You can survive the vacation crowds this summer. Here’s how

It’s high noon in Sedona, Ariz., and the vacation crowds are swelling in the early spring heat. They’re jamming up Highway 89A with their RVs, playing bumper-cars on the roundabouts, and forming long lines at the grocery stores and restaurants. Read more “You can survive the vacation crowds this summer. Here’s how”

These travel agents go above and beyond the call of duty

Travel agents should really stop calling themselves travel agents. Travel advisors is a better word. Or perhaps even travel advocates. Read more “These travel agents go above and beyond the call of duty”

6 consumer mistakes you absolutely have to avoid this summer

You’ve probably already heard a lot of advice about what you should do do this summer — buy this, vacation there, see that movie. But what shouldn’t you do? Read more “6 consumer mistakes you absolutely have to avoid this summer”

Skiing in summer? Only at this California resort

Don’t look now, but there’s a guy next to me at the bottom of the chairlift. He’s snowboarding in a swimsuit. And nothing else. Read more “Skiing in summer? Only at this California resort”

Avoid visa problems this summer. Here’s how.

If you travel abroad this summer, look out for visa trouble. Read more “Avoid visa problems this summer. Here’s how.”

Admit it, you don’t care what the TSA does to you anymore!

The TSA is having a heckuva summer.
Read more “Admit it, you don’t care what the TSA does to you anymore!”

Bait-and-switched into booking a summer “bargain”? Then read this

Now you see those summer travel deals. Now you don’t.
Read more “Bait-and-switched into booking a summer “bargain”? Then read this”

Is the TSA’s PreCheck program ready for what comes next?

The TSA's "randomizer" in action at Orlando International Airport on Feb. 28, 2014. This iPad-based application sends roughly every third passenger to the faster Pre-Check line. The rest are offered given a conventional screening. If the arrow points left, it's your lucky day.
The TSA’s “randomizer” in action at Orlando International Airport on Feb. 28, 2014. This iPad-based application sends roughly every third passenger to the faster Pre-Check line. The rest are offered given a conventional screening. If the arrow points left, it’s your lucky day.

The Transportation Security Administration’s vaunted new PreCheck system, which offers selected air travelers access to expedited security screening, is hurtling toward its first big test: a crowd of spring break passengers, quickly followed by a crush of inexperienced summer vacationers.

Although the agency assigned to protect U.S. transportation systems says that it’s ready, some travelers remain unconvinced. They point to problems with the existing PreCheck procedures and their own often inconsistent experiences with them.

Here’s how PreCheck is supposed to work: Passengers pay an $85 enrollment fee and submit to a background check and interview. In exchange, they may receive a pre-9/11 type of screening that allows them to keep on their shoes, belts and light outerwear, leave their laptops in their cases and not remove clear zip-top bags of liquids and gels from their carry-on luggage.
Read more “Is the TSA’s PreCheck program ready for what comes next?”

Going anywhere this spring and summer? (SURVEY)

It’s that time of year. I’m interested in your upcoming travel plans — and your best advice for a better trip.

Please take the survey. I’ll report the results soon.
Read more “Going anywhere this spring and summer? (SURVEY)”