N. Wall

Most asked Travel Questions 2018

The Most Asked Travel Questions of 2018

To Travel is to Live” – Hans Christian Andersen

Travel can be stressful, and also exciting, so it is no surprise that Google is flooded with people asking travel questions.  I get asked travel questions all the time and it made me wonder, “What are the most asked travel questions?”  I started to do a little research and compiled a list of the 15 most asked travel questions.  I have answered them all for you below.  I hope you find this as interesting as I did, I even learned a few new things.  Sit back, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and maybe you will learn something new too. Remember, If you find this information useful please to share it. Thanks for reading and as always, happy travels!

When should I buy my airline ticket?

Cheapair.com analyzed over 917 million airfares in more than 8,000 markets in its 2018 Annual Airfare Study.  The results they found indicate the best time to buy your tickets depends on the time of year you want to travel.

Winter: 62 days in advance.

Spring: 90 days in advance.

Summer: 47 days in advance.

Fall: 69 days in advance.

Many experts also say that purchasing airfare on Tuesday afternoons is optimal for best prices.  However, Hopper did a recent study using data from millions of flights and they say Thursday’s are the best day to purchase tickets.  One thing all the experts seem to agree on is not to purchase your flights on Sunday.  Sunday is the number one most expensive day to purchase tickets. For more information from Cheapair click this link When to Buy Flights tool, Get the Lowest Fare

Are all-inclusive resorts worth it?

It depends on who is going and what you like to do.  The majority of all-inclusive resorts are found in the Caribbean and Mexico.  If you are looking for something a little less traditional you may want to read our earlier posts on The most unusual all-inclusive resorts in the world or All-inclusive Dude Ranch resorts.

If we are strictly talking traditional beach all-inclusive resorts they are perfect for families (food and many kids activities are included, which saves parents tons of money) and for couples who enjoy unlimited alcohol.  If you are a non-drinker and a picky eater it may not be the right choice for you.  All-inclusive may not be the right choice for people that like to keep busy with excursions and exploring local culture, as most of the included activities are on the property.  However, if you are a couple or family that enjoys spending time on the beach or around a pool and are content with activities included in most resorts (kayaking, snorkeling, games, classes, sports, and kids clubs, to name a few) then an all-inclusive resort can be well worth the money, and in many cases a big savings over a traditional family vacation.  Just be sure to do your research and pick the right resort for you.  If you are thinking of an all-inclusive trip you may want to read How to choose an all-inclusive resort. 

If you are looking for a family all-inclusive resort you can check out prices at Beaches here Shop Kid Friendly Vacations At Beaches Resorts.

What is a Global Entry pass or TSA Precheck?

TSA Precheck: This program is offered by the Transportation Security Administration. It offers a fast pass through security, subject to a background check and fingerprinting, at more than 200 U.S. airports. The cost is $85 for five years. Travelers get dedicated lines at security checkpoints, keep their shoes and jackets on and leave approved liquids and electronics in their carry-on bags.

Global Entry: This is for International travelers, run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It includes TSA Precheck plus expedited immigration and customs processing for travelers flying into the U.S. after international travel. It costs $100 for five years and requires a background check, fingerprints, and a valid passport or permanent resident card.

What are the best sites for booking hotels or flights?



Booking.com

Booking.com– Winner of multiple tests for best booking site, receiving the #1 honor on most lists.  In a study done by Frommer’s Booking.com found not only the best deals but the most options 16 out of 20 times.  Unlike many comparable sites, Booking.com does not try to trick you with hidden fees, they include taxes and any other fees in the price they show you.  In addition to that, they offer the best filters and sort options and have consistently found the best rates compared to their competitors.

Agoda.com- Owned by Priceline this search engine gets high ranking due to its international bookings.  If you are looking for a hotel outside of the USA this search engine wins hands down.

Priceline.com- This site turns up more results then Hotwire or Expedia and seems to be the best tool for finding hotels in a city center location.  They also have their well know blind booking that can save you up to an extra 60% off if you don’t mind not knowing the brand of hotel until after you click purchase.  You can try it here Exclusive Hotel savings of up to 60% off @ priceline.com!

Hotwire.com- also owned by Expedia but tests show it does bring up different results.  If you don’t mind doing a blind booking based on neighborhood and start level then the perk to using Hotwire is their “hot Rate” service.

Expedia- Expedia purchased Orbitz and Travelocity so searches on any of the three will most likely bring the same results.  Expedia ranked #5 on the list due to its limited results and not enough filters to really narrow down your search.

Keep in mind that you should also check with the airline or hotel brand directly.  In an attempt to compete with all the booking sites out there many hotels and airlines offer special discounts when booking direct.

HOT TIP: Go to your browsers incognito mode when pricing your vacation.  This does not leave a cookies trail and you will often find better pricing.

What can’t I pack in my carry on?

We all know that weapons of any kind are not allowed.  Always check with your airlines for a list of specific prohibited items.

Liquids– are restricted by most airlines to 3.4 ounces (100ml) containers and all containers must fit inside one-quart size (about one liter) clear zip top bag.  ALWAYS BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINE FOR THEIR SPECIFIC ALLOWANCES. Keep in mind that liquids can be many things such as liquid foundation, lotions, even snow globes.

Razors– straight edge razors and razor blades are not allowed.  Most airlines will allow a disposable razor.

Food– Best to purchase after you go through security.  Food spreads like peanut butter and condiments like Ketchup are considered liquids and would follow the rules above.

e-cigarettes, vaping devices, lighters– Most airlines will allow one lighter to be brought in a carry-on.  You also are required by most airlines to have your e-cig or vape device in your carry on due to the battery.  However, the liquids for those devices would have to follow the rules above for liquids and store in your plastic zip top bag with your other liquids or be placed in your checked luggage.

What should I have in my carry on?

Prescription medications, travel itinerary, important documents, ID, wallet (money), fragile items, phone charger.  You will also want to pack at least one change of clothes and anything necessary to get you through one full day in case your checked luggage is lost or delayed.  I also think it is a must to have any comfort or entertainment items with you in your carry on.  Laptop, iPad, or other electronic devices to use on the flight, earbuds or headphones, phone, book or game you may want access to, snacks or a drink purchased after security. I also bring a travel pillow and blanket or large scarf I can use as a blanket on the flight.  My number one rule when packing my carry on is always “What can I not live without for this trip?”  Lost luggage is not that common but better to be safe than sorry, right?

Is travel insurance worth it?

A lot of things can factor into the answer to this question.  The general rule is if you can afford it and it will give you peace of mind then you should buy it.  That is a generic answer though.  Most experts say that if your trip costs more than $5,000 (or a maybe a lesser sum if it means you could not replace the cost of the trip easily on your own) then you should get it.  Another key factor in deciding if you should purchase travel insurance is health.  If you have a health condition that may cause you to cancel your travel plans, insurance is probably a smart investment. Also if you are traveling out of the country and fear you may need to seek medical help, it’s a good idea. Most importantly, if travel insurance will ease your travel anxieties, it’s worth it.  Remember that there are a lot of options out there and you should research the type of travel insurance that will best fit your needs before you purchase.

What are the best travel apps?

See our post on 10 of the best travel apps here.

How far in advance should I book my hotel reservations?

Depending on where you are traveling the answer changes.  According to a study done by Trivago if you are booking in the USA then one month in advance is generally when you will find the lowest price.  Contrary to popular belief, booking further in advance is generally more expensive.  The exception to this rule would be if you are going to either a very high demand area (Think New Year’s Eve in New York City) or you have a specific property that you must stay at.

For hotels in the UK, you should book 4 -5 weeks in advance. France, 2 – 5 weeks, Germany, 3 – 4 weeks, Italy, 3 – 6 weeks, and Spain, 4 – 7 weeks in advance is when you will find the best deals.

What’s the first thing I should do if my flight is canceled?

Before your flight, you should familiarize yourself with your airline’s Contract of Carriage.  This is the agreement you have entered into with the airline when you made your purchase.  Know your rights before you approach the airline staff.  Remember to be courteous, it is not the airline employees fault your plans have been changed.  If you find the line to speak to an airline representative is too long you can always contact your airline via phone or social media (many airlines have rapid response teams for Twitter and Facebook). Next, stay near your gate in case agents share information. Also, don’t forget to contact anyone that is waiting for you on the other end of your journey to let them know plans have changed.  If you have pre-booked a shuttle or have hotel reservations you should alert them to the change.

As an example, American Airlines states in its contract that “When your flight is canceled or a delay will cause you to miss your connection, we will rebook you on our next flight with available seats. If the delay or cancellation was caused by events within our control or you were diverted to another city, and we don’t board to your final destination before 11:59 p.m. local time, we’ll arrange an overnight stay at your connecting airport, if available.” The contract adds, “In extreme circumstances, a flight may cancel while on the ground in the city it was diverted to. If this happens we will rebook you on our next flight with available seats, on another airline or some other alternative means of transportation. If we are unable to rebook you, we’ll arrange an overnight stay, if available.”

What should I do if my luggage is delayed/ lost?

If your bag does not turn up on the baggage carousel you should look for the baggage service office.  Most major airports have an office near the main baggage area.  If they do not offer a service to file the claim with your airline then you will want to be sure to also report it to the operating airline. If you were on a connecting flight with more than one airline, the claim must be filed with the operating carrier of your last flight, as that airline is ultimately responsible for delivering your bag to you.

What are the seven wonders of the world?

The seven wonders are The Great Pyramid at Giza (Cairo, Egypt), the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Al-Hillah, Iraq), the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Selcuk, Turkey), the Statue of Zeus at Olympia (Olympia, Greece), the Tomb of Maussollos at Halicarnassus (Southwestern Turkey), Colossus at Rhodes (Rhodes, Greece) and the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos Island, Alexandria, Egypt), according to the Travel Channel.  However, In 2007, more than 100 million people voted to declare the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Great Wall of China (China), Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro), Machu Picchu (Peru), Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico), The Roman Colosseum (Rome), Taj Mahal (Agra, India), Petra (Jordan)

What should I bring to the beach?

This depends on where and with whom you are going.  If you are going to a beach that offers chair service, then you can rent chairs and umbrellas.  However, if you do not want to pay for this service or you are going to a beach that does not offer it you will want to bring some type of shade, either a beach umbrella or sun shade tent.  You will also want some sort of beach chair to relax on.

Other essential items to have with you:

Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, change of clothes, beach towel, SPF lip balm, waterproof case for your phone (sand can be just as damaging as water!), blanket or large towel to lay on if you do not have a chair, entertainment such as beach toys, book, music, raft, bottled water, snacks, drinks in cooler with ice, first aid kit.  If you are bringing young children pack extra supplies in your diaper bag, be sure to bring hats for the little ones and enough sunscreen to reapply every two hours, items to build sand castles, water shoes or beach shoes.

PRO TIP: Bring leave in conditioner spray (look for one with SPF) and spray your hair well before getting in the water.  This will protect your hair from drying out or absorbing too much salt water.  You can read more tips on how to protect your hair from the sun here.

How old do you have to be to rent a car?

It depends on the country and in the USA,  it even depends on the state.  Some states allow car rentals as young as 18 years old, be prepared to pay a hefty upcharge for this privilege though.  On average the magic age for renting a car is 25.  This is largely due to statistics.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drivers under the age of 25 are much more likely to get into an accident.  After 25 the crash rate drops dramatically.

What is the most popular travel destination in the world?

According to Trip Advisor the most popular destinations in the world for 2018 are:

1.)  Paris, France

2.)  London, England

3.)  Rome, Italy

4.)  Bali, Indonesia

5.)  Crete, Greece

The top 3 most popular destinations in the USA are:

Oahu, Hawaii, San Francisco, CA, and New York City, NY

So what do you think?  Did I miss any questions you want an answer to?  If so leave it in the comments below and I will do my best to answer it for you.

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About

Travel enthusiast, mother, dog owner. I am passionate about the world around me and discovering new places to visit.

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One thought on “Most asked Travel Questions 2018

  1. Sheila

    September 22, 2018 at 3:23pm

    Great round up of tips. I especially like your recommendation about travel insurance. I only bought it once but it did give me peace of mind as the trip was very expensive. The one time I did buy it, I bought it directly from the airline, are there other options? Do you have a specific company you recommend for travel insurance?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      N. Wall

      September 24, 2018 at 10:12am

      Hi Sheila, You may want to look at travelinsurance.com or insuremytrip.com for starters. You can google recommended travel insurance for the country you live in as well. I hope that helps. 🙂

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  2. Debbie Graham

    September 22, 2018 at 4:29pm

    Great tips! I always wondered how many days ahead I should book a flight! I love the way it is broken down into seasons. We always buy travel insurance for international flights and it has been used!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Paul

    September 22, 2018 at 6:27pm

    This is an incredibly useful list. I’m definitely saving this one for the flight booking tips alone. I never knew there were specific time periods for the different seasons. Very interesting and thanks for sharing.

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  4. Katie

    September 22, 2018 at 9:05pm

    So many of these questions I’ve asked myself at some point! And now I have the answers! Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

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  5. Rio

    September 23, 2018 at 12:09pm

    Some great tips here. I always believe travel insurance is worth purchasing especially if you’re travelling to countries where medical costs are expensive. You never know when you might need medical attention regardless of whether you have a chronic illness. A friend fell down some stairs last year on a holiday in Mexico and hit her head pretty badly – her ordeal cost her over £1000!

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  6. Sarah - Borders & Bucket Lists

    September 23, 2018 at 1:18pm

    Lol of course Oahu, Hawaii is the most popular tourist destination in the entire United States. It’s always PACKED with tourists here lol. I am kind of surprised that Crete beat us out though, not going to lie.

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  7. Shirley

    September 23, 2018 at 1:21pm

    Great tips! The only thing I would add, and only because I’ve had a few friends run into this recently, is don’t try to take hiking/trekking poles on planes as a carryon item. Check them!! One hiker friend had to give up a pair of $125 poles because she had no time to go back through security, relocate her checked bags and put the poles in. Sad. It seems that some TSA agents let trekking poles through as carryon, but it’s totally not worth losing an expensive piece of gear when you get the agent who says no.

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  8. Alexander Popkov

    September 23, 2018 at 3:12pm

    It is actually a good idea to gather frequently asked questions and answer them. Should be more content like this in blogs.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  9. Shivani Sharma

    September 24, 2018 at 12:44pm

    You’ve presented a very thorough Q&A and I am a frequent traveller but I also didn’t know some of the answers myself. Thanks for sharing the tips about TSA & flight apps 🙂

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  10. David

    September 24, 2018 at 7:42pm

    Lots of useful tips for travelling the world; recently I managed to get some mozzarella cheese through security in Italy that was in more than 100ml of water. 😀

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  11. Esther

    September 26, 2018 at 6:58am

    These are very informative tips and i literally ask myself these questions when i am traveling somewhere especially my very first time to travel to a new country.

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  12. Alaina

    September 27, 2018 at 8:13am

    This post is golden! Thanks for sharing 😍

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  13. Kristina G

    September 27, 2018 at 8:48am

    What a great list of tips! Includes everything you can think of … thanks for gathering and sharing these tips. I am going to pin this for future reference and share with friends.

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  14. Sansan

    September 27, 2018 at 9:48am

    We’re planning to travel next week. Will definitely keep these in mind

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  15. Kristen Czudak

    September 27, 2018 at 2:17pm

    I most appreciated your tips on when to buy tickets, very helpful!

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