Tag Archives: travel advice

Choosing the Right Cruise for You!

Planning your first cruise can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Many people assume that all cruises are the same, except for their destinations. However, there can be much more important factors that determine the success of your vacation than just where you’re going. Are you traveling with a group or as a single? Are you looking for adventure or relaxation? Traveling on a budget? Taking these ideas into consideration can be the difference between making and breaking your trip. Don’t bother shipping luggage! With Bags VIP, we can deliver your bags right to your cabin.

No need for shipping luggage for your cruise – Bags VIP will delivery your bags right do your cabin!

Traveling on a budget: Carnival Cruise Line

If you've considered shipping luggage for your cruise, don't give it another thought - our Bags VIP luggage delivery will delivery your bags right do your cabin.

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Carnival favors affordable, three to seven night excursions to lengthy and expensive trips. With popular destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico, you can have an exotic vacation without breaking the bank. With some careful planning and timing, a Carnival cruise can cost you as little as $50 per person per night. In an effort to save you money, Carnival features simple cabins and does not go overboard with extra cost venues on board. For budget rates, avoid holiday periods, especially school vacations, and consider an Early Saver rate, which could knock 20 percent off the price simply by putting a $50 down payment on your trip.

Traveling with Teens: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

If you've considered shipping luggage for your cruise, don't give it another thought - our Bags VIP luggage delivery will delivery your bags right do your cabin.

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Every parent knows older kids can be hard to please. They need exciting activities, and lots of them. Royal Caribbean has them. Depending on the ship, your teens can enjoy a bottomless well of energy with rock-climbing walls, zip-lines, ice- and inline-skating, surf simulators, a boxing ring, and basketball and volleyball courts. Onboard youth programs divide kids up by ages in order to provide the most age appropriate entertainment, while still making them feel like adults. With amenities like a Generation Y Spa designed especially for younger generations and their adolescent needs, a teens only “casino,” backstage ship tours, and a no grown-ups allowed club where they can dance, drink “mocktails,” and interact with new friends while parents enjoy their own time.

 

Traveling with Families & Children: Disney Cruise Line

Image courtesy of Scottwdw via Flickr

Image courtesy of Scottwdw via Flickr

Disney is unique in the cruise industry in that it caters to the needs of the youngest travelers; babies and toddlers. While most ships only allow children six or twelve months old, Disney will accept tots as young as 3 months old. They provide nurseries for little ones up to 3 years old with water play areas just for them. The ships also feature signature Disney characters like Mickey, Goofy and the Princesses who interact with the youngsters during breakfast, tea times and meet-and-greets. With huge play areas designed after their favorite Disney and Pixar movies, lots of high-tech games, and interactive and educational programming, your little ones will never be short on things to do. Cabins and dining establishments are tailored for families, taking into account the practical needs like split bathrooms with tub/shower combos, and the magical wants like restaurants with fairy tale décor.

Mature cruisers: Holland America Line

If you've considered shipping luggage for your cruise, don't give it another thought - our Bags VIP luggage delivery will delivery your bags right do your cabin.

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With all of today’s loud and crowded ships, some older cruisers may feel out of place on their vacation. Holland America Line offers quiet, relaxing pleasures like a Culinary Arts Center, which focuses on cooking demos, tastings and shore side market tours led by top chefs. You can go on a self-guided art tour on board the ship, or visit the Explorations Café with a library and visiting lecturers speaking on art, history and a variety of other topics. For those wishing to stay active on their vacation, you can enjoy amenities such as a golf putting green, yoga and tennis. Under the brand’s Signatures of Excellence initiative, the line is expanding their ships’ enrichment programs and renovating the public areas and staterooms with comforts such as the Mariner Dream bed and high quality cotton linens.

For singles: Norwegian Cruise Line

If you've considered shipping luggage for your cruise, don't give it another thought - our Bags VIP luggage delivery will delivery your bags right do your cabin.

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In 2010, Norwegian Epic was unveiled featuring 128 Studios, 100-square-foot cabins that are perfect in size and price for parties of one. The ship also offers passengers in this category of cabin a keycard with access to the Living Room, a special lounge with a bar, snacks and activities that facilitate pairing up with fellow single travelers. The ship also offers a plethora of other bars, including the Svedka Ice Bar and Bliss Ultra Lounge, hip entertainment like the Second City improv show and Blue Man Group, and ship wide events such as pub crawls that are perfect for singles, or newly formed couples.

Adventurers Seekers: Lindblad Expeditions

If you've considered shipping luggage for your cruise, don't give it another thought - our Bags VIP luggage delivery will delivery your bags right do your cabin.

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Looking for an out of the ordinary cruise experience? For the adventurous types, Lindblad Expeditions ventures to not so ordinary destinations like the Arctic, Antarctica, Galapagos, Amazon and other less-mainstream cruise destinations. On trips to the arctic, passengers travel aboard an ice-class vessel that plows through icy waters for extraordinary views of polar bears and other arctic wildlife. Its Cape Horn-to-Cape of Good Hope excursion that follows the path of ancient surveyors and circumnavigators. On trips to Antarctica, National Geographic naturalists, marine specialists and photographers live on board, offering insights and information to the passengers. For the most adventurous travelers, the cruise line is equipped with sea kayaks and underwater cameras for close up views. The company also advances sustainable practices and supports many conservation programs in the fragile destinations it visits.

No matter which vacation you choose, we can help make your travels easier. Most cruise lines offer onboard airline check-in services that allow guests to check-in for flights, receive boarding passes, and check luggage all from aboard the ship. Bags VIP luggage delivery service can also be added for additional convenience when guests travel to and from the port. Bags VIP luggage delivery allows you to bypass baggage claim after your flight and begin making the most of your vacation right away, without the burden of luggage. For more information on these services, click here.

Like this post? So did we! To read more, please visit cruisecritic.

Best airline product and service innovations of 2013

Every year, Airlinetrends.com puts out a report of their top product and service innovations from airlines around the country. Their choices this year reflect how airlines have adapted and come up with creative solutions using combinations of technology, social fashions and economic trends focused on improving passenger experiences, increasing revenue and lowering costs. From in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers. 

1. Airlines let flyers download content to their personal device before the flight

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Brisan via Flickr

With the increasing number of passengers using personal devices onboard, airlines are moving forward with the use of inflight Wi-Fi and wireless IFE (Inflight Entertainment) portals. You can also look forward to access to IFE content via dedicated apps for your smart device before takeoff or through the airline lounge Wi-Fi network.

 

 

2. AirBaltic lets passengers customize their buy-on-board meal

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

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AirBaltic is making some creative changes to online food ordering. Now you can customize your inflight meal order. Passengers who pre-order their inflight meals have over 70 different meal options to choose from. With the new system you can use the touch screen device to drag and drop your preferred meal choices onto a digital tray, then sit back and your customized meal will be served to you on board

 

 

 

 

3. British Airways to trial electronic baggage tag

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

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British Airways is doing away with traditional paper tags for passengers’ bags. The airline has begun testing a new electronic baggage tag, eliminating the need for a new tag each time you fly. With this new technology, you can update the electronic suitcase tag to show your flight information by simply scanning the tag with your smartphone after you check in.

 

 

 

 

4. Norwegian’s new Dreamliner features geotainment and in-seat ordering of food and beverage

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of C.Bry@nt via Flickr

Norwegian Airlines new Dreamliners will be the first aircraft to feature Panasonic’s new Android powered in seat IFE system. A new “geotainment” flight map and in seat food and drink ordering will be available on some pre-loaded android apps for travelers to use in flight. The map allows you to follow your flight path throughout the trip and choose from interactive 3D views, a “heads up display”, or use a free roam mode to view and interact with the passing landscapes.

 

 

 

 

5. Delta provides cabin crew with Nokia Lumia “onboard retail” smartphones

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of pchow98 via Flickr

In keeping with upcoming trends, Delta airlines is adopting an American Airlines innovation. Just as American has provided its crews with Samsung handheld devices, Delta is equipping 19,000 flight attendants with a Windows 8 Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone for advanced onboard service and sales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Innovation at Bags

Here at Bags, we are also working hard to provide you with the best travel experience possible. Major airlines, cruise lines and world-famous resorts trust Bags’ agents to handle their customers’ luggage every day – more than 5 million bags a year! Bags VIP works hard to earn customers’ trust, providing you with unprecedented service and peace of mind.

Best Airlines for Business Travel in 2014

Whether you seek efficient route networks, desirable in-flight products, excellent customer service, or skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Condor.com via Flickr

There a few things that every business traveler looks for when flying from meeting to meeting. Whether you seek efficient route networks, desirable in-flight products, excellent customer service, or skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers. So which airlines are keeping up with the needs of today’s traveling businessmen and businesswomen?

When traveling for business, skip shipping luggage and baggage claim and use Bags VIP luggage delivery

With the recent American and US Airlines merger, American Airlines is considered to be one of the top performers of 2014 by industry analysts. Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com points out, “They are in the process of updating their fleet with a top lie-flat long haul product, have not devalued their frequent flyer program… and still offer top frequent flyers complimentary upgrades–even on transcontinental routes.”

Whether you seek efficient route networks, desirable in-flight products, excellent customer service, or skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Ron Monroe via Flickr

Delta and American Airlines are also letting you connect to in-flight wireless internet and offering regularly scheduled flights across their broad networks. Virgin America will play a bigger role in the business travel world in 2014 as it expands its presence in New York City, and JetBlue is poised to launch their Mint business class transcontinental service this summer. According to Brian Kelly, “The pricing allows small and large business alike to buy premium transcontinental seats at a fraction of the regular price that the major legacy airlines charge.”

Some industry analysts say that one important thing to keep in mind for 2014 is the changes to Delta Airlines and United Airlines’ frequent flyer mileage programs. Grant Martin, contributor to Forbes.com, points out that new constraints in both programs limit the flexibility to earn miles when traveling with partner airlines, and eligibility for elite status in the 2015 year will be based in part on how much you spend with the airline. If you earn elite status on these airlines by frequently booking low cost tickets, changes to the programs may put you in jeopardy of not meeting the minimum spend requirements.

Other Airlines, including the American Airlines group and Southwest, are refraining from major changes to the frequent flyer programs. However according to the article on Forbes.com, once its merger is complete the new American Airlines may follow suit with competitors.

No matter which airline you choose for your business travels this year, use Bags VIP luggage delivery to help you make travel easier. At your destination, a Bags VIP agent will retrieve your luggage from baggage claim and deliver it to your hotel, home or office.

Top 5 Romantic Vacation Destinations

Looking for that perfect vacation destination to share with your loved one on your next trip? Look no further. Below are our top 5 most romantic vacation getaways in the US for you and your special someone. From island paradises to snowy resorts, these places are sure to bring a new spark to your relationship and inspire your romantic side. If you’re planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage – use Bags VIP luggage delivery and start the romance the moment you land.

#5: Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a one stop vacation hot spot. Great food. Great shopping. Great culture. One of

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and start the romance the moment you land.

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the most affluent parts of California, Santa Barbara offers everything from great historical attractions to world class golf courses, all perfect for a romantic getaway. You and your valentine can enjoy views of beautiful mountains, painted valleys or romantic walks down the city side beach, absorbing the elegance and sophistication not found in many other places.  Be sure that you and your special someone head to the nearby wineries for some of the best wine tastings in the country, and experience the unique and reputable cuisine at any of Santa Barbara’s famed restaurants.

#4: Aspen, Colorado

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and start the romance the moment you land.

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If you’re looking for a romantic winter wonderland getaway, look no further than beautiful Aspen Colorado. This gorgeous town set in a picturesque mountain setting is the perfect place for you and your valentine to enjoy each other’s company. Sit close on a ski lift as you pass by the snowcapped mountain peaks or warm up together in a hot tub overlooking the twinkling mountain town. With high-end shopping, fascinating museums, funky galleries and fun festivals, it might be a struggle to make it to the world class ski slopes. No matter how you spend your time here together, it will be a vacation neither of you will soon forget.

#3: Savannah, Georgia

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and start the romance the moment you land.

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A visit to this beautiful city decked out in Spanish moss and southern charm is perfect for a romantic getaway. Packed full of lush gardens, parks, and outdoor activities, Savannah practically oozes romance and love. Take an evening stroll in Riverwalk for lively music, fresh seafood, splendid wine stores, and great vistas of the water. At night, Savannah College of Art & Design students mix with ghost hunters and preservationists, while restaurants and restored theaters wait for you and your date to explore the mystery and charm of this romantic city.

#2: Key West, Florida

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and start the romance the moment you land.

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Once you and your significant other take a visit to sunny Key West, you will know why Ernest Hemingway chose to never leave the city. Key West is chock full of romance, fun, food and drinks, and is consistently rated one of Americas most romantic escape destinations. Watch the sun set at the southernmost point of the United States, and keep an eye out for the famous “green flash” as the sun disappears behind the watery horizon. Visit the tropical reefs and explore the crystal clear depths with your valentine for an exciting and colorful date. Or, just enjoy the many cafes, bars and parades that permeate the city.

#1: Maui, Hawaii

If you're planning a trip to one of these destinations, skip the hassle of shipping luggage - use Bags VIP luggage delivery and start the romance the moment you land.

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Ranked high on Travel & Leisure’s most romantic getaways nearly every year, Maui is just about as romantic as you can get. Book a room at a luxury resort and enjoy the spa, or take a moonlit walk on the beach and gaze at the stars. Its exotic jungles and stunningly gorgeous beaches cap off what will be the perfect vacation spot to experience romance. Go snorkeling in the beautiful waters or take a tour to see some of the islands exotic wildlife and interesting culture. Fall in love all over again at this stunning island paradise.

Follow Bags Inc’s board >> Romance + Travel = ♥ on Pinterest.


Baggage fees or no baggage fees? Do flyers want to ship luggage?

Flyers are open to paying for services. Bags VIP is a smart alternative than paying to ship luggage.

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Most people know that airlines make their real money in ancillary fees; those extra charges, like bag fees and seat selection charges that we all hate. In fact, a recent industry report suggests that North American carriers collected $17.2 billion in ancillary revenue last year. But is the revenue stream worth the stream of complaints and criticisms from customers? A survey from fly.com sheds some light on what fliers really hate being charged for, and for which services (including if they want to ship luggage) they would be willing to shell out more.

Fly.com questioned 613 U.S. travelers. 89% voiced the opinion that it is important airlines stop charging passengers for checked baggage. However, of the same travelers surveyed, 42% said they would pay extra for a reserved overhead storage bin on the plane. Reserved overhead storage was only one of a host of other services or upgrades travelers say they would be willing to pay more for, especially in lieu of baggage fees. It seems that in most cases, customers would pay an extra charge for services that improve the comfort and/or efficiency of travel. For instance:

45% would pay for extra leg room

36% would buy a security fast pass at the airport

34% would dish out to prevent the seat in front of them from reclining

26% would pay to have an empty middle seat next to them

Is it possible that charges for these kinds of services would make up for what would be lost if the airlines were to discontinue baggage fees? This may be an important consideration for airlines if they want to retain the business of the frugal traveler. Said best by Warren Chang, vice president and GM of Fly.com “While lucrative, it is important that airlines balance profit against the needs and interests of their passengers.  Our latest survey reveals the type of ancillary opportunities that can bolster passenger satisfaction, while also delivering new revenue streams to the airline industry.”

The survey results also reported that 35% of people would pay to have their checked luggage come out first at baggage claim. Why not make it even easier? With Bags VIP luggage delivery, you can bypass baggage claim and begin making the most of your vacation or business trip right away, without the burden of luggage. Major airlines, cruise lines and world-famous resorts trust Bags to handle their customers’ luggage every day – more than 5 million bags each year! Now, you can Make Travel Easier and more enjoyable by having a Bags VIP agent retrieve your luggage from baggage claim when you arrive and deliver it to your hotel, home or office.

Top 5 Travel Myths Debunked

The do’s and don’ts of travel are usually pretty straightforward. Get to the airport early. Put your tray tables up when you land. Don’t lose your passport. However, there are many things we hear about what to do when traveling that seem strange, or even just nonsensical. Below, we will discuss 5 common myths and half truths about what to do or not do when on a trip. Follow these tips and skip the hassle of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery – advice that will make travel easier.

1)    Jet lag is a result of a lack of sleep:

Follow these tips and skip the hassle of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery - advice that will make travel easier.

Image courtesy of BVStarr via Flickr

This is one of the most common myths about traveling by plane. The feeling of jet lag is often attributed to early and late flight times depriving travelers of sleep. The swift changes in time zones can indeed disrupt your daily schedule and make it difficult to sleep during a flight. However, the kind of jet lag that stays with a traveler for several days after a flight has almost nothing to do with the amount of sleep you get on the plane. Jet lag results from changes to your body’s circadian rhythm.  Your circadian rhythm is the internal clock that tells your body when you’re hungry and when to go to the bathroom. It even regulates body temperature and blood pressure. The timing of this natural cycle is impacted significantly by cues your body gets from exposure to daylight.  In different time zones, those daylight cues occur at different times and your body is forced to re-synchronize its patterns. The easiest way to lessen the effects of jet lag is to begin timing your in-flight and pre-flight sleeping and eating patterns with the time zone at your destination.

2)    Last minute deals on booking:

Follow these tips and skip the hassle of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery - advice that will make travel easier.

Image courtesy of Sonia Belviso via Flickr

This is a travel myth that used to be true, and occasionally still can be, but relying on it to be true will cost you money in the modern world of travel. In years past, holding out until the last minute to buy airline tickets could help you get the best prices because airlines would rush to fill their empty seats at any price. Now, with better search engines, record travel levels, and more sold out flights, this cannot be counted upon. According to industry experts, looking for special deals (usually four to eight weeks before the flight) is the best option for saving some money when booking a flight. Once in a while you can still find a deal at the last minute, but those deals are becoming fewer and farther between.

3)     Your cellphone could crash the plane:

Follow these tips and skip the hassle of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery - advice that will make travel easier.

Image courtesy of sam_churchill via Flickr

“Please power down all electronic devices.” Ever heard this before? Since as far back as 1990, the use of cell phones on flights has been banned for fear that they would interfere with the planes’ instruments and cause accidents. Though the ban is still in effect, a study done by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2006 could not find a correlation between phone use and flight accidents. However, they were also unable to prove conclusively that phones did not lead to accidents and the ban has remained in effect.  So, is it a myth or not?  The trend seems to be toward agreement that this is in fact a myth. Today, more and more airlines are allowing in flight calls and access to mobile devices, with no reports of them having caused accidents to date

4)    Guided tours are inauthentic:

Follow these tips and skip the hassle of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery - advice that will make travel easier.

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Many people feel that guided tours are a superficial and “touristy” experience. They would rather have the experience of independently exploring a new city, to get a real feeling of having been somewhere new. However, well organized tours with an informed guide can enhance the experience of a new place, and provide knowledge and insights you may miss if exploring by yourself. A good local tour guide can shed light on which places you should visit, which you should avoid, and can provide an experience that is unavailable to the independent traveler.

5)    The airline will lose your luggage:

Lots of people worry about leaving their bags at the check-in desk and never getting them back.Follow these tips and skip the hassle of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery - advice that will make travel easier. In reality, only between one and two percent of luggage that is checked gets “lost.” Also, most of the luggage in that statistic is really only delayed, not lost, and gets returned to the owner within a matter of hours, or days in the worst cases. A bag actually getting lost is quite rare. You can help reduce any chance of your luggage being lost by checking it early, and including contact information on your suitcase. Be sure to clearly display your email address as well as your physical one.

So next time you decide to travel, make sure you know fact from fiction, so you can make the most of your trip. Have a myth of your own? Share it with us!

Make Travel Easy to Super Bowl XLVIII

The Super Bowl is less than two weeks away; hopefully, if you’re a die-hard Broncos or Seahawks fan, you already have your tickets purchased, flights booked, and hotel reservations made. Getting around New York and New Jersey can be tricky and expensive. Why not let us handle your excess baggage so you can focus on having fun?

Once you get to the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, onsite parking, if it’s been purchased in advance, will cost $150. If you aren’t traveling by car, you can take the Fan Express Bus ($51), which will pick up at multiple locations throughout New Jersey and Manhattan, but you must have a ticket to the game in order to catch a ride. NJ TRANSIT will offer a special pass for Super Bowl week. The $50 SUPER PASS will be valid for unlimited travel from Monday, January 27 through Monday, February 3, 2014 on all NJ TRANSIT rail, bus, light rail and Access Link services throughout New Jersey, including travel to and from Newark Liberty International Airport and New York City. Or you can just purchase tickets for travel between New York’s Penn Station and MetLife Stadium for game day.

super bowl map

Map detailing the location of New York’s three major airports and their proximity to MetLife Stadium.

Arriving via Newark Airport
Newark Airport is the closest of the three New York area airports to MetLife Stadium. Unless you are just going to the game, you might end up staying in Manhattan in order to take advantage of all that New York has to offer. If so, you can take the AirTrain to Penn Station, then the subway to your hotel. Or you can take a private shuttle that will run $12-19 each way. Taxis cost $50-75 plus tolls each way. For return trips to Newark, there is a $15 surcharge. For each leg, you will be charged an additional fee for luggage over 24 inches if the driver handles the bags. Taxi lines can be long and slow, so be prepared to wait.

super bowl taxi queue

Passengers queue for a taxi at JFK Airport. Image courtesy Dan Phiffer via Flickr.

Arriving via JFK or LaGuardia
Visitors flying into JFK can get into the city via AirTrain, which will drop them off at one of three spots in Manhattan. If you are arriving at either JFK or LaGuardia you can also take a private shuttle or a taxi.

You would most likely enjoy this hectic scene more if you did not have to haul your own luggage. Image courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority via Flickr.

You would likely enjoy this hectic scene more if you did not have to haul your own luggage. Image courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority via Flickr.

Your easiest, most stress-free option is to utilize our Bags VIP luggage delivery service. When you arrive in New York or New Jersey, bypass baggage claim and head to your hotel or any other destination within 100 miles of the airport. Our agents will retrieve your luggage and deliver it to your chosen destination, safely and securely. Along the way, you will receive email updates about the progress of your delivery, and Bags VIP’s world-class customer service is always just a phone call or email away.

Without your luggage in tow, you’ll be free to explore the city and to easily navigate more affordable transportation options like AirTrain and the subway. That will leave your hands free for carrying a game day snack, Super Bowl souvenirs, or for celebrating a Seattle or Denver victory. Safe travels and enjoy the big game!

Boston’s Callahan Tunnel Closing Update

Boston Logan International Airport. Image courtesy Flickr user David Wilson.

Boston Logan International Airport. Image courtesy Flickr user David Wilson.

Last month, we told you about the temporary closing of Boston’s Callahan Tunnel, the main artery from the North End to Logan International Airport. The tunnel normally carries an average of 30,000 cars on weekdays, but closed on December 27 for a $34.9 million overhaul. Crews are working 20 hours a day to rehabilitate the tunnel’s deck, curb line, and gutters, in addition to replacing the wall panels.

Alternate routes (marked in grey, below) include the Ted Williams Tunnel, which is experiencing quite an increase in traffic due to the Callahan closure, over the Tobin Bridge, or along Route 16 east to Route 1A south. As you can see, these routes are adding significant travel time to airport goers’ trips. Because traffic is backed up leaving the city, it’s causing more congestion for those entering the city.

Alternate routes from the city to Logan International are marked in grey.

Alternate routes from the city to Logan International are marked in grey.

If you’re flying into Boston, either as a visitor or a resident returning home, consider bypassing the hassles of construction traffic. Sign up for our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and skip, not only baggage claim, but also the headaches. Starting at $29.95, we’ll deliver your luggage to your home, hotel or any other address within 100 miles of the airport. It’s great for families too. We offer a flat rate of $49.95 for 3-8 bags. Use Bags VIP and take public transport into the city. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Silver Line, which connects the airport to the heart of the city via bus, will run service to and from Logan International consistently every day. Or take the subway, known as the T. Free shuttles take you from your terminal to the airport station, which runs on the blue line into the city. This option is faster, easier and much more affordable than renting a car or taking a taxi. Cabs run $20-40 each way, depending on where in the city you are headed. The T costs $2.50 for a one-time ride or $11-18 for daily or weekly passes.

The Callahan Tunnel is scheduled to re-open March 12.

Pick 5 | New Year’s Travel Resolutions

New Year's Travel ResolutionsOnce the holidays are over and a long, cold winter lies ahead, minds naturally tend to wander. Before you know it you’re searching for flights to warm or far-off destinations. To make your 2014 travel adventures all they should be, we’ve picked five handy tips for you to keep in mind.

1. Forget your itinerary.
Yes, you probably want a general idea of where you’re going and you might schedule some tours and activities ahead of time. But keep in mind that travel should also be about the unexpected! Leave a day or two open and be spontaneous. Take a scenic drive. Explore a local neighborhood. Grab a drink at a hole-in-the-wall. Chances are, years from now, those will be the moments you remember most. So try to be more carefree and less strict about a schedule.

2. Unplug.
This is often the most difficult part of getting away. But it is a vacation and part of that means getting away from everything, including your phone, tablet and laptop. Vow to upload photos to Facebook when you get home. Make everyone put away their phones at meals and engage in real conversations. Work will be there when you get home, as will Pinterest, Twitter and Candy Crush.

3. Be open minded.
Travel is about new experiences. Whether it’s strange foods, new cultures or foreign languages, embrace the unknown! Brush up on a new language before your trip and make a promise that you will try to speak to locals only in their native tongue. Try a local dish, especially if it’s something you would never eat at home. Attend a festival to soak in local culture. Find out where residents like to go and visit those places to get off the beaten path.

4. Have a budget.
If you haven’t started saving for your next trip, what are you waiting for? Set aside a bit each month so that you have spending money for your vacation. And while on your trip, stick to that budget! If you stay on budget for your next trip, it will be easier to start planning again once you get home. And planning vacations is part of the fun!

5. Be patient.
Travel can be maddening, tiring and trying. It can be a hassle to pack, get through security, hop on the plane, wait for your luggage, rent a car, etc. Depending on where you’re headed, you might have to deal with inclement or unpleasant weather, crowds and cranky service workers. Be patient and don’t let the little things get to you. Mistakes happen, so be kind to others, and the problem will most likely be quickly resolved. Remember, you’re on vacation to relax, and remaining calm will improve your overall temperament and the mood of those with whom you’re traveling.

So go ahead and plan that next trip…you deserve it, and what better way to kick off the new year?

Checkpoint of the Future

Denver_International_Airport_security

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

What does the future of air travel look like? According to Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the future of air travel will be easier, faster, and less intrusive.

The ACI and IATA are jointly developing plans for a project called “Smart Security,” renamed from its conception as “Checkpoint of the Future.” The program will include a phased rollout for 2014, 2017, and 2020, all working toward the vision of a better security screening process.

Here is the program’s vision according to ACI and IATA:

An uninterrupted journey from curb to aircraft door, where passengers proceed through the security checkpoint with minimal need to divest, where security resources are allocated based on risk, and where airport amenities can be maximized.

This will be realized by accomplishing three main objectives:

  1. Strengthened security with advanced technology
  2. Increased operational efficiency ultimately leading to reduced costs per passenger
  3. Improved passenger experiences with reduced waiting times and less intrusive processes

Specific measures will include the use of:

  • Biometrics and identity management.
  • Known-traveler programs and pre-check clearances.
  • Behavioral analysis.
  • Cutting-edge X-Ray devices.
  • Optimized checkpoint configurations.

The new Smart Security program was created in response to predicted growth in air travel along with new and evolving security threats that the current check-point model is not equipped to address. The new checkpoint process will not only address these problems, but more importantly, from the traveler’s perspective, will make travel easier, safer, and more enjoyable.