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The Wall Street Journal Guide To Power Travel: How to Arrive with Your Dignity, Sanity, and Wallet Intact Paperback – Apr 2 2009
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About the Author
Scott McCartney is the author of three books. A veteran journalist and licensed private pilot, he has been explaining airlines and travel to readers ofThe Wall Street Journalfor more than a decade. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The second and perhaps the more important message is how to change your attitude to enjoy travel more, and effectively cope with bad surprises and even find opportunity for extra, fun, pleasure and pampering when available. We can't control the many disasters big & small, but we can switch to clever mode and put ourselves into the best position to get whatever redress is possible; sort of switching to ninja recovery mode. Highly recommended, especially if you tend to blow your top when inevitable messes occur and "service" personnel drop the ball. Mini handbook to become calibrated travelers: smart and in control.
paper's Middle Seat columnist, is packed with useful suggestions
that will make trips easier for both novice and veteran travelers.
For example, when it comes to improving your bags' chances
for arriving at your destination, the author recommends:
* Always mark your bags distinctly, but not with long ribbons
that could get caught in machinery. Use tape, or tightly tied
package ribbon, directly on the bag. And don't rely on big luggage
tags-they can get torn off. Baggage has become uniformly
boring black these days, and there's nothing worse than seeing fifty
similar black bags on a carousel. Colorful identifying marks not
only make it easier for you to spot your bag, but also keep other
people from picking up the wrong bag-unless, of course, eight
people on your flight all had black bags with yellow ribbons.
Yet when it comes to what luggage you should actually
buy, even McCartney is confused:
* Even the size limits vary among airlines. At American, United,
and Delta, the maximum size of carry-on baggage is forty-five linear
inches-the length, width, and height dimensions added together.
At US Airways and Continental, the maximum is fifty-one inches-
13 percent more. I have a Travelpro roll-abroad bag that I've taken
all over the world, and every time I've raised it to slide it into an
overhead bin, it has fit (sometimes snugly in older bins). The bag is
twenty-three inches tall, fifteen inches wide, and twelve inches deep,
when I don't unzip the expanders. At its standard size, its
measurements total fifty inches-exceeding the rules at the three biggest
airlines in the United States, while legal on Continental and US Airways.
And airlines wonder why their rules confound travelers?
So what's a traveler to do? Assuming you get on the flight, there's
always this option:
* Another jet lag strategy is melatonin to "reset" your body clock when
you arrive in a new time zone. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by
the pineal gland in the brain that helps control the body's internal
clock. It's released by our bodies based on sunlight-nighttime
yields the release of more melatonin. If you cheat yourself out of
a night, you lose melatonin and your circadian rhythm is disrupted.
Taking a small supplemental dose-doctors usually recommend
0.5 mg-about an hour before you go to sleep after arrival, and
perhaps a day or two into your trip, helps some people recover
quickly. Medical studies on melatonin supplements for jet leg have
been inconclusive. It's worth a try, but your mileage may vary,
as they say.
POWER TRAVEL does its best job in covering plane
trips . . . in addition, there are some good tips for booking
both hotel stays and cruises . . . my only disappointment
was that there's not coverage on car rentals.
Every single section heading is preceded by the word "Power"... so "bargains" becomes "power bargains" and "Packing" becomes "power packing". The titles get old fast, but also make it harder to skim the book for information you need quickly. I know it's just one extra word, but when flipping through at high speed, it's much easier to find "packing" than "power packing."
Currently, I want information on weather cancellation policies, as I'm stuck in just that situation. I have yet to find the section in the book because the appendix is non-existant (well, they have an appendix, but for resource information, not to give you a detailed breakdown on what's where in the book), and the chapter headings are too difficult to scan through. I'm sure I'll find what I need eventually, but for a resource book, this is far less resourceful than its name would imply.
That said, there are some good tips in here. It's just not what I'd hoped for.