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Important news before you travel:

If you live in the United States you should be aware of certain Travel Advisories which are given to citizens who choose to travel abroad. These advisories can affect you and may even change your travel plans. So before you go to the airport you should always check to see if your destination country is on the List of the United States Government Travel Advisories.

For more information: Check out the link below which will send you to the US Governments official website.


          
https://travel.state.gov


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          AIRPORT TIPS


To make your way to a flight on time and to get throught security as quickly as possible you can try the following tips:

1) Sign up. The TSA's PreCheck, a trusted traveler program, has spread to more cities across the U.S. and is now available at some 40 airports. Members of the program are pre-screened and can then whiz through security, sometimes without having to take off their shoes or remove laptops from cases. The U.S. Customs Department's Global Entry program is another shortcut for frequent international travelers, especially as the federal government contracts and customs lines potentially get longer.

Critical Security Checkpoints:
To make clearing security as easy as possible...
-Review the guidelines for liquids and gels on your Flight carriers Carry-On Baggage page before your flight.
-Have your government-issued photo identification and boarding pass ready for inspection.
-Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, since all footwear must be x-rayed.
-Remember to place all coats and jackets in a bin for x-ray screening.
-Make your laptop easily accessible for inspection.
-Avoid wearing anything metal or place these items in your carry-on baggage for screening

2) Check flight status. Although this is obvious, many people often fail to do this one simple but critical thing.

I recommend doing the same before abandoning your ride or your car just before you head to the terminal; flight status updates change by the minute, so a last-second check is always a good idea.

Most airlines will text you flight status updates if you sign up on their Web sites, and sites like Flightaware.com do the same by text, on the Web and through smartphone apps.

4) Check in online. Especially if you are not checking bags, this can save you a heap of time. I have found that when checking bags, having the pre-printed boarding pass in your hand doesn't help all that much, and check-in agents often reissue another boarding pass when you check in your bags -- but it sure doesn't hurt.

5) Before you leave for the airport, put your ID, credit card and boarding pass (if applicable) in an easily accessible part of your wallet or bag. There are two reasons for this: one, by going through this exercise, you make sure that you don't leave home without these crucial items. Two, you don't waste your (and other people's) time fumbling around for them at the moment you need them.

Check the airport parking situation online. Knowing ahead of time where to park, which lots are open and how far they are from the terminal can save you a lot of anxiety on your drive in, as well as keep you safer as you navigate tortuous and almost always poorly marked airport ring roads. Additionally, during peak travel periods, lots fill up quickly, so you will want an alternate parking plan.

When you are ready to board always take inventory of what you will need to do when you get to the front of the security line. Do a quick mental review of everything you are wearing that you will need to remove (such as shoes, jewelry, watch, jacket), and what you have inside your carry-on bag that might need to be taken out (liquids, electronics). When you get to the front of the line, blast through your mental inventory and make it happen. Done well, you can go from fully clad for winter weather, with laptops and iPads in your bag, to a T-shirt, pants and socks, and all your sensitive electronics in their own bins, in seconds.

Using these tips will get you through the airport, on your flight and towards your destination as quickly as possible.

more traveler informaiton tips available at the TSA website:  https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/faq
         NEW YORK'S JFK AIRPORT

JFK international airport is located 15 miles by highway from midtown Manhattan. JFK’s terminals, parking lots and hotels operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and cover more than 880 acres.

If you choose to enter the terminal with the passenger, please be aware that only ticketed passengers will be allowed past the security checkpoint. However, you may enjoy any of the areas before security. As an alternative, you may drop off your passengers at the Kiss and Fly located at the Lefferts Boulevard AirTrain Station where they can ride AirTrain free of charge to their terminal in just 10 minutes.

Electric Vehicle Charging
Air travelers who own electric vehicles can charge them at Kennedy International.
...read more



  BOOKING THE RIGHT  HOTEL


Hotels are more than just a place to sleep. The best hotels offer information and services that help familiarize you with your location, address the special needs of families and business travelers and, they hope, give you something to write home about.

When it comes to choosing a hotel, it’s better not to rely on star ratings.  Because the criteria for these star ratings are sometimes based on insignificant details, they don’t always accurately represent the quality of a hotel, with some 4 star hotels being of much higher quality than some 5 star hotels, but losing a star because they don’t include a mini-fridge in every room. 

You can receive “five-star service” in a one-star hotel. That small hotel/B&B will many times be family-owned and run, not always have a fancy reception desk (reception may be a small table or desk where a computer, phone and registration book is kept), but they will be willing to sit down with you and give you information such as the best restaurants in the neighbourhood.

The best way to get the most out of your time in the city, help you plan your days, suggest things to do, issue attraction tickets, book a taxi (many smaller hotels/B&Bs have certain companies they work with and trust), and many other things.  The five-star hotel may not have time to spend with you like that.

Star ratings will generally not be an indication of cleanliness and comfort. A one-star hotel/B&B can offer you the same shiny bathroom tiles, clean carpeting and spotless sheets and towels that a two, three or more star hotel can.

there are many websites online with information on hotels and ratings by reviewer's which can offer valuable information in determing which hotel you book on your next trip.

Sometimes making a decision on where to stay can be easy, especially when your finances allow you to book hotels at any price. For those of us who may be on a budget, doing a little search online can often end up saving us hundreds of dollars on our lodging.

No matter where you are or where you are going, booking a hotel is something you want to make sure you do right the first time. Besides, one man's 3 star hotel can be another man's 5 star hotel.

Choosing a hotel with a good location is critical to making your trip a great one. But what does a good location really mean? That depends on what you'll be doing while you're staying at the hotel. You don't need to plan your entire itinerary in order to choose a hotel, but you should have a general idea of what you need or want to do once you arrive at your destination....
read more




             HISTORIC BERLIN GERMANY

Founded in the 13th century, Berlin has had an eventful history. Excavations from 2008 suggest that the city may be even older than was previously assumed: state archaeologists have discovered an oak beam that probably dates back to 1183.

Almost no other metropolis has experienced such frequent, radical change transforming ...
read more

        YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Yosemite National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. More than 5 million people visit Yosemite each year....read more

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT HOTEL


Hotels are more than just a place to sleep. The best hotels offer information and services that help familiarize you with your location, address the special needs of families and business travelers and, they hope, give you something to write home about.

When it comes to choosing a hotel, it’s better not to rely on star ratings.  Because the criteria for these star ratings are sometimes based on insignificant details, they don’t always accurately represent the quality of a hotel, with some 4 star hotels being of much higher quality than some 5 star hotels, but losing a star because they don’t include a mini-fridge in every room. 

You can receive “five-star service” in a one-star hotel. That small hotel/B&B will many times be family-owned and run, not always have a fancy reception desk (reception may be a small table or desk where a computer, phone and registration book is kept), but they will be willing to sit down with you and give you information such as the best restaurants in the neighbourhood, the best way to get the most out of your time in the city, help you plan your days, suggest things to do, issue attraction tickets, book a taxi (many smaller hotels/B&Bs have certain companies they work with and trust), and many other things.  The five-star hotel may not have time to spend with you like that.

Star ratings will generally not be an indication of cleanliness and comfort. A one-star hotel/B&B can offer you the same shiny bathroom tiles, clean carpeting and spotless sheets and towels that a two, three or more star hotel can.

Choosing a hotel with a good location is critical to making your trip a great one. But what does a good location really mean? That depends on what you'll be doing while you're staying at the hotel. You don't need to plan your entire itinerary in order to choose a hotel, but you should have a general idea of what you need or want to do once you arrive at your destination.

Start with a map of the area and highlight the airport, local attractions and shopping, theatre or other districts you'd like to see; then locate hotels that are conveniently located in relation to these spots. The less effort you have to make to get where you want to go makes for a more relaxing and enjoyable time.

In an effort to mimic already successful hotels, a lot of hotels offer the exact same services and hotel designs.  To make sure you’re staying at a quality hotel brand with it’s own personality and not just a cookie-cutter copy, it is important to see the distinctive characteristics of the hotel that make it special.

Customer Service can make or break any hotel, making this one of the most things that compose a quality hotel. Knowledgable, caring, friendly, and approachable staff are essential for a relaxing, luxurious experience.

When judging a hotel from its website, there are many things to remember. A hotel will always “put its best foot forward.” The hotel management wants you to choose them, so they will take photos that show their rooms and all parts of their hotel in the best way possible. The lighting will be “just right”, the exterior photo may have been taken right at the exact moment of perfect sunshine and blue sky, and when the gardens are in their most perfect bloom. The room will have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb and every speck of dust gone, before taking the photo.

Choosing a Safe Hotel Room:
While the higher floors have the best views, the lower floors have quicker access to the ground. In the event of an emergency, you want to get out fast. Keep in mind that some fire departments, including those in the United States, can only reach as high as floor 8 in an emergency.

Whenever possible, do not take a hotel room on the ground floor if it has doors and windows that open to the outside. This is particularly important for motels with rooms off parking lots. If you can't get a room on a higher floor, forgo your view and choose a room facing the interior or courtyard.

Guestrooms near the elevators are generally the safest, but can also be the noisiest. If you're staying alone, request that your room is in the middle of the hallway or near an elevator - while the alcoves and corner rooms are very intimate and offer great views, they are also somewhat hidden making it easier for thieves to access.

When it comes to money no one wants to pay more for a hotel room than they have to. Always ask the hotel's front desk if they can do better on the room rate. Hotel reservation staff usually has the authority to discount the room rate or know how else you can save money. You should also check to see if an AAA, AARP or other club membership entitles you to a discount at the hotel. Airlines, rental car companies and frequent flyer programs often partner with hotels to offer discounts to shared customers.

After you leave remember that, it’s not uncommon that when you leave a hotel you are no longer considered a guest. The very best hotels however, will remember your choice to stay at their hotel and do whatever they can to help make your trip more enjoyable, even after you’ve left.



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