Join Our Holiday Travel Twitter Chat Monday, Dec. 7th, at 1pm EST!
Mark your calendars: We're hosting our next #BT_Chat Monday, December 7th, at 1 p.m. EST all about holiday travel, and we want you to join us!
We'll be co-hosting the chat with our friends at @Liftopia, @YahooTravel,@LonelyPlanetUSA, @MatadorNetwork, @IntrepidTravel, @Gadventures, @ContikiUSA, @TheTravelWomen, @Glympse, and @Worldtravelure. The best part: at the end of the chat one lucky person will win a $50 gift card from Liftopia.com!
Here are three easy steps for following along and chiming in with our #BT_Chat.
1. Get Your Tweet On
Log in to your Twitter account (or create one here) shortly before the chat starts at 1 p.m.
2. Join the #BT_Chat
First, follow @BudgetTravel on Twitter. Then, in a separate tab or window, search for the hashtag #BT_Chat and click on "All" at the top of the page so you can see the questions and other people's answers as they come in. Depending on how chatty you are and how many people are responding to your answers, you may want to open a third tab or window to help keep track of notifications.
3. Chime In!
Feel free to re-tweet our questions out to your own followers so they can participate, too! The most important thing is to add #BT_Chat to your answers so the rest of us can see them. Take this as a fun, informal opportunity to chat with other people who care about travel as much as you do. Use the questions we ask as a jumping off point for conversation and to make new friends over the Twittersphere, and above all, have fun!
One "STEP" Every American Can Take to Stay Safe Overseas
For the second year in a row, The U.S. Department of State has issued a worldwide travel alert just as the holiday season is approaching. Last December, of course, it was in response to the hostage crisis in Sydney. This year the alert cites the threat of attacks from ISIS/Daesh, Boko Haram, and isolated terrorists in the wake of recent attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Mali, and the downing by ISIS/Daesh of a Russian plane over Egypt. Besides general common-sense travel tips, such as avoiding public demonstrations and crowded hubs and staying up-to-date on local news and warnings from the country or municipality you’re visiting, the State Department recommends one very concrete "step" every American travel can easily take: Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive travel alerts, find help in an emergency, and use the Smart Traveler app to access maps and the locations of U.S. embassies. We want you to continue traveling, and we urge all Budget Travelers to enroll. TALK TO US! Has the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or Smart Travel App helped you in an emergency overseas?
Are Airline Passengers Subject to Racial Profiling?
Have you ever been questioned or asked to de-board a plane because of your physical appearance or the language you speak? Southwest Airlines is under media scrutiny for two reports last week that it may have singled out passengers who were Muslim or of Middle Eastern background. (In addition, just last night, Southwest diverted a flight because of what it termed “unruly behavior” by three passengers, who appear to have been removed from the flight.) The two incidents last week happened at Chicago’s Midway airport. On Wednesday night, a Philadelphia man and his friend were reportedly asked by a Southwest gate agent to step out of the boarding process because a fellow passenger said they were fearful of flying with the men because the men spoke Arabic. Believing he had been racially profiled, the Philadelphia man called the police and he and his friend were eventually allowed to board the plane. A second Southwest flight out of Midway was delayed on Wednesday when passengers complained about the behavior of six Middle Eastern men; the men were reportedly removed from the flight. We have long admired Southwest for its exceptional customer service. And we fully understand that boarding a plane provokes anxiety in many passengers for a wide variety of reasons. It’s too soon to say whether these incidents represent a new trend for Southwest (or, for that matter, U.S. carriers in general), but we feel that bringing them to light and discussing them openly is essential to keeping air travel accessible to our audience. TALK TO US! In your travels, have you ever been treated differently because of your physical appearance or the language you speak?
How to Save 30 Percent on Holiday Flights
Haven’t booked your Christmas or New Year’s travel yet? Don’t despair: There may still be bargains to be found. Our friends at Hopper.com, whose data science team analyzes trends to predict the best times to book and fly, tell us that flying on the Monday before Christmas, December 21, can save you up to 30 percent compared with flying later that week. (It’s also possible to save big by departing on Christmas Eve and either returning Christmas Day or on or after January 5.) New Year’s travelers can save up to 25 percent by flying on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. TALK TO US! Have you found airfare savings by being flexible with your departure/arrival dates this holiday season?
If You Could Ring In The New Year Anywhere, Where Would It Be?
We recently asked several of our staff members to share the places they'd love to celebrate New Year's Eve—here's what they said. "A sleigh ride dinner in the Colorado Rockies under a canopy of stars with my wife and daughters." —Robert Firpo-Cappiello, Executive Editor "London. I'm in awe of photos and videos of the fireworks along the Thames, with Big Ben clanging and the London Eye right in the middle of it all." —Jamie Beckman, Senior Editor "New Year's Eve in Hawaii was always a great time. I'd love to be back celebrating and watching the fireworks on the beach with my friends again." —Kaeli Conforti, Digital Editor "I'm so excited. I'll be in Sydney to celebrate 2016!" —Jennifer O'Brien, Marketing Manager "Brazil. I was told there are huge beach parties and everyone wears white and dances all night. Sounds amazing!" —Rosalie Tinelli, Marketing Associate "Caye Caulker, Belize. I want to bring in the new year with a warm breeze and a cold drink!" —Amy Lundeen, Photo Director "Christmas Island. Rumor has it this Pacific isle is the first place in the world to ring in the new year because of its GMT + 14-hour time zone!" —Whitney Tressel, Photo Editor "In Cambridge, England, with my dear friends, punting on the River Cam and passing under the Bridge of Sighs at the stroke of midnight." —Chalkley Calderwood, Creative Director "Orpheus Island on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia." —Maureen Kelley Stewart, Advertising Account Manager "Watching the Northern Lights from inside a glass igloo in Finnish Lapland (with a flute of champagne!) —Amy Mironov, Media Relations "Paris. Watching the fireworks on the Champs-Élysées with a glass of champagne." —Elaine Alimonti, President, Publisher "Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens. It's all about the lights!" —Jo Neese, Neese & Lee Media "Champagne in hand, sky full of stars, floating on a private sailboat somewhere in the South Pacific." —Cathy Allendorf, Director of Digital Media Now it's your turn: We want to know, if you could ring in the New Year anywhere on earth, where would it be? Share it below!
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