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Affiliate Disclosure: This is a professional review blog which gets compensated for the products recommended and reviewed by the companies who produce them and our affiliates. All of the products are tested thoroughly and high grades are received only by the best ones. We are independent bloggers and the recommendations and reviews are based on our own opinions.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

New Rules Affecting Emotional Support Animals on Airplanes imposed by States and Delta

On March 1, new rules will be implemented by Delta Airlines that will affect Service, Working and Support Animals.  

Does having a vest that says "Service Animal" enough?


Baxter is a Service Dog with Advanced Training by Patriot Dog Training

With increasing numbers of service or emotional-support animals on flights — dogs, cats and even ducks — have come increasing numbers of problems and complaints.  The rise in emotional support animals has coincided with growing publicity on the mental health benefit of pets.


Daniel the duck, who serves as an emotional support animal, skyrocketed to Internet stardom after author Mark Essig spotted him on a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Asheville in 2016


Soon Delta Air Lines will require additional documentation for passengers taking service animals with them on flights. Citing safety, this comes amid an increase of incidents involving animals, including a dog attack last year.

Starting March 1, Delta customers will have to show proof of health or vaccinations for their animals 48 hours in advance. In addition, owners of emotional-support animals will need to sign a statement confirming their animal can behave.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review of Austin Element Aloft Hotel for Austin Marathon Visit

The Austin the Aloft and Element hotel is highly recommended as a location to stay when competing in the Austin marathon half marathon and 10 K.


This hotel is perfectly situated at the finish line at the corner of Congress and 7th Street. Staying in the Aloft section of the hotel gives you a perfect view of Congress for not only the start but also the finish.



 LTD questioned many of the patrons during the stay and no one but the hotel staff that understood the differences between the two hotels.

US Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program Should be Part of Your Safety and Health Plan for International Travel

Why do the US Department of State STEP program and Smart Traveler App matter? 


STEP makes it easier for the nearest US Embassy to contact you in case of an emergency abroad.



In the past few years, the travel community has been rocked by attacks of various size and scope, from Turkey to England.  While most destinations that were targeted are probably no more dangerous than before attacks, you should be prepared when you're heading out of the United States, regardless of when—or where—you travel. One of the most helpful resources? The U.S. State Department's little well-known, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), in which users register trips and get messages relevant to their area and travel dates.


Download the US department of State Smart Traveler App before departing on any international trip for iPhone or Android.

US Department of State Smart Traveler App is Important for your Next International Trip



Saturday, February 17, 2018

Luggage Solution for Your Next Luxury Shopping Vacation

Use a Carabiner to Carry Extra things on Vacation!

Have you ever Wondered How to Carry all of Your Purchases on Vacation?  This Is an Item You Should Never Travel Without!

Husbands can only carry so much!  Travel Carabiners are Useful for Many Travel Concerns:  Carrying, Sucurity and Mending...



A follower of LTD who loves to shop for high end souvenirs, gave the recommendation of carrying shopping bags when traveling.  He likes to use a carabiner to attach the bags to his backpack or shoulder bag.  Of course, be very careful doing this in less secure locations!  Keeping your hands free makes you better able to take pictures!!!!!!  Of course lightweight carabiners are good to throw in your luggage for many things:


  • Reattach a broken strap
  • Recinforce a zipper on that bag that you have stuffed to the max
  • For security, discreetly clip you shoulder bag or backpack to your belt loop.
  • Connect luggage pieces or other loose things, like jackets, together at the airport



LTD suggests different options.  There are colorful carabiners, tactical carabiners for the active vacation, or black and gold options for a more elegant appearance.  LTD likes the added benefit of the screw closure on the black or gold carabiners suggested below because of added security of you things.



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Can you Travel WITHOUT a Picture ID? You Might Be Surprised How You Can Travel Without Your ID!

Flying Without ID? Here’s How It’s Possible.


The Commerce Department said this week that driver's licenses could soon be replaced by cell phone apps, but what do you do in the meantime if you have to fly without a driver's license?


A  friend of LTD recently told us the story of how he went to the airport and he went home because he thought he could not get through security. We immediately told him that he was mistaken, and that there are processes in place for the TSA screen you if you have forgotten your identification.

Did the ghost that steals your socks and car keys run off with your ID? Did your license expire and you don’t have time to renew it before you travel? Did you lose your wallet? Did you simply forget your ID at home? While it is much easier to go through screening with the proper identification, you’re not going to cause too much of a mess if you don’t have it.


You May Be Able to Fly if You Forgot Your Identification
Photo Credit: Seth Wenig/AP


According to TSA.gov:


"In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You may be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property.
You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you chose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.
TSA recommends that you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time.
 If your identity cannot be verified, you will not be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint"

The extra screening takes about 45 min in larger airports and probably 15-30 in regional airports but give yourself a couple of hours to be safe.  

Another follower of LTD had this happen to him at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.  He notified the ticket agent that he did not have his driver's license and she issued his ticket by looking at other identifications that he had in his wallet, such as credit cards.  She directed him to the TSA line where he notified the officer of his lack of photo identification.  He was taken to the private TSA area, where he was asked to present several credit cards with his information, complete and sign forms provided by TSA providing his address and other personal information for verification.  The TSA officers called two credit card companies to verify the cards were active and performed a full pat-down and search of carry on luggage.  Importantly, he did not have checked bags and only a carry on.  LTD always recommends traveling with a carry only if possible because of ease, saved time, security of you things, among many other reasons.  


What if you do not have a license but have another form of government issued identification?  No problem! These are considered VALID government issued identification:


  • Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

LTD recommends having alternative forms of government issued identification in your wallet.  What does LTD carry?




Your Global Entry Card can be used as Photo Identification instead of Driver's License
Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (www.cbp.gov)

A U.S. Passport Card Can Be Used as Photo Identification Instead of Driver's License
Photo Credit:  U.S. Department of State
Apps like 1Password can store a Digital Copies of Government Issued Identifications for Reference


Does the ticket agent have the ability to refuse checking a bag?


Unfortunately this is not very clear, but does not appear to be a problem.

LTD phoned American Airlines Executive Platinum Line and asked what they tell persons who are about to fly and don't have their driver's license.  The agents response was that this happens often and they tell the flyer to get to the airport about 3 1/2 hours early to allow time for the TSA to perform their checks we discussed above.  They do not tell the flyer they cannot check a bag, but they do not have an official policy on what is needed.

The policies for checking bags are not clear for other airlines either when we phoned, but Delta has one policy published online under the "Delta Vacations" policies:

"Travel Identification

• Domestic Travel: All passengers 18 years of age or older are required to present 1 form of government- issued photo ID (such as a valid driver's license) or 2 forms of non-photo identification, 1 of which must be a state or federal agency-issued (such as a U.S. Social Security card), before boarding a flight. Failure to present positive identification can result in denied boarding and no refunds will be granted."


Summary


The bottom line is that you can still board a DOMESTIC flight if you have forgotten or lost your driver's license but if you need to do so, give yourself plenty of time for extra screening that is required.  It is possible that the airlines can refuse to check your bags, but if you are traveling with your family, they can check your bag.  Make sure you have other forms of identification with you, such as credit cards, work identification cards, or any other government issued identification you may carry such as a social security card or birth certificate.  If you know ahead of time, just take your passport or another form of government issued photo identification and LTD always carries their Global Entry Card and Passport Card just in case our driver's license is lost.  

This only applies to domestic travel, and if you plan to travel internationally, you will not be granted admission to another country without a passport.  

Look for future LTD posts about what to do if your passport is lost or stolen while in another country and for an update on the upcoming Real-ID requirements which have been delayed until 2020.

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We love this RFID minimalist wallet for carrying your identification while traveling domestically.  It allows you to have your id and whatever cards you need readily available without worrying about
RF theft of your information.  Click the photo below to learn more!




Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ten Unique Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for the Person you Love who Loves to Travel!

We all know those men or women travelers who are hard to buy gifts.  However, you can't go wrong with buying dedicated travelers something unique that will make their travel easier, safer, or more rewarding.



Let the experts at LTD give you ten unique gift recommendations for the travelers you love! Click on the Links to take you directly to the recommended web location for the best prices.




1.  Travelon Anti Theft Classic Messenger Bag is comfortable with an anti-slash strap, lockable zippers and an RFID pocket.  


This comfortable bag has ample number of pockets and space fitting an iPad easily as well as much more and has an outside pocket for a water bottle.  This is LTD's bag of choice for every trip.  With 12 colors available, it is easy to find the perfect gift.  Not only is the material durable, it is cleaned with a simple damp cloth.

Buy Now At Amazon



2.  SEEHONOR Anti Theft Travel Backpack, with USB Charging Port and Anti-Theft hidden zippers and secret pockets.  

The SEEHONOR backpack is made of water resistant polyester, well-padded and made to carry a 15.6-Inch Laptop.  A friend of LTD used this on a recent trip to the Middle East and found it convenient and comfortable.  This is hard to resist.  It will look like you spent a lot more!

Buy Now At Amazon




3.  For those that travel with expensive valuables, such as watches, jewelry, cash or anything, buy them a lockable portable safe.  


The Pacsafe Portable Safe comes in 5L and 12L sizes and can be affixed to any fixture like a pipe, appliance or any secure site.  It comes with a TSA approved lock as well.  This is sure to please, because most travelers don't think about these!


4.  Do you know someone who likes to travel with wine or other bottles?  Buy them packing sleeves for their bottles!  


A wine lover can never have enough sealable padded bags and this is an option for 8 bags. 

Buy Now At Amazon


4.  For the active traveler, a fashionable but functional GPS watch is a must.  


The Garmin Fenix 5X is ultimate multisport GPS watch with full-color TOPO U.S. mapping, routable cycling maps and other outdoor navigation features.  It is fit for adventure with a rugged design that features a stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case. Built-in navigation sensors include GPS and GLONASS capability that track in more challenging environments than GPS alone, as well as a 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.

Buy Now At Amazon

5.  Sexy compression stockings.  Every traveler has experienced swollen ankles and tired legs and feet.  One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is by using compression stockings.  


What better gift than SEXY compression stockings!  Tramps hosiery offers a wide selection of compression stockings that is bound to satisfy even the most fashionable loved one.  Every length is available - including the ultra-sexy thigh high - as well as patterns and colors galore! Pregnant travelers are especially prone to leg swelling and Tramps' maternity compression hose styles for pregnant travelers are unique.  And for those Southerners, the open thonged toe design makes wearing peep toe pumps or sandals not an issue. Click Here to go to TrampsHosiery.com.

Tramps has Ultra Sexy Thigh High hose for your Favorite Traveler!

Tramps Compression Hosiery is both healthy and sexy!

Tramps Maternity Style is call Emily and comes in Two Colors


6.  Lighted Magnification Home & Travel Mirror.  


Every avid traveler has experienced this.  You are trying to get ready for a great evening out.  The lighting is so poor that you worry you've put your makeup on too heavily and will be mistaken for a raccoon.  A free-standing lighted magnifying mirror is the ultimate solution.  LTD travels with this mirror and finds it lightweight, large and bright enough to see and versatile because of the two different mirrors included: 10X AND regular mirror.  The plastic cover makes it resistant to breaking and allows it to stand freely.  It folds closed to allow easy storage for travel.  

7.  Floppy Sun Hat.

If you are planning a tropical getaway, PLEASE use the US Department of State Smart Traveler App, and consider buying a floppy sun hat and UPF clothing.  The incidence of melanoma has been increasing steadily among Americans and one of the best ways to protect yourself is to wear hats and UPF clothing.  LTD loves this sun hat because of the cute message options available like "Hello Sunshine" among many more!



Buy Now At Amazon






8.  Noise Canceling Headphones and a Subscription to a Movie Download Service. 


If you have a frequent traveler as a loved one, ask them about the BABY dilemma.  LTD gave various solutions to this problem with the best being watching videos on your iPad or noise canceling headphones.  Beats are the most famous and sure to please, but LTD considers Bose to be the best.  Consider a gift subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime because subscribers can download a wide array of series, documentaries or movies that can drown out even the loudest of noisemakers on an airplane.  If you have two persons who need to watch a movie at once, splitters are available for two sets of ear buds.


9.  A Home Pants Press


For the Business traveler, nothing looks worse than leaving your house with unpressed clothing which only will get worse after hours of sitting in a car, at the airport or on a plane.  A very useful and unexpected gift is a pants press.  LTD uses this always for crisp looking pants before leaving the house.  This is a good gift for a man or a woman because who really likes to press pants?  This pants press has a beautiful walnut finish, an automatic cut-off plus manual cancel option, and it comes complete with feet, deep coin tray, jacket hanger and bracket.
The Colby Pants Press is sure to Please the Traveler and the Ironer in your Family!

10.  Two Dollar Bills


Last but not least if you are a last minute gift giver, and let's face it...you forgot to buy something, go to the bank and get a stack of $2 bills.  These are great for any traveler to give as tips anywhere whether in the USA or overseas.  They are unique and lucky!  


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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Got Wanderlust? Millennial Travel is the New Trend for Luxury Travel

Millennial International and Overseas Travel Trends for Vacation and Holidays


The Millennial - The largest generation is the new target for international travel. But what do Millennials want when they travel?



Millennial Jill Stevens says she "wants to see it all!"
(photo courtesy of Jill Stevens)

Adventure Travel is the overwhelming trend in Millennial Travel


Some of us may long for quiet time at a secluded resort with every whim taken care of, but the trends and desires of travelers is changing over time.  Adventure travel, as the name suggests, is not for luxury travelers who would plan only on the beach.  Adventure Tourism is one of the fastest-growing trends in the travel domain.  Defining exactly what it means is a little tricky. While for one group of travelers, adventure could mean leisurely biking and hiking tours, for the other group, it might entail base jumping into an underground cave in Mexico. So the main facets of adventure tourism usually include traveling to a distant location, interacting with different cultures and undertaking a physical activity of some kind.  According to Start The Adventure, adventure travel overwhelmingly appeals to millennials.  Mountain trekking was the number-one trip style sought by millennials, followed by sailing trips, island-hopping, music-related travel and foodie trips.

Completing the list of the top 10 travel choices are sustainable travel, spring-break, hop-on/hop-off tours, wildlife safaris, and active adventures.

Globetrotting is becoming easier and more common!


International travel - The recent trend of low-cost airlines and Airbnb make it more affordable to travel internationally. This ease of access is driving younger travelers to visit a variety of European cities, including Rome, London, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona and Amsterdam.  Likewise, low fares to Asia and the Pacific have put some farther-flung cities top of mind for millennials and student travelers. Destinations such as Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok and Auckland, New Zealand, are all high on their lists.

Far-off lands are of interest for a more distressing reason: Younger travelers are increasingly seeking adventures in destinations that are endangered as they feel an urgency to visit places like the Arctic before they are transformed by climate change or that cultures are being affected by geopolitical events.
Ice Castle in Edmonton, Canada.  Are sites like this in danger due to climate change?
(photo courtesy of Jill Stevens)


Here are the top 10 countries that millennials want to visit in 2018:

1. Australia
2. New Zealand
3. Italy
4. U.K.
5. Spain
6. Thailand
7. Portugal
8. Costa Rica
9. Philippines
10. Peru

Social Media has changed the way travel destinations are promoted


Gone are the days of paper maps and brochures for the younger generations.  They turn to their friends, coworkers, and influencers within the expanding social media world to find travel and vacation inspiration.  Millennial Jill Stevens from Hickory, North Carolina says: "I often choose my travel by seeing pictures on Instagram or other websites and saying, 'That looks cool.  I want to go there!' Then I look at ways to make it happen!" A recent study showed that 87% of Millennial travelers are looking at Facebook for travel inspiration and 85% of them will check multiple sites before booking their travel to get the best deal possible.

“Even though I'm a Jedi, I am not invincible.”
― Jude Watson, The Dangerous Rescue


According to the ITB World Travel Trends Report, international outbound travelers are more likely to be affected by health issues or crime than by terror attacks.  For the most part, travel safety is pretty similar for everyone: do your research, watch your stuff, be careful who you trust. Please review LTD post on safety and security for international travel and travel insurance.  The younger generations always believe "it couldn't happen to me", but safety and security should be your primary concern no matter what your age!  However, the Millennial generation has some unique travel concerns to think about:

1.  You are never too young to Invest in Travel Insurance - especially if you may get injured - see LTD primer on Travel Insurance
2.  Be careful what you post online
3.  Protect your data when using public wifi
4.  Watch your phone and valuables - phone theft on public transportation or in crowds is common
5.  Use common sense in public situations such as watching your drink, staying with a buddy, and having a plan to get home are good practices.

Millennial Travelers are here to stay and if you don't think so, watch The Bachelor on February 5, 2018.


This was recognized by one River Cruise line, Uniworld, who has launched a Millennial brand: U by Uniworld.  LTD has experience with River Cruising and Uniworld is LTD's recommended river cruise company.  U by Uniworld will be featured on an upcoming episode of The Bachelor.  LTD reviewed U by Uniworld and compared this product to traditional Uniworld River cruises:

1.  The fare is approximately 50% less
2.  Rooms are available for 3 travelers
3.  Wine and beer generally are not included
4.  Luxury decor is exchanged for contemporary decor, designed to appeal to passengers aged 21-45.
5.  Limited itineraries are available currently, covering the Seine, Rhine and Danube rivers.

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