Happy Sunday (and happy New Year!) 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.
Nowadays, having your credit card number stolen is one of the most annoying things that can happen (well, except for someone stealing an Amazon.com package from your front porch). Credit card fraud used to be something you heard about on the news or maybe you had a friend who had their debit card number stolen and couldn’t get money out of the bank until everything was straightened out. Those days are long gone. Credit fraud is happening to everyone and the more cards you have, the greater the chance you’re eventually going have to deal with it.
Let’s look at the evolution of credit card theft and what you can do today to protect yourself from the bad guys:
Welcome to the weekend, y’all! Here are the articles we wrote this week, in one convenient place.
Joe wrote about:
- AAA membership provides more than roadside assistance – they save you money on travel!
- His wondering if Chase is giving better rewards to less expensive cards.
- The arrival of the latest IHG Accelerate offers.
- His wondering if Americans are less hospitable or if it’s just us?
And Sharon wrote about:
- The airline that’s shrinking the size of carry-on bags they allow on board.
- How to override hotel thermostat settings.
- Walt Disney World tickets vs. an annual pass – which should you get?
- That time when a celebrity live tweeted about the plane passenger from hell.
- Our national parks: a week of celebration and a super rare hotel offer.
- A great little gadget so you’ll never be stuck with a low phone battery again.
Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel-related articles you may not see otherwise, etc. We’d love to see you there!
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
I’ve been able to score countless upgrades in hotels using this trick. It’s totally legal, amazingly easy to do and doesn’t throw off my moral compass. Even those who are timid about asking for upgrades can make this trick work for them. I’m not saying it’ll work 100% of the time but when it does, it’s nice to feel like you’re getting more than you paid for.
Of course, the easiest way to get a hassle-free upgrade is to have a high level of status with a company’s loyalty program. Now, I don’t travel enough to earn status and have no intention of chasing status and locking myself into one specific brand. I get some perks by strategically choosing certain credit cards, such as the American Express Platinum card, which give me certain perks or mid-level status. Hotels will often proactively upgrade members with status to a higher level or “executive” room before checking in. Continue reading “How To Get Free Upgrades On Hotels”
I know I’m not the only one to ask if it feels warm in a hotel room after checking in.
You arrive after a day of traveling and get to your room. After you put your bags down, you notice there’s a lack of air circulating in the room. First thought, find the thermostat. Turns out that pressing that temperature down arrow might not help your situation any. Hotels are coming up with smarter and smarter ways to save on energy bills by putting you in less, or sometimes without any, control of the temperature of your room.
I remember our first encounter with an energy efficient room was on a trip to London. There was a slot near the door into which you had to insert your room key card so that the lights, television and air conditioner would turn on. This was fine if you were staying in the room but as soon as you left, everything went off. Our first solution, since we were a couple and had 2 room keys, was to leave one of our keys in the slot. Not the best solution but at least our room was cool when we returned. Then we sought other solutions. Were there other cards in our wallet that would work? Credit Card? Those worked but we were not leaving one of those in there while not in the room. An AAA card worked but we might need that for the places that gave discounts. How about our library card? Bingo! It worked to keep on the lights and we didn’t need it during the day.We left a nice tip each day, kindly asking housekeeping not to remove the key from the slot after cleaning the room. Eventually we just kept a random hotel card key in our wallet at all times for rooms with such a system.
This experience was almost a decade ago and technology has improved a great deal since then. Hotels are now using motion detectors, infrared sensors, sound detectors and door monitors to tell if you are in the room and then change the temperature settings accordingly. The issues with the lack of control given to guests because of the new “smart” room technology seem to be increasing because I’ve read 4 articles on the subject recently.
I first remember reading an article on the subject back in 2010 showing you how to “hack” your thermostat. I tried using tips from this post but was never in a room with the same type of thermostat. More recently I’ve seen that mainstream publications like The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times have written articles on the subject. The latter even gave some ways to trick the most complicated of sensor arrays.
Alas, those systems that rely only on motion sensors are not always guest-friendly. Unless they’re sleepwalking, guests who are abed aren’t moving in a way that a motion sensor can detect.
The solution for immediate relief is to buy a Mylar balloon (sturdier than a regular balloon) that trails strings or ribbons and let it move around your room, triggering the motion sensor.
Now I do admit, the idea of walking into every stay at a hotel carrying a Mylar balloon and then having it fly around my room all night are two of the most absurd images I can think of. However, I do know one or two friends (and they know who they are) who, I have no doubt, might try this idea after reading this post.
The final thought on this issue is if hotels think we don’t care that the temperature in the room is out of our control, they will keep setting it to whatever they want. The solution is to complain to the hotel. Do so while you are there and the hotel may adjust the room temperature, thereby making your stay more comfortable. If no relief is given, then a mention of this fact in an online review or survey will show them this is an issue that guests care about and can no longer be ignored.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!