This should help you get there

You might get the impression from reading this site that all our readers do is travel — specifically, that they fly everywhere they go.

Not true. More than half our cases are non-travel related, and besides, most travelers don’t fly; they drive. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about our next fundraiser giveaway. Our friends at BFGoodrich are giving away a set of tires, up to $1,200 in value, to one lucky underwriter this week. I’ll have details in a minute.

Hey, did you forget to pack your common sense?

Common sense has always been a precious commodity in travel. You don’t need stories about tourists plunging off cliffs in their cars or YouTube videos of national park visitors nearly being mauled by wild animals they were trying to pet to be reminded of that uncomfortable fact.

Are some travelers still being given free TSA PreCheck?

Security lines at some airports are long and require that passengers arrive even earlier than the airlines suggest in order to make their flights. Several years ago, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began Trusted Traveler Programs, including TSA PreCheck, which allow passengers who have paid a fee and submitted to a background check to benefit from expedited screening. Travelers with TSA PreCheck do not have to remove laptop computers or liquids from their carry-ons, and are allowed to keep their shoes and sweaters on as they are screened.

Five things your airline should never say

Leslie O’Flahavan looks more like an English teacher than an airline employee. Everything about her is no-nonsense, from her curly black hair, to her Nordstrom business-casual attire, to her carefully chosen words.
Maybe that’s because she spent nearly a decade as a high school educator. But she has moved on to a different kind of teaching: tutoring airlines on how to use the right words to respond to passenger comments and complaints.

Don’t let volcanoes, other irrational travel safety fears, ruin your summer vacation

Worried that your trip to Hawaii will come to an explosive climax after hot lava engulfs your oceanside rental? That’s just one of the irrational travel fears spreading faster than a Puna brush fire as the summer vacation season starts

This is how a mystery shopper scam cost her thousands

Michele Turner recently received an unsolicited invitation to become a secret shopper for Walmart. This new job sounded unbelievably easy and lucrative. So she quickly accepted the offer. But what happened next cost her $1,700 as she joined the ranks of victims of this mystery shopper scam.

How to avoid this vacation rental wire transfer mistake

Margot Rowland and her husband just wanted to take their grandchildren on a memorable journey to Paris. So she scoured the HomeAway site and found the perfect vacation home for the family. But as their travel plans were coming together, she made a wire transfer mistake that the bank could not reverse. And now the trip and their $3,000 are in jeopardy.

What you need to know about that SSSS stamp on your boarding pass

SSSS! Behold the four letters that you don’t ever want to see on your boarding pass. If you find the Secondary Security Screening Selection stamp on your ticket, you should know that the TSA agents will be treating you to an extra-thorough and specialized security screening. Lucky you!

But how, and by whom, are passengers selected for this additional form of screening? After Jo Freeman’s recent unpleasant close encounter of the TSA kind, she wants to know.

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