How to travel with dignity

Traveling today can be very stressful. Ever wonder how you can travel with more style, speed and dignity ? Here are some of my personal tips on how to maximize your travel experience.

At the Airport

Not everyone can afford to travel first class.  Have you noticed when checking in at the ticket counter the short line in first class and the long line in economy class?  If you have a high frequent flyer status with a particular airline such as American Airlines Aadvantage Gold or Platinum member , you can usually go to the first class line if you need to check in with an airline representative. Another major advantage of a high frequent flyer status is you will be one of the first to board the aircraft. No worrying about overhead space for your carry-on baggage. Also, as a frequent flyer member with status you will be entitled to preferred seats upfront that normally have an extra charge. And most programs will allow you to check your first bag free.

If you only travel on occasion try to fly with the same airline or airline alliance. Sign up for the airlines credit card and accrue miles for each charge. I like American Airlines Citibank Aadvantage card to earn miles. Many hotels and car rental companies are affiliated with airline frequent flyer programs as well. Since the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) long slow lines are the norm at most major airports. First I would suggest enrolling in TSA Precheck Program.  Once you are approved, this program will allow you quicker transit through airport security. Usually a faster moving dedicated line for Precheck members only. Some of the other advantages include a no removal policy of your belt, shoes, laptop and 3-1-1 compliant bag of liquids. For more information please refer to this website www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck

For international travelers like myself I would strongly suggest enrollment in TSA’s Global Entry Program. Once you are approved this program will allow you to whisk right through USA customs. Just proceed right to a Global Entry Kiosk, slide your passport, scan your fingerprints and answer a few touch screen questions. The process usually takes about 2-3 minutes. It’s like using an ATM machine for a cash advance. It’s a lot easier than waiting in line for a customs agent with hundreds of other travelers. For more information please refer to www.cbp.gov/global-entry/about

After your flight arrives, now it’s time to pick up your car rental. The last thing I want to do after traveling most of the day is to wait in line at the car rental counter. I have enrolled with a few car rental companies that allows you to bypass the line, go to the courtesy van and get dropped off at your car waiting for you in the lot. Hertz and Avis probably offer the quickest service.

Now I am ready to check in to my hotel. By gaining preferred status with a hotel brand such as Starwood, Hilton, Marriott etc has its advantages as well. Most hotels will have a separate check in for their VIP frequent guests. Not to mention complimentary upgrades when available. Also be sure to add your Airlines frequent flyer number to your hotel and car rental profiles.

Contact me at 781-471-2310 or gtalewsky@colpittswt.com to book your next trip to gain helpful travel insights for a more enjoyable travel experience.