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Packing Tips: Lightweight Rain Gear

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Q: We are hotel-hopping through europe and we want to be prepared for mixed weather. any suggestions for lightweight outerwear? —Julia Stuopelis, via e-mail

A: Your best option for a fickle forecast: gear that packs into a pocket or pouch (see video below). Here, easy-to-stash coats and boots that offer protection from the elements or can be tossed into a tote or backpack during bouts of sunshine. Clockwise from left:

Men’s reversible nylon jacket with stowing pocket, Victorinox.
Men’s nylon windbreaker with stowing pocket by Swims.
Men’s coated-cotton jacket with packable pocket, K-Way by Marc Jacobs.
Women’s reversible nylon parka and matching bag, Louis Vuitton.
Rollable rubber-and-canvas wellies, Hunter.
Women’s compressible down jacket and pouch, Moncler.

Video: Stylish Raingear

Related Links:
How to Pack a Suitcase
How to Pack a Suit
How to Weather-Proof Your Vacation

Mimi LombardoMimi Lombardo is the fashion director at Travel + Leisure. Have a packing dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.

Photo by Levi Brown

Trip Doctor: Hotel Tipping Guide

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When it comes to hotel gratuities, even the most seasoned travelers admit to being stumped. That’s why we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet below, which you can take with you the next time you’re on the road.

  • Bellman: $1 to $2 per bag.

  • Concierge: $10 to $20 for performing a special service, such as scoring tickets to a sold-out event or wrangling lost luggage from your airline.

  • Doorman: $2 for hailing a cab in rush hour or in the rain; $1 for each bag.

  • Housekeeping: $5 to $10 per day. Leave it at the front desk if you want it divided equally among all your housekeepers.

  • Room Service: A service charge is almost always included in the bill. To personally thank your server, 5 percent will suffice.

  • Valet: $5 when your car is delivered.

  • Free Town-Car Service: Because they’re providing a complimentary amenity, drivers are instructed not to expect tips. However, it’s not uncommon for travelers to offer a gratuity. The minimum starts around $5 and goes up as the distance increases. While chauffeurs are generally making above-market wages, they still appreciate being recognized for going the extra mile—literally.

Note: Gratuities are often lower or not expected outside North America. Follow 
local tipping customs when traveling overseas.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is the Travel News Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo credit: Bernd Vogel / Corbis

Cool Hotel Amenities

Cool Hotel Amenities: Burberry trench coat

Why stop at Nespresso machines and turndown chocolates? When it comes to services and perks, some brands are taking things to the next level. Here, a few of our favorites.

Before: The hotel umbrella
After: Burberry trenches in every suite
Seen At: Maybourne Hotel Group

Before: Welcome wishbones
After: Puppies as concierges
Seen At: Kimpton

Read More

Packing for a Business Trip

Packing for Business Travel: Dress

Q: I take a lot of business trips. what pieces travel best? —Janet Dewitt, Highland Park, Tex.

A: For a classic shape, we love the wrinkle-free shirtdress (pictured; $330) from Elizabeth Roberts—the fabric is nylon, so it’s lightweight, dries fast, and is virtually indestructible. Knits tend to stay wrinkle-free— this knee-length skirt ($445) and top ($195) by Wolford will take you through all manner of meetings. A sheath is fitting for day-to-night negotiations; roll up the cherry-red stretch version ($415) from David Meister for extra packability.

Plus: Our Secret Weapons

Roll-on fragrances are ideal for your carry-on. Try Elizabeth and James’s Nirvana Black ($22), with sandalwood and vanilla; Kate Spade’s citrusy Live Colorfully Eau de Parfum ($24); fresh and woody Marchesa Parfum D’Extase ($25); or Tory Burch’s namesake scent ($25).

The Esteam by Jiffy Steamer ($75) is the T+L style department’s de-wrinkler of choice. The best part? It heats up in less than two minutes.

Related Articles:
How to Pack a Suitcase
How to Pack a Suit
Confessions of a Packing Maximalist

Mimi LombardoMimi Lombardo is the fashion director at Travel + Leisure. Have a packing dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.

 

Photo by Victor Prado

Five Ways to Get a Better Hotel Room Rate

better hotel room rate

Looking to score a deal on a great hotel? These digital tips and tricks from T+L will ensure you get the best price in the house.

Know the Market

Timing is key. The Web-based price predictor feature on TheSuitest forecasts how room prices are expected to fluctuate for the next month—use it to find the right time to buy in any market. Then cross-check with DealAngel and Bing's Hotel Rate Indicator—both compare quoted rates with a hotel’s average cost, telling you which deals are really worthwhile.

Read More

Why Do European Hotels Require Passports at Check-in?

passport

There’s a long tradition throughout Europe of statutes requiring hotels to collect information on guests—including name, nationality, and ID number—enabling law enforcement to cross-check for wanted individuals, criminals, or missing persons. The European Union has since made such data collection a requirement for hotels in member states. Most of this information is simply stored to be made available to authorities upon request, though in certain areas (notably Italy), it is regularly collected. In the past, some hotels would hold guests’ passports for hours or even overnight to manually complete the registration process. Today, you usually just have to show it at check-in.

Related Links:
How to Quickly Renew a Passport
Travel Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts
Hotel Travel Tips

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Photo by Chris Rout / Alamy

Is There Such a Thing as a Pet-Friendly Cruise?

pet-friendly travel

A: Animal lovers take note: there is a cruise that accepts your pets. Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 takes up to 12 dogs and cats on certain transatlantic crossings (from $300). Pets are housed in a special kennel area, which includes outdoor space, a full-time kennel master, and ample visiting hours. The main reasons other cruise lines don’t allow animals on board: hygiene—ships have strict sanitation codes—and port regulations. Each country has its own entry requirements for animals, so navigating multiple-country cruises would be a headache for ships and pet owners alike.

Related Articles:
Dog-Friendly Travel in Miami
Craziest Places for Cat Lovers
T+L’s Guide to Cruising 2014

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Photo by istockphoto

Can I Use TSA Precheck for International Flights?

TSA Precheck

Q: Can I use precheck for international flights? 

A: Good news: the TSA’s expedited security program has expanded to include international flights departing from the U.S. on eight of the agency’s partner airlines. You can also use TSA PreCheck lanes if you’re connecting to a domestic flight after arriving in the States. Bear in mind, if you booked a ticket through a TSA partner airline but your flight is actually operated by a foreign alliance carrier, you are not eligible for PreCheck. The operating carrier must submit the names of its PreCheck-eligible passengers to the TSA prior to the flight, and at this point the agency does not have any international partners.

By The Numbers

30: The average number of firearms confiscated each week in 2012 via TSA carry-on searches; most were claimed to have been packed unwittingly.

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Photo by ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy

How Far in Advance Should I Buy My Airline Tickets?

when to buy airline tickets

Question by Mark Hastings, San Jose, Calif.

A: When to book flights is a question that torments even the most experienced of travelers. Who hasn’t sat in front of the computer wondering: Do I wait for a better deal, or is this the best I’m going to see?

There are no hard-and-fast rules for hitting the right booking window. A recent report from online travel agency CheapAir found that, historically, the lowest average fares have been available seven weeks before departure. Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), which manages airline ticket sales for U.S. travel agencies, conducted a similar study and located the best airfares six weeks prior to flying. But that window changes dramatically depending on where you are traveling—and when.

Read More

Flying With Skis

Flying with Skis

Q: Any advice on flying with skis? —Hitomi Ueda, via e-mail

A: Most airlines treat a collection of sporting equipment as a single piece of checked luggage—so your skis, poles, and boots count as only one item, not three. We recommend Park Accessories, a new line of bags made with Italian coated canvas. Shown: the Northern Lights, which holds two pairs of skis ($1,150).

Related Articles:
Lake Tahoe Ski Vacation 2.0
Video: Behind the Scenes at Vail Mountain
How to Get Through Airport Security Faster

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Photo by Park Accessories

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