Smooth Sailing…Finally.

Posted in Daily Use, Picnic Accessories, Recreation, Wine Gadgets, Wine Preservation on September 24th, 2016 by Amy Dias – Be the first to comment

A resplendent sun. Shimmering water. Swim suits. Golden tans. The endless ocean.  Delectable seafood. A snazzy white yacht. The best of friends. Priceless smiles. Seems like a perfect picture, yes? Well of course. It’s seems like a promising afternoon out at sea with friends. Culture these days demands for one more thing to complete this perfect outing: good-tasting wine.

Let’s backtrack to the previous scenario. Brad planned this boat trip for ten of his closest friends. He purchased food, arranged for good music, and made sure they had the boat cleaned and ready. However he kept procrastinating on going out to buy wine. He knew his friends would consider this shindig over the top if they had a few cocktails to accompany them. The only problem is that Brad hates buying, storing, and serving wine. He’s had quite a lot of bad experiences with the whole ordeal.

A few boat trips ago, he ended up with a cooler full of ice, wine, and shards of broken glass. During some water-turbulence, the cooler did a full 360-degree flip and the wine bottles shattered into pieces. Needless to say, everyone was disappointed.

So the last boat trip that Brad and his friends went on, he decided to be a bit smarter. He transferred his wine into non-glass containers this time. However, he forgot that wine can go bad in just 2-8 hours. After driving to the dock, loading the boat and getting out on the waters, the wine was already half spoiled. When Brad made a few drinks for his friends, the taste was…well let’s just say it was less that desired.

After the two fiascos, Brad realized he had to get serious about this wine thing. There had to be something out there that could prevent his precious wine bottles from rolling, breaking and leaking. However, that wouldn’t cut it. He also needed something to preserve that timeless flavor. What to do? But, miracles happen. Only a week before the boat was to set sail, Brad got an email.

His friend Linda had been searching online for some travel-sized containers for her weekly business trips. She came across a company called BottleWise. They had a few TSA approved products, which she had purchased. Along with that she came across Klean Kanteen Wine Karafe and Platy Preserve. She knew Brad was looking for wine solutions so she sent him the link to the BottleWise website.

Brad clicked on the link Linda sent him and the rest is history. He immediately purchased both the Klean Kanteen Wine Karafe and the Platy Preserve. Soon enough his wine worries were gone.

A week later, Brad stood on yacht and poured perfectly tasteful wine into a few glasses for his friends.  He screwed the top back onto the Platy Preserve container and placed it into his cooler. The cooler looked a bit different during this trip. The ice was still there, but there were two Klean Kanteen Wine Karafes with a Platy Preserve nestled in between.

Brad glanced at his friends as they took the first sip of wine for the day. They smiled in delight and complimented him on his wine choice. Beaming, Brad thanked them. He was sure this boat trip was going to be his best yet.

Shop now for instant savings and free shipping on the Klean Kanteen Wine Karafes and Platy Preserve products.  Cheers!

What Is Your Best Holiday Travel Tip?

Posted in Family Travel, Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips on September 24th, 2016 by Amy Dias – Be the first to comment

How do you manage all the details throughout the holiday and travel?  Share your best ideas.  Here are some helpful tips to get you through this busy month.

Managing the Gifts

Because you cannot bring wrapped presents on a plane (and they’d get wrinkled or torn anyway), I pack cloth bags to put gifts in, such as velvet bags from fabric stores or a fun purse I may find on sale. It’s easy to “wrap” the presents once I arrive, and the bag is a bonus gift. It also helps the environment a little by eliminating discarded wrapping paper.

Carrie Cihasky
St. Francis, Wisconsin

To travel light and save money when visiting my family in Germany for the holidays, I purchase gifts through the German branch of Amazon.com and have them sent to the home where we celebrate, thus saving international shipping charges.

Katharina Wilkins
Weston, Massachusetts

Traveling With Children

A few tips for traveling with young children on a long flight: (1) Check in early and request front-row seats. You’ll be less frazzled because Junior isn’t kicking the seat in front of him for 10 hours, and the nearby crew seat is needed only for takeoff and landing, so you can get some extra space. (2) Bring along little gifts: mini coloring books and crayons, to make your kids happy and relieve boredom; chewable candies to prevent earache and tears on landing; and a spare set of clothes for each child, plus a fresh T-shirt for yourself. (3) If you have a baby or a toddler, take your umbrella stroller with you on the plane. The crew will store it during the flight, and customs and luggage checks are much less stressful when your hands are free.

Emma Fashokun
Houston, Texas

When I traveled overseas with my 16-month-old daughter, I was inundated with equipment (car seat, stroller, diaper bag). To thank fellow travelers who helped me through the customs and immigration lines, I gave them gourmet chocolate bars―a great way to see smiles on your travels rather than scowls.
Holly Driggers
Austin, Texas

My husband and I make his-and-hers travel CDs with copies of our favorite holiday tunes. As we take turns playing them throughout the long road trip, it’s fun to see which songs the other has come up with.

Deanna Holt
Springfield, Illinois

For long drives, I bring holiday and thank-you cards, stamps, and my address book. During the drive, I write cards for those I am on my way to see. On the way home, I write thank-yous for gifts, dinners, or parties for the people we just left. That way, no one is forgotten and the details are fresh in my mind. Finally I stamp them, and they are in the car, ready to be taken to the post office.

Annesia Bixler
Dayton, Ohio

Getting Organized

Always take notes when making travel plans over the telephone: whom you spoke with, what was said (promises, rates, etc.). Should something go wrong, you will have the details in writing.

Lori Frank
Bethlehem, New Hampshire

I order fresh flowers or fruit to be delivered to the home I’m visiting on the day I arrive. It’s always a welcome hostess gift, and I don’t have to carry it.
Deb Fecher
Acton, Massachusetts

Packing Strategies

Pack your bags for your trip and then carry them around the block. It will inspire you to rethink what you packed and simplify.
Tracy Gillin
The Woodlands, Texas

When I travel, I keep my jewelry in a small fly-fishing box (with storage compartments) in my makeup bag. This keeps necklaces and earrings from getting tangled.
Shery Rogers
Grenada, Mississippi

I store a cosmetics bag with travel-size versions of everything I use every day in my suitcase. When I take a trip, I never have to worry about leaving the essentials behind.
Sandra Boemler
Atlanta, Georgia

When packing for a trip where I’ll be on the go a lot, I put together as many outfits as I need (including underwear and socks). I then place each outfit in a plastic grocery bag and put it in my suitcase. While on holiday, I take out a bag each morning and my outfit is ready to go―no fussing about what to wear or digging to the bottom of the bag to find something. At the end of the day, I turn the bag inside out and put the worn clothes in so I know which outfits are dirty.
Jessica Baldasaro
Stratford, Ontario

More Good Ideas

Be sure to get plenty of sleep during the holidays, especially in the days prior to traveling. It’s stressful packing up the family, battling the parking at the airport, and dealing with other travelers, and sleep is one way to keep your immune system healthy so you can thoroughly enjoy the holidays.
Heidi Heikkala
Everett, Washington

Traveling with toddlers is easier if you don’t have to rely on restaurants for three meals a day. When possible, book a room with a fridge, a microwave, and a coffeemaker, then stock the fridge with breakfast and lunch basics.
Jennifer Meacher
Almonte, Ontario

During hectic holiday travel, I make it a point to smile at my fellow travelers and help them with luggage and doors or dropped items. I also thank and extend a sincere “Happy Holidays” to the service workers who are away from their families and festivities while they help me get to where I want to be.
Susan van Allen
Orono, Maine

RealSimple readers share favorite tricks and strategies to make traveling easier.

Article by RealSimple

Healthy Travel Tips

Posted in Travel, Travel Tips on September 23rd, 2016 by Amy Dias – Be the first to comment

Wherever you’re headed, you’ll want to feel healthy and strong. Here are some helpful tips for not being under the weather when you’re going above the clouds.

Before Your Trip

Here are just a few precautions you can take ahead of time:

  • Make sure your immunizations are current.
  • If possible, delay your trip if you’re not feeling well.
  • If you’re prone to air sickness, ask for a window seat over the wing.
  • If you have any health questions, or if you suffer from a chronic ailment, motion sickness, or fear of flying, ask for advice from your physician.
  • Stress is bad for you. Reduce stress by allowing plenty of time to check in and reach your departure gate.
  • Always carry your medication with you—never pack it in baggage you’re planning to check.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes for your flight.

During Your Trip

Here are a few things you can do to feel good while you’re flying:

  • Eat lightly during your flight.
  • Stay hydrated while you fly.
  • Leave room under the seat in front of you so you can stretch out your legs.
  • If conditions permit, try to stand up and walk around the cabin every once in a while.

At Your Destination

Here are a couple of things to remember once you arrive:

  • Never purchase local medications unless you’re familiar with them.
  • Wear sun block and sunglasses in the tropics and at high altitudes.
  • Drink a lot of water to minimize altitude sickness.

Helpful Web sites

These sites offer comprehensive information about healthy travel:

Data from Delta.com

Neo’s Trip (and everyone else’s)

Posted in Airline Fees, Airline Service Charges, Travel on September 23rd, 2016 by Amy Dias – 14 Comments

Let me introduce you to a guy called Neo. Yes, it may be a peculiar name, but Neo has a story that is familiar to us all. Neo is a frequent flyer who is planning a trip from Chicago to San Francisco. He knows a lot about the TSA (Travel and Security Authority) so he tries to plan ahead.  However, there are a few unplanned charges that frustrated Neo. Let’s see what he has to share with us:

  • We are in a new era of air travel — it’s dominated by fees for services that were once included in the ticket price. The fee increases have been spurred by growing fuel prices.
  • Some airlines are struggling. These companies charge more fees on fliers.
  • Charges are based on several categories including reservations and frequent flier programs.
  • According to the Air Transport Association, fuel now makes up roughly 40% ticket price of most airlines, up from 25% last year.
  • Need to change your itinerary? Altering an international itinerary could add $200 to your budget. (Eg. United Airlines has hiked its ticket-changing charge from $100 to $150. And though Delta’s charge starts at a humble $30, that’s only for changes made to reservations made through Delta.com and typically ends up being $150.)
  • Checked Baggage Fee: American Airlines is charging many of its passengers an additional $15 fee for their first checked bag. Are you planning a trip to Florida with golf clubs? $25 each way on some airlines. Checked bags have to be a certain weight (51-70 pounds/71-100 pounds),a certain size (63-80 total inches), and each additional bag you check in costs extra.
  • In Flight Services:

Meal/Snack – Not available or available for a charge. (No more complimentary snacks or meals!)
Beverages: Alcoholic/Non-alcoholic (for a fee, of course!)
Headset (sometimes for a fee)
Wi-Fi (also sometimes for a fee)
Pillow/Blanket
Unaccompanied Minor: Age 5 – 7
Pet aboard
Fee to change flight to same destination on day of departure – $40 -$200
Want to redeem reward miles? $25 handling fee, maybe even a $100 penalty.

Forbes Traveler’s 10 Most Annoying Airline Fees
1. Checked Baggage – Less Luggage More Comfort $10 – $100
2. Talking to Real people – Book ticket through a representative $10 – $25
3. Seat Preference $10 – $20
4. Rewards Redemption – Redeem miles without sufficient notice $75 – $100
5. Curbside Check-In – Tip not included $2 – $3+
6. Traveling with a Child or a Pet $10 – $100 and up
7. Changing a Reservation – Proper planning prevents additional expenses $30 – $200
8. Paper Ticket – Go Green or Pay Green $50 – $70
9. Airport improvement – Ticket cost accrual $4.50 – $20+
10. Fuel Surcharge – Whether you drive or fly you have to pay for the gas $30 – $300
11. Airport Parking – Get a ride from your friend or family $5 -$50 per

What has your experience been recently with these fees?  What has been the most outrageous fee you where charged, and for what?  Any secrets to reveal on how to avoid them?

Tips for winter air travel

Posted in Travel, Travel Tips, Uncategorized on September 22nd, 2016 by Amy Dias – Be the first to comment

Here are some helpful tips to consider when traveling when a storm is brewing.

Consider re-booking. The airlines generally allow passengers to change tickets free of charge when a major storm threatens travel. You might be able to connect through another city unaffected by the weather system.

Sign up for airline alerts and check your flights frequently online before you head to the airport. A flight’s status often changes by the minute as the airline works to line up slots and crews and keep planes and runways clear of ice and snow during winter travel disruptions.

Make sure you have a cell phone and your charger in case you need to rebook a canceled flight. Get in line for assistance and try your airline by phone at the same time if you’re among hundreds of passengers jockeying for seats. If you can get online, try that, too.

Pack essentials in your carry-on. If you’re hoping to make your original flight, be sure to pack essentials such as prescriptions, glasses or contacts and other necessary toiletries or clothes in your carry-on. You and your checked luggage are likely to get separated if you end up stranded overnight.

Dress comfortably. With sleeping in an airport terminal in mind, pack and dress for warmth and comfort. Foam earplugs can be a saving grace.

Pack snacks. Airport entertainment and snacks can get expensive, and they’re harder to come by in the wee hours. Stow away an emergency book or magazine and some sustenance to keep you going.

Inquire at the gate about food vouchers and sleeping areas. While airlines aren’t required to provide accommodations for travel interrupted by severe weather, many airports have provided food and cots to travelers stranded in this season’s string of whopper storms.

Data found on CNN.

Are you ready Tugo?

Posted in Bottle Holder, Water Bottles on September 22nd, 2016 by Amy Dias – Be the first to comment

I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling I always have a ton of stuff to juggle. I usually have my purse on one shoulder, my ticket, my passport, maybe a jacket and coffee in one hand, and am dragging a suitcase in the other. Let’s just say, it’s a hassle. God forbid I drop my scalding hot coffee on my clothes, and miss my flight! Often, I’ve wished I had a third arm just for these occasions; wouldn’t that make life so easy?

Okay yeah, a third arm is kind of an impractical thing to wish for, but H2Otugo isn’t. What is this H2Otugo, you ask? H2Otugo helps free your arms of one more item though; that part is true. It’s a cup holder that you can attach to the handles of your rolling bag. But it’s not only that, you can use it for anything: water bottles, hot coffee, tea, orange juice, you name it. How is that possible? It’s true there is often turbulence in the transport of rolling bags. But H2Otugo helps you there. It keeps your cup level during movement, so the contents won’t be sloshing around or out of the cup!

The fun doesn’t stop there…

  • H2Otugo is collapsible and can be stored for your next use.
  • It’s dishwasher-safe; so getting a little dirty is acceptable.
  • It’s durable and flexible. Don’t worry about wear and tear.
  • Easy: just tighten the sides of the H2otugu around your luggage handles.

So get ready “tugo” for your next flight trip by finding yourself an H2Otugu now.

So let’s take a look at the changed scene. Now I’m walking down the airport halls with my handbag on my shoulder and my jacket draped over it. In my left hand I have my passport and ticket and in my right hand I’m dragging my suitcase. Oh,and between the handles hangs my hot, refreshing cup of green tea. This trip is off to a great start!  Shop at www.BottleWise.com to save on the new H2otugo and continue the savings with free shipping – offer good through Oct.15th!  Safe Travels!

Should I Check My Bags or Ship Them?

Posted in Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips on August 3rd, 2016 by Amy Dias – Be the first to comment

You probably assume that checking your luggage is the cheaper option, even though you’re stuck paying the airline about $25 for the first bag (each way) and $35 for the second, not to mention additional fees for heavy or large items. And sometimes it is. But not always, says Susan Foster, author of Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler (Smart Travel Press, $20, amazon.com). So before you jet off, it’s worth doing the math. If your baggage is unusually heavy or bulky, shipping may be a better deal—provided that you don’t send your Samsonite overnight or by two-day mail, says Jami Counter, a senior director of Seatguru.com, a travel-resource site. Case in point: UPS can ship a 75-pound box from New York City to Orlando, Florida, for $57. Checking an item that heavy would probably cost between $100 and $175—one way. Get quotes from the two options that you have for shipping: a standard delivery or courier service, such as FedEx or DHL, or a specialty luggage handler—particularly useful for bulky items, like skis—such as Sports Express (sportsexpress.com).

You should also consider shipping your baggage if you want to hit the ground running at your destination (which means skipping the luggage carousel), or if you want to be assured that those bags will be waiting for you when you arrive, says Peter Greenberg, a travel editor for CBS News. “Shipping is an especially good idea if you have a connecting flight, which increases the risk that your bags will be misplaced,” says Greenberg. And delivery services offer far more bells and whistles than air carriers, says Counter, such as superior insurance, better tracking, and, best of all, picking up your luggage at your home. No schlepping!

Article by Vera Gibbons, Real Simple

Bottled Water – Do you know the actual source?

Posted in Daily Use, Recreation, Water Bottles on August 1st, 2016 by Amy Dias – Be the first to comment

Bottled Water Services comprise a billion dollar industry today which is growing annually. However, there are multiple researches and studies done, questioning the “purity claims” of bottled water. The big question has always been: Is bottled water cleaner and healthier than tap water?

We all know that most of the companies that supply distilled water use city water as their source, which is far from being healthy. Popular companies like “Dasani”, “Aquafina” and “Nestle” are also included in this list. (Reference: www.msnbc.com)

Why is distilled water unhealthy?

There are many reasons. Few are mentioned below

1. The oxidation of water is harmful for human body.

2. It results in improper pH balances and ionization.

3. The ‘plastic’ in which they are packed releases chemicals that are leached into water.

How is Planet Earth affected?

Environmental institutions are struggling to cut down the consumption of fossil fuels. This effort is directly affected by the use of ‘Bottled water’ as ‘Virgin Petroleum.’ Virgin petroleum is the source for manufacturing plastic bottles for bottled water. This means that the more bottles we use, the more virgin petroleum is consumed. This fact is true for other beverages and drinks that are packaged in plastic containers. “According to a study of the Oregon State University, it takes about 273 billion liters of water a year, worldwide, just to make empty bottles” – Valuable water is being wasted for manufacturing bottles which again is wasted after use! – It’s about time to think.

Some facts on Bottled water from the Internet:

“People tout bottled water as this pure substance that’s trickling from clear mountain springs when, in fact, that may not be the case,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, author of one of the bills.

The Food and Drug Administration needs to tighten its regulations on bottled water after a four-year study by the NRDC found that of 103 brands surveyed, one- third contained levels of contamination.

The NRDC found the contents of one bottle, labeled “Spring Water,” actually came from an industrial parking lot next to a hazardous waste site.

By the end of this year, bottled water will have moved past milk, coffee and beer to become the second most popular beverage behind soft drinks, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp.

Do you want to stop participating in destroying Planet Earth?

Well, you can. Go Green! There are multiple water filtering systems that can be used as an alternative. Tap water does have impurities and contaminants, but filtering them is a healthier option than choosing “Bottled Water”. Once you filter your tap water, avoid using plastic bottles. There are many stainless steel water bottles that are in the market with great quality. One of them is the  Klean Kanteen ClassicKlean Kanteen™, the 27oz stainless steel water bottle is made of 100% recyclable, 18/8, food-grade, stainless steel so it doesn’t need a special lining like aluminum bottles. It’s completely BPA-free and won’t leach toxins or funky flavors into your water, juice, smoothie or drink of choice. Plus weighing in at only 6 ounces, this durable, reusable, BPA free stainless steel water bottle is designed to last for years.  Be sure to check out the special savings through June 7th on all of our Klean Kanteen products, including the Wine Carafe.  All with free shipping!

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias (adias@bottlewise.com)