It takes a long time for old ways to die or fade away. One of the “old ways” that is in the process of going through radical change, is the tour package. Once upon a time putting together package tours was a long process that required negotiations with hotels, group airfare departments and transfer experts. Specialists bargained with B&B owners and hotel chains months before anyone was expected to travel, in order to nail down the best rates. Airlines created special fare structures to offer bargains to groups. Incoming professionals tracked tour buses, vans, trains and rental cars.
Using your credit card while traveling overseas may get you the best exchange rate. But travelers must watch which credit card they use while traveling. Some credit cards end up charging unaware travelers up to 7% for transactions overseas.
I spent much of my youth living in Europe as a military brat. One of the big bargains then was the Eurailpass. I clickity-clacked through Europe for months. In those days, there were few bargains as dramatic as the Eurailpass and car rentals were rare and very expensive. However, today, Eurailpasses are not such a bargain. Today, the best bargain, for two or more people traveling together, is a rental car.
With the coming end of the war in Iraq, attention will return to the war on terrorism here at home. One of the most controversial facets is the new airline security passenger database, known as CAPPS II. It is being tested right now. Is it an invasion of our privacy?
Once upon a time, about a decade ago, American Airlines attempted to simplify the fare structure across the country. They introduced a very basic fare system that had only a few fare tiers, somewhat similar to the current fare structure of Southwest Airlines and Jet Blue. This simplification initiative was not embraced by the other airlines, led by Northwest, and the bold innovation crumbled.