The Travel Guys Say Goodbye…For Now…

Sunday’s edition of The Travel Guys will be the last for a while. As announced earlier this month, Mark will be busy in 2013 serving as volunteer Chairman of the National Tour Association, the nation’s premier group of tour operators. The time required to produce a radio show each week just won’t be there, so the weekly edition of the show is taking a break, with sincere hopes of returning about this time next year to KFBK.

In the meantime, watch here and at www.sportsleisure.com for announcements regarding the Travel Guys and a possible affiliation with the Morning News on KFBK-AM/92.5 FM. We are not leaving, just taking a break.

But before we go, we have a great final program… Henry Biernacki, by far our most popular guest on the program over the last three years, will be on hand. Mark has his ultimate list of Travel Tips and of course, there’s our version of the travel news. Clayton Whitehead joins Mark in the studio. In a unique twist, Tom is on the road, having celebrated Thanksgiving in San Antonio. Check below for a great list of links to interesting travel articles Mark won’t have time to mention on the air today.

Delta New Website Support

As we’re sure many of you noticed, Delta has a new webpage…and with it has come quite a few headaches for flyers.  Having trouble figuring out Delta’s new website?  Drop them a line by clicking the “Comment” button on the bottom right of their page, or by clicking here.  In a pinch, you can also get ahold of them at 1-888-750-3284.

Where Elephants Go to Retire

Links from the Show

Mark’s Ten Travel Tips to Live By

Don’t fall for the “rental car rip-off,” by allowing yourself to fall victim to the rental car companies. Know what your personal insurance covers, don’t accept ridiculous fees for coverage you don’t need, no matter how much the sales person from the rental car company tries to trick you into shelling out more money.

Some airline fees are ridiculous. One is not. The opportunity to upgrade to a better seat in economy for a reasonable amount of money. If you can’t get the seat because you are a frequent flyer, pay a little more and be more comfortable. Or stop complaining. Airfares, adjusted for inflation, are way too low. The airlines are making a profit on the little extras. It’s not unreasonable.

Get an affinity credit card, preferably for a hotel chain or an airline. Keep in mind that when it comes to redeeming your points/miles, hotel rooms are often easier to get than the airline seats. During your vacation, which will you use more, an airline seat or a hotel room? Something to think about.

Get to the airport early. Figure out the amount of time you reasonably need to park, transfer, get ticketed, etc. Much of the problems and stress in the airport experience is a result of people not giving themselves enough time. Way better to be sitting at the gate for 30 minutes than sweating out the security line as departure time approaches.

Look past the ratings. Just because a restaurant got two bad reviews on Trip Advisor or Yelp doesn’t mean it’s a total bomb. Look at the dates and the contexts of those complaints, and use them as a flag, but be careful about judging a business solely on the input of a couple of angry customers. The customer/reviewer, despite what you hear, isn’t always right.

Remember the little people who make your travel experience possible. Tip the housekeeper at the hotel, who is arguably the hardest-working and lowest paid person in the entire tourism food chain. Remember when the storm is blowing outside, lots of people have to leave their families to serve you when you are traveling. Honor them with courtesy and respect and you’ll be surprised how much more enjoyable your travels are.

Know your rights. In this day and age, information is widely available, so know what should happen at the airport when your flight is cancelled. Your rights vary according to the situation, so it’s good to know the rules, or more importantly, how to find them when you might need to reference them. Does the airline owe you a hotel room or is it just a courtesy? Are you entitled to meal vouchers for sitting in the airport for four hours? Again, depends on the situation.

Resist the temptation to drag the kitchen sink on the airplane. If you have that much junk. Fly Southwest so you can check it for free. Note: Some airlines are starting to enforce carry-on rules. That would help resolve the issue, but let’s see if they REALLY enforce the rules over a period of time.

Get off the interstate. Patronize the small diner, discover the five-napkin cheeseburger that rocks your world, or the fascinating little museum you would never have seen if you hadn’t taken the time. Small towns and the people who live in them are the best part of travel, in any country.

Read the fine print. Promise us you’ll take a minute to read the fine print, especially when the price seems “too good to be true.” The person who takes the time to know a little about what they are buying will travel with a lot less stress, expense and inconvenience.

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