At the top of this year, we took to the annual Chicago Travel & Adventure Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. For us, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to rub shoulders with fellow travelers, jot down tips from the pros on how to perfect our jet-setter skills, and work up a case of wanderlust so strong, it inspires a series of trips that will rack up our frequent flyer miles. Here, we’re sharing a piece of our time at the show to inspire you to get up and go. A recap of the best advice that we heard is right this way.
Leave it to Emmy Award-winning travel reporter and producer Peter Greenberg—AKA The Travel Detective—to find a workaround for new checked baggage fees that are being initiated by several airlines. Greenberg’s tip? If you’re traveling with luggage that doesn’t quite meet carry-on standards, consider shipping your bags to your destination via FedEx. The service allows you to dodge long lines at the conveyor belt and ship up to 150 lbs directly to your hotel or resort. And if you’re one of those beauty product junkies who’s always anxious about leaving your full-size products behind when traveling, you’ll never have to part ways with your favorite daily products again!
Let’s face it: stuff happens when you take the risk of checking your luggage at the airport. There’s nothing worse than finding that your bag’s been damaged en route to your final destination (well, not finding your bag at all might be worse). And trying to convince airline officials that you did not check an already damaged suitcase can be tricky without proof. Travel photographer and author of Ralph Velasco On Travel Photography: 101 Tips for Developing Your Photographic Eye & More Ralph Velasco recommends taking a photo of your baggage before boarding your flight. Not only will you have photographic evidence of the condition your bag was in before the trip, you’ll be able to show airport staff what your bag looks like if it’s been lost or stolen (which can often be difficult in non-English-speaking countries).
Fine Times to Fly
Quick! Which are the cheapest days of the week to fly? According to Pauline Frommer, editorial director of the Frommer Guides and publisher of frommers.com, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays will get you the most bang for your buck.
The Real Deal
“There’s nothing better that you can do on vacation than get lost,” says Frommer. And we couldn’t agree more! Allow yourself to take wrong turns and follow unknown paths and there’s a good chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the unexpected beauty that you stumble upon.