Whose Space is it?

With the incident on the United Airlines flight yesterday, the seeming never ending debate on airline space comes to the forefront! So whose space is it? Well …….. in my opinion it depends, so let’s review each space category:

Overhead Space: Overall overhead space is first come ….. first served …….. however with a few guidelines. First you should use the space in the class of service you are flying. Second, try and locate your overhead items as close to your seat as possible, and third try to assure it is between you and the exit and not behind you.

Under Seat Space: In my opinion the space under the seat directly in front if you is yours! Use it for smaller items or in my case I tend to use it for my feet!

Seat Recline Space: This is the tough one! I would like to see some changes to the current system. Believe me I understand the need for my space between me and the seat in front of me as I have long legs. First on domestic, daytime flights, I would suggest a “no recline” policy. Overnight and international flights could allow recline, with the exception of meal service. Now the problem with my suggestions is of course enforcement! So that being the case I guess I would go to a “no recline” policy on domestic flights and a limited recline on international flights. Personally I do not recline my seat on domestic flights and I try to get seats in the first exit row since the seats in the row in front of me have limited or no recline.

Always be courteous to your fellow travelers and as we were all taught in kindergarten ……… it is nice to share!

What’s In Your Wallet?

Sounds familiar doesn’t it! Of course the ad wants you to use a particular credit card. The question really is what card (or cards) should you have in your wallet?

I carry three cards: an American Express Platinum, a Marriott Visa, and an IHG Mastercard. That way I am covered with whatever card a vendor might take. Internationally I try to use my American Express card since there are no exchange fees. If I am staying st Marriott I use my Marriott Visa and at an IHG property my Mastercard. The key is to always maximize points earned! This is not to say these are the cards you need to carry. ….. however it is always good to have at least a Visa and a Masterdard. Also I try and not use my debit card while traveling due to security concerns on my part.

What cards should you carry………. it all depends: which airlines do you fly, which hotels do you stay at, where do you shop, which offers the best bonuses and perks!

One good place to keep updated on what’s happening with credit cards in the travel spectrum is “Million Mile Secrets” at http://www.millionmilesecrets.com.

Scenic drives throughout the South


As a follow-up to my recent post “What’s Next On Your Bucket List? Somewhere Near?”, this article from USAToday has 8 great Southern drives! Enjoy the beauty of the South!

Have You Visited All 50 States?

A lot of people have a goal of visiting all 50 States, and I am one of those people! Unfortunately I made this decision late in life and missed a few opportunities! I still have Idaho, Vermont, North and South Dakota, and Nebraska to visit. Obviously the road trip mentioned in yesterday’s post is designed to take care of all these with the exception of Vermont.

Why the desire to visit all 50 States? Maybe it’s because they are there! You get nothing except the self satisfaction that you accomplished one of your goals ………….. no certificate ………. no trophy!

My brother-in law’s family has just completed their 50 State quest. They celebrated not only visiting their 50th State, Hawaii, but also the high school and college graduation of their son and daughter! They were unique in that they accomplished this goal as a family!

So whether as a personal goal or a family or couples goal, set your objectives and dreams ………. and then make sure your actions make them reality!

What’s Next On Your Bucket List? Somewhere Near?


It is easy to get caught up into visualizing only exotic destinations when we create our bucket list, but in reality there are a lot of bucket list destinations in our own backyard ………… whether it be the beach or the mountains …. a city not visited ……… National or State Parks …….. Route 66 …..or your own home town!

One of our most memorable trips has been a 30 day road trip, basically going west on I 40 and returning on I 10! We visited 12 National Parks, several wineries, visited with friends, and saw a lot of our beautiful country! Our next bucket list road trip is to go west on I 80 and return on I 90! On these road trips be do try and visit as many National Parks as we can and we try to stay in either their Lodge or a cabin within the Park.

We have some friends from Florida that have recently retired and to celebrate they have taken their motor home and taken off on an American adventure …… seeing our beautiful country up close! This has been on their bucket list for sure!

We have an awesome country with great beauty, so make sure you have lots of “Route 66” destinations on your bucket list!

Delta SkyMiles American Express Gold – 50,000 Bonus and other benefits!

A friend asked me a question about which airline credit card might be best for them for an upcoming trip. I shared some thoughts with him but afterwards thought I should probably do some research so that I might offer a better answer.

First, which airline credit card you use should probably be for the airline that you currently fly with or plan on using for a trip once you have accumulated the necessary miles.

Second, I would look at what additional benefits the card might offer: free checked baggage, discounts, priority boarding, etc.

In my research I found an American Express Deal for Delta SkyMiles that might be worth considering. American Express is offering the Delta Gold SkyMiles card on a promotion through September 8th with a 50,000 mile bonus (normally 30,000 miles). In addition there are other nice benefits that come with the card:

– 50,000 bonus is credited to your account after you spend $1000 during the first 3 months.

– The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

– You receive a $50 statement credit.

– You get your first checked bag free for you and up to 8 traveling companions on the same reservation.

– You get double miles on Delta purchases.

– You get 20% discount on In-Flight purchases.

– You receive priority boarding for yourself and companions on the same reservation.

– You can use “pay with miles” to offset some or all of a paid ticket.

– Reduced rate on 1-day pass to the SkyClub.

– No foreign currency exchange fees.

This card is available in both the Personal and Business versions.

More details can be found at http://www.262.americanexpress.com

Is Your Passport Valid?

Most of us probably check our passport prior to a trip to assure it is valid. Actually you need to go one step further ………. you need to check the requirements of any countries that you might be visiting! Some have requirements that your passport be valid for 6 months from date of entry while others may be 30, 60, or 90 days. If you passport expires prior to the requirements you might not be allowed into their country.

As a rule I try to assure we always have a minimum of 6 months validity on our passports and depending on travel plans we may renew much earlier. While you can expedite a passport renewal it does cost extra and can be stressful if you are on a tight timetable!