The growth of the Internet and budget airlines has turned last-minute flights into a huge industry – you can just be surfing around, and then, right there, there’s a flight cheap enough for you to buy on impulse and go away this weekend. If you’re thinking about booking last minute flights, however, there are a few things you need to know.
An important point to make is that you can’t trust the prices you see quoted in advertising for last minute flights. This is because of the common practice of excluding booking fees, airport taxes and all sorts of other little extras from the price – these all get added on just when you’ve got your card out and you’re ready to pay, in the hope that by then you won’t want to back out.
Also, you should realize that just because a flight says it goes to a big city like London or Paris, it doesn’t mean that the airport is actually anywhere near. Budget airlines use smaller airports to avoid paying the higher airport charges at the larger ones, and these smaller airports can be as much as two hours away from the city center by often unreliable public transport. In some cases, you can end up paying as much as you did for your plane tickets just to get a train to the place you thought was your destination.
On airlines that take bookings for seats, it is also worth noting that last minute flights will only have the seats that no-one else wanted, which usually means the ones in the middle of the row. This can be very important if you get airsick, or if you really want to sit together as a couple or family.
The biggest gotcha is that last-minute flights are always non-refundable. If you are going to buy one on impulse, make sure you can actually make it first, as there won’t be any backing out of the deal afterwards.
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Women today travel constantly and that too all over the world. Most manage to successfully juggle a professional life with a private one. Statistics reveal that almost 50% of business travelers are women and the number continues to grow each day. Travel at short notice means being organized and ready to go. Be smart and plan well ahead.
1. Keep on tab a list of baby sitters who would be willing to pitch in, even overnight if required. Keep a small book handy in which you jot down things like what the kids eat, their schedules, important phone numbers, likes and dislikes, as well as numbers of the doctors and list of medications including known allergies.
2. Keep a travel bag always packed and ready to go. Pack a combination of clothes so that they will tide you over irrespective of the weather in your destination. Wear easy to maintain and dark colors on trips. They don’t show stains, are wrinkle free and will drape well.
3. Always eat lightly and foods that are cooked avoid raw salads and water as well as ice. It is wise to snack before a flight and also to try and sleep during flight. This way you will arrive at your destination refreshed. Be sure to drink plenty of bottled water during travel.
4. Set up a schedule to call home at time zones that work for you and your loved ones. Make it a point to get memento es for your family members as also the baby sitter and others who pick up the slack while you are away. It shows them that you care.
5. Put safety first always place a “do not disturb sign on your hotel door and if nervous place a chair under the door knob like they do in movies. Keep your cell phone on and fully charged by you at all times and carry protection in the form of pepper spray, an alarm, or if you are trained and licensed a small weapon with its safety on. In most cities the police organize training classes for women to learn how to protect themselves and what one must do in an emergency. Try and make time to attend these.
6. Avoid dark lanes and abandoned roads. Never talk to strangers or accept food or drink from someone you don’t know. While traveling never leave food or drink unattended. Be vigilant at all times.
7. Choose a hotel with care. Choose to stay at well established hotels or small inns and B&B where the proprietors are generally family people. Always e-mail and fax details of your staying arrangements and travel plans to your home as well as office.
8. Always carry important documents, money, traveler’s checks, and passport in a money belt worn around your waist.
9. Always act confident and move around in groups there is always safety in numbers.
10. If unwell go to a state run hospital. Never to a private clinic.
11. Never travel with valuables like jewelry and always carry a small flashlight and medical kit with you.
12. For safety reasons arrange with your family to take appropriate action if you do not get in touch with them as planned.
Avoid room service and eat in the hotel dinning room. Also never reveal details of where you come from or your travel plans to anyone.
Be vigilant and smart and you will be able to travel often and safely.