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Topher's "Incredibly Useful Information"

Essential Air Travel Toolkit

Essential travel links to help you before, during and after you travel. Save money, track your points, find the best deals, and help avoid delays and hassles.

These are my favorite sites when dealing with airline travel. Check out these apps and sites before traveling.

Phone Applications

  • WhatsApp: this needs to be installed on your phone and every phone you wish to communicate with. You can then text anyone with WhatsApp in real time via wi-fi, as well as send them photos and even conduct choppy video calls. I made a group "Europe Trip" chat and added everyone to it so we could simply post to everyone at once.

  • Google Translate: easily translate text, spoken words, or use the camera to translate in real time.

  • Airline App: download and logon to the app for your airline.

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN): A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network. This will protect any of your data that you send while using a public wi-fi. I found two free VPN's (supported by ads) that we used: Yoga VPN and Turbo VPN. Activate the VPN immediately after you logon to wi-fi.

  • Currency Converter: easily find and calculate the current conversion rates.

  • Google Maps - Navigation and Transit: GPS works without data or wi-fi, but the map itself requires data UNLESS you download offline maps of each city you will be visiting before you leave. Then when you arrive in each city, simply load the applicable offline map.

  • City Specific Metro and Bus Apps: these can be very helpful.

Websites

Kayak: A good starting place for planning a trip. Compare hundreds of travel sites at once for the best deals on flights, hotels, and cars.

Seat Guru: Don't book your seat assignment until you find out more about your seating arrangements. SeatGuru has detailed seatmap graphics on 700+ different airline aircraft configurations, in-seat power port locations and galley, lavatory, exit row, and closet locations, and in-depth comments about seats with limited recline, reduced legroom, and misaligned windows.

When we are looking for a cheaper flight or booked a flight and want to be alerted of a better fare, we put Yapta to work: Track flight prices with Yapta email alerts. You can set these up to alert you to prices on particular routes before you buy, and in the event the price drops after you buy, you can get alerts that may allow you to get an airline refund.

Check flight delays during your travel.
FAA Flight Delay Map: Flight delay information directly from the Air Traffic Control System Command Center.

After traveling, keep up to date on your points, current events, and special offers.

Award Wallet: provides a free service that helps you manage your reward balances and travel itineraries. They support over 360 loyalty programs for air, hotel, car rental, credit card and others. Sign up and start tracking ALL of your points balances in one place.

The Points Guy: "Make the most of your travel points". Site keeps you up to date on happenings in air travel programs with a "Top Deals" listing of current credit card offers with airline and hotel points, and a blog with updates.

Web Flyer: A virtual clearing house of Travel information with direct links to it's sister travel sites: Flight Tracker, Insider Flyer Magazine, and Flyer Talk. Compare points programs, view points program guides, and make use of the mileage converter to see exactly how to transfer miles and/or points between frequent travel programs.

Select U.S. Airline Contact Numbers

AirlineUSA Reservations
Customer Service
Mileage Program
Customer Service
American800-433-7300800-882-8880
Continental800-525-0280800-621-7467
Delta800-221-1212800-323-2323
Jet Blue800-538-2583800-538-2583
Southwest800-435-9792800-445-5764
United800-241-6522800-421-4655
US Airways800-428-4322800-428-4322


Cruise Ship Dictionary
A quick reference to cruise ship terminology.

How to Select Cruise Insurance / Travel Insurance
Great consumer tips to assist you in choosing the right insurance for your trip.

Celebrity Reflection and 8 Eastern Mediterranean Ports
Detailed information on cruising aboard Celebrity Reflection and the ports of Rome (Civitavecchia), Messina (Taormina) and Naples (Pompeii) in Italy; Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, and Athens in Greece; and Valletta (Mdina) in Malta.

Celebrity Reflection and 8 Western Mediterranean Ports
Detailed information on cruising aboard Celebrity Reflection and the ports of Rome (Civitavecchia) and La Spezia in Italy; Nice (Villefrance & Monaco) in France; Barcelona, Malaga, Cartegena and Ibiza in Spain; and Gibraltar, United Kingdom

Secrets of the Mediterranean
Detailed information, hints, and tips to assist you in visiting popular Mediterranean cities and ports.

Secrets of the Caribbean
Detailed information, hints, and tips to assist you in visiting popular Caribbean cities and ports.

Celebrity Equinox and 6 Western Caribbean Ports
Detailed information on cruising aboard Celebrity Equinox and the ports of George Town, Cartagena, Colon, Puerto Limon, Belize City, Belize and Cozumel.

Celebrity Constellation and Four Eastern Caribbean Ports
Detailed information on the Celebrity Constellation and the ports of St. Barts, St. Croix, San Juan, and Labadee.

Tips for Eastern Caribbean Cruisers
Detailed information to assist you in preparing for your Eastern Caribbean cruise.

Tips for Western Caribbean Cruisers
Detailed information to assist you in getting ready for your first Western Caribbean cruise.

Tips for Southern Caribbean Cruisers
Detailed information on Aruba, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, St. Kitts, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Tortola.

Celebrity Millennium and Four Eastern Caribbean Ports
Detailed information on the Celebrity Millennium and the ports of Dominican Republic, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Nassau.

Celebrity Constellation and Seven New England and Atlantic Canadian Ports
Detailed information on the Celebrity Constellation and the ports of Boston, Portland, Halifax, Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney, and Saint John.

Cruising Alaska on a Budget
Detailed information to assist you in preparing for an Alaska cruise on a budget.

Tips for Bermuda Visitors and Cruisers
Detailed information to assist you in preparing for your Bermuda visit.

Celebrity Zenith and Nine Caribbean Ports
Detailed information on Celebrity Zenith and ports in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Isle Catalina, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola, and Key West.

Celebrity Summit and Five Eastern Caribbean Ports
Detailed information on Celebrity Summit and ports in St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Thomas.

Carnival Glory to Halifax and St. John
Detailed information on cruising aboard Carnival Glory and the ports of Halifax and St. John.


Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. The information presented is an opinion intended to assist travelers. Since we do not have complete control over the "Ads by Google" appearing on this page, we do not directly endorse their sites or products. Please notify us if you find any of the advertisers to be misleading.
Feel free to contact me to correct any information in this article or to alert me to additional information one should consider.

© 2011 Topher
Updated 2018

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