Image of Exterior of Hotel Commonwealth on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.  Featuring exotic cars lining sidewalk including several Ferraris

April 2007.

-- Tips for Business Travelers from
Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams.

How to Keep on Top of the World When the World Keeps Changing!


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For every bigger mouse trap, there is a smarter mouse! And if there is one thing you can count on from TRAVELHOST readers, it's that they are smarter than the average traveler. You can count on TRAVELHOST readers to hone their techniques for by-passing confusion and obstacles, keeping things simple to minimize stress, and maximizing opportunities to enjoy the exhilaration one finds in the energy generated at airports, train stations, and new destinations.While I know your experiences in 2007 will help you morph new techniques for smooth sailing in your travels, I hope the following tips will put you at the head of the line:

Rule #1:  Everything you knew yesterday is probably obsolete today! As close to the day of your travels as possible, re-check with your airline(s) to be certain you know how many checked bags per person you are allowed, the maximum allowable weight per checked bag, how much hand luggage you may carry on, and weight/size/contents restrictions you should know. If you are flying with multiple air carriers, they may each have different maximum allowable weights. Either pack for the carrier that allows the least weight or, if you break your trip in a city you return to, think about checking a bag of items you don't need for the rest of your trip with the bellman of your mid-way hotel.Rule #240: Now here are words you need to memorize: “I want to invoke Rule 240.” Use this term when an airline tells you that your flight is not operating today. Your airline check-in counter is supposed to have a copy of this rule, which explains what that specific airline's policy is for situations when you have a valid ticket but the airline has a reason why they can't fulfill the service you purchased. For those times when the airline's representative does not seem to know what you are talking about, have a copy of the airline's Rule 240 with your travel documents. You can find it on-line at the web site of each carrier you are flying. Make a hard copy and produce it at the proper moment. Generally speaking, airline agents jump into “Let's -see -how -we -can –help- you” mode when you speak the magic words, “Rule 240!”

Rule #3:  New US airport rules require travelers to leave checked luggage unlocked. The problem with that is that there are more people than those who work for the TSA who have access to your bags in the course of their travels. How clever of the Master Lock folks to come out with TSA accepted luggage locks! You remember this company! Almost all TRAVELHOST readers had a combination lock on their gym lockers made by Master Lock. Well, the company is still thinking about your grown-up needs! They've come out with a variety of locks that work on a combination but have a little spot for a key to unlock it. The TSA has a master key that can open your luggage should the TSA need to examine the contents. But, once closed, the myriad of people who come in contact with your checked baggage do not have entrée. Better still, the luggage locks come in colors which will help you identify your bags as they arrive at baggage claim. Also, think about putting these locks on your hand-carried bags. Even after I wind the shoulder strap of my handbag around my ankle and tuck the bag between my seat and the wall of the aircraft so no one walks off with my purse while I'm sleeping during a long-haul flight, it occurs to me that someone could open that bag, or one in the overhead, without waking me! These locks are the solution for added security for you contents!

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