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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Odors, Offensive Overbooked.......yikes

Several O words related to travel come to mind, looking for a O destination?  How bout a post I did previously on Olde Town.

Odor, Offensive, organization, overbooked, and oversized..........are words that popped into my head thinking about travel.

  • ODOR, when you decide it's a good idea to take something smelly on the plane to eat later, you are not everyone's favorite traveler.  The entire plane, passengers and crew members have to smell your too garlicky, too spicy, fishy, too Mexican and really don't appreciate it.  Think about your fellow travelers, you're not flying a private plane.
  • OFFENSIVE, your noisy game is offensive to those around you.  Turn it off, or plug in your ear phones.  Likewise your constant chatter about how important you are, is offensive to others.  Remember if you're really that important, rich...you would be aboard your personal plane.
  • ORGANIZATION, think about what you need at hand, think about what you will be using in your carry on and pack accordingly.  Don't just throw everything in, stand up every 10 minutes to grab something from the over head bumping your neighbors as you go.  Don't stand in the aisle for 20 minutes while you route for something and hold up the rest of those trying to board.  We have a constant theme here folks, YOU are NOT the only passenger, be considerate of your fellow travelers.  The idea of being organized is even more important if you're traveling with some children.
  • OVERBOOKED...some folks get irritable when planes are overbooked, some like it and volunteer to give up their flight for a free one later on.  Whichever camp you fall into, remember the ticket agent isn't the one who overbooked, don't take it out on them.  Be Polite.
  • OVERSIZED, stop packing oversized bags as carry on.  Yes, you think you're being clever saving money by not checking your bag; but YOU are responsible for delaying the plane, irritating your fellow travelers and the crew, AND YOU are responsible for raising ticket prices and the charge on bags.  Why........because a heavy plane needs more fuel, so when you pack oversized bags you're making the problem you think you're avoided worse.  You know before hand it's not going to fit under your seat, that it doesn't even come close to fitting into the sizer at the gate.
I repeat, you are not the only traveler, you are not flying a personal plane.  

**After the close of April's A-Z, I plan to continue to write a post a day in the month of May using again the A-B-C's as my guide.  My focus for the month of May will be Spain.  I've been planning and almost have every letter thought out.  If others are interested in continuing to blog daily using our A-B-C's, please let me know.  We could start a linky and continue what we've begun during April.  I don't imagine it will be anywhere near the scope of the annual April Challenge.  But, if you're interested, please let me know in your comment.  And even if you're not up for another blog challenge, do stop back in, I have much to share from recent travels to Spain.**

If you're a new follower, please let me know so I can reciprocate.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GPS, Oh Garmin Where am I?


(Charlotte, North Carolina)
We've made it to N so far in our challenge.  N for Navigate.  "Re-calutating", Make a U-turn.  Can you hear the winy voice telling you that?  You do if you've ever used a GPS be it a Tom Tom, or Magellan, or the most popular of all Garmin.  We have a Garmin, why I sometimes wonder.  Hubby will ask me where's so and so, or such n such.  I turn it on and he precedes to argue with the machine, almost 100% of the time.  I love it personally, because I do not have a good sense of direction, AND...men, I'm willing to admit it.  Not something many men are willing to admit to........ask for directions, surely you jest.

A GPS gives us comfort, by us I mean those willing to listen to it.  You can navigate using your cell phones, but it's not really the same thing as a true GPS, and if you loose cell coverage you loose your directions.  So, I personally much prefer a GPS.

However, they can be frustrating.  We have the type of unit that can be updated.  However, I wish I'd never done it.  Why?  It's a bit of a come on, and very misleading.  I had the whole US when the unit was purchased, finally decided with construction perhaps I should update.  Apparently they've added so many graphics with updates that you don't have room to do the whole update.  So, once you've plugged it into your computer and waited 20 minutes you get a message telling you there's not enough room to load the new maps.  They ask what section of the country you'd like to add.  We were traveling in Arizona, so I choose the SW and added all the addresses of the hotels we would be staying in.

We arrived late at night, turned on the GPS as we exited the airport, and it spoke to us in Spanish....gees that was helpful, NOT.  Hubby turned to his smart phone.  Took two more attempts the following day to get the proper updated maps in English.  When I attempted to add my home area, once we were home; I again got the message insufficient room.  Nixed that idea and decided to load maps of Spain for an upcoming trip.  They wanted an additional $75.00 for that.  My unit is 2 years old, most new ones run around $110.00.  My choice add Spain, then attempt to remove and add my area once home again???

Solution..........currently I took the GPS out of the car, it won't be packed for the Spain trip, and I currently can't use it for here.  Do I opt to purchase a new one?  Isn't that their plan?  Planned obsolescence?  Jury's out on what to do next, but my advice is NOT to do the updates and just make adjustments to the areas you know have construction or have changed slightly.

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marriott's

Continuing to blog alphabetically for the month of April for the A-Z challenge brings us to M and today, let's talk Marriott.  Or maybe you like to visit an M destination, Manzanilla for instints, I've blogged about it HERE.   I've counted 38 Marriott Time Shares in the Continental US, however there are over 50 in 31 countries to choose from.  That's alot of locations and variety in activities as well.  Some are beach locations, others geared to golf, while others are geared to more family oriented destinations with things like Disney at hand.  Example there are 7 Marriott Time Shares in Hilton Head South Carolina (where it all began), and 7 in the ever popular Orlando and Disney area.

You can stay at your home resort, you can trade your weeks through Interval International, you can convert your weeks to destination points to stay elsewhere beyond your home resort, and you can turn your weeks into Marriott Rewards Points.  Maybe you've purchased more recently and don't own "weeks" but own trust points.  You can use your trust points to book at any of the locations and or use them towards tours or cruises.  Lots to choose from.

But, that's only one side of Marriott.  You can enjoy the quality of Marriott's without purchasing time share weeks.  There are a variety of Marriott Hotels, Marriott, JW Marriott, Residents Inn, Springhills, Courtyards and Renaissance.  With that variety there's always one near at hand.  With that variety of brands you also chooses in prize, room styles and amenities to choose from.  Some are geared more to personal travel, some more business, while others are nice adult locations and others geared towards traveling families.  Remember to use your Marriott Charge Card to obtain the most bang for your buck.

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Loyalty Programs.

Today's letter is L.  I've written about Lake Erie here, a favorite spot for Ohioans.  And one must talk about Luggage for all kinds of travel, but I already wrote about that too, HERE

So today, I'm going to talk a bit about "loyalty" programs.  Everyone has one and it pays to take advantage of them when you can.  There are loyalty programs connected to your charge cards, example Eddie Bauer Charge Cards get connected to Delta Airline Miles.  Chances are your bank has one connected to their charge card.  Chase for example has a cash back program, and they have a 2nd program that gives you more points on certain types of purchases IF you go through their webpage.

Marriott has a rewards program and their rewards points can be used to book flights, and or hotel stays, you get more points if you're using their card.

Airlines have loyalty programs so it pays to be able to book most of your flights through one carrier.  You're not always able to, but if you're know you're going to be traveling for business and or pleasure, think about where you're going ...is there one particular airlines that generally goes where you go?  Make that your primary airlines and you'll be more inclined to earn enough miles to get free flights.  

Many grocery stores have loyalty programs where you can save money by purchasing gift cards through them and earn money back on your groceries, some are tied into free gallons of gas as well.  

Loyalty programs can indeed save you money; but you need to be willing to invest some time to check several programs out and determine which one works best for you.  Don't try to do too many different programs...not only is it confusing; but you'll be spreading your earnings/savings in too many directions to quickly reap the rewards.

Save money on your flights, and your hotel stays by seeing what loyalty programs you can take advantage off.

**Though Sunday is a free day, I did write a post yesterday, wanted to thank all my visitors, check it out HERE**

Pop in Often, remember Menu Mondays for dining tips, Traveling Tips on Thursday, and any day for vacation destinations.

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