Category Archives: Travel Advice

Preparing for your Absence | Helpful Tips For Travelers

Your home needs just as much preparation for your trip as you do. Pack the bags, arrange luggage shipping, and follow these steps to leave your home alone.

Add checking the pool pump settings to your pre-trip check list. Image courtesy Flicker user Caviness Landscape Design, Inc.

Vacations take tons of prep work. It involves booking flights, arranging accommodations, organizing activities, and maybe most important to remember, is to make sure your house is prepared for your absence. Depending on the length of your vacation, whether a few days (short term) or several months (long term), here are steps you can take to make your house safer and lower your utility bills and ensure your house is ready to be on its own.

Air Conditioner
Short-term: Turn up the thermostat to about 85 degrees. Doing so will still protect your plants, furniture and other belongings without running up your energy bill.
Long-term: Again, turn up the thermostat to about 85 degrees. Ask a friend or neighbor you trust to water your plants.

Pool Pump
Short-term: Check your pool-pump settings before you leave to make sure they are where you want them to be. If you have a spa, turn off the heat.
Long-term: Do the above. Also, have a neighbor, friend or pool service check the pool periodically to make sure the pump is operating properly.

Your home needs just as much preparation for your trip as you do. Pack the bags, arrange luggage shipping, and follow these steps to leave your home alone.

Throw out perishables before you leave town. Image courtesy Flickr user Sitka Projects.

General Plumbing
Short-term: Turn off water at the main shut-off valve, unless some household items require it to remain on.
Long-term: Do the same. While you’re gone, have a neighbor or friend turn on the water and run the faucets at least once a month.

Water Heater
Short-term: Set the temperature on “vacation” mode. Most new water heaters are equipped with such a setting. The water heater will run occasionally but not nearly as often as it does normally.
Long-term: Be sure to set the temperature on vacation mode.

Toilets
Short-term: Pour a half cup of chlorine into the bowl (not the tank).
Long-term: Do the same. Have a friend periodically flush the toilets while you are gone.

Lights
Short-term: Turn off all lights except the ones you want as security measures. Put the security lights on variable timers.
Long-term: Do the above no matter how long you are away.

Your home needs just as much preparation for your trip as you do. Pack the bags, arrange luggage shipping, and follow these steps to leave your home alone.

Take care of the lawn before you leave town as well! Image courtesy Flickr user Media Director.

Refrigerator
Short-term: Throw out perishables – such as milk – that will expire while you’re gone.
Long-term: You have two choices. One is to unplug the refrigerator and leave the door open to prevent mildew, odor and mold. The other is to keep the refrigerator running. Don’t let it sit empty, however. Fill it with bottles of water so it will run more efficiently.

Pantry Items
Short-term: Throw away opened bags and boxes of food (or give to friends).
Long-term: Do the same. Also, check the expiration dates of unopened items.

Yard
Short-term: Mow your lawn and trim shortly before your trip.
Long-term: Arrange for a lawn service to take care of your landscaping while you are away.

One last way you can prepare for your trip is to sign up for Bags VIP luggage delivery service. Most luggage shipping services require your items be picked up days in advance and specially packed. But Bags VIP luggage delivery agents will retrieve your checked luggage same-day and deliver it within 100 miles of any destination so you can take care of what really matters – you and your home.

Secrets to Booking Cheap Flights

It’s no secret that everyone wants the secret to booking cheap airline tickets. These days it’s easier than ever to compare prices, find deals, and book cheap, yet most of us end up spending more than we want on flights. With a few of the tips and tricks below, you really CAN save on airfare.

Everyone wants to save money on trips, and our alternative to luggage shipping, Bags VIP luggage delivery, is just one way. With a few of these tips and tricks you can save on airfare too!

Timing matters. When you book, what day you leave, what time you leave – these are all important factors that, when combined, can drastically alter the price of your tickets. Keep these things in mind when you actually decide to book your flight:

  • 24 hour rule – After you book, check the next morning to see if the price of your airfare fell. You usually have 24 hours after booking to get a refund or credit on the difference.
  • Leave on a Wednesday – It’s the cheapest day to do it, says FareCompare.com, especially for domestic travel.
  • Book on Tuesday at 3 EST – A  study by Farecompare.com found this was the best time to buy airline tickets and shop for domestic travel.
  • Book in advance – A revealing study from Airlines Reporting Corporation found that the best time to purchase your airfare is about six weeks prior to travel.
  • Fly out early – The first flight of the morning is usually the cheapest, says U.S. News’ Daniel Bortz.

In addition to saving money by knowing when to book, it’s also important to know WHERE you can find deals on booking. Try some of these tips on which sites to use:

  • Search multiple sites – Relying on only one site to give you the lowest cost can actually cost you. Kayak can help narrow your search with comparisons.
  • Use social media – Airlines have been experimenting with blasting fares via social media, especially JetBlue. But you have to be fast: some deals can be gone within hours.
  • AirfareWatchdog.com – With this site, you’ll get pinged when prices fall and receive some excellent deals.
  • FlightFox – Much in the way Airfare Watchdog relies on a travel agent to sniff out the best deals, FlightFox uses multiple experts to do the hard work for you.
  • Search the airline’s site – Airlines can host private sales, reserving the cream of the crop for their very own websites.

Everyone wants to save money on trips, and our alternative to luggage shipping, Bags VIP luggage delivery, is just one way. With a few of these tips and tricks you can save on airfare too!There are more ways to save, like racking up reward miles, using connecting flights and using alternatives to expensive luggage shipping companies, such as Bags® VIP luggage delivery service if you are traveling heavy. Shop smart and happy booking!

What to do with your pets when you go on vacation

Making travel easier starts before you leave. Make sure you have arrangements for your pets and have signed up for Bags VIP luggage delivery service.

Consider hiring a pet sitter when you vacation – a sitter can walk, feed, and play with your pet from the convenience of your home.

When planning a trip or vacation, pet owners have an extra concern and very important decision to make – do you bring your pet along, or leave them behind? It’s always tempting to bring your precious pet along with you, but take into consideration that some animals don’t travel well. Also, you should always consult a veterinarian before traveling with a pet. So what are your options if you choose to go without them? It all depends on the animal. Here are some options you have to help you make the tough choice:

First off, certain animals are much easier to leave alone then others. Cage-bound critters, for example can be easily cared by a friend for or relocated. This includes rodents, reptiles, fish, and even birds. Cats aren’t much different. When possible, find a respected pet sitter to stop by during the day or board your cat in a professional kennel. Dog owners certainly have the biggest choice to make. Some options for care when you leave man’s best friend behind are:

Making travel easier starts before you leave. Make sure you have arrangements for your pets and have signed up for Bags VIP luggage delivery service.

Kennels today have many posh amenities including private apartments and puppy play time. Image courtesy Flickr user Ted Drake.

Kennels
Kennels are a very popular option, and a quite reliable one. Most kennels offer play times with staff and other dogs, and many will accommodate special diets. Ask around for a good kennel and check it out. Is the staff welcoming? Do the runs look clean and the resident dogs well cared for? Book your spot! There are also board-and-train kennels that may be worth looking into if your pup could use some training while you’re away.

Home Boarding
Leaving your dog at a friends or a professional home boarder is a great alternative to the traditional kennel. Some individuals offer boarding in their home for a small number of dogs, and often group the dogs to allow off-leash socialization throughout the day. This can be a nice option for high energy, friendly pups who welcome new experiences and the camaraderie of other dogs.

Making travel easier starts before you leave. Make sure you have arrangements for your pets and have signed up for Bags VIP luggage delivery service.

Hire a home boarder or ask a friend to watch your furry friends in their home.

Pet Sitters
There are two options when choosing a pet sitter, those who stay in your home, and others who drop by throughout the day. While other pets can cope with one or two daily visits, dogs need a limit of 3-6 visits a day depending on their age and disposition. Ask around for referrals or seek certified sitters online.

It can be a tough choice, but most times traveling without a pet is the best way to make travel easier for yourself. Another way you can help Make Travel Easier is by using Bags VIP, a luggage delivery service that retrieves your luggage at baggage claim and delivers it to the location of your choice.

Planning Your Vacation – Part 3: How to Pick the Right Hotel

Now that you’ve picked your perfect destination and chosen the best airline, you’re faced with the arduous task of choosing the hotel where you’ll spend a good portion of your vacation time. With the enormous number of promotions, deals and programs out there, picking a hotel can be downright overwhelming. Since every traveler has different needs when searching for a hotel, you’ll need to ask yourself what’s most important to you, so here are some things you’ll want to check before booking your stay.

Ask yourself what's most important to you in a hotel. Consider location, price and amenities like Bags VIP luggage delivery before booking accommodations.

Location can be a major factor when selecting accommodations. Image courtesy Paul Stein via Flickr.

Price:
These days, comparing prices on hotels is easier than ever, but don’t limit yourself to the big name brand travel sites (Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz) — you should also pay a visit to other booking sites like Kayak.com, Venere.com and Hotels.com. If price is your deciding factor, you can try bidding on Priceline.com, where you won’t see the name of your hotel (only the star rating) until you’ve actually booked it.

Ask yourself what's most important to you in a hotel. Consider location, price and amenities like Bags VIP luggage delivery before booking accommodations.

Pods are the latest trend in affordable, convenient hotel options. Image courtesy The Pod Hotel.

Location:
While most people are looking for a hot deal for their stay, the location of your hotel can be just as important as a good rate. Finding a hotel with a close proximity to the things you want to do will save you a lot of travel time and the expense of driving/renting a car to get the things you want to do. Most booking sites now allow you to view search results on a map so you can see which ones are right on the beach or in the neighborhoods you prefer. Most also have the extra capability of searching for and mapping a hotel in relation to a particular point of interest or landmark.

Ask yourself what's most important to you in a hotel. Consider location, price and amenities like Bags VIP luggage delivery before booking accommodations.

What matters most to you in a hotel? Amenities? Image courtesy Montelucia Resort & Spa via Flickr.

Amenities:
Never underestimate the power of hotel amenities! While this may not seem like a deciding factor, having certain services readily available can make big difference in the quality of your stay. Most travel sites allow you to search hotels by the amenities they offer, such as a fitness center, swimming pool or restaurant. Some hotels even offer Bags Airline Check-In, which when combined with Bags VIP luggage delivery service can make your vacation as easy as possible from beginning to end!

Planning your Trip – Part 2: Picking your Airline

Choosing and airline depends on price, service, route and flexibility. From miles to services like Bags VIP luggage delivery, picking one can make your trip.

Image courtesy Flickr user texasfeel.

The first flight can really set the tone of a vacation. A great flight will leave you in a positive mood, while poor service or flight conditions can have you feeling drained before the fun even starts. Choosing the right airline will depend on what it offers you by way of price, service, route, and flexibility. We suggest using the following methods to base your choice on to ensure your trips starts on a good note:

Price:
If price is a deciding factor because of a budget, low cost airlines are probably the best way to go. Budget airlines usually use mainline aircraft, but with a greater number of seats compared to legacy carriers. This results in more passengers, but without an increase in luggage space, meaning you’ll be charged for any bags other than your carry on. If you’re planning last minute, need to fly long distance, or value extra amenities on your flight, you’ll have to budget to spend more.

Choosing and airline depends on price, service, route and flexibility. From miles to services like Bags VIP luggage delivery, picking one can make your trip.

Image courtesy Flickr user Binder.donedat.

Comfort:
Here is where you can really start to narrow down your choices, because certain airlines are recognized as providing much greater comfort and service than other airlines. Look into the extra services provided, like the type of meals and drinks served, if toiletries are provided, and what the personal in-flight entertainment is like. In a rush on a business trip? Check the online capabilities of the airline, like quick electronic processing or if Wi-Fi is offered onboard. Check if they have any partners that offer convenient services, like Bags VIP luggage delivery service.

Choosing and airline depends on price, service, route and flexibility. From miles to services like Bags VIP luggage delivery, picking one can make your trip.

Image courtesy Flickr user Ms. P.

Safety:
There are accidents and they are something to take into account when choosing an airline. You can check out the International Civil Aviation Organization online for some safety statistics. Check for insurance. In response to increasing trends of budget airline mishaps, some airlines introduced their own insurance program.

Now that you have an idea of what to look for, you can make your choice of what airline to fly with. With these principles in mind, compare and select online. Keep in mind the extent of airline companies available and the wide range of options available, and finally make your choice based on the three main reasons above.

Planning your Vacation – Part 1: Picking a Destination

When planning a trip, consider what you like to do, how much time you have & your budget. Try services like Bags VIP luggage delivery service to save time.

Image courtesy Flickr user Echo Valley Ranch.

So, you’ve got some vacation time and you’d like to take a trip. Where do you go? What do you do? A great deal can go into picking the perfect place to spend your vacation. When choosing your next travel destination, try asking yourself some of these questions:

What do you like to do?
One of the biggest factors in making your decision will come down to how you like to travel, what you want to experience, and what your normal life is like. Do you need to relax and recharge with your family to distract from an otherwise hectic working and family life? Or are you bored and wired for action and want to see and do as much as possible?

When planning a trip, consider what you like to do, how much time you have & your budget. Try services like Bags VIP luggage delivery service to save time.

Image courtesy Flickr user Nick Harris.

Who are you traveling with?
Are you traveling alone? With a significant other? Taking the whole family along? These are all important factors in determining your ideal destination. If you travel as a family, sit down with your whole family and discuss your ideas and interests. Finding the balance between adult and kid stuff is important. If you travel as a couple, talk about your individual desires and expectations.

When planning a trip, consider what you like to do, how much time you have & your budget. Try services like Bags VIP luggage delivery service to save time.

Image courtesy Flickr user Ray Bodden.

How much time do you have?
If you only have 1-2 weeks of vacation time per year, you probably don’t want to waste too much of that time traveling to your destination. But if you have 2-4 weeks you can look at traveling a little further. Try some extra services to help you save time, like Bags VIP luggage delivery service so you don’t have to wait at baggage claim and can start your trip right away.

When are you traveling?
Check the weather for the months you want to travel. Is it monsoon season? Are blizzards likely? If so, you may want to choose a different date or place. Take advantage of smaller crowds in off seasons. Look into local holidays and festivals so you don’t miss the things you want to do and see, and can avoid the things that may hinder your trip.

When planning a trip, consider what you like to do, how much time you have & your budget. Try services like Bags VIP luggage delivery service to save time.

Image courtesy Flickr user karol m.

What is your budget?
Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to find a trip to match just about any budget. However, some key factors can make or break a budget, depending on how you plan. If you are traveling long-term, it’s best to stick to less expensive areas. Carefully consider the strength of the currency you are traveling on and what areas you can make your dollar travel further? What other currencies is it stronger against? You may even find that the activities you are looking to do can be found locally so you don’t have the cost of traveling abroad.

Vacation Items You Can’t Leave Home Without

Even the most experienced traveler who packs, hires a luggage delivery service and makes it to their hotel forgets important items when they travel.It happens to even the most experienced traveler; you finished packing, made it through the airport, hired a luggage delivery service and got all the way to your hotel, only to realize you left your bathing suit in the drawer and your camera’s memory card is still by the computer. Here are some of the most forgotten items for traveling so you remember next time:

Chargers
Most people today can’t function without their phones, but your phone won’t function without a charge. Try setting a reminder on your phone to pack the charger, because we all know you won’t forget your phone!

Even the most experienced traveler who packs, hires a luggage delivery service and makes it to their hotel forgets important items when they travel.Bathing Suit
You may think it’s odd to bring swim gear on you ski trip, but you don’t want to be the one left out when your group wants to party in the hot tub. Better to have one and not need it…

Emergency First Aid
This is one of those things you won’t miss until you really need it. Don’t underestimate the importance of a small first aid kit with some bandages, even if it’s just for blisters after a day on the town.

A Lock
It may seem trivial, but for the gym goer or those using hotel amenities, a small travel lock can give you peace of mind that your items are safe when you can see them.

Even the most experienced traveler who packs, hires a luggage delivery service and makes it to their hotel forgets important items when they travel.Camera Accessories
Your fancy camera and selfie stick are going to take some great pictures on your trip, just don’t forget the memory card! Make sure you have all your camera accessories packed up with your camera to ensure you can share all the memories with friends and family.

A Jacket
Just like the swimsuit, never underestimate the usefulness of a jacket. Movie theaters get cold, restaurants can be chilly, and can you ever really trust the weather? Always bring something warm to wear – just in case.

Laundry Items
Let’s face it, accidents happen. You will have dirty clothes on your trip, and you will need somewhere to put them. Bring a laundry bag and some sort of laundry soap is another must-have for those accidental spills on your favorite pants. You’ll be glad you did!

Avoid Excess Baggage: What Not to Pack on Your Next Trip

Bad packing decisions leads to excess baggage. Figuring out out what you really need and what you can leave is the only way to consolidate and save space. Most people pack with the assumption that anything that can go wrong, will. And they pack accordingly. This accounts for a great deal of excess baggage and unnecessary items being brought along on trips. Figuring out what you really need and what you can leave is the only way to consolidate your luggage and save space. Try to keep these things in mind and out of your bags when you’re packing:

TSA Prohibited Items:
When flying, make sure you’ve consulted the TSA list of prohibited items. This will save space in your bags, and potentially a hassle at the airport. And remember when it doubt, leave it at home.

Full Size Bottles:
Full size toiletry items are not only bulky and cumbersome, they are also against TSA regulations. Replace your regular shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste with drug store trial size bottles.

Extra Clothing:
Try to limit your clothing choices to simple outfits that can be doubled for alternate situations. Spruce those up with small accessories that don’t take up a lot of room – ties, scarves and belts are a few options. And remember, if you’re going somewhere cold, wear your big coat on the plane to save some room in your bags.

Footwear:
Again, versatility is key with shoes. Wear your bulky pair on the plane, and make sure the ones you pack can serve more than one purpose. Try to limit yourself to two pair: one causal and one dressier, though you may want to pass on extra-high heels or heavy boots.

Bulky Items:
Don’t forget what hotels provide and what they don’t. Bathrobes, hair dryers and a selection of toiletries are commonly provided at all kinds of hotels and resorts. Use theirs! Take advantage of the free amenities.

Valuables:
When thinking of what to bring, avoid possible mishaps and streamline your bag by leaving your valuables, i.e. jewelry other fancy accessories at home. If you have to bring lots of cash or expensive items, be sure to pack them in your carry-on instead of checked bags.

Tips for Traveling with the Family

Even the most seasoned travelers know that going anywhere with the family along brings a new level of stress to any trip. Use Bags VIP luggage delivery to handle the excess baggage.Even the most seasoned travelers know that going anywhere with the family along brings a new level of stress to any trip. More bags, more people and more money equals more problems. Here are just a few tips from Bags to help make a vacation with the whole family a little easier on you and on them:

Only the Essentials
Skip the frills on a family trip. The more you bring with you, the more you have to carry and keep up with during your trip.

Be Prepared
While packing light its good, packing smart is better. Always expect the unexpected and have essentials in your carry on, like diapers, wipes, medications, a change of clothes and snacks.

Bring the Fun
Vacations are fun, but traveling is boring. Make sure to bring entertainment for everyone. Backpacks for each child are a great way to make sure that everyone in the family gets to bring their chosen toy or game.

Safety First
Car seats do not count as checked luggage on any airline. You will not be charged. Get yourself a durable car seat cover and check it for your trip.

Even the most seasoned travelers know that going anywhere with the family along brings a new level of stress to any trip. Use Bags VIP luggage delivery to handle the excess baggage.Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Being open, understanding, and above all flexible will always make your trip smoother. Lines will be long, traffic will be heavy, flights will be delayed and children (and adults) will get grumpy. But with just a little planning and an open mind, you’ll survive and enjoy another family vacation.

Use Bags VIP
Imagine your family stepping off of a plane and straight into your vacation. Now you can head to your destination with the confidence that your luggage will meet you there safely. Traveling luggage-free is the simple way to enjoy every moment with your family. And with Bags VIP luggage delivery handling the excess baggage, your biggest worry will be where to grab lunch.

Making the most of your airport wait time

Most of us have been there – stuck between flights and in need of a way to pass the time at the airport. Nowadays most people turn to their mobile devices, but games and apps can use a lot of data and even more of your phone or tablet’s precious battery life. So here are some other options for making the most of your down time at the gate:

We offer ways you can spend your idle time at the airport better, courtesy of Bags® VIP Luggage Delivery Service.

Image courtesy of (Mick Baker)rooster via Flickr

Catch up on current events: With all that’s going on in the world, there’s always time to get up to date on the goings on of the world outside of our daily bubbles. Find a TV showing the news or pick up a newspaper and learn what’s happening overseas, or even new developments around the country that you’ve missed.

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Image courtesy of Kenneth Uzquiano via Flickr

 

Train your brain: Puzzles and books are one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to waste your extra time waiting for a flight. Puzzle books like Sudoku or crosswords can help you eat up a lot of time, and bringing a few novels or magazines along is always a great way to distract yourself from the wait.

 

We offer ways you can spend your idle time at the airport better, courtesy of Bags® VIP Luggage Delivery Service.

Image courtesy of Ramada Milwaukee via Flickr

 

Bar Hop: Every airport has at least one or two places to grab a drink, and most have far more than that. Sit down, relax, and have a drink while you wait for your flight. Just always remember to drink responsibly. It’s a great way to loosen up for your flight and burn some down time. Try chatting with another patron – you never know who you may meet!

We offer ways you can spend your idle time at the airport better, courtesy of Bags® VIP Luggage Delivery Service.

Image courtesy of shelby-dog via flickr

 

Catch up on sleep: Waiting for your flight is the perfect time to grab some z’s before you’re off. Whether it’s before an early morning flight or waiting for a connection, grabbing some shut eye during the wait will make you feel better when you’re finally at your destination.

 

 

If what you really want on your next trip is to save time, not waste it, we have a solution for that too. Bags®VIP luggage delivery service allows you to bypass baggage claim and begin making the most of your vacation or business trip right away, without the hassle of luggage.