Don’t be fooled by the cheap $29 airfares offered by Spirit and Frontier Airlines –

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Spirit and Frontier Airlines are arguably the low-fare leaders in the airline industry today. But just like Paul Harvey used to say on his radio show, now “let’s hear the rest of the story”. When you buy a ticket on Spirit or Frontier you have to almost be naked to avoid any additional fees when you fly. In addition to the ticket you can pay carry-on fees ranging from $70 to $200. Add to that checked bag fees of $64 to $200. Seat selection runs $2 to $100 and early boarding fees are $12. You could pay and amazing $541 for that $29 ticket if you add up all the worst case scenarios. The airlines are making it very difficult to be able to compare an apple to an apple when it comes to the total price of your ticket. Unfortunately, the airlines are coming up with even more fees and ways to hide the actual price you pay for your next ticket.

Are Uber prices about to go sky high? –

You all know that I love using Uber when traveling around the world. The ride sharing company has also been the darling of Wallstreet for years now. The only problem with the company is that it is hemorrhaging cash. Some estimate it might have lost more than $2 billion dollars in 2015. It is obvious that Uber is trying to buy marketshare in all the major cities. At some point people who are funding Uber will use their head instead of their heart and will run out of patience listening to the sucking sound of their money getting flushed down the toilet and force the ride sharing company to seriously increase their prices so that the business model is sustainable.

Travel tipping for Dummies – Most people when they travel are used to tipping when they eat at a restaurant but have no idea what to do for other tipping when they travel. Most professional service providers work for real low wages and depend on tipping as the primary source of income. Here are my recommendations for tipping when traveling:

  • Restaurant wait staff: 15% to 20% depending on service
  • Hotel bell captain: $1-$2 per bag
  • Airport or train porter: $1- $2 per bag
  • Cab and Uber drivers: 10-15 percent of the fare. If they drive crazy or take me the long way around I do not tip at all.
  • Courtesy shuttle drivers: $1-2 per bag
  • Hotel concierge: $10 – $20 per request
  • Hotel doorman: $3 to $5 if they call a cab
  • Hotel maid: $2-$3 per night
  • Valet Parking: $3- $5

Please let me know of other people you like to tip when traveling.

Will the summer Olympics be a disaster? –

Almost everything that could go wrong has gone wrong with the preparations for the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. First their economy went into the tank. Then almost every politician has been indicted or impeached, and at the same time construction of Olympic venues slowed to a snail’s pace. One of the biggest problems is the Zika virus which has scared the world from traveling to central and south America. Just last week major organizers put out a warning that an emergency exists and major resources need to be pulled together to prevent security and logistic nightmares during the Olympics. I am the forever optimist and think that despite all the bad luck that the Olympics will be successful. I might even try to jump on a plane and visit my first Olympics if I can find a last minute bargain.

Finally they put a chiropractor in the airport –

A friend recently told me that the Minneapolis airport has a new service called the Chiroport and is located by gate 12 on Concourse C. I have a very long back and sitting in an airline seat for hours can make my back feel miserable. I hope other airports follow the lead of MSP and add Chiropractic services for those of us who need a good crack of the back.

Christmas …in June! –

If you want to enjoy a true European Christmas market fairytale, then you better sign up fast. We have 6 spots left on our “MERRY CHRISTMAS Europe” tour this November! This is the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime journey filled with Christmas magic, the aroma of roasted chestnuts, gingerbread biscuits, and mulled wine. A journey back in time with visits to the medieval cities of Munich, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Salzburg and Vienna, with their enchanting local Christmas markets. Our favorite tour guide, Hildrun, will be sharing the most amazing Christmas stories accompanied by the tones of Mozart and Strauss. We depart November 26th and return home on December 4th. CLICK HERE to see the full tour’s details. Call or email Anne at 402-43-8888 or for further details.