You're stuck at an airport because of a delayed or cancelled flight, and you urgently need assistance from the airline in question. But there's a line of eighty other passengers at the podium, and the wait to reach a telephone reservationist is 25 minutes. So what do you do? You go to the Twitter feed of the airline suffering the delay or cancellation, and you communicate your needs (another flight, a hotel room, a meal) to the people who service that airline's Twitter account. More and more, the airlines are operating their own Twitters feeds and assigning dedicated personnel to them; and these knowledgeable folks achieve miracles of assistance to stranded passengers. The only hitch? To communicate with these good Samaritans, you have to have an independent Twitter account of your own. Those few hold-outs who haven't joined Twitter can read the tweets on an airline feed, but they can't pose a question to that feed.
Numerous experts in safe travel are claiming that persons who leave town on vacation, but don't arrange a "hold" on their newspapers or mail, are often burglarized while they're away because a pile of newspapers and a stack of mail outside your door indicate to thieves that you're not home. But will your local post office hold your mail while you're away? Experts say they will. Knowing my own local, New York post office, I'm less sure....We're moving into the warm weather months, meaning the high season for travel, and all indications are that Americans in record numbers will be visiting all the classic tourist destinations. So where can you go that won't be inundated with tourists? Central America, is one such place (Costa Rica and Panama, particularly), as are the capitals of South America. Most locations in the south Pacific are only lightly visited, and the great National Parks of our own nation are rarely over-crowded. I'd consider them all.
"Dynamic currency conversion" is the utterly improper ploy that many overseas restaurants and hotels use to eke out a few extra percentage points of income from your patronage of them. And no matter how many warnings against the practice are issued in the press, too many Americans permit these restaurants to convert your bills from foreign currency into dollars; they claim to be doing you a favor! Don't permit it. The exchange rate they use is weighted heavily in their favor, and isn't nearly as good as you'd get from the credit card companies that perform this function. If you're at a foreign restaurant or hotel, incurring charges stated in foreign currencies, pay with your credit card and make sure that credit slip is stated in the foreign currency. You'll eventually pay much less in dollars for it than if you had permitted the foreign proprietor to do this conversion for you....Thousands of airline flights are currently being cancelled or re-scheduled for reasons having nothing to do with bad weather. Rather, the airlines decide no longer to serve a particular city, or they have merged with another and therefore decide to re-schedule and combine flights, or they simply have decided to schedule fewer flights to a particular destination. Because of that widespread practice, it's no longer wise to buy airline tickets nine, ten or eleven months in advance, as many prudent travelers do; too great a chance exists that your flight may later be cancelled or re-scheduled, causing all sorts of headaches with hotel or car rental arrangements and the like, and yet with no recourse to you. In these days of airline irresponsibility, it's best to buy your tickets much closer to the departure date.