Air Travel Tips

Keeping Safe While Flying

There’s a love-hate side to travel. Being there is great but getting there not so much. Long distance flights are usually no fun at all, especially if you are like us and fly coach. With a price difference on international flights as high as ten times we feel the pain is worth the price.

We’re told to get up and walk around to help our circulation but that is just not practical on night flights where you are stuck between two or three people on a wide body jet. The cabin crew isn’t pleased either with isle walkers getting in their way.

Compression Socks

You can find some relief if you plan ahead on those long flights, especially if your cramped in coach. One area of particular concern is the toll it can take on your circulation. It isn’t unusual to discover that your ankles swell and maybe even hurt on and after a long flight. While the risk of developing blood clots on a flight is pretty low, it does goes up with age and as travel length increases.

A lot of athletes and seniors already know the solution. Ask you doctor and he’ll tell you to wear compression socks. These stockings help increase circulation and reduce the risk of swelling or worse, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and clotting on long flights.

An excerpt from the Mayo Clinic explains, “Compression stockings steadily squeeze your legs, helping your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. They offer a safe, simple and inexpensive way to keep blood from stagnating.”

Twisted Pillow

Another item that has come to my attention is a travel pillow that isn’t that half donut. I’ve been traveling with my inflatable half-donut for a number of years and the only thing I have to recommend it is everyone else is using one too. My experience has been that while it provides some help at supporting my neck and head it really doesn’t provide support for keeping your head up straight and that seems to be where the strain is.

Recently I found a straight line, bendable pillow that has a rigid center. It allows you to bend it so there is a higher point on one end that does seem to support your head when wrapped behind the neck. Available HERE.

Nose Filters

Another problem with flying is getting trapped in that enclosed environment that recirculates the air along with a number of people sneezing and coughing. I know we’ve come down with a flu or cold within a few days of a flight on a number of occasions. One approach is to do what a lot of Japanese flyers do and wear a face mask. While it may seem odd to see an entire group exiting a plane wearing surgical masks, it does have a practical side. We discovered this item a few years ago on an episode of Shark Tank. We ordered them and have used them often. They’re discreet little adhesive pads with HEPA filters that you stick to each nostril called First Defense and you can find them on Amazon and Ebay.

Now there are a number of competitors out there including 3M and WoodyKnows (also available from Amazon ) that claim to offer the same protection.

Be safer and more comfortable on your next flight by planning ahead.

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Airline Baggage Fees

Since publishing this article two years ago we have received a number of requests for an easy pdf version of our Baggage Fee chart that can be download.  You can now easily open and download a copy by clicking the link below.

 Link To BAGGAGE FEES pdf

To stay current, we try and update this information about every six months. If you find a discrepancy please let us know by email at Intend2Travel@gmx.com

If you are flying internationally you will probably get one bag checked for free regardless of what airline you are using (there are a few exceptions). Some allow a second free bag but most will charge for additional bags. If you are flying domestically you will probably have to pay, but how much depends on the airline. The major U.S. carriers include Hawaiian Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Southwest Airlines, US Airways and Spirit Airlines. Only JetBlue and Southwest normally allow a free checked bag. Also Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air, offer no-frills fares where carry-on bags will also cost you extra.

Recently two major domestic air carriers (American and United) have added a new class of service designated “basic” or “economy basic” which is an attempt to compete with discount/no-frills airlines.. This service no longer allows you to bring carry-on bags on board and also puts you at the end of the boarding process. In addition they are charging the “economy basic” passengers for showing up at the gate with carry-on bags (right now the “fine” is $25 plus the checked bag fee). If you are traveling on Basic Economy, your personal item (must fit under seat) will be the only item you can bring on board.

Like most of us, airfare is a major part of our travel expense and we are always looking for opportunities to save money. Domestic travel for us is a minor event and we will put up with a few hours of inconvenience to save a few dollars. Twelve and seventeen hour flights are be a different story. Unfortunately calculating comparison airfare costs has become a bit more complicated with the ever increasing costs for checking bags.

More and more people are trying to carry as much on board as possible to avoid bag fees and that makes getting your carry-on into a bin a more difficult problem. I’m surprised that there aren’t more arguments than there are and trying to get near the front of the boarding line has also become a serious priority. I find myself paying for checked bags more and more often just to avoid this crush.

When shopping for the best airfare it is increasingly important to know the airlines baggage policy. Most domestic airlines allow you to bring on one personal item such as a purse or briefcase, as well as one larger item such as a carry-on suitcase or backpack. On average the maximum size of a carry-on item is 22 by 14 by 9 inches including handles and wheels. Additionally there is also a rule for personal items. The maximum dimensions for your personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, such as a shoulder bag, purse, laptop bag or other small item, are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches.

Most of the major airline carriers, other than JetBlue and Southwest, charge a fee for checked baggage on domestic flights while some are now charging for carry-on bags. However, on most international flights, only Alaska Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and for some destinations, American Airlines, charge a fee for the first checked bag (American treats many Caribbean destinations, Mexico and Canada by domestic rules).

One option to avoid bag charges is to get a credit card affiliated with an airline. For example using an Amex Delta card will get you free checked bags on Delta flights. The following is a list of cards that offer free bag check with some airlines:

United Airlines Fees:

Checked Bags

1 – $25 to $30, 2 – $35, 3+ – $150

Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200

Oversized Bags 1 – $200

Carry On 1 allowed – Free

United Basic Economy Service- Full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted – You’re not allowed a full-sized carry-on bag unless you’re a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance™ Gold member. Everyone else who brings a full-sized carry-on bag to the gate will be required to check their bag and pay the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge.

American Airlines Fees

Domestic Bag 1 $25, Bag 2 $35, Bag 3 $150, Bag 4+ $200

Mexico Bag 1 $25, Bag 2 $40, Bag 3 $150, Bag 4+ $200

Caribbean Bag 1 $25, Bag 2 $40 to $55, Bag 3 $150, Bag 4+ $200

Central America Bag 1 $0, Bag 2 $35, Bag 3 $150, Bag 4+ $200

Brazil            Bag 1 $0, Bag 2 $0, Bag 3 $150, Bag 4+ $200

South America Bag 1 $0, Bag 2 $0, Bag 3 $150, Bag 4+ $200

Transatlantic            Bag 1 $0, Bag 2 $100, Bag 3+ $200

Transpacific            Bag 1 $0, Bag 2 $0, Bag 3+ $200

US Airways Fees

(US) allows 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop bag) per passenger fee free. Carry-on should not exceed the following size and weight restrictions: 45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (56 x 36 x 23 cm) including handles and wheels.

US domestic (including Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U S Virgin Islands):

  • First bag: $25.00 USD
  • Second bag: $35.00 USD
  • U S domestic (including Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U S Virgin Islands):
  • Third bag: $150.00 USD
  • Fourth bag +: $200.00 USD per bag

Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico:

  • First bag: $25.00 USD
  • Second bag: $40.00 USD
  • Brazil:
  • First bag: Free
  • Second bag: Free
  • South America:
  • First bag: Free
  • Second bag: Free
  • Transatlantic:
  • First bag: Free
  • Second bag: $100.00 USD
  • Transpacific:
  • First bag: Free
  • Second bag: Free
JetBlue Fees

Checked baggage

We offer fare options that include different numbers of checked bags. Should your plans change after booking a particular fare, bags may be checked online or at the airport for additional fees. Checked bags that exceed 62″ (157.48 cm) in overall dimensions (length + width + height) or exceed 50 pounds (22.68 kg) will also incur a fee.

Baggage fees for bags under 50 pounds

Fare option

Blue                         1st bag $25, 2nd bag $35, 3rd bag + $100 each

Blue Plus            1st bag Included, 2nd bag $35, 3rd bag $100 each

Blue Flex            1st bag Included, 2nd bag Included, 3rd bag+ $100 each fees

Size requirements: Bags that do not meet the dimensions and/or weight restrictions are considered oversized and/or overweight and will be charged as follows:

51 lbs (23.13 kg) – 99 lbs (44.91 kg) – $100 per bag.

63″ in (160 cm) – 80 in (203.3 cm)(including wheels and handles)– $100 per bag.

Delta Air Lines Fees

In economy, within Canada and the US, 1st bag $25, 2nd bag $35. To other destinations, prices vary by itinerary.

The Follow Chart Is A Complete Listing Of All Major Domestic And International Carriers Baggage Fees

Updated in June 2019

U.S. Airlines Baggage Fees on Domestic Flights 

Alaska Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

American Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free to $25

Frontier Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 to $60 2 – $40 to $45 3+ – $75 to $80 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – $30 to $35

Hawaiian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $50 to $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $35 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $35 to $100 Carry On 1 – Free

JetBlue Airways Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

Southwest Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Spirit Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $30 to $65 2 – $40 to $65 3+ – $85 Overweight Bags 1 – $30 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Carry On 1 – $37 to $65

Sun Country Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

United Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 to $30 2 – $35 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Virgin America Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $25 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

U.S. & International Airlines Baggage Fees* on Most International Flights

Aer Lingus Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $100 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

Aeroflot Russian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $50 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Aeromexico Checked Bags 1 – $20 to $25 2 – $45 to $55 3+ – $150 to $180 Overweight Bags 1 – $35 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $160 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Air Canada Checked Bags 1 – $26 2 – $37 3+ – $105 Overweight Bag 1 – $105 Oversized Bags 1 – $105 Carry On 1 – Free

Air China Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $110 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 to $110 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 to $110 Carry On 1 – Free

Air France Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $80 to $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $300 Carry On 1 – Free

Air India Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 to $600 Carry On 1 – Free

Air New Zealand Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $150 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $150 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Air Tahiti Nui Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $75 to $100 3+ – $150 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Alaska Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Alitalia Checked Bags 1 – Free Carry On 1 – Free

All Nippon Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $60 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

American Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free to $25 2 – Free to $553+ – $85 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – Free to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Avianca Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $175 to $250 Overweight Bags 1 – $90 to $150 Oversized Bags 1 – $130 Carry On 1 – Free

Cathay Pacific Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

El Al Israel Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $85 to $100 3+ – $85 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $55 to $100 Oversized Bag 1 – $85 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Emirates Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $158 to $175 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 Oversized Bags 1 – $175 Carry On 1 – Free

Etihad Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $240 to $300 Carry On 1 – Free

Finnair Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $60 to $75 3+ – $60 to $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Frontier Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $25 to $60 2 – $40 to $50 3+ – $75 to $80 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – $30 to $35

Hawaiian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $400 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Iberia Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $85 to $100 3+ – $170 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $50 to $320 Carry On 1 – Free

Icelandair Checked Bags 1 – Free Carry On 1 – Free

Insel Air Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $40 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $40 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 Carry On 1 – Free

JetBlue Airways Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $35 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $80 to $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $80 to $150 Carry On 1 – Free

Korean Air Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Latam Airlines Group Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 to $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $200 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 Carry On 1 – Free

LOT Polish Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $71 to $332 3+ – $71 to $332 Overweight Bags 1 – $71 to $221 Oversized Bags 1 – $71 to $221 Carry On 1 – Free

Lufthansa German Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $75 to $100 3+ – $75 to $500 Overweight Bags 1 – $70 to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $70 to $450 Carry On 1 – Free

Malaysia Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free Carry On1 – Free

Norwegian Air International Checked Bags 1 – $57 to $130 2 – $57 to $130 3+ – $57 to $130 Carry On 1 – Free

Philippine Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $100 Overweight Bags 1 – $150 to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $150 to $450 Carry On 1 – Free

Qantas Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $175 3+ – $175 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Royal Air Maroc Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $150 3+ – $150 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 Oversized Bags 1 – $50 Carry On 1 – Free

SAS Scandinavian Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $110 3+ – $110 Overweight Bags 1 – $250 Oversized Bags 1 – $250 Carry On1 – Free

Singapore Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $150 to $350 Overweight Bags 1 – $100 to $225 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $225 Carry On 1 – Free

South African Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $200 to $400 Overweight Bags 1 – $200 to $400 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 to $400 Carry On 1 – Free

Southwest Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free 3+ – $75 Overweight Bags 1 – $75 Oversized Bags 1 – $75 Carry On 1 – Free

Spirit Airlines Checked Bags 1 – $32 to $65 2 – $32 to $65 3+ – $32 to $65 Overweight Bags 1 – $30 Oversized Bags 1 – $100 to $150 Carry On 1 – $39 to $65

Swiss Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $85 to $210 3+ – $85 to $210 Overweight Bags 1 – $300 to $450 Oversized Bags 1 – $300 to $450 Carry On 1 – Free

TAP Portugal Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $160 to $280 3+ – $160 to $280 Overweight Bags 1 – $120 to $220 Oversized Bags 1 – $180 to $220 Carry On 1 – Free

Thai Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free Carry On 1 – Free

Turkish Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $100 3+ – $100 to $300

Overweight Bags 1 – $80 to $150 Carry On 1 – Free

United Airlines Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – Free to $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags 1 – $200 to $400 Oversized Bags 1 – $200 Carry On 1 – Free

Virgin America Checked Bags 1 – $25 2 – $25 3+ – $25 Overweight Bags 1 – $50 to $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $75

Virgin Atlantic Airways Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $100 3+ – $200 Overweight Bags

1 – $100 Oversized Bags 1 – $60 Carry On 1 – Free

Virgin Australia Checked Bags 1 – Free 2 – $90 3+ – $160Overweight Bags

1 – $100 Oversized Bags Carry On 1 – Free

WestJet Checked Bags 1 – $19 to $22 2 – $26 to $30 3+ – $74 to $87 Overweight Bags 1 – $55 to $65 Oversized Bags 1 – $55 to $65 Carry On 1 – Free

There is also a company, Lugless that is offering an option for you to ship your bags ahead and save money. While I have doubts I would love to hear from someone that has used this service?

Also see “Earning Frequent Flyer Miles

TRAVEL APPS Part 1

Travel Apps, Records And Plans

Google Travel

Intrusive or helpful? It’s all a matter of perspective. If you have a Gmail and Google account, you already have this feature working for you wether you know it or not (we didn’t). It seems that any travel confirmation that comes to you through your Gmail is categorized and recorded by the algorithms of Google. Also if you use Google Calendar the information recorded there can also be categorized and recorded by the algorithms (provided they recognize the entry as travel?).

We knew something was going on about a year or two ago when hotel reservations started getting added to our Google travel calendar automatically. Irritating at first – someone or something is reading our emails! We are basically private people and have avoided leaving trails of information concerning us whenever possible. Our generation (rightfully so) resisted giving out our SS number even though governments kept making it more and more mandatory (SS was never intended to be an identification number).

Last week a friend asked if we knew about Google Travel? I logged into my Google account and typed google.com/travel into the address bar and was amazed (shocked?) Going back over about three years where surprisingly accurate partial itineraries of most of our trips.

  • Weekend in Singapore
  • Zion National Park & Vegas
  • Marseille & Paris
  • Chimney Rock, NC
  • Buenos Aries & Iguazu Falls
  • Florence & Rome
  • London & Athens
  • Cedar Key, FL
  • and on and on…

Unfortunately almost all the information was incomplete. Even so maybe we should embrace this. Seeing if I could add additional information to a future trip it turned out to be really awkward. With a little investigation it turns out that you cannot provide any information or links about cruises or land tours (maybe if you book through something like Expedia and us your Gmail as the contact email? Not sure).

It turns out that Google also had a travel app but it was discontinued in August 2019, supposedly in favor of their travel web page which they say is phone optimized. If they are going to assemble files on us about our travel plans from our email account maybe they should let us know (it’s probably buried in their ten thousand word terms of use) and maybe they should make it so it’s actually useful instead of just half done.

It also suggests that you should make your Google accounts more secure – maybe start using a better password and changing it regularly. It would also seem likely that other companies might find our travel plans of some value??

This got us thinking maybe there is something out there that gets it right and after a little searching and experimenting we found TripIt.

TripIt

The problem with itineraries is they are usually assembled from several sources. Expedia, a travel agent, maybe hotels.com, Marriott or Southwest Airlines. If you’re like us you use a number of email addresses to sort out important contacts from companies that tend to throw emails at you non-stop. As discussed above Google Travel just isn’t doing the job. Our recommendation is now TripIt.

TripIt‘s website/app seem to bring it all together. It allows you to:

  • Add an email address to search automatically for confirmations
  • Forward confirmation emails from additional addresses to your TripIt account
  • Manually add items – easy to do
  • Link itineraries to display in your calendar – Google, Apple, Microsoft…
  • Provide access to others to view your plans and trips (great for family)
  • Keeps important information in the record like flight times and numbers, hotel addresses
  • Provides notices and reminders via email
TripIt Itineraries list

The app and website are free but they also have a Pro version but we’re not sure what else is needed for a Pro version?

Start by creating an account at their website and downloading the app to your phone and/or tablet. Log in on all devices and any additions or changes are posted on all your devices. Next register an email address where it will regularly search for travel confirmations. We used Gmail and it quickly located all current items. You can also forward confirmations from other email addresses to your TripIt account. You first register additional email addresses to your account that you will forward from and they provide a forwarding address. Next you can have TripIt add the information to your calendar automatically, They also provide for you to add names so family members can view you itineraries if you want.

All in all TripIt does everything Google should have done, gives you complete control and doesn’t feel like someone is sneaking around peeking over your shoulder. Five stars.

Blogging and Followers

Concerning Blogs, Websites, Hosts, Search Engines, SEO, Subscribers & Email

A Message To Our Blogging Followers

INTRODUCTION

If you are a blogger, and I know a number of our followers are, this is information that you may find interesting. Our life is travel, it’s what we do and our hope was to share insights with friends and fellow travelers. From the very beginning of our blog we were very frustrated by search engine results. It never seemed right that a specific travel topic search on Google would return three or more pages of nothing but Trip Advisor results with maybe a Frommers, Travel and Leisure or Lonely Planet thrown in (lately things seem to be changing a bit for the better with Google). If we could find our site in the results it was way back after page thirty or more.

I know we are only drops of water in an ocean but I believe the ocean is growing exponentially lately.

OUR BLOGGING STORY

For the past few years we have been sharing our travel experiences and ideas on this website. In that time we have been fortunate to acquire a few followers and are encouraged by the support we’ve gotten. This site is first and foremost a hobby and we used WordPress.com as our hosting service starting out with a no cost plan. The one area that has caused us problems is their policy on information regarding “followers”. Currently we have hundreds of followers without access to their email addresses. We believe that this WordPress policy is to prevent customers from changing hosting services after using their free service and taking their followers list with them.

While we have now started using an email service (Mailchimp) to take charge of our subscribers and followers there is still a major problem. We cannot gain access to literally hundreds of followers email information from the past few years. Without that access we cannot consolidate followers and subscribers into a single directory and will not be able to switch to a new hosting service without leaving many behind.

A HISTORY OF FAILED ATTEMPTS

About a year ago we tried starting a web site with a paid service and completely duplicated our Wordpress.com site on this new hosting service (Bluehost). We did this with three goals in mind. First it offered us a large selection of tools (plugins) for creating web pages. Second, it promoted a suite of SEO tools that we thought would be useful in further growing our family of followers. Third it gave us significant room for growth (over 20 times more storage).

Over a few months we made a number of attempts to get our blogger followers on the original site to subscribe on our new site. A couple of months later we had only about a dozen out of a few hundred follow us. Additionally, the new site, with its SEO support, after almost a year, never exceeded traffic reached on this original site at only three months and this site continues to grow.

I had an independent service examine the two sites and they reported that this, our original site, had literally thousands of search terms registered with Google and Bing search engines while the new fully indexed and “search optimized” site had less than thirty after eleven months. This resulted in an average of only one or two search referrals in a week on the new site compared to the free site currently having hundreds of search results in the same period.

I had a number of discussions with experts and they all said that these results made no sense. I have my own theory but the bottom line is, in my opinion, the internet is still growing exponentially and it is becoming increasingly difficult to duplicate even last years results today.

Growth in visitors and page views gets more search results producing more visitors and page views and a growing feedback loop. How do you get the loop started. During those first two years of editing this site and posting we had no SEO options except reading articles and adding words to the tags box. A year with the Bluehost duplicate site with getting consistent high marks for SEO produced literally nothing?

I COULD USE YOUR HELP

I’m really interested in your experiences with traffic and if you have similar results? Please let me know by commenting or emailing us at Intend2Travel@gmx.com and if you could, we would greatly appreciate you following us below so we can rebuild our mailing list outside wordpress.com.

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The Intentional Traveler Newsletter

We are pleased to offer our first of many travel newsletters. Each one will be focused on a specific topic and is loaded with lots of good articles along with hyperlinks to good supplemental information from numerous sources including The Intentional Traveler. To receive these informative newsletters right in your inbox please sign up below.

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Our first newsletter is dedicated to everything cruising and is ready to deliver. Inside you will find informative articles on selecting cruise lines and itineraries, saving money on booking and land tours along with information on what to expect at ports of call.

We need nothing from you, just your email address and we promise that we will not abuse it. No avalanche of daily emails or never ending offers and we won’t share with anyone else. Sign up today and take a look. If you don’t want to continue getting our newsletter simply click the unsubscribe button in our email. One and done, but we don’t think that will happen.

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The Rise Of The Electric Scooters

Economical and Convient Transportation

Electric scooters waiting to be rented

They’re everywhere… zipping down busy streets, running on sidewalks and racing past bicycles in the bike lanes. They’re lime green electric scooters and you will find them in most large cities in France and probably most of Europe as well. You’ll see young men racing each other down streets and  couples sharing a scooter. On one day we saw two couples take a spill off their scooter, no injuries but it seems to require some coordination between the riders. You’ll see them leaning against buildings or dumped in alleys or standing in neat rows near major attractions. While long racks of rental bicycles have become common worldwide these scooters are a new phenomena.

They’re everywhere on the streets of Paris

We haven’t seen them much yet in major U.S. cities and oddly that’s where they hail from. Seattle to be precise and the company is called Lime (visit their website HERE). We spoke with one man in Lyon who said his son is making good money collecting them at the end of the day and charging them at his home. All of this seems to us a real accomplishment considering that two years ago we didn’t notice them at all.

When done – just leave them

While I am not sure that this senior couple is brave enough to take advantage of these scooters it does strike us as a really convenient and inexpensive way of getting around considering the cost of taxis and even Uber. We took a look at a scooter in Paris and learned that it costs €1 to start the scooter and €0.15 per minute to operate. That means that a one hour ride will cost €10 or less than $12. We’ve been told it’s really easy to set-up, you scan a code with your cellphone and set up an account. When you no longer need the scooter, you just log out of the rental and just leave the scooter where you are.

While we have read for years about auto clubs that intend to saturate a market with cars that would work like this, to our knowledge they have never materialized. This system seems to be really working and we expect to see these lime green scooters in every city worldwide.

Seeing Paris From The Seine

Cruising On The River Seine

Cruising through Paris on the river is one of the most enchanting ways to experience this incredible city with its historic architecture, famous monuments and remarkable beauty.Most visitors to Paris want to add a cruise on the River Seine to their plans. Seeing this city from the river there is a wide assortment of excursions to select from. Either day or night this is an experience not to be missed.

  • There are a number of options to consider:
  • One to two plus hour sightseeing cruises starting at about $15
  • Lunch cruises from $45 (with live music from $60)
  • Dinner cruise from $80 (see the city lights while gliding along the river)
  • A Champagne Tasting Seine River Cruise from $60.00
  • Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Combo: Bus and cruise from $55.00
  • Additional gourmet, dancing and luxury trips are also available with a wide range of pricing.

If you are on a budget our choice for value, is the Hop-On Hop-Off Batobus.  It features nine stops from Notre-Dame to the Eiffel Tower that also includes stops at the Louvre, Place de Concord, Champs-Elysees and more. A 24 hour pass (metered from the time of purchase) cost about $20 with 48 hours under $24. These boats run from morning to about 9:00 pm about every fifteen to twenty minutes and are a great way to jump from one destination to another throughout the day.

A short video from Batobus on the Seine