Travel Goes Boom in 2015 as Retirees Stay Active

July 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s the dream of many retirees to travel more once they finally leave the workforce, and it looks like it’s happening.

A recent article in the Huffington Post discusses the “booming” market as an aging population with expendable income is on the move.

They’re going by themselves, they’re going to warmer climates, they’re going more frequently than they have in the past, and they’re planning on traveling a lot in 2015. According to an AARP study, a decent number of boomers plan to take four or five vacations in 2015. And nearly half the people they surveyed plan to travel more this year than in previous years.

Free Travel-Shirt @ Berlin-Tegel Airport

Berlin-Tegel Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Further, many of those boomers who are still employed plan to work while traveling and not even take vacation time while they’re on the move. The upsurge in the ability to work remotely has been a great boon to those who plan to travel more during their working careers. And it’s something the younger Boomers and older Generation Xers are comfortable with.

Another number expected to rise is the number of people taking solo trips. An AARP survey from last year indicated that 37 percent of adults 45 and older took solo trips in the preceding two years and 80 percent of those surveyed planned to travel on their own in 2015.

Solo travel is more popular with people whose spouses have passed or who are divorced. And there are travel companies seeking the singles market, looking to help those who want to travel alone get out and about, something that has not always been the case in the past.

Despite the upsurge in travel, most of the folks responding to these surveys said that cost is a high priority when traveling so older travelers are looking to save money while on the move, just as are their younger counterparts.

What about you? For those of you who are retired, or nearing retirement age, are you going to travel more? Let us hear from you and leave a comment here or over on our Facebook page.

Hotel Safety Tips for Wifi

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Should you use the free wifi at your hotel? That depends on how sensitive the information is that you’re accessing online or you have on your computer. Even if you feel comfortable and safe and have good security measures in place, you still want to exercise caution when using it; avoid extremely sensitive tasks such as online banking or accessing sensitive business information.

Norton, a well-known antivirus provider, has several suggestions about Internet security within hotel rooms.

Chicago Hilton hotel room

Chicago Hilton hotel room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One thing you should do when checking into a hotel is to make sure that you choose the proper wifi network. Hackers are known to trick users looking for free wifi by creating a network that will trick them into using it. Don’t jump on something called “Free Wifi” for instance. Before you ever log on, call the front desk and ask for the name of the network.

Another solution Norton discusses is using a VPN or virtual private network, if you’re traveling for work. If your company has a VPN, logging onto it will give you the same security you enjoy while working from your office behind the security firewall.

Next, change your passwords frequently. You’ve probably heard this a million times; we all have. But it keeps being repeated because it’s great advice. Set up a system to remind yourself to change passwords every three months. Don’t use single words or names of family members or pets. Use a password management system like 1Password to generate long passwords with random letters, numbers, and special characters.

Also, avoid network sharing. Norton says to avoid situations where other computers are communicating directly with yours while you’re in a fairly unsecure location, such as a hotel.

These are also good tips for working in the local coffee shop, your hotel room, or anytime you’re on a public network. What are some other computer security tips you follow on the road? Share them with us in the comments.

How Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers Travel

June 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The differences between Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers are never more evident than when we travel. Where we go, how we get there, what we do, and how much we spend all vary depending on our demographic. We’re alike in some ways, we’re very different in others.

Shullman Research studied households with an annual income of more than $75,000 to see how each group preferred to travel, and created an infographic to show us just what those differences were.

English: Dubrovnik old city and cruise ship.

Dubrovnik old city and cruise ship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are a few examples of what they found.

  • Millennials head to Hawaii more than Boomers and Gen Xers: 19% of Millennials travel to the 50th state, compared to 6% each of Boomers and Gen Xers. Meanwhile, 10% of Boomers prefer Nevada’s dry climate, while 18% of Gen X prefers Florida.
  • When it comes to international travel, 23% of Millennials visit Asia, Generation X heads to the Caribbean (22%) or Canada (21%), while we Boomers head to Europe (61%) or the Caribbean (my favorite; I’m part of the 48% who vacation there).
  • Flying is the preferred method of travel, with 28% of Millennials, 36% of Gen Xers, and 31% of Boomers taking to the air. But 39% of Gen X also prefers to travel by car, since they can turn this thing around if you don’t settle down back there.
  • When it comes to cruises, we were surprised to see Millennials actually prefer them more than their older counterparts — 16% versus 11% (Gen X) and 13% (Boomers).

For more insights and information, you can see the entire infographic at AdWeek.com, and get a better insight into how different demographic groups prefer to travel.

What are your travel preferences? Do you match up with your demographic group, or do you prefer going against conventional wisdom? Leave a comment and let us hear from you.

Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Flight Attendants

June 16, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

If your image of flight attendants is one of “sky waitress,” think again. Even though many people unfortunately think of flight attendants as airborne waitstaff, the truth is that serving food and snacks is not the most important part of the job.

The most important aspect of a flight attendant’s job: your safety.

A recent article on Yahoo Travel gave us the lowdown on flight attendants. And while we thought we knew most of the “surprising things,” there were a few that even surprised us.

Singapore Airlines flight attendants

Singapore Airlines flight attendants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, the government considers flight attendants to be first responders, just like fire fighters and paramedics. Many are trained in all kinds of ways to respond to emergencies including CPR training and helping people give birth. Some airlines even require their flight attendants to attend jungle survival skill training, and many require their flight attendants know how to swim.

We think it’s a tough, demanding job. Flight attendants have to deal with a lot of challenging situations, including the ones created by their own airlines. For example, as more airlines are charging for checked bags, this is creating a situation where there’s often not enough space in the overhead bins for all the carry-on bags.

Guess who gets to tell the last passengers they have to check their bags.

This brings us to another requirement of flight attendants: They also are often required to have a high tolerance for interacting with people behaving badly. Remember the last time you saw a passenger get irate with a flight attendant? That wasn’t the only time they had to deal with an angry passenger that day.

Finally, flight attendants need to enjoy flying. Not just tolerate it, enjoy it. That’s because some of them don’t live in the same city as their main hub airport. That means they have to fly into work just to do their job.

Do you have any good stories about flight attendants who made your trip a real treat? Let us hear from you. Leave us a comment here or over on our Facebook page.

4 Frequent Flier Mile Pro Tips

June 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One thing that we think about fairly often is frequent flier miles and programs. Since the airlines are changing how their programs are working, we’re always looking for new ways to earn and use miles.

A recent article on Vox.com gives us a few more tips on how to use these programs wisely.

United Airlines

United Airlines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first frequent flier programs was started in 1981 by American Airlines and was such a raging success that it immediately inspired other airlines to follow suit. And of course, these programs remain in place to this day.

(Which also means if one airline does something, it won’t be long before another one joins them. This includes changes to your frequent flier program.)

When you travel, figure out which program best suits your travel habits. Don’t just think about the airline you always fly; look at the one that best suits your needs based on how you travel versus how you spend money.

There are two basic types of rewards systems: mileage-based and spending-based. Mileage-based systems award you for the miles you travel; spending-based programs (i.e. credit cards) award points based on your spending. In many cases, airlines are now basing their awards on spending as well (cost of ticket).

If you frequently travel long distances, a mileage-based system may be your best bet, although the article says those types of programs are becoming a thing of the past.

Also, choose your airline program based on practical considerations, such as living near and flying out of a particular airport’s hub. If you live near Chicago O’Hare, United Airlines is your main airline, so it doesn’t make as much sense to join Delta’s program.

Another challenge is time and cost. When do you need to fly and what flights are available versus the cost of those flights? If you have the time, you can wait for cheaper flights. If you don’t have time, you may spend more money to fly when it fits your schedule, which may affect whether you can fly on your chosen airline.

If this happens frequently, this is where the spending-based program is your better option.

Finally, we also like the tip, “don’t’ sit on your miles, spend them.” Spend them when you get them. There’s no need to hoard miles. Use them for upgrades, or swap them out for merchandise, or even in a points-swapping program, like Points.com.

How do you manage your miles? Let us hear from you. Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

Travel Robots Are Taking Over Our Vacations

June 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

While we still don’t have jetpacks, or personal hovercraft to take us to work, we are seeing more robots that assist travelers with mundane, easily automated tasks.

After reading about them in a Yahoo Travel article, these robots sound like they will add a lot of comfort and convenience to the weary traveler.

English: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport entrance

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First up is the car parking valet robot, located in Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport. This handy robot allows travelers to drop their cars off and then actually transports them to be held in a secret parking location. When you return, the parking robot will already have your car waiting for you, and you don’t have to tip. That sounds pretty great.

Another exciting robot is located at the award-winning Indianapolis airport. This robot is located atop a Segway and gives travelers directions around the airport. It’s like the virtual presence device Sheldon created on Big Bang Theory when he met Steve Wozniak.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has included some robots on the payroll as well. These robots sort baggage and load it onto carts.

Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Quantum of the Seas has an even more exciting robot. It actually makes drinks! Travelers input drink orders into a tablet and the robot cranks them out for you.

And finally, Starwood’s Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California, has put a robot to work delivering room service. The main benefit here is that you don’t have to worry about looking respectable when your room service arrives. We’re not sure about the etiquette of robot tipping, however.

We do wonder how far away we are from fully automatic baggage checks. It seems like it would be a pretty great use of this type of technology and it sounds like some places are already halfway there.

We noticed that the bottom of the article contained a survey for readers to indicate how comfortable they are with the new robot technology that is beginning to surround us. Over half of those answering said they are excited about the technology with a much smaller percentage of people worried about robots taking jobs and/or destroying humanity.

How do you feel about robots in the travel business? Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment, or just leave one below. Let us hear from you.

Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage Debut the “2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide”

June 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Make the Day Memorable with a Travel Gift He Will Never Forget

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage, and Atlantic Luggage, part of the Travelpro family of brands, are pleased to announce their “2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide.” Surprise that special man in your life with the gift of something spectacular from their comprehensive lines of innovative carry-on luggage, designed to perfectly fit the needs of both the business and leisure traveler.

“Our Gift Guide offers a variety of choices sure to make every man on your list remember this year’s Father’s Day,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro and Atlantic family of brands. “Our products are rugged and built to last, which is why they go through extensive performance testing and are backed by substantial warranties.”

Selected to delight your husband, dad, or other father figure in your life, the five pieces that comprise this Gift Guide are all memorable due to their quality, style and versatility. The Atlantic Ultra Lite 3 21″ Expandable Spinner is ideal for men on the go. Designed for those looking for lightweight luggage at an affordable price, this attractive option is made with water-repellent polyester fabric, high-mileage spinner wheels that roll effortlessly, convenient exterior pockets and comfortable carry handles. The “intelligent” interior ensures packing flexibility with two side mesh pockets, a full-size mesh lid and adjustable hold-down straps with Duraflex buckles. It is built to go the distance, features expansion capabilities for extra packing and is available in sleek black.

Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Slim Briefcase

Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Slim Briefcase

Make a bold statement with the Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Checkpoint Friendly Slim Brief, which integrates fine leather accents and durable fabrics with Travelpro’s outstanding attention to detail. The confident style and functional efficiency are a reflection of Travelpro’s commitment to business travelers worldwide. The Checkpoint Friendly compartment features a padded and quilted corduroy pocket for laptops up to 15.6″, plus a separate padded tablet pocket. Its built-in business organizer and removable cord pouch provide efficient storage for business essentials and power cables, while an RFID-blocking pocket keeps credit cards and passports hidden to protect against loss and identity theft.

The Travelpro Maxlite 19″ Business Plus Hardside Spinner offers the ultimate in versatility and durability. This amazingly lightweight carry-on piece has a strong 100% polycarbonate hard shell for ultimate protection plus the patented Contour Grip to ensure effortless maneuverability. Featuring 2″ of expansion capacity, this model offers a dual wheel spinner system, integrated TSA lock for added security and an exterior pocket that opens for easy access to a fully-integrated business organizer for storing files, paperwork, a cell phone, pens, cables and more. With padded sleeves to conveniently hold both a laptop and tablet, this versatile carry-on spinner is a true breakthrough in durability, style and value — perfect for any business trip.

For the man seeking adventure, the T-Pro Bold 2.0 by Travelpro Computer Backpack is a welcome travel companion. The T-Pro Bold collection by Travelpro is ready to go anywhere, over rough terrain or city streets. Amazingly durable, lightweight and versatile, the Computer Backpack features both a padded computer and tablet sleeve which provides protection and fast access when you need it. The backpack is made of rugged, high-density polyester fabric with a water repellent coating for greater stain and abrasion resistance and even has an easy-to-reach water bottle holder.

Tpro Bold 2 DuffelMake travel a breeze with another piece from the T-Pro Bold 2.0 Collection by Travelpro — the 26″ Drop-Bottom Rolling Duffel — which is the perfect gift for the adventure traveler in your life. For packing flexibility, a zippered divider panel allows for two separate packing spaces or, if opened, one large main compartment. The drop-bottom compartment features a 2″ expansion for even more packing space and flexibility.

About Atlantic Luggage

Since 1919, the Atlantic brand has been synonymous with affordable, value-added and lightweight luggage. As a market leader in the lightweight luggage segment, from cleverly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic-branded luggage comprises superior quality and durability. Whether for business or recreation, travel is more pleasurable with Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro family of products. Please visit the Atlantic Luggage website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

Travel Hacks: Book Hard-to-Get Flights With Travel Miles

May 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

What do you do when you can’t find a way to use the miles you want at the particular time you want it. Airlines often black out popular travel dates. Or someone else may have nipped in and gotten the only mileage seats associated with a particular flight.

A recent article on Yahoo Travel discusses an issue arising from airlines giving out more and more bonus miles: they aren’t necessarily increasing the number of airline seats sufficient to absorb all these bonus flights.

Business class seat in a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400

Business class seat in a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It can sometimes be difficult to use the very travel miles you’ve worked so hard to get, so here are some solutions Yahoo Travel offers:

  • Rather than booking online, call the airline. An agent may know some insider tricks to get you a seat.
  • Rather than use a free seat, use your miles to upgrade an economy seat to the business section. The article cites the example of buying a $300 ticket from New York to LA and then upgrading to business with your miles. You pay a fee, but end up with a $2,400 ticket. We encourage you to use these upgrades on very long or international flights, however. If you have a lot of miles, you’ll sometimes be automatically bumped up to a business class seat when traveling within the U.S.
  • Use award maps to see where you can spend the miles and be flexible about your destination.
  • Think about using alternate airports. If you can get a mileage ticket to near where you’re going, you can then rent a car or hop on a train to your final destination. Keep the convenience of getting to where you’re going in mind before you decide on doing this.
  • Have a mileage guru help you out. (For a fee, of course.)
  • Book your tickets far in advance or very quickly to avoid someone else getting your seat.

Have you found some travel hacks to using your travel miles? Share them with us or on our Facebook page.

Atlantic Luggage Announces its “Win a Trip for Four to Orlando, Florida Sweepstakes”

May 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Sweepstakes runs May 15th through June 15th, 2015

Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro family of brands and a market leader in affordable, lightweight luggage since 1919, is proud to announce its “Win a Trip For Four to Orlando, Florida, Sweepstakes.”

Atlantic Compass Unite LifestyleIdeal for families who like to travel, Atlantic is offering the chance for a grand prize winner and three guests to win a fabulous trip to Orlando, Florida. The winner will receive roundtrip airfare for four (4); three (3) nights at a 3-star hotel in Orlando; Four (4) 2-day passes with admission to 34 of the best Orlando attractions; $150 cash spending money; and four (4) Atlantic carry-on sized suitcases.

“Atlantic Luggage is designed to make travel easier for the entire family. Known for its affordable, lightweight luggage, Atlantic has pioneered great luggage since 1919,” said Scott Applebee, vice president of Marketing for the Travelpro and the Atlantic Luggage brands. “We are pleased to offer a grand prize winner and three guests the opportunity to visit Orlando, the leading family fun destination.”

The Grand Prize Package includes:

  • Round-trip economy airfare for four (4)
  • Three (3) nights at a 3-star hotel in Orlando, Florida, including breakfast
  • Four (4) 2-day passes with admission to 34 of the best Orlando attractions
  • $150 cash spending money
  • Four (4) Atlantic carry-on sized suitcases

The sweepstakes begins May 15th and ends June 15th, 2015. To enter or view the official sweepstakes rules, please visit the sweepstakes website. No purchase or payment is necessary to enter or win.

About Atlantic Luggage

Since 1919, the Atlantic brand has been synonymous with affordable, value-added and lightweight luggage. As a market leader in the lightweight luggage segment, from cleverly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic-branded luggage comprises superior quality and durability. Whether for business or recreation, travel is more pleasurable with Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro family of products. Please visit the Atlantic Luggage website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

Bring This, Not That: Work On a Vacation

May 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

At TravelPro we encourage folks to take “real” vacations where they can truly unplug, disconnect, and fully relax.

However, I’ll admit to weeding through my email inbox and taking care of easy emails during the break, just so I’m not buried on my first day back. That can almost take the joy out of time off!

But other than that, I don’t take work with me during the time I’m supposed to be enjoying time with my family. I think it’s important that we distance ourselves from work as much as possible. Here’s why you should leave your work at home the next time you take a vacation.

A change of scenery can let you refresh yourself mentally. People with stressful jobs may need a break. We think there should be an opportunity to shut off and log out. Studies have shown that taking time off is actually good for you both physically and even professionally.

Cruise ship Norwegian Dawn leaving Ney York Ci...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taking time off can actually help rejuvenate your work life. You come back with a renewed sense of energy and perhaps even a different perspective. Things that seemed like huge problems before your trip no longer seem so daunting. People who seemed extremely annoying no longer make you grit your teeth. And you may find that a true break makes you appreciate your job when you come back because you can almost see it with new eyes.

On the other hand, some folks enjoy working while traveling because it gives them the ability to take longer vacations. Or they have a job that allows them to work from anywhere, thus encouraging a lifestyle of more travel and exploration, without needing to be “at work.” In those cases, you can take longer vacations if you take work with you.

Even if you plan to work during your vacation, if you’re going to family events, focus on your family and be present rather than investing time in going through work on your phone. It can be seen as rude, especially if you don’t get to see them very often.

What are your thoughts on taking work on vacation? Have you? Would you? What are some ways you disconnect from life at home while you’re on a break? Leave us a comment below or stop by our Facebook page and share your thoughts.

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