This week’s post contains practical travel tips for two things commonly encountered on business and holiday trips: escalators and car rental agencies. It’s my husband Francis who has been traveling for work in the past couple of weeks, and he shared this information based on first-hand experience.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more than 10,000 people are injured on escalators every year in America alone. The most prevalent cause is falls, which is why safety guidelines prohibit strollers on escalators. Go to an airport, however, and people are dragging all sorts of bags onto these moving staircases.
Soon after arriving at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport two weeks ago, Francis passed by an escalator accident scene where someone had fallen. To avoid such an incident, never pull your baggage on behind you when you’re stepping onto an escalator. If it tips, it can tip you. Push your luggage on ahead of you, or to your side. It’s also important to know that soft shoes – sandals, Crocs and flip flops – can get pulled into the space (and stuck) where the stair meets the side of the escalator more easily than regular shoes (especially child-sized soft shoes).
While in Texas, Francis made a last-minute decision to rent a car on his day off. In doing so, he learned that the walk-up rate at the rental agency was TWICE as much as the online reservation rate. It meant that once the agency employee made the reservation for him, he had to wait an hour before he could pick up the car, even though the car was just sitting there in the lot, but it saved him a load o’ dough.
I’ve also heard of the same thing happening at hotels. If you step up to the desk to make your reservation, sometimes the hotel won’t honor the online rate. This is when it’s handy to have a smart phone; settle into one of the hotel’s cushy lounge chairs, visit your favorite online booking site, and then return to the front desk. Of course, some of these sites require that you pay up front at the time of booking, and all of them take a cut of the room rate, so you’d think the hotels would bend over backwards to have you book directly through them. Nobody said it was logical…
If you have a practical travel tip, please share. And if you had to learn about it the hard way, we’re so sorry, but thanks for taking one for the team!