Travel Tips - Check here before asking!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 10:48 PM
To add another suggestion.

If you have a laptop, get yourself a mapping package. My personal preference is Microsoft's Streets & Trips, which will also generate "Pocket" maps for PocketPC handhelds.

Having mapping software on a laptop comes in VERY handy when plans change while on the road -- mapquest.com, etc., are all great sites, but they don't do you much good if you don't have a net connection.

Even if you don't have a laptop, but DO have a PocketPC, Streets & Trips is still worthwhile for the aforementioned Pocket Streets & Trips feature. Similar products exist for Palm as well, but I'm not too up on them.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:03 PM
Damn Moosh, where were you like a week ago when I started planning the summer road trip?! ;)

I'm sure with time people will definitely appreciate the fine resource you've offered. Thanks a bunch. :)

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:04 PM
Yes, Streets & Trips is one of the best investments you can make. I use it for my trip planning and it has NEVER lead me wrong. You can do so much more with it then you can with the on-line mapping sites. It has even come in handy for finding a last minute hotel near where I want to be.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:30 PM
Holy crap, dude. Isn't this the first topic to be pinned that wasn't started by a mod?

-applause-

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:37 PM
I felt it was time to contribute something other than smartazz comments and MTR jokes.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:46 PM
You make it seem like smartass comments don't make the world a better place.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:51 PM
Ditto on MS Streets & Trips. If you lay out a good plan you can make a predictible, easy to follow trip. It's taken us from New York to Los Angeles and many places in between with hardly a glitch. Armed with a laptop, a change in plans is a snap.

I can't imagine a trip without it.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:49 AM

Mamoosh said:
I felt it was time to contribute something other than smartazz comments and MTR jokes.

I *do* hope this doesn't mean the end of either of THOSE....:)

Now, what are the lines gonna be like when I go to the park...;)

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 5:36 AM
Good idea Moosh! Thanks for posting that. I thought it was a good reminder. :-)

I would also like to remind everyone that if you don't have a season pass to a particular park then look for coupons. I LOVE COUPONS!

Almost every park I have beeen to has some type of coupon either at the front gate, gas station, fast food, rest stop, motel, etc. It could at least pay for your parking.

There is also a cool program called Trip Rewards. I just signed up but it looks promising.

-Tina

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 7:27 AM

Mamoosh said:

--WEATHER--

You can get up-to-the-minute weather at:

www.weather.com
www.accuweather.com
www.cnn.com

You can also add http://intellicast.com/. Very good IMO.


*** Edited 3/31/2004 12:28:57 PM UTC by tambo*** *** Edited 3/31/2004 12:30:12 PM UTC by tambo*** *** Edited 3/31/2004 12:30:35 PM UTC by tambo***

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 9:00 AM
Trip Rewards is a decent frequent-stayer hotel program, from what I can see (I don't use it much since I don't stay at the associated hotels often).

That DOES bring up a good point, though. Join the frequent stayer/flyer/renter programs for the hotel/airline/car companies you use. The points add up quickly, and pretty much every chain has one. Usually you can even link them -- I earn HHonors points AND USAirways miles every time I stay at a Hilton property. Points can then be redeemed for free rooms or other perks (with restrictions, but still useful).

Join AAA. Not only is it indispensable if your car breaks down somewhere, but the discounts (typically 10%) at most hotels and even some parks (Busch Gardens, for instance) adds up to the point where you'll be ahead even with the membership fee. Once you have the membership, don't be afraid to ask if there's a discount -- I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The Festhaus at BGW currently has a 10% AAA discount on food.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 9:02 AM
MS Streets and Trips has saved me numerous times. Grab a laptop (even if it's a cruddy Pentium 100), get this softwear and a GPS. Such a powerful combo. I wouldn't travel to parts unknown without it.
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 10:04 AM
Thanks guys. I updated the first post to include the advice about AAA, frequent flier programs, and MS Streets & Tips.

Keep those ideas coming ;)

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:34 AM
Hey Moosh, ever considering working in the technical communications industry? Y'alls got talent and stuff!

Good information structure, easy to read, well written, nice layout...bravo! I'll be showing my fellow writers if you don't mind.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:46 AM
Car rentals:

Avis, National, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, Thrifty, Rent-A-Wreck, et. al.

Minimum age for rentals vary by state and company, but many require a minimum age of 25. Expect a daily surcharge *if* they allow rentals by drivers below age 25. Call ahead and confirm before you rely on a rental if you're under age 25.

Likewise, call ahead and confirm mimimum age requirements with hotels before your trip.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:16 PM
Thanks, Strijder. I've added the minimum age info to the first post. I'm not going to include all the links, tho...people should be able to find those easily enough ;)
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:23 PM
Careful, mOOSH. Your making the CPG look almost, dare I say it, *respectable* (cringing).
Looks like I have work to do...
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 1:16 PM
Great post, Moosh.

A point from your list that I would stress is that calling the park is a GREAT source of information. I can't recall how many times I was looking for discount coupons and the park operator told me exactly which chain to go to.

Later,
EV

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 4:31 PM
Jeff, you might consider reformatting this content and making it a permanent part of your site. Perhaps a Travel Tips tab...

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:01 PM
I was thinking the same thing as Jan.
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