Slideshow Image
Slideshow Image
Slideshow Image
Slideshow Image

Ocean & Land Travel

“Not all who wander are lost” Call us today for the best rates and professional service
Call: 408-390-3143 Fax: (206) 417-4688 Email:



Share this on  Facebook's Travel Tips Quarterly
Know Before You Go - Rules for Bringing Items into the U.S.
Weather Info for Your Destination
Airline Passengers' Rights
State Department Travel Page
International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Center
Tips for Traveling Abroad
Airport Status and Delays Info
Worldwide Directory of Tourism Offices
Center for Disease Control Travel Page (International Health Issues)
Trusted Tips from Your Travel Advisor
Ocean and Land Travel

Being your travel advisor is more than offering you enchanting vacations to the far reaches of the globe. It also involves offering you personal support and helpful advice to enhance all your travel experiences, whether near or far.

The Travel Tips below are chock-full of important information that will help you travel the world safely and efficiently. Our agency simply wants you to have the best experiences possible, wherever you travel.

As always, please feel free to contact us about your future travel plans.

Happy travels!
Ocean and Land Travel
In This Quarterly:
One How to Maximize Your Airline Miles
Two The Most Challenging Airports to Transfer In
Three 5 Intriguing Destinations for Travelers with Disabilities
Four How to Choose the Perfect Rental Car
How to Maximize Your Airline Miles

For some, accumulating frequent flyers miles is a fun little obsession. But that fun comes crashing to a halt once it’s time to cash in and get the tickets you want. Between changing mileage programs and new credit cards that allow passengers to buy their way into elite status, you’re suddenly finding yourself fighting to get the seats you deserve.

Here are five ways to get the most out of your frequent flyer miles.

Choose Your Goal, then Work the System to Achieve It
Don’t assume you’ll use your miles someday to go somewhere. It’s best to have a specific destination in mind, such as Australia, and then make sure you’re enrolled in a program that requires the least number of miles to get there. Choose a program that gives you the flexibility to use your miles on as many carriers as possible to get to your goal destination. To find the best program, find out which international carriers partner with the airline you rack up the most miles on, compare how many miles in each program it’ll take to get to your target destination, and then find out how many free seats each carrier gives away on their flights. Our experienced travel consultants can help you with this.

Choose the Right Credit Card
Flexibility is key to maximizing your miles, so find a credit card that lets you redeem miles on a wide array of airlines or one that offers double miles on travel or other purchases. One to look out for is the Starwood card from American Express® card, which not only accumulates Starwood Starpoints® for free hotel stays, but also gives you a 20% bonus when you transfer miles to other airline frequent flyer programs.

Look for One-Way Awards
Since some programs offer one-way awards, think about flying into one airport and returning from another. This tactic works best for major, multi-airport cities (think Chicago, New York or Washington, DC), but it’s a good trick to have in your back pocket.

Search Early, Real Early
Some carriers change their award inventory on Friday and Saturday afternoons, and those updates don’t go into effect until midnight. So don’t wait until Monday to call for your award seat; try 12:01 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday.

Watch Out for Expiring Miles

If your airline miles are about to expire, but you don’t have a trip planned or you can’t afford to take any more vacation days from work, spend a small portion of your miles elsewhere. Instead of spending the bulk of your miles on one plane ticket, you can keep your account active by purchasing a smaller item, such as a gift certificate to restaurants or magazine subscriptions, which sometimes gives you a greater value for the miles you spend. Likewise, several major airlines are connected to dining programs, offering miles for meals at thousands of restaurants, for a tasty way to keep your account active.

The Most Challenging Airports to Transfer In

All travelers come across a time in their travel planning when they need to schedule a transfer at a major airport. You glance at the arrival time of your inbound flight and all your connecting flight options. “Is 60 minutes enough time?” you ask yourself, suddenly wondering how far the gates will be from one another and if your flights will be on time.

As your travel counselor, we generally add in additional transfer time to your itinerary, giving you plenty of time to get your bags, go through customs (when necessary), change terminals, pass through additional security, navigate the vast airport and find your gate. While the extra time is not always needed, arriving a half-hour early at the gate is more enjoyable than missing your connection and scrambling to secure the next available flight.

Of course, we vary how much time we leave our clients to transfer based on several factors, such as the time of day your inbound flight is taking off and the airport you’re flying into. Simply put, some airports are easier to connect in than others.

The most challenging airports to arrange a transfer are typically the largest and busiest. Nothing ruins a successful transfer more than racing from one extremely long concourse to another, waiting for people-movers to load and unload, and dodging other travelers along the way.

Here’s a list of airports that often take the most time to make a transfer.

ATL: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta, Georgia) – Hartsfield is the world’s busiest airport. Any airport dealing with such a large volume experiences frequent delays and persistently crowded concourses.

ORD: O'Hare International Airport (Chicago, Illinois) – O’Hare used to be the nation’s busiest until 2005, when the government stepped in to reduce the total number of flights in order to decrease delays. Unfortunately O'Hare still accounts for more than a sixth of the nation's total flight cancellations, which doesn’t bode well for travelers trying to catch their connecting flight.

LHR: London Heathrow Airport (London, United Kingdom) – For seven straight years, Heathrow has hosted the largest number of internationally-bound passengers annually, making it the mixing bowl of European airports. Passengers connecting on another airline may need to change terminals and go through immigration twice.

HND: Tokyo International Airport (Tokyo, Japan) – Not only is HND (also known as Haneda Airport) one of the world's busiest domestic-only airports, but the local signage, printed predominantly in Japanese, is difficult to follow, making it an adventure for some travelers searching for a specific terminal.

JFK: John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York, New York) – With nine terminals, chances are you will need to board a bus or catch the light-rail train to transfer, which—depending on the crowds of inexperienced air passengers who are also trying to switch terminals—could be difficult.

You may be wondering which airports are the easiest to connect in. The top rated transfer airports include those in Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Munich (MUC), Amsterdam (AMS) and Singapore (SIN).

5 Intriguing Destinations for Travelers with Disabilities

There’s more to a great accessible destination than just wheelchair ramps and barrier-free accommodations. First, it needs to be a place you’d want to travel to. It must have that special combination of captivation, amusement, attraction and value. It must appeal to both people with and without disabilities. Sound impossible to find? Not any longer. Our agents know of many destinations that categorically fit the bill, making them wonderful candidates for your next all-accessible vacation extravaganza. Here’s a list of some of our more intriguing, accessible destinations.

Las Vegas
The “Entertainment Capital of the World” knows how to entertain everyone, including travelers with disabilities. Las Vegas has more wheelchair accessible guest rooms than anywhere else in the country, many with roll-in and transfer showers and pools outfitted with lifts. Wheelchair seating is available at most shows, with many also providing assistive listening devices. Casino floors are spacious, with plenty of room to roll up to a slot machine to test your luck. Even getting around is easy. The Strip has several elevated crosswalks accessible by elevator, making sidewalk travel in a wheelchair a cinch, in addition to the availability of many specially-equipped taxis.

Rocky Mountain National Park
While this jewel of the National Park System is mostly known for its 60 peaks that soar above 12,000 feet, travelers with disabilities will also enjoy its accessible campsites, trails, buildings, fishing piers and ranger-led tours. The trails are divided into fully, moderate and marginally accessible, giving everyone a clear idea of what lies ahead. Two of the three accessible campgrounds are open all year round, and all three have several ADA-compliant sites and fully-accessible bathrooms, along with some of the most amazing views you’ll ever see.

Morgan's Wonderland
There is no destination more amusing than an amusement park. And there’s no amusement park more tailored for fun-loving people with disabilities than San Antonio’s Morgan’s Wonderland. Designed to be enjoyed by those in wheelchairs or with cognitive disorders, Morgan’s is billed as the world's first ultra-accessible family fun park. Set on 25 sprawling acres, it includes rides, interactive exhibits, playgrounds, gardens, a fishing lake and live entertainment.

African Safari
A safari may not be for everyone, but thanks to a wide variety of accessible outfitters and accommodations, everyone can still enjoy this wild vacation experience throughout the continent. Many lodges found in or adjacent to national parks contain roll-in showers, wide doorways and support rails, and some tour operators feature vehicles with ramps and lifts.

Bigger, roomier cruise ships are being launched every year. These new builds offer many accommodations and facilities for travelers with disabilities, making it easier to visit several exotic ports of call during one memory-filled vacation.

How to Choose the Perfect Rental Car

Whether you need a car to drive from the airport to your seaside cabin, or you’re planning a road trip and don’t want to put the extra miles on the family sedan, then a rental car is in your future. What doesn’t have to be in your future is difficulty choosing the right rental. Here are four tips to ensure you end up behind the wheel of the best car possible.

Price is Nice – Many travelers view a rental car like their luggage: they know it’s necessary, but don’t want to fuss about it too much. If this describes you, then by all means shop by price and choose the smallest vehicle the car company has. Luck may be on your side since so many people shop by price and are aiming for the exact lowest-price vehicle as you, the company may be out of them when it’s time to grab your keys, forcing them to upgrade you to a roomier car at the same price.

Stick to the Big Boys – When renting, you may find a great price for a compact car through some low-budget, locally-owned company. Before committing, know that the rental will also come with low-budget, locally-owned service, which may steer you into a bad mood once you’ve dealt with it. In our experience, it’s wise to stick to the bigger, national brands like Hertz, who are best at getting people into theirs cars fast and helping out swiftly if things go wrong on the road. In the interest of full disclosure, our agency has an exclusive partnership with Hertz, which means we can often get you special rates you are unable to find on your own!

Indulge Yourself – No matter what type of vacation you’re on, remember that you’re on a vacation! That means you should be pampering yourself even if it’s just a little. When selecting a rental car, choose one with a little more room and luxury than you’re used to. There’s no faster way to get into a vacation frame of mind than driving away from the airport in a spacious, luxurious vehicle, blasting SIRIUS XM radio and using the car’s built-in navigation system.

Must Have Airport Location – There are very few deal-breakers when it comes to choosing a rental car company, but this is definitely one: it must have cars located at the airport. The last thing you want to do when your plane lands is take a cab or bus to an off-site rental company, which only adds an extra leg onto the journey. Choose one you can walk to, or at least has a direct shuttle bus service to an on-airport facility, thus saving you valuable time and hassles.

Look Out for Hidden Charges – Due to typical taxes and fees, the price of a rental car always exceeds the base price. However, there are non-typical fees to watch out for too, such as drop-off charges for one-way rentals and mandatory insurance on international rentals. To avoid these expensive surprises and more, turn to us to navigate your next rental car purchase.

American Express

 For all inquiries, contact us at:

Ocean and Land Travel
10830 24th ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125


Copyright © 2010, - All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
All prices are subject to availability and change.