Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Washington Plaza Hotel -- A Good Inexpensive Hotel

If you are in Washington DC any time soon, check out the Washington Plaza Hotel; it provides great value for the money

Monday, November 14, 2011

Travel Accessories Can Make or Break Your Trip

Traveling nowadays is about knowing what to bring with you on a trip and what to leave behind. To that end there are a few things that the well prepared traveler should have with them during their journey.

Carry-on Bag

The most important thing about your carry-on bag is the size. It should be able to fit the overhead bins or underneath the seat in front of you when the bag is full. The total size of your carry-on must not exceed 45 inches. To measure whether your bag is within the allotted 45 inches, you would measure length plus width plus height. The ideal dimensions are 22x14x9 inches. Furthermore, your carry-on bag cannot weigh more than 40 pounds. The rest of it is an expression of your personality.

Travel Wallet

A travel wallet is one of the most overlooked travel accessories. Stow away your boarding passes, claim checks for your luggage, hotel information, travel itinerary, and if needed, your passport. These days the whole airline industry is cutting back and the nice agent will most likely not provide you with a sleeve for your boarding pass. Having all your travel paperwork in one place means you don't have to waste precious time looking for it. Also, the travel wallet is a great way to hold all your receipts in one place. You want to consider travel wallets that are slim but can still hold all your papers for travel, waterproof in case you spill coffee on it, and have an eyecatching color so you can spot it quickly.

Pad and Pen Set

Although everything is now digital, there will still come a need for pen and paper. There have been enough times when I was caught without it and really wished I had it, that investing in a notepad and pen set was a smart and inexpensive idea.

Aspirin and Antacid Tablets

A two-pack of aspirin or antacid tablets will set you back $3 at some stores in the airport. Do yourself a favor and bring a couple of your own. You'll inevitably need aspirin in case of delays, missed connections, or something else going wrong and you have one big headache that develops. Or since airports are not known for having healthy, well prepared food, you can easily get an upset stomach and you'll want a couple of antacids to help you through. For convenience, these individually wrapped pills won't take up too much space in your bag.

Pocket Tissues and Sanitary Hand Wipes

For sanitary reasons, because traveling means you will be in contact with many surfaces that other people have touched, it's very handy to have these with you to keep yourself healthy and prevent you from catching germs. I prefer the sanitary hand wipes over the gel because it's one less liquid to worry about.

A Bag of Nuts

You never know when you'll be able to catch a meal in between catching a cab, a flight, or a connection. Having your own snack means that you won't go hungry and nuts will sate your hunger for a while until you can get a meal. If you area allergic to nuts, then a bag of granola or other nut-less trail mix should satisfy your hunger.

An Extra Bag

You never know when you'll need an extra bag bag when you travel. A cloth bag such as those recyclable ones that you can get from the supermarket for a buck is perfect. Fold and then roll them up into a small size with a rubber band, you are ready in case of an emergency.

Put all these small items in a zippered case or even a one gallon ziploc bag, but not with your toiletries bag. Put the case in your handbag or briefcase or your carry-on and you are all set.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Save Money By Staying At Airport Hotels Without Sacrificing Comfort

Most people want to stay in a downtown hotel when they visit a big city because everyone wants the convenience of being able to walk to their destinations, whether that's the shopping district, the theater district, the museums,the clubs and so forth. But you have to pay a lot of money for that convenience. It's even worse if you decide to rent a car to get around and bring it with you downtown, then you have to consider the hotel's parking fees and in a big city it can be as high as $40 a day. One way of cutting the cost of your hotel is to stay at a hotel near the airport.

But it's so far away, yes I hear that complaint often. But if you strategically plan your vacation and prepare, you can cut your hotel bill by as much as half if you stay at an airport hotel and often you can park you car for free or for 70% less than if you parked it downtown.

Choose an airport hotel that has a complimentary shuttle so that you can be dropped off at the airport. From there you can take public transportation downtown and go to any city attraction and come back. Your commuting expenses are minimized and you're still able to get to where you want to go. When it comes to shopping, then that part takes planning because you'll want to drop off bags in between shops and combine it with a night out on the town. Drop off your car at a centrally located garage early so that you can take advantage of their all day parking deal. Then you can leave your shopping bags during the day at the trunk of your car knowing that they should be okay and then go to see theater, go clubbing, or dine at a nice restaurant. And at night you can take your fully loaded car back to the airport hotel.

Another way to cut your parking expense is to check and see if any of the museums are centrally located and offer all day parking at a low rate and leave your car there. Of course you are combining a museum visit with your shopping.

In smaller cities where there is less traffic congestion, then it is a better deal because you can take your car and not worry so much about where to park the car and have a more spontaneous day and then return to the airport hotel.

If you've never stayed at an airport hotel you will be pleasantly surprised. Especially if you favor the major hotel chains. It's not only for people who want to stay near the airport to catch the early morning flight or for late arriving passengers on the red-eye anymore. The amenities that you will find at their downtown establishment can be had at their airport counterpart, again for a lower price.  You might also like the fact that the halls are less congested and their pool and fitness rooms are not so crowded. So think outside of the box when it comes to accommodations and you will find your pocketbook might not be so empty when you get home.