The Traveler

I Tried United Airline's Basic Economy:
Here's What Happened

United Airlines rolled out Basic Economy fares this year, a lower-price option to entice budget conscious travelers (check out The Points Guy comparing the new basic fares across the major airlines). While I normally fly Delta or Jet Blue, I jumped at a last-minute Basic Economy fare to travel home for Memorial Day weekend. Basic Economy on United offered a $300 savings on an otherwise $600+ last minute ticket. A significant savings, to be sure, but how would travel via Basic Economy compare to an otherwise normal Economy ticket? Here are my thoughts: PROS: Cheap(er) for last minute - A $300 fare difference between Basic Economy and regular Economy for a trip booked only two days in advance is a substantial savings. Forces...

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How to create a sleep cocoon on an airplane

You know those people - the ones who naturally fall asleep on a flight as soon as they sit down? Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I have struggled for years to sleep when flying, with some small gains made through trial and error. For anyone struggling with similar bouts of insomnia, here are a few tips to use on your next flight. NOISEEarplugs + EarphonesDo not travel without them. Earplugs do wonders to mute crying babies, airplane engines, and general human nonsense. Use your earphones as back-up, and be sure to download a few boring podcasts to help induce sleep. LIGHTFacemask + Scarf + HatCreate your own personal cocoon with a triple layer of travel sleeping mask, scarf, and hat...

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How to Get Through Airport Security Smoothly

Getting through airport security can feel more like an unwanted assault on your personal freedoms rather than a gateway to a fun vacation ahead. The many TSA rules and regulations may be difficult to absorb (especially for infrequent fliers), but we are here to help.  For frequent fliers, the list below will seem obvious. Remember, however, for as much as you fly, there are ten people in front of you who do not. Informing all passengers on what to expect and how best to prepare not only helps them, but helps you. Airport Security Tip #1: Wear Slip-On Shoes You need to be an octopus to juggle your many belongings through security. Don't get tied up (literally) with time-consuming laces and bulky shoes....

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How to Survive Your Flight: 7 Must-Haves

Air travel, for the most part, is unpleasant. The recent rash of airline abuse and passenger mistreatment may dominate the news today, but highlights an already well-know fact: flying is not fun. While I cannot help with seat upgrades, more legroom, or guaranteeing a friendly airline staff, I can share a few essential items I always take with me on any flight. Coming prepared is the best defense and goes a long way to ensure a more peaceful flight. 1.   Airplane Must-Haves: Earplugs I’ll admit it - I am an earplug devotee. It is always the first thing I pack as any travel would be miserable without them. I tend to get jarred by the overwhelming “hum” of a plane’s engines, which can...

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How to Waste Time at the Airport

The dreaded lag-time between arriving at the airport gate and boarding your flight can be combated with a few frivolous time wasters. Some with more of an intellectually-bent than others, but each a way to pass the time rather pleasantly.  1 - How to Waste Time at the Airport: Get a chair massage If you are lucky enough to be in a terminal with massage services, take advantage. A cramped plane does no favors to your body, so be nice to it while you can. 2 - How to Waste Time at the Airport: Catch up on your tabloid reading I only allow myself to read gossip magazines during two occasions - at the airport or lounging by a pool. My day-to-day...

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