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9780618607532

How to Travel Practically Anywhere

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780618607532

  • ISBN10:

    0618607536

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-04-05
  • Publisher: Mariner Books

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Summary

An essential guide for today's traveler: timesaving tips to navigate, book, and troubleshoot your travel planning, on and off the Web. If you"ve ever tried to find a sale fare you saw advertised for a flight, only to turn up much higher prices, or discovered that the hotel you booked wasn"t exactly "steps away from the ocean," you know that the do-it-yourself era of travel can mean something else entirely: you"re on your own. Now Susan Stellin, a regular contributor to the New York Times, offers the ultimate guide to the sometimes overwhelming logistics of travel, from researching trip plans to avoiding pitfalls on the road. This comprehensive guidebook presents practical advice on the most useful Web sites, strategies for finding the best deals, and resources to help you decide where and when to go. It also provides crucial tips to ensure your trip doesn"t disappoint, including - what you should research before you book your hotel - how to avoid hidden fees and expensive change penalties - what your credit card covers when you rent a car - whom to call if you need a doctor far from home No matter what type of trip you're planning -- business or pleasure, domestic or international, budget or splurge, exotic getaway or family visit -- How to Travel Practically Anywhere will be an indispensable resource.

Author Biography

The travel reporter SUSAN STELLIN has contributed features on travel advice and trends to the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, and Travel + Leisure.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
Part I PLANNING
Researching Your Destination
3(27)
Sources of Inspiration
4(4)
A week off and no idea where to go
Choosing a Guidebook
8(6)
Which series fits your style---and budget
On-Line Travel Forums
14(5)
Advice from fellow travelers
Visitor and Tourist Offices
19(2)
On the Web, a .com for every destination
The Local Perspective
21(2)
When going to Rome, ask a Roman
When To Go
23(3)
Avoiding hurricanes, honeymooners, and holidays --- or not
Government Travel Advisories
26(4)
Reading between the lines
Organized Trips
30(31)
Going with a Group
30(5)
Tours aren't necessarily just for tourists
Get Outdoors
35(6)
Hiking, biking, and other active travels
Relax, Already
41(4)
Spa vacations and yoga retreats
Culinary Adventures
45(3)
When food is the focus
Volunteer Vacations
48(5)
Trips that make a difference
Options for Solo Travelers
53(8)
Resources, trips, and travel companions
Part II BOOKING
General Advice
61(27)
The Travel Marketplace
62(3)
Everybody wants your business, but where should you buy?
Evaluating Vacation Packages
65(4)
When they're a bargain and when they're not
Member Benefits
69(2)
When a discount isn't a deal
Travel Insurance
71(5)
What it does and doesn't cover
Bidding and Booking Blind
76(3)
How you can save with Priceline or Hotwire
Help for Last-Minute Planners
79(4)
Options at the eleventh hour
Using a Travel Agent
83(5)
What an agent can do for you --- and where to find one
Plane Tickets
88(35)
Where to Research Fares
89(4)
No one Web site displays them all
Search Tips for Plane Tickets
93(3)
It's not just where you look, but how
Choosing a Flight
96(3)
Why price shouldn't be your only concern
Where to Buy
99(2)
Agencies versus airlines; the Web versus the phone
Understanding Ticket Rules
101(3)
Change fees, cancellation policies, and refunds
International Flights
104(4)
Where to shop for fares when traveling abroad
One-Way or Multicity Tickets
108(3)
Tricks to keep costs down
Frequent Flier Awards
111(6)
What it takes to get the flights you want
Unraveling Airline Alliances
117(3)
What's in it for you when airlines partner up
Foreign Carrier Air Passes
120(3)
One pass, several flights, sometimes a bargain
Lodging
123(35)
Finding a Place to Stay
124(5)
Where to research your options
How to Get the Best Rate
129(7)
On-line agencies, hotel Web sites, the phone
Hotel Cancellation Policies
136(1)
Rules vary, depending on where you book
Understanding Hotel Ratings
137(4)
One rater says three stars; another says four
Finding a B&B or Inn
141(4)
Places for travelers who like to feel at home
Renting a House or Condo
145(5)
Finding and evaluating rental options
Doing a Home Exchange
150(4)
With the Web, house swaps catch on
Browser Beware
154(4)
Photos and descriptions may be much nicer than reality
Cruises
158(29)
Cruise Lines 101
159(6)
An overview of your options
Narrowing the Fleet
165(3)
Choosing an itinerary, ship, and sailing date
Selecting a Cabin
168(4)
Inside, outside, high deck, or low
How Cruise Pricing Works
172(6)
When and where to get the best deals
Airfare, Shore Excursions, and Land Tours
178(2)
Buying from the cruise line or going it alone
Deposits, Cancellation Policies, and Refunds
180(3)
What to know before you book
Where to Find Cruising Advice
183(4)
Ship reviews, itineraries, and message boards
Rental Cars, Trains, and Buses
187(28)
Reserving a Rental Car
188(7)
How to get the best rate
Renting a Car Abroad
195(4)
Where to book, potential potholes
Supplemental Insurance
199(3)
When you need it, when you don't
Express Pick-Up Programs
202(2)
Skip the line, at least some of the time
Riding the Rails
204(6)
Timetables, reservations, and tickets
Trains, Planes, Cars, and Buses
210(5)
How to decide which way to travel
Part III NAVIGATING
Pretrip Preparations
215(30)
Passports and Visas
215(4)
New rules --- and fees --- when you're crossing borders
Immunizations and Health
219(4)
Does your insurance cover travel abroad?
Maps and Driving Directions
223(3)
When not to trust a computer for help
Money Matters
226(4)
Why your bank should know your itinerary
Making Reservations
230(4)
What to book before you arrive
Technology and Travel
234(4)
Getting your gadgets ready to go
Getting To and From the Airport
238(3)
Know your options, avoid being overcharged
Preflight Checklist
241(4)
Checking in, flight-status alerts, security lines
At the Airport
245(24)
Checking Bags
245(6)
Avoiding extra fees --- and theft from your luggage
Navigating Airport Security
251(4)
Keeping up with the rules
Upgrading Your Ticket
255(3)
What it takes to move up front
Flying Standby
258(2)
When it's free, when it's not, and when it's worth a try
Getting Bumped
260(3)
What to know about those ``free ticket'' coupons
Surviving Flight Delays and Cancellations
263(6)
Know the rules --- and your rights
What to Do If . . .
269(26)
You Need a Doctor
269(3)
How to find medical help far from home
The Airline Loses Your Luggage
272(5)
How to track your bag---and file a claim
Your Travel Company Goes Out of Business
277(4)
What happens when a company folds
You Lose Your Passport or Wallet
281(3)
Coping with no ID and no money
There's a Problem with Your Rental Car
284(3)
What to do, who's responsible
You Have a Complaint
287(8)
Dealing with problems---on the road and once you're home
Acknowledgments 295(2)
Index 297

Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Excerpts

1 Researching Your DestinationIf your days off arent already set aside for your best friends wedding in Denver, Christmas with your parents in Atlanta, or a family reunion in Montana, you have the luxury of planning an actual vacation - a rare opportunity when so much of our leisure travel involves visiting friends or relatives. Not that theres anything wrong with those trips: They certainly account for most of the travel charges on my credit card. But to paraphrase someone I once overheard on the subway, "Visiting family is a trip; going to Tahiti is a vacation." Of course, there is one thing that makes visiting loved ones easier than traveling somewhere new and exotic: Theres much less planning involved. (As far as Im concerned, whoever said, "Planning a trip is half the fun!" made that comment when travel agents still did most of the work.) But if you know where to look, the planning process can be part of the fun, and doing it right can make or break the trip itself. This chapter guides you through the research phase, whether you already have a destination in mind or are still deciding where to go. Among the topics covered: how to find articles about your destination in back issues of travel publications, choose a guidebook that fits your style and budget, and track down tourist bureaus and other local sources of advice. Theres also a list of Web sites where travelers trade tips - often, the best source of information about where to go and what to do all over the world. As youre deciding where to go, its also wise to consider when to go, another issue this chapter covers. Hurricanes, spring-break revelers, and local festivals and holidays are just a few things you should factor into your decision, and if youre traveling abroad, State Department advisories are worth checking for other timely concerns. Theres more planning advice in chapter 8 ("Pretrip Preparations"), which covers the types of things most of us put off until after weve booked a trip - and some of us, until just before its time to go. Sources of Inspiration: A Week Off and No Idea Where to Go Some people seem to know exactly where they want to go on their next vacation, their dream destinations stored in a mental must-see list like titles of movies to rent. Other people are more likely to ask a friend at a Memorial Day barbecue, "Ive got a week off in August - where should I go?" Twenty or thirty years ago, that question would have been directed at a travel agent, and the options would have been limited to certain predictable parts of the globe. But these days, adventure travel means trekking in Tibet, and once-inaccessible places like China, Eastern Europe, and Vietnam have become popular places to travel. So figuring out where to go on your next trip can literally be a matter of spinning the globe.Search the archives, on line Newspapers and magazines that cover travel are a great source of ideas when youre planning a trip, highlighting places you may n

Excerpted from How to Travel Practically Anywhere: The Ultimate Travel Guide by Susan Stellin
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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