Why are there no🌴 all-inclusives in the US?

With the winter months just around the corner, we have been getting a lot of requests for getaways to the Caribbean and Mexico. The birthplace of the “all-inclusive” resort. Ahhhh, the place where you can eat and drink as much as you want, and be as lazy as you want with no judgment except your inner self.  ​​​

So why are there no all-inclusives in the United States? The initial purpose of the all-inclusive was to get people to destinations that may not have been safe to go to but had beautiful beaches. Why let a beautiful beach go to waste? So countries such as Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic built beautiful resort​​s that provided everything you need so you wouldn’t have to off property, even private transfers to and from the airport. Initially, a lot of these resorts had armed guards to keep you safe. 

Over the years, however, many of these countries have become safer. People have started to venture off property to do various excursions such as seeing waterfalls, cooking with the locals, and even Travelanthropy (travel + philanthropy). These resorts have brought many jobs to the various communities within these countries. However, many of these communities are still financially hurting. There are many things you can do to help the community if you’re interested. You can bring stuff for the local schools, take some food to shelters, or help paint some local community buildings where many people gather. The help is much appreciated. If you are looking for more information on helping out on your next trip, let me know as I can help set it up for you.    

So back to the original question “why aren’t there all-inclusives in the United States?” We get asked this question all the time. The US is fairly safe to venture out and go to a local restaurant or do some sightseeing. If hotels start to become all-inclusive, then the local community starts to suffer. No one is going to restaurants, no one is shopping, and no one is enjoying excursions. If you are traveling within the US and are looking for a food plan, then ask your travel agent if the hotel or resort provides a food plan such as breakfast, or a combination of breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Food allows more flexible to eat at local restaurants.


Remember, Life is Better Traveling is always here to help you. We are a female owned, small business and every booking helps a local family. We thank you for your support and thinking of all of our agents during this time.  


Do not ever lose your luggage again!

lostluggage

Have you ever had lost luggage?  I have been getting phone calls from our clients who are traveling to Europe this fall about the news of lost luggage.  The news is showing pictures of a sea of “lost” luggage at various airports.  Some news outlets such as the New York post are even saying that there are baggage system malfunctions which is causing severe delays.  So what is really happening, and are bags “lost.” Not really. 

Something really cool about the tag that they put on your checked bag is that they have RFID embedded in the tag. So when your luggage arrives at any airport, it is scanned and the system knows where to send it. I read an article several years ago (2003) stating that a Las Vegas airport was the first to try out this system of adding RFID to their luggage tags. They could track luggage with 99.8% accuracy which lead to a significant decrease in lost luggage. After this was a success, many airports started using the same system.

So if there is a system that can pinpoint where your luggage is at all times, how does it get lost? Well, human error. I think we all know about that so enough said. Another way is if the system goes downs as it did in Heathrow a few months ago. This leads to more humans sorting luggage than a system that is 99.8% accurate. In April 2022 more wheelchairs were mishandled than pieces of luggage, double the amount. So if you have someone with you who has a wheelchair, they are more likely to lose that than your luggage.  

Is your luggage really lost? The good news is that your luggage doesn’t really get lost. There are many factors that take place: delays, connections, and cancellations. If your flight is delayed and you are running through the airport like the family in Home Alone, you might make the flight but your luggage might not. That is ok, it will be on the next flight to you. If you are delayed coming back into the country and you opt not to pick up your checked luggage because you want to make your connection, again, your luggage isn’t lost but will have to go through a few more checks before it gets to you.  

So what can you do to not lose your luggage? I have been reading a lot about people putting Apple Airtags into their luggage. This is a great way to keep track of where your luggage is located at all times and helps the airlines as well. There are also several tags to use in case you don’t have an apple device that you can purchase off of Amazon that help you find your luggage. Either of these will help give you peace of mind, but just remember that nothing is ever guaranteed!


Thinking of planning a vacation for Spring or Summer 2023? Let one of our award-winning travel agents help you plan that customized vacation today!

Simply fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.


Why I loved 😍 the DR even though I plan European vacations!

Many of you know that my passion is planning customized European vacations and having helped planned hundreds of clients to Europe it was an interesting choice to go to the Dominican Republic (DR).  Life is Better Traveling has an amazing team of travel agents who help plan all-inclusive vacations.  Because our agents doing an amazing job, our suppliers have acknowledged and appreciated our partnerships that they invited us to the DR to visit various resorts and inspect them.  When all of our agents who plan all-inclusive have prior commitments, I, as the agency owner, jumped on the opportunity to explore the DR.  I wanted to share with you what my two favorite resorts were while I was down there.  

First I want to say that the DR is beautiful and the people are so kind.  I would jump on a plane and head back down there in a heartbeat.  On my next trip, I will be exploring more of the island though and immersing myself with the locals.  

For those looking for an adults-only getaway to reconnect, recharge, and relax together I would recommend the Secrets Cap Cana.  The Cap Cana area is close to the airport and within its own gated community.  Even though it is close to the airport you don’t really see or hear any airplanes.  

The moment you walk into the lobby of Secrets Cap Cana you are transported into an island oasis.  Tranquility with running water, high ceilings, and plush sitting chairs instantly have you feeling relaxed.  The property is lush, and there are plenty of little spots throughout the resort for a quiet place to enjoy a bottle of wine or steal a few kisses.  One of my favorite things about this resort is that the beach is not long.  A short walk from the pool to the ocean on the soft, white sand beach is perfect

You have plenty of room options to choose. Looking for some more room then let’s book one of the villas with a swim-out pool looking out into the ocean.  You don’t have to book the villa to have an amazing time.  The standard junior suites are beautiful with more amenities than your typical resort.  Overall, I would recommend this resort for those who are looking to take their honeymoon, an anniversary trip, reconnecting trip, or a quick getaway from the kiddos.  

My new favorite family-friendly resort, upon which I now will never rent a house in the Outer Banks but go here, is the Dreams Macao.  Yes, to get to this resort you do go through some areas that aren’t too eye-appealing but once you are at the resort you are transported to paradise.  The lobby is open and big, but not too big because this resort has a lot to offer.  

If you have kids under the age of 5 there are two splash pad areas with plenty to do including slides.  For the older kids, there is a slide park with four different water slides and a lazy river.  Looking for something more thrilling for your teenagers?  How about some ziplining, rock wall climbing, or even laser tag.  Yes, all of this is available to do at this resort including an arcade and four-lane bowling alley.  However, at night there is plenty of music to keep everyone dancing.  

I also love that there are multiple options for food at this resort including Italian food.  I personally ate at this resort, and the food was delicious.  The chef made some food creations that were out of this world for our group, and it had me thinking that if he takes this much consideration into the menu for us, the food for everyone else must be amazing.  

If you are considering an all-inclusive for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly vacation, contact me or one of our award-winning travel agents to help you get amazing deals.  Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.  Check out these amazing deals for Springbreak 2023.


Dreaming of an all-inclusive for this winter or spring break? Make sure to reach out to our award-winning team to get you a quote today! Availability is limited. Simply fill out the form below and someone will get back with you shortly.

Check out our other articles!

  • Why are there no🌴 all-inclusives in the US?

    Why are there no🌴 all-inclusives in the US?

    With the winter months just around the corner, we have been getting a lot of requests for getaways to the Caribbean and Mexico. The birthplace of the “all-inclusive” resort. Ahhhh, the place where you can eat and drink as much as you want, and be as lazy as you want with no judgment except your inner self.  ​​​ …

  • Do not ever lose your luggage again!

    Do not ever lose your luggage again!

    Have you ever had lost luggage?  I have been getting phone calls from our clients who are traveling to Europe this fall about the news of lost luggage.  The news is showing pictures of a sea of “lost” luggage at various airports.  Some news outlets such as the New York post are even saying that there are …

  • Why I loved 😍 the DR even though I plan European vacations!

    Why I loved 😍 the DR even though I plan European vacations!

    Many of you know that my passion is planning customized European vacations and having helped planned hundreds of clients to Europe it was an interesting choice to go to the Dominican Republic (DR).  Life is Better Traveling has an amazing team of travel agents who help plan all-inclusive vacations.  Because our agents doing an amazing …

The Best Airport Lounges and Tips On How To Get You Inside

I am writing this post from Europe! We spent the last week in Paris, and it is more beautiful in person than any pictures I have ever seen. The smell of fresh baked goods every morning is worth getting up early. I am officially addicted to Chouquettes (sugar puffs).

We are enjoying being part of the Queen’s Jubilee, her platinum Jubilee. We didn’t realize that we were going to be here on the exact dates, but have decided that this once-in-a-lifetime experience is amazing.

In my next post, I will let you know about all the amazing tours and must-do’s on your next trip to Paris and London.


Did you know that there are places in the airport you can go to escape the manic nature of the terminal?  They’re called airport lounges. Airport lounges are some of the best places to spend time before your flight as they are their own getaway. They often offer free food and drinks, spacious seating, free Wi-Fi, and even some provide amenities like showers and nap pods.  If you are in a larger airport some lounges offer spas, barbershops and workout equipment.   

Accessing these lounges can be easy too!  Most people think these lounges are strictly for frequent flyers or business people, but surprisingly they are not.  Even if you only travel a couple of times a year, you can gain access to lounges all across the globe without paying a fortune.  Let’s talk about how.  

Credit cards with VIP perks – That good old credit card that you put all your vacations on might be the one that helps you get into some airport lounges.  There are a number of credit cards that offer lounge access as a perk for having their card. The Platinum Card® from American Express, Capital One Venture X, and Chase Sapphire Reserve are a few of these credit cards.           

AMEX Card members are allowed access to any of American Express’s own network of 24 Centurion Lounges around the world. With the backing of AMEX, Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest and most desirable airport lounges in the United States.  They are known for their cozy environments, well-organized menus, and amenities for business travelers.

Membership service – If you don’t think you’ll get enough use out of a credit card to justify their annual fee, you can consider purchasing a lounge membership all on its own. Priority Pass is a network of lounges across the world that allows travelers to purchase a membership.

There are three levels of Priority Pass membership and they vary in price depending on​​ how much many times you plan to use it:

  1. Standard — $99 per year, which allows you to access lounges for $32 per visit. You can also pay $32 for each guest traveling with you to enter the lounge.
  2. Standard Plus — $299 per year, which grants you 10 free visits each year and then costs $32 for each visit thereafter. Additionally, each guest costs $32, even for the first 10 visits.
  3. Prestige — $429 per year, which grants you unlimited free visits each year. Each guest will cost $32.

Priority Pass Standard is a good option if you travel a few times a year and are looking for a way to avoid gate seating.  If you are a business traveler, the Prestige plan would be a good option for you as you will receive unlimited free visits.  If you are in between Standard and Prestige, then a credit card might be a better option to get into lounges. 

Upgrade to Business or First Class – One way to guarantee getting into a private lounge area is by flying in business or first-class.  The big three airlines, Delta, American and United, have dedicated lounge spaces where business and first-class flyers can relax. Just make sure that when you book your ticket, the ticket will grant you lounge access.

Flying domestically either in business or first-class, typically won’t get you access to an airline’s lounge. However, there are some exceptions.  These exceptions are when your on a transcontinental flight.  You still have to be traveling internationally eventually to get lounge access.  

Airline elite status – Yes, having elite status with any airlines offers up more perks.  Most people see the perk of priority boarding but getting into airport lounges is another perk. Some airlines will allow you airport lounge access if you are in their highest tier of status even with an economy ticket.  So start flying more often.  

Purchasing one-time access – Ok, so I have said there are a couple of easy ways to get into various airport lounges, but why not just purchase it outright!  Get yourself a day pass or one-time-use pass. By buying your way into a lounge, you’re guaranteed access without having to worry about any extras. This is great if you only travel once or twice a year and want lounge access.

There is even a service you can use to help you find and purchase day passes. LoungeBuddy is a great way to help you preview which lounges in any given airport around the world offer travelers the ability to purchase one-time access. You found a lounge that looks appealing, go ahead and purchase your one-time access directly through LoungeBuddy’s app.  

Members of the Military – This is a great program for those who are looking to get home for a few days but just relax at the airport.  If you are a member of the military, make sure to look into which lounges are available to you for little to no cost.  


Quick Travel Tidbits

5 Apps that every traveler needs….

As a travel professional, I always want to book your dream vacations. While I manage all of your travel plans to a T, not all experiences are always plannable. Luckily, there are some great travel apps to help with just about any aspect of your trips. Here is the our list of apps we use at Life is Better Traveling.  

 CLICK HERE to find out what these apps are.

Why are passports taking so long? 
It all boils down to health being tantamount. The offices were closed during COVID and are still not operating at 100%. This led to a backlog in requests. Labor in every field has been impacted from the pandemic, and the Department of State is no exception. There’s only so much each person can do, which leads to a ripple effect of consequential delays.

 I need to renew or get my passport, NOW!!


Rave Reviews

Real stories on how Life is Better Traveling travel advisors aided their clients during the outbreak and disruption of COVID-19.

“I wanted to also say what a pleasure it’s been planning our trip with you. We really think your ideas would have made our trip to Italy a trip of a lifetime. We are looking forward to re-booking this vacation when the virus situation is no longer an issue. I also can’t thank you enough for all your help. Reg and I are so looking forward to calling you with new dates someday hopefully soon.”

Regis Family
Philadelphia, PA

Mary is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! She was extremely knowledgeable about each of the cities we went to and different excursions we were able to try. She gave us wonderful recommendations of what to do and what is not worth the time and/or money. She was very organized and sent us a binder of our itinerary as well as all of the vouchers we would need for our trip. She set up personal transfers from the airports/train stations/hotels/etc. which was wonderful! We did not have to worry about what time we needed to leave or how we were going to get there. This allowed us to enjoy our trip and not stress about the details. I would recommend Mary to anyone looking for an amazing and stress-free trip! She thinks of every little thing and is there to guide you every step of the way! I will definitely be using her anytime we need a vacation and recommending her to all of our friends and family!!

Stephanie
Ohio 


LIBT Greece! 2023

We have changed the Greece dates to 2023.  We had so many people interested in traveling with us, but still wanted to wait another year.  We want everyone to feel comfortable, so we have decided to move the dates to 2023.    

YES, sign me up to come with you!


5 Apps Every Traveler Needs to have a Great Next Vacation

As a travel professional, I always want to book your dream vacations. While I manage all of your travel plans to a T, not all experiences are always plannable. Luckily, there are some great travel apps to help with just about any aspect of your trips. Here is the our list of apps we use at Life is Better Traveling.  

An App for: Speaking the Language

When traveling to foreign countries, be sure you are prepared with an app that helps you speak the common language. Google Translate is a lifesaver for any mono-linguist traveler. Translate from 103 different languages just by typing or drawing the word or phrase. Use your phone’s camera to hold up to street signs or even restaurant menus for instant translations. The best part is that the app works without using a wireless connection so you can explore data-free. Navigate with confidence and even learn a thing or two about the native tongue.

An App for: Maps & Directions

Don’t leave home without a solid navigation app for exploring. Apps like Maps.Me or City Mapper offer downloadable maps with turn-by-turn navigation, traffic updates and can even pinpoint local hotspots to check out. Explore points of interest from restaurants to tourist attractions, all with step-by-step directions. Even create driving, walking and cycle routes to save extra time, or just to take in the scenery.

An App for: Packing

Ensure you never forget a thing for their next trip. With apps like PackPoint, you can type in the destination and select the activities planned to create a customized packing list for the trip. It will even check the weather to make sure you are packing all the essentials. Share the list with your fellow travelers so nothing is ever left behind.

An App for: Chatting

Make sure always stay in touch with friends and family. WhatsApp provides free voice calls and messaging when they are connected to Wi-Fi. The group chat feature also allows you to share messages, photos and videos to share their experiences.

An App for: Time Zones

Never lose track of time again. With an app like Circa, travelling to multiple locations across different time zones has never been easier; find the best times for connecting flights and send invitations to other travelers in different time zones to meet up. Now you will never miss a beat no matter how far apart you are.

Recommending helpful apps shows that at Life is Better Traveling we go above and beyond, and care about every aspect of our client’s trip. Contact one of our agents to get started planning your next trip today. 


Thinking of planning a 2022 vacation but not sure where to start? Fill out the form below and one of our award-winning travel agents will get back with you shortly.

Prost! 5 European Cities for Festive Drinking

🍻 Prost! 5 European Cities for Festive Drinking

With international dance floors, sunny open-air plazas and cozy little pubs, Europe is the place to be for booze, wine and beer. While many countries and cities host a good party, few can compare to the unique imbibing experiences to be had in these five destinations.

Munich, Germany

We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest, the 16-day blowout celebrating the Royal Wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildurghausen. While the wedding may have taken place over 200 years ago, Germans still like to have a good time and continue to celebrate this tradition each year with beer, brats and fun near the end of September.

Not attending the festival? No worries, Munich is a great place to imbibe all year long with fabulous beer gardens like Augustiner-Keller, Hofbräuhaus München and Chineischer Turn, a park with a seemingly out of place Chinese Tower. One great way to see these stops is on a city bike tour, many of which visit the English Garden, home to Chineischer Turn, for a stein or two before calling it a day. 

Prague, Czech Republic

Famous for their beer, the people of the Czech Republic proudly tout the title of “number one beer-drinking country in the world”. According to U.S. News, Czechs drink an average of 241 beers per person each year so it’s no surprise that this destination is a great place to kick back and relax with your favorite drink. Beer is available at all hours of the day throughout the city, including breakfast cafes that serve Budweiser, Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen alongside your pastries and tea.

Mykonos, Greece

Sunny island by day, rockin’ nightlife by dark, Mykonos is world-famous for its round-the-clock fun. Home to 32 bars and 19 clubs, this small island is getting lots of attention thanks to Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club, a docuseries exploring Lohan’s life on her resort, Lohan BeachHouse Myknonos. Pierros, one of the world’s most famous gay bars, is another popular stop at this club-hopper’s haven.

Travelers visiting Myknonos will want to be sure to snap a pic next to one of the island’s 16 iconic windmills that were built by the Venetians in the 16th century.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Known for its romantic canals, relaxed atmosphere and infamous Red Light District, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam is a top pick for nightlife. Amsterdam’s clubbing scene rivals that of Berlin’s with an endless array of inner-city clubs, some of which have 24-hour licenses, located within repurposed buildings. However, your trip to the Venice of the North doesn’t have to be filled with all-night ragers; Amsterdam also boasts a large selection of laid-back cocktail bars for relaxed and happy sipping.

Stockholm, Sweden

Birthplace and home to legendary DJs Avicii and Steve Angello, Stockholm is one of the greatest party places in Europe. Whether travelers are in search of atmospheric bars, bumpin’ nightclubs or impressive outdoor venues, they’re sure to find something to suit their imbibing needs in this fair city. Stockholm is home to many popular neighborhoods, each with their own niche: The Gamla Stan neighborhood is the perfect place to grab a drink in a cozy pub, Mariatorget is popular for LGBTQ entertainment, the Sodermalm district is known for its budget friendly deals and lastly, Medborgarplatsen is a neighborhood popular with students and heart of the city’s nightlife.

prost 5 european countries for festive drinking

Remember, Life is Better Traveling is always here to help you. We are a female owned, small business and every booking helps a local family. We thank you for your support and thinking of all of our agents during this time.

What is the third letter of the alphabet?

Passport Delays

The Countdown Begins: How to Keep Passport Delays from Affecting Your Travel Plans

Travel for 2022 is on everyone’s mind. At Life is Better Traveling we have seen an increase in inquiries for Spring Break 2022. If you are thinking of taking that Spring Break trip, we recommend checking your passport now. If it has expired, or will expire by September 2022, it must get renewed. But the delays!!

Here are some of the most recently asked questions we get so I thought I would share this valuable information with you.

How soon should I be planning ahead for travel?

If you need a passport, you should not be planning travel for closer in than 18 weeks. 24 weeks is the current waiting time for any passport activity, so we echo better err on the side of conservatism.

If you plan to travel before the summer of 2022, I strongly recommend that you get your passport applications submitted NOW. If you want the best deals and best flights available, you should be looking at six months to a year in advance. Last-minute travel has very limited availability, and you must be very flexible, especially if you are looking at traveling over Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Why is passport processing delayed right now?

It all boils down to health being tantamount. The offices were closed during COVID and are still not operating at 100%. This led to a backlog in requests. Labor in every field has been impacted from the pandemic, and the Department of State is no exception. There’s only so much each person can do, which leads to a ripple effect of consequential delays.

Why is it important to have a valid passport?

Quite simply, because you can’t leave or enter the country without one. Especially as international travel tightens due to current circumstances, having buttoned-up credentials as to your identity and citizenship can only be an additional safety net. If you try to use an expired passport, you will be turned away at the airport. There are no exceptions.

Can you still book international travel without a passport?

While you can ‘book’ travel without a passport, it must be valid upon departure. The names and dates of birth must also match. So advisors can go ahead and close that sale, but should emphasize strongly that whether booked or not, you can’t travel without valid documentation.

Does travel insurance and Travel Protection Plus cover passport-related cancellations or if you are turned away due to an invalid passport?

The short answer is no.

How long should one’s passport be valid for?

Passports are automatically assigned or renewed for ten years at a time. However, bear in mind that for many destinations, your passport cannot expire outside of six months of your travel date. That means if you’re planning on traveling in December and your passport expires that same month, you may face issues returning home since it needs to be valid through June, which is six months after.

How do you submit a passport application?

The U.S. Department of State offers several options to apply for a passport, much of which can now be conveniently done from home. Your first step is to fill out the appropriate form, choosing from new applications, renewals, data corrections, or to replace a lost or stolen passport. Then you’ll need to gather your citizenship documents and get a passport photo taken and printed for submission. Be sure that it’s unfiltered, in color, not a selfie, against a white background, and that eyeglasses are removed, or it will not be accepted. You can view examples here.

What is the best path to getting a passport?

Life is Better Traveling recommends doing it all through your local post office and being prepared when you arrive. Go to www.travel.state.gov and print out the full application ahead of time so that it’s completed prior to your appointment. The post office can actually do the pictures and your application all at once and they will go through your paperwork to confirm that everything is filled out correctly. However, most post offices now require appointments, so be sure to plan ahead and make one!

What is the cost of a passport?

Passport fees vary, and expediting tacks on additional costs. A fee calculator and fee chart are available through the Department of State. First-timers who are 16 or older must pay an additional $35 on top of the $110 or $140 application fee that is standard. Passports for those under 16 cost less. And if you’re in a hurry, special services such as expediting may cost upwards of $60—another reason to get ahead of it.

Remember, Life is Better Traveling is always here to help you. We are a female owned, small business and every booking helps a local family. We thank you for your support and thinking of all of our agents during this time.

What is the third letter of the alphabet?

          

EU NEWS: NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR AMERICANS

Big news came out of the European Union earlier this week: the European Council, the body that defines the overall political directions and priorities of the European Union, made a recommendation to remove the United States from the list of countries where travel restrictions should be lifted for non-essential travel.

5 Tips for Staying Safe while at the Airport during COVID

2021 is going to be the year of getting way.  The Staycation is no longer something someone finds relaxing.  Afterall, 2020 was pretty much a nine-month Staycation.  Getting away for a long weekend is a great start, but people want to escape the colder weather to enjoy some vitamin D from the sun, which by the way sounds amazing right now as it is snowing outside my window.

If getting away to warmer weather means taking a flight to get there, then we have some tips for you on how to safe while getting around the airport.  Let’s dive right in!

  • Pack Accessible Sanitizer – I know this sounds like a no brainer, but many people overlook the simply things.  Pack your favorite sanitizing things in your carry-on.  You want to make sure they are in the carry-on that you put under the seat in front of you for easy access.  Some of my favorite simply sanitizing things are Wet-Ones, Sprays, and portable soaps. 
Washing hands at sink
  • Be mindful of social distancing in the airport – This all starts when you check your luggage.   Make sure that you are a good six feet from the person in front of you or behind you.  You can make a buffer with your suitcase in case someone starts to get too close.  The same holds true while in line for security screening.  Make sure to wipe down your carry-on’s after they have gone through the x-ray machine!

  • Avoid elevators, touching railings, and holding onto bars – Each airport is set-up differently so some of the things I am going to mention may not pertain to you.  However, every airport does have elevators.  Since an elevator is a confined space, I would try to avoid it.  If you need to use the elevator, then make sure that you and your family are the only ones on it.  Try to avoid touching railings including escalator railings, people mover railings, stairway railings, and of course, the railings between seats while sitting at the gate.  If your airport has a train that takes you to the terminals, then try to avoid touching the bars.  This is hard to do as the train moves fast and you might fall over, but another surface to try and avoid. 
gate seats at terminal
  • Avoid Clusters of People at the Gate – The age-old crowding at the gate.  Everyone wants to be one of the first people on the plane.  We have all seen it, and sometimes even been that person.  However, now is the time to avoid the crowd.  I have found that even sitting at an adjacent empty gate is good.  You can still hear the gate attendant call for boarding of your flight, while having a lot more space to yourself. 
  • Bring your own food and empty water bottle – It sounds simple, but by bringing your own food. You are avoiding another interaction area with large amounts of people.  Again, you want to put this food into your carry-on back that will go under the seat.  This gives you easy access to the food while at the gate and while on the flight.  An empty water bottle is great as it easily gets through security and many airports now have water bottle fill stations.  A cheap water drink for the flight. 

Flying in 2021 is going to increase immensely as the Staycation is no longer the way to relax.  The airports are doing their part to help keep their guests safe including increasing the number of workers sanitizing areas, and promoting social distancing.  However, it is still our responsibility to do our part and help out. 

Need help planning your next vacation? Nervous about traveling with the new regulations? At Life is Better Traveling we have a team of travel agents who are ready to help you plan. We have been staying on top of the new rules and regulations so you can have peace of mind when you travel. Contact us today by simply filling out the form below.

Travel Tips on Staying Safe while Traveling during COVID

How to pack a suit case

Travel is starting back up!  At Life is Better Traveling we have seen a huge increase in the amount of bookings for travel in 2021.  People really want to travel even if that means a long weekend at a hotel. However, our clients do have concerns about the safety protocols of their hotels. So we have put together some tips on how to stay safe when staying in a hotel?

1. Call the hotel – You should make sure to find out what the actual hotel you are staying at is doing to keep things clean.  The hotel chain may have their cleaning polices on their main website, but it doesn’t mean that all hotels are following those practices.  You should call the actual hotel and ask them what they are doing to ensure there is no contamination between guest. 

2. Wipe down your suitcase – if you just came off an airplane you might not even be thinking of all the surfaces your suitcase has touched.  It is a good idea to wipe down or spray down your suitcase before even bringing it into your hotel room.  Don’t forget to get sanitize those wheels and handles.

3. Take off your shoes – I know it is normal for some people to wear shoes around their house.  Your hotel room is your house when your away from your home so you may want to wear your shoes around your room.  Unfortunately, your shoes hold onto a lot of stuff including viruses.  That stuff then is all over your hotel room.  Anything that falls on the floor is subject to getting contaminated. 

4. Do your own sanitation – The hotel staff have many rooms that they need to clean so they may miss cleaning a remote control here and there.  I would recommend bringing your own sanitizing wipes to wipe down some of the commonly touched areas including:

  • Remote controls
  • Phone and end tables
  • Door Handles
  • Toilet seat and handle
  • shower and sink handles
  • desk top and any pens
  • books/brochures in the room
Wiping down remotes

5. Bring your own toiletries – I know that I use the toiletries at some of the hotels.  Many of them are great brands so why not!  Right now, might not be the best time to use all of the toiletries.  I would avoid using any toothbrushes, toothpaste, shared shampoos, conditioners, or soaps, and glassware or silverware that the hotel provides to you.  I would personally bring my own cups and throw away silverware, along with everything else I need. 

These are just a few things that can help you have peace of mind when traveling.  When in doubt wash your hands and sanitize. 


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