Travel House Blog

February 22, 2008

This is a new step for Travel House. We invite you to share experiences, or comment on information you find here.

Today’s tip is: If you are traveling out of this country, whether by air, sea or any other means, we advise strongly that you get a passport. At the present time you don’t need a passport to enter the US by sea or road, however, the government says that at a “time to be determined later” all persons wanting to enter the United States will need passports. We remember the backlogs from last year! It was an absolute nightmare! If you want to go on your trip with any peace of mind, apply for a passport now! Adult passports are valid for 10 years, childrens passports are valid for 5 years. Ask us about the necessary forms. We will be happy to give you all necessary information.

4 March 2008

Today I want to talk about safety concerns when traveling. Many people tell me that they don’t want to leave the US because they fear of eating or drinking something that might make them sick. That could happen right here in Quincy, Illinois as well! When we travel to foreign destinations, we are more careful about what we eat and drink. Be careful not to drink faucet water, not because it is bad, but because you are not used to it! I personally don’t like drinking city faucet water, as I live in the country, and we have our own well… When traveling, be sure you are aware of the differences, but enjoy them! The special flavor a foreign destination offers makes a trip so much more memorable!

17 March 08

Amtrak is my subject today. We do sell Amtrak tickets in our office, and are often asked why the passenger trains so often run late. There are many reasons for that, however, the main reason (and this has happened several times when I was riding on Amtrak) is that the passenger train must let freight trains pass. At least in our rural area, there is often a single track, which means the passenger train will have to pull over and wait for one or more freight trains to lumber past. That is aggravating, but there is not much that can be done about it, since the tracks are owned by the freight trains, and they in turn allow Amtrak to use their rails. So my advice regarding train travel in this country is to take a good book, a lot of patience, and an extra dose of good humor when embarking on a train trip! It is still far cheaper to take the train to Chicago from Quincy than to drive there, plus you can get up and walk around, plus you can actually read or do something other than concentrating on traffic. The train connection between Quincy and Chicago is absolutely great! It brings passengers right into the heart of Chicago! Most of the time this route is run efficiently, however, there are also horror stories about things going wrong! Take it all with a ton of salt (not just a grain!), sit back and relax, and let Amtrak take you to Chicago and beyond!

24 March 08

Destination Weddings are on my mind today. If you want to get married on a beach, or in a wedding chapel at a tropical resort or on a cruise ship, see our agents! We will talk to you about ALL your options. You will learn what sort of documentation you need for each destination, how many days in advance you need to be there, if you need blood tests, and much more. We will be able to recommend just the right venue for your wedding, and prepare you thoroughly for that important day! Did you know that some resorts in the Caribbean offer a free wedding if you book your honeymoon there? Whether you want to get married on a tropical island, on a cruise ship, or in a ceremony in Las Vegas, we will prepare you for your trip! Leave that part of the wedding plans to us – you have to worry about enough details anyway! Also, if you plan your wedding or honeymoon through our office, you may register in our bridal registry which will allow your friends and relatives to pay toward your wedding or honeymoon. Make it easy on yourself! Call the experts at Travel House of Quincy!

8 April 2008

Flying to your destination has become a hassle for most people. I do know that having to go through security, especially at major airports, is nothing but a hassle! However, most passengers submit willingly to all that hassle because they feel they are doing their part in making sure that nobody has anything in the cabin that could cause harm. Not only do we have to be at the airport a minimum of 90 minutes before our flight is due to leave, but we cannot take liquid, powder or paste of more than 3 oz in our carry-on luggage, along with any sharp objects. I do know a lot of people who routinely walk around with their pocket knives – yet they don’t intend to use them as a weapon. Just because a few people have used sharp objects or had their shoes rigged in the past, we all are prohibited from taking such objects, and we have to take our shoes off when going through security. My advice is to take an extra dose of patience and good humor when going on a trip!

10 April 2008

Today’s theme has to do with the anger many travelers are feeling because of recent flight cancellations. American Airlines, just to name one of the major carriers, has had thousands of flights cancelled during this week due to FAA requirements. If you are angry about a missed flight or connection, you are not alone! In September, 2006, the FAA gave all the carriers using MD80 planes 18 months to check their wiring and rebundle some of it. this means to me that they thought the wiring might cause a problem, but they did not feel it was so dangerous that the planes had to be grounded immediately. I guess the major airlines thought this did not apply to them, or that the FAA were not serious about this, because nobody did anything to follow that rule. But, as with anything, there are consequences to one’s actions, or in this case, lack of action. Suddenly all these planes have to be inspected at once! The part about the 18 months is not talked about too much. Now you at least know the reason why these flights had to be cancelled. If you booked your flight through a travel agency, the airlines have a responsibility to inform us of any changes to your reservation. If you booked it on your own, I am sorry to say you ARE on your own, because we cannot touch reservations we did not make!

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