This Is Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Phone In The Secure Area When Entering The U.S.

Getting off of an international flight has its own set of unique rules that are different for every country. For example, I was surprised when I saw that the United Kingdom allows you to use your cell phone while waiting in line to clear passport control, which was nice since the line at Heathrow for non-UK or EU residents was over 90 minutes long when we arrived. The only thing not allowed was the taking of pictures or video while in the secure area.

When entering the United States, the rules are quite different. You’re not allowed to use your phone or a camera AT ALL until you clear passport control, collect your bags and clear U.S. Customs. On my last flight, I found out what happens to someone who chooses to ignore that rule.

Continue reading “This Is Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Phone In The Secure Area When Entering The U.S.”

Seeing The Stuff That Only Disney Cast Members Are Usually Supposed To Be Able To See

Disney parks have always had a bit of mystery to them, and that’s done on purpose. Using terminology from the concept of “putting on a show,” the areas that customers (called “guests”) can see is called “on stage” and anything that’s behind the scenes or areas that guests can’t otherwise see, is called “backstage.” For decades, only Disney employees (called “cast members” [CMs]) could go and see backstage or views that guests would never have access to, but over time, things (read: rules, adherence to same, and technology) have changed and, for better or for worse, guests can see stuff like this:

Continue reading “Seeing The Stuff That Only Disney Cast Members Are Usually Supposed To Be Able To See”

Should You Pay For The Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) When Renting A Car?

It’s easy to forget that when you rent a car, you’re “borrowing” a vehicle that costs tens of thousands of dollars from a major corporation. When renting it, you expect the car to be in great condition with no dents, dings or scrapes on it. So what happens when the car is damaged during your rental? Even if it wasn’t your fault, the rental car company is, of course, going to expect you to pay for the repairs. Rental car companies know the fear of getting a large bill for repairs makes you an easy target to purchase the “insurance” they’ll sell you for just a few dollars a day.

We’ve already written about the excessive charges for gas and the markup on tolls that car rental companies charge. Why would we believe that all of a sudden car rental companies will sell you insurance at a reasonable price? It’s not that the coverages they sell aren’t necessary, because they are. It’s moreso you may already have coverage that makes buying their insurance unnecessary. Knowing what coverage you already have allows you make an informed decision ahead of time. I’ll also share a trick that lets you avoid the hard sell at the counter. But first, what is the car rental company trying to get you to buy?

Most of the information listed below only applies to cars rented in the United States. Rentals in other countries have different rules and restrictions. Please note I’m neither an insurance agent nor an expert so I suggest reading the policies including, but not limited to the parts about policy limits, deductibles and exclusions.

Continue reading “Should You Pay For The Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) When Renting A Car?”

Visa No Longer Needed, Marriott Bonvoy & Other Hotel Complaints, Huge WDW Entry Change & More!

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

Continue reading “Visa No Longer Needed, Marriott Bonvoy & Other Hotel Complaints, Huge WDW Entry Change & More!”

How DO The Fountains at The Bellagio Work, Anyway?

If you’ve gone to Las Vegas in the past decade or two, you’ve undoubtedly seen the famous, iconic fountains in front of the resort, luxury hotel and casino called the Bellagio. Running every 15 to 30 minutes depending on season and time and day of the week, the fountains have enthralled visitors since the hotel’s opening in (are you ready to feel really old?) 1998. The fountains have been there for almost 20 years – have you ever wondered how they work?

Continue reading “How DO The Fountains at The Bellagio Work, Anyway?”