Greetings from Deadwood, S.D., where we’re halfway through an amazing adventure in the Black Hills. You have to add this place to your bucket list, by the way. It’s incredible. More on our visit, which we’re documenting on our family travel blog, in just a moment.

But first, I wanted to tell you about a trick CEOs and VPs (yes, even the VPs with the words “customer service” in the title) are pulling. They’re hiding from you, their customer. In my Mint.com column, I explain how they’re doing it — and how you can reach them.

Thank you, Cheapflights.com. We’re exceedingly grateful to our underwriters at Cheapflights.com for their support of customer advocacy on this site. Every story you read is made possible by supporters like Cheapflights.com. Please visit their site the next time you need to fly somewhere.

On Elliott. In this week’s Travel Troubleshooter case, I take on the strange but common problem of having to pay twice for an airline ticket. Read this if you don’t want to be the next victim. Here’s a video I shot on location in Deadwood, with a little help from the kids, about how I stay productive when I travel.

And from the Department of Second Thoughts, I bring you the case of the car rental damage claim that may have actually been legit. Did I force Alamo to pay for someone else’s damage? Also, my Consumerist column is back on my site for a few weeks. Here’s a woman whose house burned down and couldn’t get her phone company to return her calls. Finally, I bring you yet another VRBO phishing scam. Yes, another one.

Elsewhere. In Sunday’s Washington Post, I wonder if a European law should protect American air travelers. One lawsuit will try to determine that answer. On Frommers, I ask: When is a confirmation confirmed? The answer may surprise you. In the Huffington Post, I try to determine which political candidate will rein in the TSA. You can join the debate right here.

On Away is Home. We’ve taken the “no restaurant” pledge for this month-long road trip. Would you ever consider trying that? Let us know. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered how we all get along so well when we’re driving, you have to watch Iden’s tips for a great road trip. And here are a few secrets from our five-year-old on how to stay in a hotel.

Tune in later today for a full report from our first stop: Deadwood, S.D., and the Black Hills. We’ll tell you all about our memorable visit to Mt. Rushmore.

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook and you can track the Away is Home Twitter and Facebook site. I’ll see you out there.

Have an excellent week, everyone. Safe travels!