How to tell a duck from an eagle
Have you ever come across a hotel employee, airline crewmember or car rental agent who was either unable -- or just plain unwilling -- to help you? If your experiences are anything similar to mine,...

Upgrade lessons from Columbo
Looking for an upgrade? Be like Columbo.

Remember the TV detective who blundered his way from case to case? He often controlled his environment and the outcome of each case by what appeared to be...


A stylin' summer vacation for less
Every year at about this time, the travel industry's talking heads pull out their polyester suits and go on TV to dish out the same tired advice about summer travel.

Check the pressure of your car...


The secret of my upgrade success
My secret to getting travel upgrades is similar to Warren Buffet's approach to the stock market: simple and boring, but effective. I have flown over two million miles on more than 1,000 flights, and...

Joel's tips on tipping
When you're traveling, it seems that every service employee is looking for a handout.

Your valet pauses for a moment after you hand him the keys to your car. Your luggage porter lingers after...


You'll get what you pay for
The conventional wisdom is that the less money you pay for a trip, the better you'll feel about it.

The conventional wisdom is wrong.

How can you put a price on avoiding a long check-in or...


What's your loyalty worth?
At a time when every airline offers homogenous routes and services, is consolidating your loyalty with one airline still a worthwhile proposition?

I found myself pondering this 54 days into the...


5 contrarian travel tactics
Looking for great travel deals is a popular pastime. It seems everyone has a different strategy for reaching the holy grail of travel -- a great experience at a reasonable price.

That used to be...


3 overseas car insurance tips
If you're traveling internationally, should you spring for the extra car rental insurance?

Determining whether that friendly agent is offering you an optional policy for your protection, or just...


4 reasons to switch carriers
Is it time to jettison your preferred airline?

If you're getting bad service, you've moved, you can't get an upgrade any more or your carrier is in financial trouble, the answer might be "yes."...


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