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Do the Airline Bump, and Grind Out Free Flights and/or Cash PDF Print E-mail

Q: We’re often seated aboard a flight, and just before take-off, an attendant announces that the flight has been overbooked and asks for passengers to volunteer to get a later flight. The promise is a reward of a free flight, and sometimes another $100. We’ve never volunteered, fearing Murphy’s Law will kick in and the later flight will somehow be delayed or cancelled. What’s your opinion about volunteer “bumping”?

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Get Yourself a Repo At Sea For Summer Cruise Bargains PDF Print E-mail

In the cruise industry, repo doesn’t mean that big hairy TV guy and his even bigger blonde wife will come storming up to your house and take away your car. It stands for repositioning, an annual practice that can mean real bargains for savvy senior travelers.

Some of our favorite summer trips have been on repositioning cruises. As retirees with no time limits, we’ve often waited until late summer to book our trips. Cruise lines have a system where, before the onset of winter and stormy seas, they must get many of their ships away from cold climates, such as Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Alaska and Russia. They move them to tropical and other warm climates for the winter cruising season.

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Five Reasons to Learn the Language When Traveling Abroad PDF Print E-mail

1. To some clueless tourists, common sense may not be a good enough reason to learn the language when traveling in a foreign country. However, the reason is simple. If you expect courteous treatment, knowing the basics of a language proves you’re reaching out to show consideration. It will help very much when meeting local people, shopkeepers, hotel employees, cabbies and everyone else you encounter.

Even the most simple good mornings and a few other language pleasantries can make a great difference in attitudes of the local people toward foreign visitors. Often, knowledge of the language means savings in prices of goods and services.

2. The old phrase describing some foreign cities as “tourist traps” was probably coined by arrogant Engish-only-speaking visitors who dressed and acted in such outlandish manners that prices immediately jumped everywhere they made their fussy presence felt.

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Five Tips For Enjoying Your Next Cruise PDF Print E-mail

We've been on a dozen or so cruises since our retirement, and have some suggestions on how to do it more comfortably and economically. You may not agree with our opinions, but we enjoy our cruises much more by following these rules:

1. Travel lite. After the second or third cruise, we stopped dragging suitcases and needing to check them everywhere we went. We each take a wheeled carry-on bag, sometimes adding a knapsack, and never again check anything. Suitcases on flights and cruises must be checked, and now airlines are charging extra for them. Also, the waiting and wondering everywhere if you’ll ever see your suitcase again just adds to the the stress. Also, on several occasions, we felt sad for fellow cruise passengers who’d lost luggage on flights and had to buy entirely new outfits on board.

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How To Fight Back Against Those Nasty Little In-Flight Bugs PDF Print E-mail

Springtime flying can be the most troublesome of all. No, not from pilots setting the plane down in the Hudson River. It’s getting germs from fellow passengers and from the recycled air flowing throughout the cabin.

How do you keep at least some of those little unseen bugs from getting at you on a flight? You've gotta be kidding. Just ask anyone who has flown from New York to London or similar hours-long air journey squeezed into a five-across row of sardine-can sized seats. They'll know that Murphy's Law always kicks in for the haplessly trapped until-then healthy flyer.

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