Gallagher v. the scone. By Siobhan Reid

Source: Top In-Flight Celebrity Meltdowns – Jetsetter