Important news before you travel:
If you are in the United States you should be aware of certain Travel Advisories which are given to citizens who choose to travel abroad. These advisories can affect you and may even change your travel plans. So before you go to the airport you should always check to see if your destination country is on the List of the United States Government Travel Advisories.
For more information: Check out the link below which will send you to the US Governments official website.
TIPS ON MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS:
When traveling for business or fun, there’s nothing worse than thinking you have a reservation and learning your hotel reservations been lost, your room has one bed and not two bedrooms, or you thought your check-in time was noon, only to find out it is really 3:00pm. To help avoid these things from happening, there are a few helpful hotel reservation tips seasoned travelers recommend:
Always use a credit card when making a hotel reservation. A credit cards offers the guest some level of protection should the hotel stay go awry. Any disputes a guest may have with the hotel, or with the billing can more easily be rectified through the credit card company. The card company will act as a mediator once their client can show effort to resolve the dispute. Additionally, if a dispute cannot be resolved, the credit card company has the authority to remove the charge from a client’s bill. If cash were paid, a hotel guest would have no recourse. Note: If you don’t use your own credit card to secure a reservation, be aware that the person whose name is on the card will be responsible for showing the card and signing at check in. If the card does not belong to the person staying at the hotel, notify the desk before leaving home (prior to arrival) and ask what their identification procedure is. They may accept a letter from the credit card holder authorizing use, and a copy of both the front and back of the card.
Ask for deals/discounts at each hotel. Many hotels offer corporate, AAA, senior, or even mid-week/off-season discounts. If one is not offered - ask about them. Many hotels now offer ‘rewards’ programs and some hotels reduce rates by $50 or more, for simply signing up for their program. If making reservations online, look for internet-only rates and shop various websites to find the best deals. Travel agents can often secure unadvertised specials or late check-in opportunities which can translate into huge savings.
When making reservations speak clearly and repeat spelling of all names. There have been many reservations lost because of inaccurate spelling and guests have been told they did not have rooms when a hotel or an entire city was booked to capacity. If any special requests are made, verify them and if possible get them in writing. Also make sure to get the name of the employee. Verify everything spell names and verify information/requests etc. Double check reservations prior to leaving for hotel and make sure names of all hotel employees you’ve spoken to are taken.
When reservations are made, changed and cancelled-confirmation numbers are given. Make sure all numbers are kept in a safe place until credit cards are billed and all charges are verified. Cancellation and confirmation numbers are often the difference between being charged for a hotel reservation that was cancelled, the possibility of a free upgrade when the hotel overbooks and you can prove when your reservation was made, and being stranded away from home without a room for the night.
Discuss hotel policies prior to making reservations, and verify them at check-in. Some hotels require credit cards at check in for any hotel charges, such as telephone usage, room service, meals in the hotel, or even take -out arranged through the hotel with area restaurants, etc. If a credit card is not available, a cash/check deposit maybe required for any services/fees that may accrue during the hotel stay. Determine when check-in/check-out times are, when cancellation policies go into affect and verify occupancy limits if staying in a room with multiple occupants.
Remember these hotel reservation tips when scheduling your travel plans. Whether by internet, through a travel agent, or by telephone, it pays to research the hotel and be meticulous when making arrangements. A little pre-planning when making reservations can save major headaches when traveling away from home.
AIRPORT TIPS YOU CAN USE
To make your way to a flight on time and to get throught security as quickly as possible you can try the following tips:
1) Sign up. The TSA's PreCheck, a trusted traveler program, has spread to more cities across the U.S. and is now available at some 40 airports. Members of the program are pre-screened and can then whiz through security, sometimes without having to take off their shoes or remove laptops from cases. The U.S. Customs Department's Global Entry program is another shortcut for frequent international travelers, especially as the federal government contracts and customs lines potentially get longer.
Critical Security Checkpoints:
To make clearing security as easy as possible...
-Review the guidelines for liquids and gels on your Flight carriers Carry-On Baggage page before your flight.
-Have your government-issued photo identification and boarding pass ready for inspection.
-Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, since all footwear must be x-rayed.
-Remember to place all coats and jackets in a bin for x-ray screening.
-Make your laptop easily accessible for inspection.
-Avoid wearing anything metal or place these items in your carry-on baggage for screening
2) Check flight status. Although this is obvious, many people often fail to do this one simple but critical thing.
I recommend doing the same before abandoning your ride or your car just before you head to the terminal; flight status updates change by the minute, so a last-second check is always a good idea.
Most airlines will text you flight status updates if you sign up on their Web sites, and sites like Flightaware.com do the same by text, on the Web and through smartphone apps.
4) Check in online. Especially if you are not checking bags, this can save you a heap of time. I have found that when checking bags, having the pre-printed boarding pass in your hand doesn't help all that much, and check-in agents often reissue another boarding pass when you check in your bags -- but it sure doesn't hurt.
5) Before you leave for the airport, put your ID, credit card and boarding pass (if applicable) in an easily accessible part of your wallet or bag. There are two reasons for this: one, by going through this exercise, you make sure that you don't leave home without these crucial items. Two, you don't waste your (and other people's) time fumbling around for them at the moment you need them.
Check the airport parking situation online. Knowing ahead of time where to park, which lots are open and how far they are from the terminal can save you a lot of anxiety on your drive in, as well as keep you safer as you navigate tortuous and almost always poorly marked airport ring roads. Additionally, during peak travel periods, lots fill up quickly, so you will want an alternate parking plan.
When you are ready to board always take inventory of what you will need to do when you get to the front of the security line. Do a quick mental review of everything you are wearing that you will need to remove (such as shoes, jewelry, watch, jacket), and what you have inside your carry-on bag that might need to be taken out (liquids, electronics). When you get to the front of the line, blast through your mental inventory and make it happen. Done well, you can go from fully clad for winter weather, with laptops and iPads in your bag, to a T-shirt, pants and socks, and all your sensitive electronics in their own bins, in seconds.
Using these tips will get you through the airport, on your flight and towards your destination as quickly as possible.
more traveler informaiton tips available at the TSA website:
NBC LIVE: THE VOICE has become the most popular show on NBC.
The Voice is an American reality television singing competition broadcast on NBC. Based on the original The Voice of Holland, the concept of the series is to find new singing talent (solo or duets) contested by aspiring singers, age 15 or over, drawn from public auditions. The winner is determined by viewers by voting through telephone, Internet, SMS text, and iTunes Store purchases of artists' performances. They receive US$100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group for winning the competition. There have been six winners of the show to date: Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, Tessanne Chin, and Josh Kaufman.
The Voice began airing on April 26, 2011, as a spring TV season program. The show proved to be a hit for NBC and was subsequently expanded into the fall cycle when season three premiered on September 10, 2012. The series employs a panel of four coaches who critique the artists' performances. Each coach guides their teams of selected artists through the remainder of the season. They also compete to ensure that their act wins the competition, thus making them the winning coach. The original coaching panel consisted of Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green. Shakira and Usher took the places of Aguilera and Green in seasons four and six. Similarly, Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani will assume Green and Aguilera's positions as coaches in season seven.
LIST OF OTHER NBC LIVE POPULAR SHOWS
News and information
Meet the Press (1947-present)
NBC Nightly News (1970-present)
Dateline NBC (1992-present)
Early Today (1999-present)
Rock Center with Brian Williams (2011-present)
Mad Money (2012-present)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-present)
Harry's Law (2011-present)
The Firm (2012-present)
The Office (2005-present)
30 Rock (2006-present)
Parks and Recreation (2009-present)
Up All Night (2011-present)
Are You There, Chelsea? (2012-present)
Best Friends Forever (BFF) (2012-present)
The Apprentice (2004-present)
The Biggest Loser (2004-present)
America's Got Talent (2006-present)
The Sing-Off (2009-present)
The Marriage Ref (2010-present)
The Voice (2011-present)
Love in the Wild (2011-present)
Fear Factor (2001-2006, 2011-present)
Betty White's Off Their Rockers (2012-present)
Fashion Star (2012-present)
Escape Routes (2012-present)
Days of our Lives (1965-present)
Saturday Night Live (1975-present)
Last Call with Carson Daly (2002-present)
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009-present)
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992-2009; 2010-present)
Who Do You Think You Are? (2010-present)
Minute to Win It (2010-present)
It's Worth What? (2011-present)
Who's Still Standing? (2011-present)
Saturday morning (under the qubo banner)
Turbo Dogs (2008-present)
Willa's Wild Life (2009-present)
Jane and the Dragon (2012-present)
Miss USA (2003-present)
Miss Universe (2003-present)
The PGA Tour (under the Golf Channel on NBC banner), which includes
The U.S. Open
The U.S. Women's Open
The U.S. Senior Open
The Player's Championship
French Open Tennis
Horse Racing, which includes:
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
The Kentucky Derby
The Preakness Stakes
The Belmont Stakes
Santa Anita Derby
The United States Figure Skating Championships
Major League Soccer