Travel

Shipping Wine? Think Again!

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Packing Liquids, Shipping Wine, Travel, TSA Regulations on April 21st, 2021 by – 16 Comments

Heard the rumors lately? I’ve been hearing through the grape vine (no pun intended!) various concerns about wine transportation in air travel. These are mostly due to the new regulations of various airlines and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).  These regulations can lead to hassles and delays for both leisure and business travelers.  Some organizations need specialty wine at conferences for whatever reason and need wine shipped to these conference locations. So these businesses have to create an entire plan just to ship wine! Below are a few points that may be helpful if you’re caught in this situation:

What is your state law?
There are three major categories that any wine lover should consider before shipping wine to or from their travel location.  Make sure you are aware of your state’s law before you book your next wine trip or plan to send a wine gift.

1. Reciprocal states: Reciprocity requires the legislative cooperation of other states to recognize a two-way shipment privilege.  This means that only wineries in another reciprocal state can ship into the reciprocal states: Iowa and New Mexico.

2. States wine can be shipped to on a limited basis: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

3. States where wine shipping from direct to consumer is prohibited: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah

So with all of these restrictions and hassles, would a consumer still want to ship wine?  The TSA regulations do not allow travelers to carry wine or liquor on board these days, so you need to be able to safely pack these liquids in your checked luggage.  Socks and dirty clothes may have done the job in the past, but TSA can still confiscate your valuable liquids if they are not properly packed.  To ease the burden of TSA inspecting your luggage or worrying about shipping wine to your home state, what you need is a wine travel case! BottleWise Duo – The Ultimate Multipurpose Wine Travel System is your perfect solution to your wine travel needs by eliminating wine shipping hassles. It’s much more economical since it is a onetime investment for long-term enjoyment. Benefits of having a wine travel case like BottleWise Duo is that you have your favorite wine with you whenever you travel, and you don’t have to worry about state regulations for wine shipping. Free the grapes by giving your vino the freedom to travel safely and comfortably in the BottleWise Duo wine travel case!

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.

Electronic gadgets – To pack or not to pack?

Posted in Electronics, Travel on April 20th, 2021 by – 17 Comments

While electronic gadgets were created for convenience and entertainment, sometimes they can be frustrating at places like airport security checkpoints. This is an alert for our tech junkies with gadgets like laptops, laptop accessories, MP3 players, iPod, pager, cell phone, Kindle, video game consoles, video cameras, DVD players and much, much more.

I can completely understand the fun in listening to your favorite music, watching a movie filled with humor, or playing a thrilling game that makes time fly while on a plane. However, the TSA says Pay now, Play later. If we follow the TSA rules, we can have a fun enjoyable flight. All we need to do as travelers is pay attention to their rules especially for the electronic gadgets and it will make our security process smooth and neat.

Few quick gadget security tips:
Simplify…have only the electronic gadgets, which are crucial on your journey. This can quickly add up though between your laptop, phone, iPod, GPS and Kindle.  Besides the laptop and dvd player, many of your electronics can stay stored in your carry-on while passing through security – even your Kindle!  TSA prefers that you put most of your electronics in your carry-on as it makes it easier to screen the devices.  I once was pulled aside in security for an iPod docking station (last minute purchase).  I didn’t even think it was something that would be a concern…but it was!

Most corporate travelers have their laptops in their carry-on luggage. The best thing to do is to have laptops in checkpoint friendly bags. For more information on the styles, visit http://tinyurl.com/358hojk .  The seasoned business traveler has this process down to a science.  It really is important though for the average traveler to keep all the electronics organized.  Mini, convenient packing cubes are perfect for packing cords and small electronics.

Don’t be surprised if you are requested to switch off all your battery-powered devices. While packing your carry-ons, make sure the electronic gadgets are organized to make the screening process easier. If not, your bags have to undergo additional screening process, which would be more time consuming.

Every airport within U.S and international airports have similar regulations for electronic gadgets. If you are planning for a domestic or international travel, it is highly recommended to check the electronic regulations for the country.  You wouldn’t want your favorite gadget to end up in the hands of TSA in another country…never to be seen again!

What is the ONE gadget you can’t stand to travel without?  Have you ever had electronics confiscated?  Please share your gadget drama.

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).

Neo’s Trip (and everyone else’s)

Posted in Airline Fees, Airline Service Charges, Travel on April 20th, 2021 by – 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 April 19th, 2021 by – 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 April 19th, 2021 by – 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!

What Is Your Best Holiday Travel Tip?

Posted in Family Travel, Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips on April 18th, 2021 by – 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 April 17th, 2021 by – 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

Should I Check My Bags or Ship Them?

Posted in Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips on April 17th, 2021 by – 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