The First Thing to Do in 10 Travel Scenarios
Head to kayak.com.
Kayak is like the Google of travel deals, according to Dave Fox, a guide for the tour company Europe Through the Back Door. There’s no need for you to visit multiple sites―such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz―to check out airline and hotel prices: Kayak's search engine lets you compare those sites' options, then book flights and accommodations directly with whichever one has the best deal.
When You Get Out Your Suitcase
Remove your home address from your luggage tag and add your cell-phone number.
Most of us dutifully write our full name, home phone, and address on our tags, but that reveals too much, says Anne McAlpin, a packing expert and the author of Pack It Up: The Essential Guide to Organized Travel. Instead, print your first initial and last name―a safety precaution for women, since it doesn't signal your sex or that you might have jewelry in your bag. Second, omit your address. It tells a potentially unscrupulous baggage handler, "No one's home." Third, skip your home phone (which isn't much use when you're not home) in favor of your e-mail address and cell-phone number. Other information to include on the airline's paper ID tags (which you can update for each trip): a phone number for (1) your first hotel and (2) a friend or a relative at home who can reach you.