A word about duty-free shopping. It’s tempting but I’ve never found any real bargains, except maybe on liquor or cigars. I buy something we can’t find at home for my husband and son just before we board our flight home and resist the temptation to stock up on cosmetics and perfume that I don’t need and that likely cost the same or more than at home.
We meet 23-year-old Trevor Enderby, one of our two guides for the week, who whisks us to our waiting car and to the hotel where our other guide, Alex Kemper is waiting to greet us at the Marriott Vienna.
What the kids don't get is that driving for hours with a couple of antsy children (not to mention sullen tweens and teens) is no fun for parents either -- especially not when we're paying record prices for gas. Still, millions of us -- 20.4 million just over the July 4th weekend, AAA reports -- are hitting the road with the kids this summer.
JFK was typically a crowded mess at Delta. No one was quite sure which line was which -- baggage drop, check in, security? For some reason, the automated kiosk wouldn’t let us check in so we got on a long line only to discover that was the line for the folks who had already checked in but needed to drop their bags
I hate being nickeled and dimed when I travel. That's why I hate resort fees for services I probably don't use, fees for accessing the internet at hotels and now, fees to check even one bag on an airplane.
When we arrive in Rome at noon the next day, a driver arranged by Jill Kammer, who with her husband Leon runs www.italy-accom.com was waiting for us. I know we could have grabbed a taxi or much cheaper, the train into Rome, but after a long flight, a little luxury was in order, I figured, especially when arriving in a city I don’t know well.
Starting June 15 - just when we're taking off on long-planned vacations -- American Airlines will charge us $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag on American Airlines, assuming you are flying domestically on a discounted ticket and are not a top-level frequent flier. (Southwest will still allow you to check two bags free.)
We arrived yesterday evening after typically frustrating flights. First, we had to get our flights changed because of the American Airlines MD-80 inspection mess. That took hours on the phone. We thought we were home free when we were able to rebook our flights on Delta but no such luck. At the airport in New York, we encountered incredibly long lines for check-in and security.
We’re heading to Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado to meet up with an assortment of family, all staying at a condo in the spanking new Lodge at Mountaineer Square, which is part of the hundreds of millions of dollars of improvements here.
Let's hear it for innkeepers who always have a smile for their guests -- and everyone else who is struggling to keep smiling when hosting family this holiday season, when the visiting toddler drops Goldfish everywhere and the teen refuses to be roused before noon from the family room sofa bed. Did I mention the uncle who falls asleep on the couch before dessert, snoring loudly?