It’s high noon in Sedona, Ariz., and the vacation crowds are swelling in the early spring heat. They’re jamming up Highway 89A with their RVs, playing bumper-cars on the roundabouts, and forming long lines at the grocery stores and restaurants.
Travel agents should really stop calling themselves travel agents. Travel advisors is a better word. Or perhaps even travel advocates.
You’ve probably already heard a lot of advice about what you should do do this summer — buy this, vacation there, see that movie. But what shouldn’t you do?
Don’t look now, but there’s a guy next to me at the bottom of the chairlift. He’s snowboarding in a swimsuit. And nothing else.
If you travel abroad this summer, look out for visa trouble.
The TSA is having a heckuva summer.
Now you see those summer travel deals. Now you don’t.
The Transportation Security Administration’s vaunted new PreCheck system, which offers selected air travelers access to expedited security screening, is hurtling toward its first big test: a crowd of spring break passengers, quickly followed by a crush of inexperienced summer vacationers.
Although the agency assigned to protect U.S. transportation systems says that it’s ready, some travelers remain unconvinced. They point to problems with the existing PreCheck procedures and their own often inconsistent experiences with them.
Here’s how PreCheck is supposed to work: Passengers pay an $85 enrollment fee and submit to a background check and interview. In exchange, they may receive a pre-9/11 type of screening that allows them to keep on their shoes, belts and light outerwear, leave their laptops in their cases and not remove clear zip-top bags of liquids and gels from their carry-on luggage.
It’s that time of year. I’m interested in your upcoming travel plans — and your best advice for a better trip.
Please take the survey. I’ll report the results soon.
I can’t remember the last time I asked you for help mediating one of my own disputes. But I could use a little help with this one.
We’re on a three-week road trip from Orlando to Philadelphia, with stops in the Florida Panhandle (we’re currently at the Holiday Inn Resort here) Atlanta and Washington. It’s all of us — two adults, three kids ages 6, 8 and 11.
Our “banned” list already includes any food that crumbles, particularly cookies and crackers. Our Hertz rental car would look like a federal disaster area, otherwise. There’s also a moratorium on loud toys, like my daughter’s stuffed bear that belts out Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
But we can’t agree on the music.