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airport

Tips & Recommendations

Fear no more to flying with the help of some canines.

Luckily I have never been afraid of flying but I do realize that it is not the same for everyone. I have a friend who after getting married and has two daughters gets very nervous when flying. My boss had never been to Europe until recently because only the thought of being in a plane for 4+ hours terrified her. And just today, a colleague of mine confessed that she had never been a a plan because she is afraid of heights.

 

There are several ways to overcome the fear of flying. You can drink medicine, you can meditate, go to therapy, pray, enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, listen to music. etc. But very few people know what there are over 50 airports in the USA and Canada that offer volunteer Dog Therapy programs  that allows trained canines to wonder around (with their owners) through the airport to play, entertain and be pet by anyone who approaches them. According to several studies, playing an petting a dog can reduce high blood pressure and anxiety.

Last week I got to meet the “Miami Hound Machine” at the Miami International Airport. This program launched a couple of weeks ago with five dogs: Abbey, Pico, Donovan, Belle, y Dash- all certified dogs that are extremely playful, liked to be pet and know many tricks that will make you forget any fear of flights…and even your departure time (if you get too carried away)!

Here is a list of other airports in the USA and Canada that offer similar Dog Therapy Programs:

  • “PUP- Pets Unstressing Passengers” – Los Angeles Airport
  • “AmbassaDogs” –  Ft. Lauderdale Airport
  • “Paws for Love” – Buffalo/Niagara Airport
  • “Pet Therapy at EIA”-  Edmonton, Canada Airport
  • “Boarding Area Relaxation Corp (BARC)- Sacramento Airport
  • “Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS)- Denver Airport
  • “Paws for Passengers”– Asheville Airport
  • “Pups and Planes”- San Antonio Airport
  • “The Less Airport Stress Initiative (LASI)– Vancouver Airport
  • “Navigator Buddies” – Phoenix Airport
  • “Traveler’s Tails”- Burbank Airport
  • “Caring Tails”-  Rochester Airport
  • “Animal Ambassadors”- St. Paul/Minneapolis Airport
  • “CLT Canine Crew”-  Charlotte/Douglas Airport
  • “Wag Brigade”- San Francisco Airport
  • “Gentle Fur in Action”- Michigan Airport
  • “Bright Spot Therapy Dogs” – Connecticut Airport
  • “Runway Rovers”- Northeast Arkansas Airport
  •  San Jose, California Airport
  • Punta Gorda, Florida Airport

Tips & Recommendations

10 tips to travel for the Holidays

Many people take advantage of the Holidays to travel, to visit family, celebrate with friends, or simply escape from the daily routine. Wednesday before Thanksgiving begins the most congested time in airports and roads and that’s why I decided to share with you these tips that will help you to have a more pleasant experience, zero stress and above all, save some money during this holiday season.

Here are my 10 recommendations for a trip … on the GO!

1. If you already have fixed dates to travel make sure you buy your travel ticket in advance. Since the beginning of the year you know that Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November, that Christmas is December 25 and New Year on January 1 so plan and buy the ticket ahead of time. This way you can save money since airline tickets are usually cheaper and you can have better options of schedules and seats.

2. To avoid airport chaos and going bankrupt during the Holidays, the best days to travel during this time are Thursday of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, December 25th. Usually the rates are much cheaper and less popular since many people do not like to wake up at 3 A.M. and take a night flight better known as the “red eye”.

3. Identify which airline is best for you to travel and subscribe to their “newsletter” or weekly email. Also monitor the website of the airline since it often has “flash sales.” These last minute deals that are usually offered during an entire day. Usually, companies make these offers around the same time each year. So choose your favorite airlines, find out when was the last “flash sale” they had and take advantage of the deals!

4. Before buying airline tickets invest a little time finding out how much it would cost you to buy one way tickets. Many times buying portions of the flights separately can be cheaper.. Personally, I like to use Google flights to compare tickets on different airlines.

5. Minimize stress and waiting time at airports by registering to the “TSA PreCheck” program. This helps speed up the pre-screening process, reduces waiting time, eliminates the inconvenience of removing shoes, liquids, computers, etc. “TSA PreCheck” requires you to fill out an application, an in person appointment which is usually at the airport. The program costs  $ 85 for 5 years. In case you have any questions, watch the video going through security with  TSA PreCheck. If you travel outside of the United States, I recommend the Global Entry program that facilitates and ensures less time in line for immigration.

6. If you are traveling to visit family and friends, consider sending gifts by mail. Nowadays, many of us buy “online” so make sure you send your purchases or gifts to the final destination. That way you save space and money for excess baggage and make sure everything arrives on time. If you decide to take gifts in your luggage, avoid wrapping or packing them as TSA has the right to open any packaging if deemed necessary or suspicious.

7. Regardless of the means of transport, pack snacks. The food on the airplanes is not the best and it is not the cheapest, so if you can, get to the airport well eaten.  In road trips you do not want to waste time stopping to eat at all times so plan and take snacks for the road. Very soon we will have a list of the meals you should pack for those long trips.

9. For those traveling by road, these are the best trips if everything goes well … and you plan ahead. If you are traveling by car, make sure that your vehicle has all the updated maintenance, incorporate fun activities during the trip, plan to stop at different places and enjoy the food and local areas. You can also download the GasBuddy application that informs you of gas stations that have the best bathrooms and best gas prices.

10. Be patient and watch your surroundings. It is impossible to predict a natural disaster, illness, terrorist attack, or any situation that may affect your vacation, but you can be prepared for any eventuality. Many people who travel internationally buy insurance for their trips using   World Nomads. This covers you in case you have to cancel the trip at the last moment and any emergency. There is also the free program, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which lets you know which embassies and consular offices are closest to you.

Don’t forget to share your tips and aventures tagging  @MaityontheGO and using #TravelersontheGO

Happy Holidays!

Tips & Recommendations

#MaityontheGo makes it to the airport just in time.

More often not, I find myself at an airport. I get to travel a lot and very frequently but I have to confess that I don’t like to wait at the airport gate before my next flight. Luckily, I have mastered a way of getting there just in time, and for my last trip, I documented it all for you to see.

Tips and recommendations:

? Wear comfortable shoes in case you have to run. I like to travel with my Mayan Roots Babuchas. 

? To avoid looking for parking at the airport, request a pick up service such as Uber or Lyft.

? Download the app for the airline you are traveling with and check in online. Most airports accept the mobile boarding pass.

? Sign up for the TSA Pre check program. This guarantees shorter wait in lines and you don’t have to take out your electronics or take off your shoes. There is a cost for the TSA Pre-check but its worth it. More details on TSA Pre check coming soon.

? Bring a snack for your flight or try to get something to eat at the airport. Keep in mind that airport food is expensive and is not necessarily the best.

? Keep in mind that I didn’t have to check my bag (I try to travel with a carryon almost always) but if you do, you have to be there at least 60 minutes before your domestic flight and 90 minutes before any international flight.  Safe travels!

 

What do you do like to do to make your airport experience more pleasant and efficient?  Share your tips, comments and recommendations for other #TravelersontheGo

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