Southwest Life

Questioning the conventional wisdom about summer travel

The 99 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the busiest of the year for travel, but also the most misunderstood. The conventional wisdom surrounding summer travel includes false narratives...

DATE: June 18, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Your Greyhound bus is late – what can you do about it?

Jason Levitis emailed me recently from Greyhound bus No. 2559 from New York to Washington, which was supposed to arrive at 11 p.m. The problem? It was 12:25 a.m. and the motor coach was cruising...

DATE: June 8, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Another thing your DNA can tell you: Where you might go on your next vacation

When Richard Hill set out to find his biological parents, he didn’t expect he would wind up on a vacation. But when his DNA test results came in, he hit the road. “Within weeks, my wife and I drove...

DATE: June 2, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Chatbots are the travel industry’s new conversation piece

Travel chatbots are having a moment. It’s about time. After a few false starts, these automated programs that answer basic questions, find deals or secure refunds are slowly coming into their own....

DATE: May 27, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

When it’s about luggage, basic isn’t a bad thing

When it comes to the latest carry-on luggage, manufacturers are getting back to basics. So are travelers. Integrated electronics, such as charging stations and digital scales, are taking a back...

DATE: May 20, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Should you book your vacation rental through a third-party site?

If you’re like most travelers, you book your vacation rental online through a third-party website. Of the top 100 vacation-rental sites, 76 percent are third-party sites – Booking.com ,...

DATE: May 13, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

For summer vacationers, RV sharing is revving up

John Flynn and his family won’t check into a hotel on their next vacation. Instead, they’ll roll to their destination in a Fleetwood Jamboree, a 31-foot recreational vehicle that sleeps six. And...

DATE: May 6, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

New legislation could make it harder to tell how much your airline tickets cost

An old ticket-price tactic for airlines may make a surprise comeback, thanks to proposed legislation. Before a 2011 full-fare advertising rule forbade it, airlines displayed initial “base” ticket...

DATE: April 29, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Travelers have plenty of reservations about hotels

Of all the hotel annoyances, the one that bothers Louise Sattler the most is the smells. “Scents,” she says, “and smoking in hotel rooms.” Sattler, a psychologist from Los Angeles, is one in a...

DATE: April 22, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Travelers can protect themselves from hidden fees

Travel fees are getting more creative than ever – and so should you. When it comes to new travel fees, the sky’s the limit. Or, in Liz Pollock’s case, the fourth floor of her hotel. Pollock...

DATE: April 15, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

A ‘no’ from the travel industry is not always final

Connie Matlin wants to do the impossible: buy travel insurance for what she thinks is an uninsurable trip. “My family and I would like to travel to Europe this summer,” says Matlin, a financial...

DATE: April 8, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Be aware of laws abroad or you’ll court trouble

Oh, the legal trouble Americans get themselves into when they’re abroad. “They dress immodestly,” says Sheryl Hill, the executive director of Depart Smart , a nonprofit organization dedicated to...

DATE: April 1, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter