No doubt about it: getting upgraded to business or first class is a whole lot better than flying economy. Bigger seats, meal and drink service, access to an airport lounge and more flexible baggage allowances all contribute to a trip with less stress and a lot more luxury. But it all comes at a price. To wit, a recent return flight to Amsterdam on KLM cost about $1400 in economy, and a staggering $5400 in business. But there is another way. A free upgrade is sometimes possible, if you plan ahead and know the rules that will give you an edge over other passengers. Here are nine methods that savvy travellers use to get upgraded.
It's time to plan your summer vacation, but check the fine print before you book a flight: That big, exciting trip across the country or overseas could carry surprising costs and added fees imposed by the airline.
"If money doesn't make you happy, then you probably aren't spending it right."
That's the excellent and descriptive title of a paper published last year in the Journal of Consumer Psychology by the University of British Columbia's Elizabeth W. Dunn, Harvard's Daniel T. Gilbert, and UVA's Timothy D. Wilson.
The paper, which summarizes decades of study on the subject, notes that "money allows people to do what they please, to live longer and healthier lives, to buffer themselves against worry and harm, to have leisure time to spend with friends and family, and to control the nature of their daily activities -- all of which are sources of happiness."
Unfortunately, money is "an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they think will make them happy often don't."
So how do you make sure to spend your money in order to to maximize your happiness? Follow these eight steps:
Has work, daily life and the endless wait for spring weather made you feel like you need an escape? For those of us who want to recharge or revive, a vacation is the answer.
Whether it's a change of scenery, a romantic weekend for the two of you or a family holiday to have some fun, there are several options that won't make you regret taking your credit card out of your wallet. Heck, even the Griswolds are getting back on the road.
By Bruce Watson
Summer vacation season is right around the corner, but with sequestration cutting hours and reducing services at many national parks, it's getting harder to find a low-cost, educational place to take the kids during the time off. Museums are a good option, but admission costs can be bruising, especially for large families.
On the bright side, there is a simple, fairly inexpensive trick that your family can use to get free admission at 662 museums -- and counting -- across Canada and the United States. By joining the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM) at a member museum, you can gain admission to any other museum in the network free of charge.
I found out about the program during a visit to the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, Mass. One-time admission to the museum for my wife, my daughter and myself cost $37 -- not exactly a punishing fee, but high enough that we would have to think twice before coming back. The thing is, after wandering through the museum a bit, we realized that we definitely wanted to return.
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As Opening Day arrives, the Toronto Blue Jays are in a position they haven't been for two decades: They enter the baseball season as World Series favourites. The addition of three elite starting pitchers - Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson - as well as All-Star position players Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera ensure the Blue Jays will be one of the most exciting teams to watch in 2013. The offseason moves have rekindled thoughts of the feats former general manager Pat Gillick pulled off in the early 1990s. Whether this team can bring the glory days of 1992-93 back to Toronto will not be revealed for months. For now, what we do know is the electricity that has been absent during the past 20 years - as the Jays have failed to come within even a warning-track flyball of the postseason - will be back. They are going to be competitive. Game days will be exciting, bars and restaurants will be full, hotels will enjoy a boost with visitors coming in to see the hottest show in town.
If you're going to see a game, here are five tips to save you money and help you get the most out of the Blue Jays' experience:
By Molly McCluskey
Cash may be king, but figuring out how much of it to tip -- and to whom -- can leave travelers feeling like paupers.
We asked experts and seasoned travelers for their tips on how to show appreciation for the people who make traveling worth doing.
Filed under: Travel
By Matt Brownell
American Airlines is tired of passengers hauling bulky suitcases onto its planes, and it may be willing to entice them to quit with the promise of priority boarding.
Last week, John DiScala of travel site JohnnyJet.com was flying out of Fort Lauderdale when he noticed an American Airlines flight testing a new boarding procedure. The gate attendant announced that passengers who didn't have carry-on luggage that needed to be stowed could board the flight immediately following the first-class passengers and elite frequent fliers.
American Airlines confirmed to him on Twitter that it was indeed testing a priority boarding program for passengers who didn't have carry-on luggage. While it's the first of the big legacy airlines to pursue such a strategy, it's not the first airline to consider it -- DiScala notes that Southwest, Alaska and Frontier are all testing similar programs.