Tips and Tantrums

Disney World Epcot Night

If you have small children, or even if you don’t, odds are you’re going to eventually end up at  Disney World.  It’s been written about all over the internet, and covered very well here at Saverocity by Joe, Haley and Dia.  If you are planning your first or tenth trip to Disney World, you should read everything they’ve written about the planning process.  I did, and we had a great time as a result.  Nonetheless, every once in a while I need to come out of blogger hibernation to add something to the conversation, and today my best contribution is going to surround what I did not like about Disney World. We can get this out of the way up front:  You should still go to Disney World if you [...]

Trenitalia Frecciarossa

Trenitalia has introduced a direct train line from Rome’s Fiumicino airport to Venice, and that is great news for travelers entering Italy through its busiest airport.  If you’re from the United States, just about all direct routes to Italy serve FCO – other than the very competitive JFK-MXP route – and many are headed to other cities within Italy.  This news brings what I find to be the most convenient option to the mix. While Rome has perennially huge tourist numbers, Venice and Florence are right up there as well.  Previously, the way to get to those places was to generally fly direct to Rome or Milan and either connect to another flight or board a minimum of two trains to either destination.  At Rome, this would involve taking the [...]

I just wanted to wish my readers a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you’re on the east coast, travel may be a bit difficult – my original flight out to Philly this evening has already been canceled.  Thankfully, I was able to rebook to tomorrow morning prior to the weather hitting, but with the snow forecast to end at 7am tomorrow up here, there’s no guarantee we’re going anywhere! Just a couple of reminders if you’re running into weather that impacts your air travel: 1.  Allow yourself plenty of extra time!  Get to the airport early and be ready to deal with longer lines, since not everyone in front of you is just checking a bag or printing a  boarding pass.  Many will spend some quality time with an agent [...]

Bicycle carrying bricks; HaNoi, Vietnam

In the course of the past year, my daughter exceeded the height limit of the Chicco Keyfit 30 and graduated into a convertible seat – the NextFit.  In that same period of time, I strapped the NextFit to my back and carried it into Boston Logan Airport – all the way from Central Parking A, through the hamster tube, alongside the out of service moving sidewalk, to the check-in area.  You know what?  That trip was the first and last time I’d do that.  That thing is heavy. If your child is at least 22 lbs and can sit up facing forward, there is a much simpler 1 pound device called the CARES harness that can really change the way you fly with a toddler.  It loops around the seat, [...]

Airline Contact Cheat Sheet

A month and a half ago I posted a list of airline contact information to keep handy during your travels.  Today I needed to dig up my own list and had trouble finding it, and as it would turn out, I had buried it in the bottom of a post on cancellation tips.  I thought it might be time to rework that into its own standalone post in the event that you might want to bookmark it to have in addition to my printer-friendly Google Sheets version.  I have also updated the list with my own experiences and recommendations on where to start. American Phone:  (800) 223-5436 Twitter:  @AmericanAir Web:  http://www.aa.com/contactAA Notes:  Phone is my preferred contact method.  Hold times are usually reasonable, even without status.  Agents tend to know what [...]

Parking Meter

Taking toddlers to restaurants is hard.  Forget packing up and getting in the car.  Those infant games are over.  Our journey now begins the moment that I apply the parking brake. We decided to go to a familiar place this past Sunday night.  A great pasta-centric restaurant in the Old Port called Paciarino.  They are fast, friendly and serve fresh pasta – something we definitely don’t have time to make at home!  We naturally went during a window of time that is convenient for a dinner out with a child, as well as being implicitly acceptable by society that we be out with our little kids amongst the normal folks – 5:30PM.  I pretty much followed all of my own advice.  What could possibly go wrong? Let me back up [...]

The Travel Grinch

This past week has left me in a slightly sour mood with regard to travel, offset by some solid handling by the airlines.  I didn’t get to hang out with my college friends this weekend, and I have to tell you, drafting your fantasy football team from your basement while everyone else is partying up the occasion is slightly depressing.  I normally have no problem with the remote draft in most leagues, but I digress… a quick roundup of this weekend’s travel interests, as told to me by The Internet (which they have on computers now) – Speculation is rampant that British Airways may devalue the best short haul award chart on the planet.  Free-quent Flyer and our very own Kenny have both pointed to a strong hint at what [...]

Airline Delays and Cancellations Board

When you’ve left home, you’re at the mercy of the airlines to get you to your intended destination.  For the most part, I think they do a great job moving us and our things efficiently.  Not always comfortably, but efficiently.  On the occasion that something goes wrong and you’ve already left home, it’s helpful to have a plan on how to rectify the situation and ensure that your journey continues onward with the least amount of interruption. In the event of a flight cancellation or an abnormally long delay, I usually have a three-pronged plan that I immediately put into motion.   The idea is to get in the queue, physically and virtually, as quickly as possible because reaccommodations are often handled first come first serve, except for some elite priority. The [...]

Portland International Jetport

By now you’re probably sore from all that packing.  Odds are decent that you even acquired some new luggage now known as “The Baby’s Suitcase.”  Not Billy’s suitcase.  Not Jill’s suitcase.  Just The Baby’s Suitcase, bursting at the zippers with fear and resentment, and it probably weighs 49.9999 pounds – just under that $100 weight limit.  You look at it and immediately feel secure, though, as it contains every conceivable item in order to tackle a problem on the road. Tomorrow you head to the airport!  That’s right, I’m going to assume you’re better than me and not packing the morning of the trip.  Please, do yourself a huge favor and be better than me. Up to this point, you’ve done your best to plan the itinerary and grab the right [...]

Infant formula and you

One lesson that we learned the hard way when first setting out to travel as a family is that the more conveniently packed your infant formula is for you, the less convenient it is to bring it through airport security.  Officially, the TSA must let you carry through a “reasonable” quantity of formula, water or any other liquid that your child may need.  Unofficially, it has been my experience that it will be made inconvenient for you at the security checkpoint unless you do it a certain way. Pre-mixed formula is your friend When packing for a trip with a baby, I absolutely recommend being conservative with your  carry on.  That means packing enough food, water, diapers and other necessities to last the duration of the flight, airport waiting time, [...]