Holiday Travel Stress Reduced With New Recommendation Site

Holiday travel takes us to familiar places for celebration with friends and family but often that trip goes through airports that we could use some help navigating. NerdWallet is a personal finance website with financial product recommendations and advice like “The Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping.” Founders Tim and Jake believe in creating resources that consumers can trust. Launched today, they have a new recommendation site that promises to help travelers better handle variables that add up to the stress associated with holiday travel.

Available online or via smartphone app, TravelNerd has recommendations for parking, transportation, amenities, navigating through airport terminals and more.

“TravelNerd was created in response to an overwhelming need for a guide that helps travelers navigate the hectic nature of airports. As frequent travelers ourselves, we understand that air travel is more than just the flight,” said Alicia Jao VP of Travel Media at NerdWallet in a statement.
Using the TravelNerd system, holiday travelers can weigh transportation options by time and cost, compare airport parking prices on and off site and get discount coupons, view terminal maps with details that include restrooms, restaurants and more.

“Getting to and from the airport and navigating the terminal can be time-consuming and expensive. With these challenges in mind, we created an easily-accessible resource to help consumers make informed travel decisions,” added Jao.

Unlike other online options, TravelNerd is unique in that they offer social features like taxi sharing, directions to the parking lot and click-to-call transportation options.

[Photo credit – Flickr user hnix]

Lost Luggage Has A Season And It Is Here Now

Lost luggage was once a major problem for airlines but they have been doing better lately. Perhaps with the introduction of fees for checked bags, airlines are paying more attention to what happens to luggage. Maybe it’s those fees that are driving airline passengers to pack less, carry on more and give airlines less to lose. Whatever the reason, lost luggage is less of an issue than it once was for air travelers – for the most part. Still, there are some airlines that do a better job than others and, apparently, a time of the year when lost luggage reports peak.

A recent study by NerdWallet notes, “regional airlines mishandle luggage at significantly higher rates than average.” Those regional airlines include carriers like like ExpressJet, Mesa, and SkyWest. Better known airlines line American, Delta, US Airways and others, have a better report card.

The problem is that those smaller, regional airlines often operate flights for larger carriers, which equals more lost luggage. Also a problem: the holiday travel period between now and January.According to the NerdWallet survey, reports of lost, mishandled, damaged, delayed or stolen luggage spikes during this time as more travelers take to the air.

Looking to minimize the chances of a bad luggage experience? NerdTraveler suggests when traveling with someone else, split valuables into multiple carry-on bags to reduce the odds of losing important papers, documents and other items. Booking direct flights to minimize the airline handling of your luggage can help too.

Another good idea is to take smartphone photos of your luggage and its contents. That goes a long way towards a happy claim when luggage is lost or damaged. Finally, know the airline’s policy on reimbursement. Airlines commonly exclude personal items like electronics, photography equipment, things made of glass and more.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user puregin]