How to pack A duffel bag

  • ​How to Pick a Duffel

Duffel is a catch-all term for any large bag made of fabric or leather. Their flexibility is useful on car trips, safaris, ski vacations or any other getaway that requires hauling bulky, odd-shaped gear. Another advantage: Traditional duffels fold up easily when empty, requiring little storage space. Additional features include shoulder straps and wheels that keep them feeling light, and external and internal pockets that keep smaller items from getting lost in the bag.

Recommended Duffel:

Eagle Creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel, $150

This water-resistant, large duffel is sturdy and easy to lug around: It has wheels, a removable shoulder strap that’s padded and adjustable, an external pocket and lockable zippers. And, it folds compactly into the accompanying pouch.

​How Big Should Your Bag Be?

Check-in bags tend to range in size from 24 to 30 inches. Mr. Saltzman encourages travelers to choose a design that’s 28 inches or less because some airlines may consider a 29- to 30-inch suitcase oversized, which could mean paying a fee to check the bag.

​Best High-Tech Accessories

There are bags (almost always hard-cased bags) with GPS tracking, phone chargers, built-in scales, biometric fingerprint locks and other tech features. But both Mr. Saltzman and Mr. Bettinger say you should not necessarily buy one of these yet; the category is new, so kinks in these bags are sometimes still being worked out. They’re also pricey.

You could also turn your current piece of luggage into something more high-tech with minimal effort, and at a lower cost. For ideas on how to do this, read The Wirecutter’s guide to smart accessories for your luggage. The most useful add-on is a Bluetooth tracker to improve your chances of finding lost luggage.

Ways to pack A suitcase💼🧳🧳

1. The bigger your suitcase, the more you will put into it: The simplest way to avoid bringing too many things is to buy a hard-sided suitcase, no more than 22 inches tall (so it can work as a carry-on) with a structured shell so you can’t squeeze in any extras.

2. Do the clothing countdown: If you need a mantra to help streamline your wardrobe, use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule for a weeklong trip: Limit yourself to no more than five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes and one hat. The list should be adjusted to suit your needs. Throw in a swimsuit and exercise gear or a suit jacket and dress if you’ll need them.

3. Lay out what you think you’ll need, then edit ruthlessly: “Think twice about everything you want to put in your bag,” , who writes about flying first-class at No Mas Coach!, part of the BoardingArea blogger network. The jet-setting couple once flew to Morocco for nine days with only carry-on bags and backpacks. “Fully get rid of the ‘just in case I need it’ category,” he said. “If and when you need it, you can buy it.”

4. Think Tetris: The best way to fit everything into one bag: Fill every inch of space. For example, footwear should be stuffed with socks. Then lay your shoes together heel to toe at the bottom of your suitcase in a plastic shopping bag to protect clothes from dirt.How exactly you arrange everything in your suitcase is a matter of personal preference.Here are some popular strategies:

  • Roll your clothes. This helps to maximize space and minimize wrinkles.
  • Use packing cubes. These smaller bags help you keep your clothes compact and your outfits ordered.
  • Try the bundle technique. Carefully wrap each article of clothing around a central core, with underwear and T-shirts at the center, and large tailored items like blazers and dresses as the outer layer.

5. Keep liquids in easy reach: “Toiletries should always be placed on top of your suitcase in a clear bag since you never know when T.S.A. might be interested in looking,” said Matthew Klint, a frequent flier and the award expert at Live and Let’s Fly.

6. Never unpack your toiletries: “I recommend keeping a separate toiletry kit for traveling,” said Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Keeping a set of bathroom products already packed also ensures that you don’t forget a toothbrush or contact lens case that you might use the morning of takeoff, she said. “Keep these items in a small pouch or box in the corner of a cabinet or drawer for easy access when packing for a trip.” To streamline what you need, consider all-in-one options like BB creams, which combine foundation, moisturizer and sunblock. To prevent leakage, double up that plastic bag.

For more on packing strategies, read ”The Right Way to Pack for Travel.

How to Pack a Suitcase

 

Packing may seem simple, but it is a science with rules that travelers often learn the hard way over thousands of miles on the road. Doing it strategically can be the difference between a harried vacation with countless detours to local drugstores and a streamlined one with everything you need at your fingertips. Here’s our shortcut to packing the right way: how to find the best suitcase, minimize your load, pack what you need on a beach trip or a business trip and cut down on wrinkles.

6 Packing Tips

Follow these basic tips to pack efficiently and effectively for any trip.

1. The bigger your suitcase, the more you will put into it: The simplest way to avoid bringing too many things is to buy a hard-sided suitcase, no more than 22 inches tall (so it can work as a carry-on) with a structured shell so you can’t squeeze in any extras.

2. Do the clothing countdown: If you need a mantra to help streamline your wardrobe, use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule for a weeklong trip: Limit yourself to no more than five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes and one hat. The list should be adjusted to suit your needs. Throw in a swimsuit and exercise gear or a suit jacket and dress if you’ll need them.

3. Lay out what you think you’ll need, then edit ruthlessly: “Think twice about everything you want to put in your bag,” said Ben Nickel-D’Andrea, who writes about flying first-class with his husband, Jon Nickel-D’Andrea, at No Mas Coach!, part of the BoardingArea blogger network. The jet-setting couple once flew to Morocco for nine days with only carry-on bags and backpacks. “Fully get rid of the ‘just in case I need it’ category,” he said. “If and when you need it, you can buy it.”

4. Think Tetris: The best way to fit everything into one bag: Fill every inch of space. For example, footwear should be stuffed with socks. Then lay your shoes together heel to toe at the bottom of your suitcase in a plastic shopping bag to protect clothes from dirt.How exactly you arrange everything in your suitcase is a matter of personal preference.Here are some popular strategies:

  • Roll your clothes. This helps to maximize space and minimize wrinkles.
  • Use packing cubes. These smaller bags help you keep your clothes compact and your outfits ordered.
  • Try the bundle technique. Carefully wrap each article of clothing around a central core, with underwear and T-shirts at the center, and large tailored items like blazers and dresses as the outer layer.

5. Keep liquids in easy reach: “Toiletries should always be placed on top of your suitcase in a clear bag since you never know when T.S.A. might be interested in looking,” said Matthew Klint, a frequent flier and the award expert at Live and Let’s Fly.

6. Never unpack your toiletries: “I recommend keeping a separate toiletry kit for traveling,” said Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Keeping a set of bathroom products already packed also ensures that you don’t forget a toothbrush or contact lens case that you might use the morning of takeoff, she said. “Keep these items in a small pouch or box in the corner of a cabinet or drawer for easy access when packing for a trip.” To streamline what you need, consider all-in-one options like BB creams, which combine foundation, moisturizer and sunblock. To prevent leakage, double up that plastic bag.

For more on packing strategies, read ”The Right Way to Pack for Travel.

The Best Toiletry Bag

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How to Pick a Suitcase

Buying a new suitcase? This will make your choice simple.

You don’t need a pile of suitcases to be ready for all types of trips. Luggage essentials can be three key pieces: a carry-on bag, a check-in suitcase and a duffel bag.

This trio, said Anne McAlpin — a travel expert, frequent globetrotter and author of the packing advice book “Pack It Up” — covers the bases for trips ranging from jaunt through multiple cities to a cruise to a nature-themed journey like a safari. “It’s unnecessary and expensive to have a big collection of luggage because most travelers tend to use the same pieces again and again,” she said.

Here’s how to choose within those categories:

How to Pick Your Carry-On and Check-In Luggage

Though most carry-ons and suitcases have boxy proportions and hard or soft shells, they can vary widely. That makes picking the best one more complicated than choosing a duffel bag. There are three basic variables to help guide your decision:

1. Two vs. four wheels: Which is the best way to wheel? Two-wheeled bags require you to drag them behind you in a straight line, and pulling heavy ones can be real chore. Four-wheeled bags, also known as spinners, rotate 360 degrees and are easier to maneuver; they can even be wheeled when they’re upright. But their design means that the wheels are more susceptible to damage.

2. Frequent travelers vs. occasional travelers: Travelers who are on the road several times a month need sturdy luggage that won’t fail even several years down the line. The more durable a bag, the pricier it will be — think $500 and up for a carry-on and $700 and higher for a check-in. But Lyle Saltzman, the director of merchandising for Luggage Factory, a Lambertville, New Jersey company selling more than 60 brands of luggage, said high-end bags come with generous warranties. “Many premium brands have a lifetime warranty policy that protects your investment, so if the bag gets damaged, they will repair or replace it for no charge,” he said.

Since occasional travelers don’t rely on their luggage nearly as often as road warriors, they can get by with a midrange bag, which will last them several years, and may have a limited warranty.

3. Soft- vs. hard-shell suitcase: There are benefits to both hard- and soft-side suitcases; ultimately the decision should be based on personal preference. Hard bags are aesthetically sleeker, said Dan Bettinger, an owner of Altman Luggage, a New York company that sells more than 100 brands of luggage. Hard bags also offer stronger protection than soft to the items inside and are less susceptible to wear and tear. As we mentioned earlier, a hard-shelled suitcase will also strictly limit how much you can stuff into your bag — a benefit if you tend to pack too much. And since the new models are made with lightweight polycarbonate, they don’t scratch easily and aren’t heavy. In fact, some models weigh less than soft suitcases, but be wary of a bag that’s too light: its frame may be flimsy.

The upside to soft bags: They tend to be light and have external pockets, which some travelers use to keep items like books or jackets handy. Many soft bags also have some give, a bonus if you like to cram as much as possible into a bag.

Our Luggage Picks

Just want a great bag? Consider these options from The Wirecutter.

Five best RV’s for full time living

If you are still committed to full-time motorhome living, here are the 5 best RVs for full-time living that you should consider:

1. Newmar Dutch Star

For a truly luxurious ride, the Newmar 2019 Dutch Star is like a hotel on wheels (sort of).

Rather than choosing an RV with generic or limited furnishings, the Newmar offers several furniture options to make your caravan feel more like home. The inside can be outfitted with a fold-out sofa, ceramic counter tops, a home theater, even bunk beds. Another useful feature of the mobile home is a durable outer shell and aluminum frame that offers solid protection against any elements. Whether the seasonxs hot or cold, you can enjoy heat and air controls, too, with excellent ventilation to stay comfortable and remove odors from the bathroom or kitchen.

Other benefits include:

  • Multiple USB ports throughout the vehicle
  • Huge fresh water reservoir and large shower
  • Comes with a convection microwave, gas cook top, high-end dishwasher and refrigerator
  • Easy to drive with cruise control, back-up camera, and adjustable power seats

Possible cons include:

  • Costly repairs and maintenance
  • Poor gas mileage and sub-par tank size

2. Airstream Classic

Nothingxs more American than the Airstream Classic, the biggest travel trailer in the companyxs fleet.

Not only does it showcase a contemporary style reminiscent of the 1930xs, but it offers a modern environment replete with versatility. For instance, the Airstream Classic comes in four different models that each emphasizes a certain level of comfort. The most spacious option is the 33FB version that extends the trailerxs length by three additional feet, along with being equipped with a large memory-foam mattress, pull-out sofa, and luxurious shower. Also, the RV comes pre-installed with a top-of-the-line satellite radio, tons of USB ports, and a 65x projection TV. However, if youxre on a budget, you can also find older models at an affordable cost with similar qualities.

Other benefits include:

  • Bluetooth capabilities to stream music or videos from your smartphone
  • Remote control access for lighting and vehicle maintenance updates
  • Residential-style kitchen with full appliances
  • Rear-view monitoring and power-controlled retractable awning

Possible cons include:

  • Requires a vehicle to tow the trailer (fifth wheel)
  • Expensive to maintain and repair
  • May be tough to maneuver due to size and weight

3. Roadtrek CS Adventurous

If bulk isnxt your style, then the Roadtrek CS Adventurous is a sleek alternative with plenty of perks.

First of all, this class B camper van is made for the person (or family) that loves to go the distance. With towing power up to 7,000 pounds and a 188 horsepower engine, pulling an additional trailer for more space or an extra car for small excursions is no big deal. The mobile home also comes with a bevy of amenities, such as solar battery technology from EcoTrek, propane hookups, and 9-passenger seating. Some people may be turned off to the idea that the CS runs on diesel fuel, but it actually prolongs the mileage, getting you up to 19 MPG. Anyway, itxs a Mercedes after all: what more could you want?

Other benefits include:

  • Large windows with natural light
  • Heated floors and walls throughout the camper
  • Comfortably sleep three people, while seating up to six
  • filtered drinking water and hot water spout

Possible cons include:

  • Refrigeration problems with cooling during long road trips
  • Heat buildup under the RVxs sofa may be unpleasant
  • Storage options are limited

4. Grand Design Reflection

It may not seem possible to live in excess in an RV, but the Grand Design Reflection offers a spacious experience with an air of opulence.

For starters, this fifth wheel monster stretches to 41 feet in length with the 367BHS model. Inside the unit, travelers can enjoy a fully operational fireplace, two fold-out sofas, a king-size bed, and a full kitchen with an island. On the outside, there are two motorized awnings that expand your living space even more, which is great for making extra shade in the summer months. With that in mind, one of the best qualities of the Grand Design is that itxs an all-weather vehicle. Whether youxre blazing across the Mojave or trekking through the Yukon, you can add the Arctic 4-season protection plan that gives you a heavy-duty furnace, reinforced roof and wall insulation, and a heating system that circulates throughout the entire floorplan.

Other benefits include:

  • Split baggage doors for additional undercarriage storage space
  • Stainless steel deep sink in the kitchen
  • Outdoor shower and speaker system
  • Large panoramic windows

Possible cons include:

  • Too much space to maintain
  • Hard to maneuver due to over-sized design
  • Top-of-the-line amenities are hard to upkeep
  • Costly repairs

5. Casita Spirit

Most of the above options are heavy on the pocketbook, but the Casita Spirit is an essential RV with just enough flair to make it feel like home.

Marketed as a lightweight travel trailer, the standard version of the Casita Spirit comes with all the features youxd expect to find in a cozy class C motorhome. You have a roomy double bed at one end, a bunk bed at the other, a full range stove along the side wall, a kitchen sink, and a refrigerator. On the opposite wall is a fold-out table with booth style seating that doubles as more storage underneath. A roof vent allows for steady airflow throughout the RV, and the entire fifth wheel extends to about 16 ft long. For a family of four or an adventurous couple, itxs the perfect little getaway while youxre taking in the countryside. Not to mention, the price point is much cheaper than RV options that stretch into the six-figure range.

Other benefits include:

  • Small toilet and stand-up shower
  • Lightweight design that allows for easy towing on a variety of vehicles
  • The Deluxe model offers a larger bathroom and shower area

Possible cons include:

  • May be too cramped for families exceeding four people
  • Not great for extreme weather conditions of hot or cold
  • Limited power supply options or upgraded features

Home is Where You Make It

Full-time RV living is made a lot easier with choices that embody the traditional lifestyle, and why shouldnxt it be? Just because you crave a life unencumbered by trivial tasks and responsibilities doesnxt mean you canxt enjoy yourself along the way?

Even if you donxt go with an RV of mainstream caliber, you can buy an old VW bus, convert an old pickup truck, or buy a van and customize it yourself! RV living is less about maintaining the same standards at home and more about adapting to life as it happens each day.

Tips on traveling by RV

Whether you’re a family of weekend campers or a retired couple looking to travel full-time, every RV beginner has to know a few important things before making the maiden voyage. Here are six quick tips to consider before you pile in and head out.

Tip 1: Decide Whether to Buy or Rent

This isn’t always an easy decision, with pros and cons for both. However, when you consider a few key factors, the answer becomes clearer.

  • Buy: You plan to go RV camping often or full-time and you have storage for the times when you aren’t traveling.
  • Rent: You plan to go on a single trip, or want to test the waters before making a purchase.

Tip 2: Get to Know Your RV

With little road experience, it’s especially important that RV beginners take time to learn how the motorhome works, even if it’s just a rental. If something breaks, you should be able to assess the problem, and potentially fix it. This saves time and money spent at a mechanic.

When you get to know your RV, you’re less likely to make operational errors. For example, if you don’t know how many amps your main breaker can handle, there’s a good chance you’ll blow it. This is a potentially expensive error that can be avoided by getting to know your rig.

Tip 3: Take a Practice Drive

Consider the roads you plan to drive on, and take a smaller trip on similar terrain. As an RV beginner you don’t yet know what will move around in the living area or how hard it will be to switch lanes, ascend hills, and park.

Once you know the intricacies of driving an RV, you can make necessary adjustments. For example, if your drawers pop open, which they often do, you need to find a way to keep them shut.

Tip 4: Bring Tools and Spare Parts

Pack a well-stocked tool kit, and add in the things that your RV might need, like extra fuses, light bulbs, jumper cables, nuts, bolts and connectors. In addition, be sure to bring parts that are unique to your rig. Without these, you risk having to wait for the part to be ordered and shipped.

Tip 5: Don’t Wing It

The urge to be spontaneous is tempting when your home is on wheels. Beckleys RVs is empathetic: “There’s a certain pleasure in going where you want, when you want.” Still, they recommend you have a plan: “It does help, however, to have a solid plan in place if it’s your first time planning an RV trip.”

When RVing, plan:

  • The budget: How much you can allocate for food, fun and overnight stays.
  • Your food supply: To buy and eat out.
  • The route: The one you plan to take and alternate options.
  • Stops: The places you want to see along the way.
  • Campgrounds: Where along the route you plan to call it a night.

Tip 6: Create a Campground Setup Checklist

As an RV beginner, you might not have a campground routine yet. Therefore, having a checklist will ensure everything is set up as it should be. You checklist should include:

  • Check the site for low hanging branches or obstacles on the ground.
  • Locate the electrical, water and sewage hookups.
  • Pull your RV in, close to the hookups, and level it with blocks or stabilizing jacks, if necessary.
  • Secure your rig by chocking the wheels.
  • Connect to the electrical hookup, and switch your appliances to pull from this source of power, instead of the battery or propane.
  • Attach your sewer hose to the drain hook-up—be sure to wear gloves for this process.
  • Put out your awning and set up the campsite.

RV beginners have a lot to look forward to: RVing is a great way to travel and explore the outdoors. However, knowing the basics is important to having a stress-free trip.

Traveling Nurse✈️Part-two

What Do Travel Nurses Do?

Because travel nurses work in their primary specialty, duties will vary a great deal between specialties. General nurse responsibilities include:

  • Examining patients and speaking with them about their symptoms and health histories in order to make critical decisions about their care
  • Deliver essential information and counsel with the goal of improving health
  • Play a key role in medication and treatment delivery
  • Perform essential research
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to ensure a high quality of patient care through the creation of quality assurance standards

Read more »

Traveling Nurse

What Is a Travel Nurse?
Travel nurses are registered nurses who work in short-term roles at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities around the world. Travel nurses help fill gaps in areas where there are nursing shortages.

They are employed by an independent nursing staffing agency instead of a single hospital. This means they can travel as far as a different country, or they can work at local hospitals that are in need of temporary nurses.

Many nurses opt to go into travel nursing for the many perks, like the chance to explore new places, experience diverse practice environments, and make new friends. Competitive pay, great benefits, and free housing are also major benefits of the job.

Explore travel nursing jobs now. Sign up with our trusted partner, travelnursing.org, and they will connect you to top agencies today.

Travel nurse pay is typically not influenced by experience level or education. In fact, a traveling registered nurse with 2 years of experience has the potential to earn the same amount as a traveling registered nurse with 15 years of experience. Which makes it an EXCELLENT opportunity for newer nurses who want to make more money and help pay off some of the cost of their nursing education. Read more »

15 Money saving Traveling tips

1. A REASONABLE PRICED HOTEL ROOM

Budget Travelers don’t snap up the first appealing room at a decent price that they find. They research location—how close will they be to a city’s major sights?—and make sure that a good price doesn’t also come with a time-wasting long-distance schlep every morning. Budget Travelers call the hotel and ask for the best price, the most appropriate room options, and for a free upgrade. And in a pinch, they turn to HotelTonight for last-minute deals. We’re also pretty proud of our own hotel research-and-booking tool.

2. THE “BEST” DAY FOR AIRLINE TICKETS

This is the question we get asked most often at Budget Travel. Traditionally, the simple answer has been: Buy your airline tickets about two months before you fly, and you’ll likely get the best price by booking early in the week, when airlines often adjust fares. The “real” answer is, of course, “it depends,” and you must arm yourself with an array of information to make an informed choice. That said, we also recommend that you follow all the major airlines on social media, sign up for their rewards programs, and subscribe to their free e-newsletters to get the inside track on deals.

3. PICK UP YOUR RENTAL CAR EARLY

Budget Travelers book the smallest possible rental car and a pickup time as early as possible because in this case the early bird gets the free upgrade. At, say, 8 a.m., most customers won’t have returned their cars yet and it’s likely that the lowest-priced compact cars will be out of stock. The rental agency is obligated to give you an available car at the same price.

4. BOOK YOUR CRUISE EARLY – OR LATE

Nabbing a cruise six months to a year in advance usually means getting the best price. At that early point, supply is high and demand is relatively flat, so you’ll find appealing prices. As rooms get snapped up, of course, demand rises and so do prices—with one exception. Once you get down to the final few weeks before a cruise, the line may scramble to fill empty rooms, and you can again swoop in and find a deal.

5. KNOW THE RESORT FEES

Resort fees are quite a bit like the old joke about the weather: Everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it. The reality is, there’s not much you can do if you’ve already spent your week at an all-inclusive resort and are staring at a bill that includes a hefty resort fee (which typically covers things you thought were free—those comfy poolside towels, the wi-fi in your room, the newspaper delivered to your door). The only thing you can do about it is to ask before booking so you understand the resort’s fee policy. Don’t care for it? Try another resort. (While you’re at it, find out what beverages are included in an all-inclusive package and which you’ll have to pay for out of pocket.)

6. CHECK OUT VACATION RENTALS

When faced with the notion of shelling out $1,400 per week for a beach house, some travelers will blanch. That’s $200 per night, right? Way more than a Budget Traveler wants to pay for a hotel room. But consider the size of your brood. A rental home that comfortably sleeps five and includes a full kitchen is going to be much more comfortable and likely save you money on food.

7. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS YOUR FRIEND

Those of you who don’t live in major cities may regard life without a car as a bit like that nightmare where you arrive at work and realize you forgot to put on any clothes. Those of us who dwell in urban areas know better. When visiting New York, London, Paris, or just about any major city, learning the routes and pricing systems of the light rail, underground, and bus systems can save you tons of time and money compared with renting, gassing up, and parking a car. These days, even notoriously auto-loving Los Angeles is playing the public transportation game. Get in it.

8. PSST! MOST MUSEUMS ARE FREE!

Sure, the world’s most beautiful museums often have an admission price (or suggested donation) topping $20 per person. But they also typically offer free hours each week and a free day each month. Budget Travelers don’t necessary schedule their vacations around a museum’s free days, but they do weigh the option and decide if they can put that money to better use. They also take full advantage of everything a museum has to offer on a given day. There’s no need to high-tail it from room to room trying to see everything—instead, find out when there’s a guided tour, a hands-on class for the kids, or evening hours when the joint if often much quieter than during the day.

9. GO TO NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS

When documentary filmmaker Ken Burns called national parks “America’s best idea,” he probably didn’t have Budget Travelers in mind. But compared with any other vacation spot on earth, our national parks—and many state parks for that matter—deliver serious bang for the buck. Sure, there’s an admission price (usually per car rather than per person), and you’ve got to line up lodgings (inside a major national park that can be around $200 per night), but once inside the park the wildlife, trails, ranger talks, evening presentations, junior ranger programs, and just about everything else is on the house. To paraphrase Verdi’s famous quote about Italy: You may have the universe if I may have a fire-lit ranger talk at Glacier National Park on a crisp late-summer evening.

10. LOOK FOR PACKAGE DEALS

Don’t tell! Airlines and hotels are willing to practically give away their inventory rather than see it go empty. That’s right. Airlines sell their seats at rock-bottom prices. Hotels do the same for their rooms. Why haven’t you heard this before? Because they don’t exactly go parading down the street announcing it to the world. Instead, they roll those empty airplane seats and hotel beds into package deals. When you book a package deal, you’ll get a good rate on airfare and hotels, some meals, often guided tours, and some ground transportation. Don’t believe us? Take a look at a package deal and then try to book the airfare and hotel separately—the package will almost always be significantly less.

11. PACK LIKE A PRO

Budget Travelers know that a light suitcase is not just easier to travel with but can also save you money on baggage fees. Pack early so you’re not in panic mode, and put some thought into packing matching tops and bottoms (rolled, not folded), as few shoes as you can handle emotionally, and wearing your heaviest layers on the plane. When in doubt, leave it at home. You never regret the things you don’t pack.

12. WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE

Honeymoon? Romantic island getaway with your sweetie? Engaged? Tell everybody! It may seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to get some alone time with your Sig-Oth, but mentioning your romantic status to flight attendents, waiters, and hotel managers can yield complimentary wine, upgrades, private balconies, and other surprises.

13. GO TO SMALL TOWNS

Budget Travelers know that some of the coolest places to visit in the United States are towns with populations under 20,000. Whether you want a warm welcome, a vibrant main street, a craft beer, cutting-edge gallery, or tasty bowl of chili, America’s small towns make for some of the finest—and affordable—vacations on earth.

14. ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE

Problem: You booked a hotel room with two king-size beds at a decent rate for your family of four, but now you have dreams of an unaffordable suite where the kids could have their own room. Solution: Ask for a free upgrade. Worst case scenario: The hotel manager says no. Was that so hard? You’d be surprised at how few people bother to ask for upgrades, late checkouts, complimentary breakfast, and other negotiable perks. You’re a Budget Traveler. Go for it.

15. TRAVEL WITH A SMILE (AND CHOCOLATE!)

The announcement just came over the loudspeaker: Your flight has been canceled due to bad weather. You jump on the airline’s website to find out what your options are, and you get in line at customer service. When it’s your turn to speak with the ultra-harried airline employee, you’re going to do two things: Smile and offer him/her chocolate. Because Budget Travelers aren’t just the smartest people at the airport. They are also the nicest. Make the difference in that beleaguered airline rep’s day and he might make the difference in yours.

How to Travel Safe During Covid-19

However, if you are considering flying to a distant location or driving to the next state over, there are precautions to keep in mind to help slow the spread of COVID-19. There is no way to ensure you have zero risks of infection during travel, so we have created this guide to help you understand the risks and learn how to be as safe as possible.

Read more »

How To Fly Cheap

Tips on booking flights

Which day of the week is the best day to buy airline tickets?

For both U.S. domestic and international travel, Sundays can be cheaper* for plane ticket purchases. For domestic flights, Mondays showed the highest average ticket prices and for international, avoid booking on Fridays. Booking on the right day of the week could save you up to 20% on your flight*, according to historical data.

How far ahead should I buy airline tickets?

Based on 2019 global flight data, 21 days prior to departure* is the sweet spot for booking flights. But this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule; keeping an eye on prices is a good idea when trying to find the best deal. Compare fares across different airlines and set up a price alert for your preferred route.

Which are the cheapest days to fly?

Analysis of domestic and international airfare prices showed that flying out on Sundays can be cheaper*. Many travellers start their trips on Friday or Saturdays, so your chances of a lower price are better when departing early in the week instead. Starting your trip on a Sunday could be almost 24% cheaper* than air travel on Fridays, so book wisely!

Which is the cheapest month to fly?

The cheapest month to fly can vary depending on where you’re going, so finding the best rates largely comes down to avoiding peak travel times for your destination. A great insider tip is to travel during shoulder season – a name for the window of time between a destination’s high and low tourist seasons. These are the best times to score better rates and still enjoy temperate weather. Peak times that tend to be pricier no matter where you’re headed are June and July, due to the summer break schedule for families, and December, around Christmas and New Year’s.

How can I find the cheapest flights on Expedia?

Compare plane ticket prices at a glance from a large inventory of carriers on Expedia. You can get cheap flights by staying flexible with travel dates, carriers, and nonstop/layover flights to get the best price. Insider tip: Become a member (it’s free!) to earn rewards back on every booking. We make your travel stress free and source incredible airfare deals, so you can sit back, relax, and start your vacation or business trip.

How can I save money on flights?

Mixing and matching airlines and fare types could help save money on airfare to your destination. Easily compare prices on carriers, arrival and departure dates, airplane cabin class, and more when you book with Expedia. Booking your plane ticket on a Sunday, and departing on Thursday or Friday, could possibly save you money*, based on historical data

How can I get a cheap last-minute flight?

The historical data analysis of flight pricing patterns shows that you can still find amazing deals on airfare 3 weeks prior to departure*. Try to stay flexible with travel dates, airports, and nonstop/layover flights to find the cheapest flights on Expedia. Whether you’re planning a quick business trip or a spontaneous holiday with friends, you’ll have your choice of last-minute flights, roundtrip, or multi-city flights on Expedia. You’ll find everything you need for your travels all in one place—and all at the right price.

What To Do When Friends And Family Don’t Take Covid Seriously

You wear a mask in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain social distancing. But what do you do when your family and friends don’t follow the same COVID safety protocols? Mark Flanagan, LCSW, MPH, MA, a Piedmont outpatient oncology social worker, shares advice for navigating this tricky subject.

“This is tough,” says Flanagan. “The most important thing to know is that you can’t control what other people do. But you can decide what’s important to you.”

How does their behavior affect you?

He recommends considering where your loved one’s behavior falls on the spectrum of your relative safety.

“If someone is not taking COVID seriously, how is that affecting your life?” he says.

If it’s someone you rarely see, such as a long-distance relative or former college roommate, it’s probably not worth addressing your concerns.

“If they’re not following guidelines and you won’t seem them frequently, there isn’t much value in trying to convince them,” he says.

However, if the loved one lives nearby or is someone you’d like to see in person, you may want to engage them more directly and explain how you feel.

“It all boils down to how their behavior affects you – and developing civil ways to communicate your needs without trying to convince them of something,” he says.

How to communicate effectively

Flanagan recommends using “I” statements rather than “you” statements when discussing COVID safety. For example, he suggests saying something like, “I value wearing a mask for everyone’s health and safety. When you don’t wear one, it makes me uncomfortable. Would you be willing to wear a mask when we get together?”

If they say no, you may need to reevaluate how you spend time with them – perhaps you set up a virtual get-together instead.

When someone’s behavior impacts your life and boundaries, it’s important to express your feelings around these issues, says Flanagan.

“Be clear about what you’re comfortable with and enforce your boundaries,” he says.

Have a plan when meeting in person

Flanagan recommends having a plan when visiting with people outside your household.

“It’s really important to be on the same page with people in your household,” he says. “Just like you’d have a discussion about what to do if there was a fire in your home, talk about COVID safety.”

Then, talk with the people you plan to see who live outside your household. Let them know you’re taking COVID seriously and ask if they’ll follow social distancing, handwashing and mask guidelines.

If you go for a visit and are in a situation that violates your boundaries, communicate those boundaries diplomatically and firmly.

“Be polite, but communicate that this is different than what you expected,” suggests Flanagan. “You could say, ‘In light of everything that’s happening, we don’t think there are enough precautions for our family to engage and be safe.’”

If they still don’t take COVID guidelines seriously, you can politely leave.

“You’re perfectly within your right to do so,” he says. “It all comes back to communication. Ensure family members that you love them, but also value safety and health as a top priority. When you frame it that way, it’s less about hurting your loved one’s feelings and more about protecting your well-being.”

Celebrating the holidays during COVID

If you know your family or friends aren’t taking protocols seriously, you might consider celebrating holidays elsewhere, suggests Flanagan.

“If you’re uncomfortable, it’s not going to be a good holiday interaction,” he says. “If you have differing views of what’s safe, perhaps find other ways to interact. It’s about setting yourself up for success. If you know people will be stubborn, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”

Communicate with family and friends ahead of time so you know where they stand on the issues.

“Try to be compassionate,” says Flanagan. “People respond to threats and challenges in different ways.”

But remember, it’s healthy and smart to set boundaries.

“Make sure you’re aligned with your personal values,” he says. “People might feel sad when you set boundaries or decline to visit, but you have to prioritize your and your household’s health and well-being.”

If you do visit with people outside your household, remember to:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Watch your distance.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Meet outside whenever possible.
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