Neo’s Trip (and everyone else’s)

Posted in Airline Fees, Airline Service Charges, Travel on April 8th, 2024 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 7th, 2024 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 7th, 2024 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!

Smooth Sailing…Finally.

Posted in Daily Use, Picnic Accessories, Recreation, Wine Gadgets, Wine Preservation on April 6th, 2024 by – 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!

TSA Regulations and Travel Precautions

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Packing Liquids, Travel, TSA Regulations, TSA Restricted Items on July 15th, 2013 by – Be the first to comment

The subject of travel brings so much to mind: planning for the place, booking tickets, booking hotel rooms, exotic getaways, safaris, cruises, backpacking, sight-seeing and so on. When all the planning and packing is done, we’re almost set to go. Expect, there is always the tension of passing through airport security; that always brings mixed feelings of frustration, fear and worries for most of us. One of the things that bring on these mixed feelings is the tiresome TSA
(Transportation Security Administration) regulations. Some of us don’t even know what a TSA regulation is, yet we go through the process every time we travel on an airplane! Below are some pre-travel arrangements to save time and relieve you from some frustrations of travel.

TSA and its regulations:

TSA – Transportation Security Administration handles activities connected with Travel and
Commerce. The TSA uses an easy 3-1-1 formula for passengers to remember.
3 – Passenger may only carry 3 oz. or smaller containers of liquid or gel.
1 – Their containers should be in a one-quart size, clear, plastic, zip-top bag.
1 – Only one bag per traveler can be placed in the security bin.

People don’t like to travel as much these days for some specific reasons.  Here are some funny tweets as to the reason why:

“New TSA regulation requires passengers must hold breath for the final hour of flight while
humming ‘Kumbaya.’”

” I sure hope these travel regulations don’t hold up my wire transfer from Nigeria.”

Some of the frequent concerns people have about security screening before reaching their gate:

  • I have to practically undress to go through security: strip my socks, shoes and belt
  • I need to go for a week but I’m only packing tiny vials of shampoo, lotion to last a day!
  • I always have to unzip my bag, lug out my laptop and turn it on for security.
  • I hate going through security with my kids; they’re confused, hungry, tired and running all over the place and then I forget to take of my shoes!

So there’s obviously frustration out there. However, we have to realize that the TSA was formed after September 11, 2001 to make sure that travelers have a secure and comfortable travel. Today TSA employs about 50,000 people! So really, there is a benefit to the temporary discomfort we have to endure.

Plan and Prepare:

  • Arrive at the airport well in advance of scheduled flight departure times.
  • Pack in easily inspected modules that can be lifted out individually.
  • Have your ID and boarding pass ready as you approach the checkpoint.
  • Place coins, keys and other metal objects in your carry-on bag.
  • Remove shoes during screening and pass them through the scanners.

TSA Prohibited Items:

  • Sharp Objects (Box Cutters, Knives, Ice Axes/Ice Picks, Meat Cleavers)
  • Sporting Goods (Baseball Bats, Bows and Arrows, Cricket Bats)
  • Guns and Firearms (Flares, Gun Lighters, Gun Powder, Pellet Guns)
  • Tools (Hammers, Crowbars, Axes and Hatchets)
  • Martial Arts and Self Defense Items (Billy Clubs, Black Jacks, Brass Knuckles, Kubatons)
  • Explosive & Flammable Materials, Disabling Chemicals & Other Dangerous Items

Carry-on-Luggage:

  • Travelers may carry liquids in carry-on luggage, but must comply with “3-1-1″ TSA rules.
  • At the checkpoint, travelers are usually asked to take the zip-top bag of liquids out for X-ray.
  • Exceptions: Mothers may carry more than 3 oz of breast milk when unaccompanied by their child; small amounts of required medicines and after clearing security, beverages and other items purchased are permitted on-board the aircraft.
  • Organize carry-on bags with see-through plastic or mesh organizers for TSA inspectors to speed the security process.

Checked Luggage:

  • Loose lithium batteries are not allowed in checked luggage.
  • Lighters and matches are not permitted in checked luggage.
  • Liquids must be in leak-proof containers.
  • Luggage locks must be TSA accepted so baggage screeners can unlock them for inspection.

Please feel free to share one line of your frustration or excitement about your recent travel and opinion about the TSA regulations.

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)

How to Pack Anything

Posted in Packing Liquids, Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips, Uncategorized on June 25th, 2012 by – Be the first to comment

Smart strategies for stowing your belongings, from accessories to sleepwear.

Accessories (Earrings, Necklaces, Scarves)

  • Keep necklaces protected and kink-free “by threading them through drinking straws, then putting the filled straws in toothbrush holders,” says Anne McAlpin, author of Pack It Up.
  • Store earrings in a day-of-the-week pill container, or cut out a small cardboard square and punch them through.
  • Put all the jewelry you intend to wear with a certain outfit in a sandwich bag and pin it to one of the clothing items.
  • Toss silk scarves near the top of your bag to prevent them from getting crushed.

Belts

  • For narrow belts: Wind them into coils and place each one in a zipper-sealed bag. Put every bag in a shoe.
  • For larger versions: Fit them around the edges of your bag. Their size and width make them less likely to snake about.

Blouses, Shirts, Tees

  • Layer tissue paper or plastic dry-cleaning bags between garments to keep them smooth. (Clothes wrinkle when they rub against one another.)
  • Put nice items on top to keep weight off them.
  • Shirts and blouses will lose their shape if they’re rolled up, but rolling works well for T-shirts, which should go near the bottom of the bag.

Books

  • Because of their weight, books tend to shift to the bottom of a suitcase, near the wheels. To prevent them from dragging other items down, start by placing them there.

Bras

  • To help preserve their shape, stuff rolled underwear and socks in the cups and seal in a plastic bag. Tuck into the corners of the suitcase.

Dresses

  • If a dress is long enough, you can place it directly on top of your pants and “interfold” it (see Pants). Otherwise, keep it near the top―above heavier shirts and sweaters―and fold it as few times as possible.
  • Either way, slip it into a dry-cleaning or garment bag to prevent it from wrinkling.

Jeans

  • Because these are heavy, position them near the wheels, well below any delicate clothing.
  • Fold them at the waist, then in half, lengthwise. Or roll them, folding at the waist, then rolling upward from the bottom, stopping just below the belt line (because of the zipper and the pockets at the top, rolling jeans all the way adds unnecessary volume).

Medicines

  • Put all daily medications, as well as things like contact lenses and glasses, in your hand luggage. Keep prescription drugs in the original containers; the Transportation Security Administration requires you to have proof that they’re yours.

Liquids

  • Traveling with your favorite bottle of vino.  Pack safely with the BottleWise Rollup.  Its compact and take up little space in your luggage.  Best of all it protects from breaking or leaking.
  • You never leave home without your favorite lotion or makeup.  Be sure to protect your liquids with a Pitotube cosmetic case.

Pants

  • Pack at the very bottom of the suitcase, just above the layer that fills the three indentations made by the suitcase pulley (that layer can consist of underwear, workout clothes, and pajamas).
  • For the first pair, place the waistband against a narrow end of the suitcase and drape the legs over the opposite edge. Position the next pair’s waistband so that it touches the opposite short end of the suitcase. Continue alternating with all the pants, then put all the other items on top. Fold the pant legs over the pile of clothing. This “interfolding,” as packing experts call it, helps prevent trouser creases.

Outerwear

  • In the winter, carry on an oversize jacket or parka and bulk up with long-sleeved T-shirts, sweaters, and scarves. Packing a light jacket and several layers is more space-efficient than packing a heavy coat.
  • Place your jacket toward the bottom of the bag. Store gloves in your coat pockets.

Sleepwear

  • Chances are your pajamas are among the things you’ll need first, so put a set in the top layer.
  • Keep the rest at the bottom, filling in the indentations caused by the suitcase handle.

Article by Sara Reistad-Long, Real Simple

How to Shop for Wine

Posted in Wine Gadgets, Wine Preservation on March 30th, 2012 by – Be the first to comment

Isn’t it intimidating walking into the wine section of your neighborhood grocery store and seeing hundreds upon hundreds of multicolored wine bottles staring you down? Where do you even begin looking for the best-tasting wine? There are countless brands and labels; you could get lost in Wine World forever.

So here are a few things you could do to prepare for the daunting trip to the wine section:

1. Start online. There are several wine connoisseurs out there who know everything and anything about wine. They make wine lists based on what types of wines are favorable.

2.  Keep a wine journal of the wine that you have tried in the past and have enjoyed.

3. Does your wine choice and evening’s menu mesh well together? Natalie Maclean has a terrific food and wine matcher that you an upload to your iphone or Blackberry.

4.  Remember your guests. Ask them what types of wines they prefer.

5.  Print out your list and take it with you to the store. Make sure you’re finding the right vintages and vineyards while matching your list to the wine on the shelves.

6.   Have your price range in mind and keep crosschecking between wines and your budget. The worse thing to do is to buy a bad, but expensive wine.

7.  Be prepared to have leftover wine, especially if you bought several wines. There’s always the risk that people may not like the wine you purchased or they just have a little bit of wine from each bottle.

8.  Purchase containers for leftover wine in advance. BottleWise.com has the Platy Wine Preserve and the Kleen Kanteen Wine Karafe just for this purpose. Both are specially made for wine preservation, especially wine taste. If you are more for the environmentally friendly, opt for the Kleen Kanteen Wine Karafe; if you prefer something that’s a space-saver, try out the collapsible Platy Wine Preserve.  Either choice keeps the wine in tip-top shape until your next wine-occasion!  Use Promo Code WINE20 and save 20% on your next BottleWise order.  Offer good through 10.29.10.

Sources: http://kenswineguide.com/wine.php?page=19

Traveling with KIDS?

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Family Travel, Packing Liquids, Travel on March 15th, 2012 by – 12 Comments

With spring break upon us and summer vacations quickly approaching, parents are typically more nervous than excited as they prepare for a vacation with their lively kids in tow. As many know, traveling with kids can be stressful. Fear not, we have a few tips to easily prepare parents to think ahead and get organized for their vacation.  This will transform your vacation with kids into an “expedition of amusement” rather than a bitter experience.

Here are a few things to have prepared when traveling with kids:

1) A detailed agenda and tour plan of the places you are planning to visit.
2) Copies of all schedules and time lines to various places to cover.
3) Kids should be actively involved in certain activities such as:

  • Putting together your trip ideas
  • Planning out activities to do on vacation
  • Making family rules during vacation
  • Having a small rewards and penalties if the rule was broken
  • Assigning roles based on age group such as food carrier, water carrier, photographer, etc.
  • Collecting memorable items like tickets, brochures, pictures, etc.

4) Family games, cards, checkers,art supplies.  Many games come in travel form which are perfect for planes, trains and cars.

5) Electronic devices for kids(big and small) like cameras, laptops, DVD players, hand held games.  Don’t forget extra batteries and chargers.  Taking a GPS along is perfect for exploring your new destination and finding points of interests.

6)  Have a supply of healthy snacks on hand.  Don’t count of the airlines for much more than a drink and a bag of pretzels.
7) Packing your baggage:

  • Limit check in luggage. Try to have carry on luggage and have backpacks for each kid and allow them to carry their own stuff. This will save you money and time.
  • Pack light clothes, sweaters, jackets, beach wears, shoes.  The more items each individual can wear, the easier it is to pack and keep items to a minimum.  Ideally your destination has laundry facilities to do a quick load if necessary.
  • Follow TSA’s 311 rules when are packing the liquids, gels, toothpaste, shampoo and other stuff for your kids. These are all important for your kids, but at the same time are restricted to carry on the planes in great volumes.

Packing the family’s items can sometimes be quite a challenge, one parent commented, “Nowadays opening my baggage after a trip can be full of surprises. I only wish that I don’t end up having a toothpaste stained shirt and shampoo covered pants.” A few great products that will come in handy when packing toiletries are Pitotubes and GoToobs. Often packing many of our daily necessities slips our mind and it is often a pain to carry full size products, make sure you have the TravelRite travel kit, which will make your life so much simpler. All of these items meet TSA 3-1-1 regulations so you can use them in your carry-on luggage.  Shop www.BottleWise.com.

Pitotubes Quart Size

Family vacations can be fun, enjoyable, memorable, cherishing and adventurous. Don’t let the detail of packing and planning ruin a family memory.  It  pays to plan ahead.  Have some planning trips that have worked for you and your family in the past, we would love to hear them!

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)