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Got the Gate on the Golden Gate

As a Bay Area native, I'd like to think I know all the great places to check out in San Francisco, Marin, and the East Bay, but the truth is, I've lived in Oregon for 25 years now, so my list of favorite spots may be a little outdated. Thus it was fun when I found two “new to me” places in the Bay on a recent trip to visit family. One I knew existed, but had just never checked out, but the other was a complete surprise. I've always wanted to hike in San Francisco's Lands End. I've been near the trail, but have never seen the Sutro Baths up close, nor hiked on the Lands End trail proper. It's so beautiful, and if you're there on a fog-free day, the views are..... > Read More

When "Carrying On" Takes on a New Meaning -     How One Man Beat Ryanair's Carry-on Fees


Communicating in Any Language

I always try to talk to cab drivers. First off, it’s polite. Secondly, so many of them have fascinating stories to tell. Our cab rides usually occur in Las Vegas (we have to go there on business), where English is the language of choice. Over the years, we’ve heard the abbreviated life stories of drivers from places like Yemen, Somalia, Turkey, Colombia, and countless other far-flung countries.We briefly discussed Google Translate in last month’s eNews. And lo and behold, just about the time that email hit the interwebs, Nancy and I were putting Google Translate to good use in an Uber.... > Read More

Ignoring a Gate Check Bag Request

I am so proud of my wife. She has come such a long way. While she still has work to do, she is no longer quite the rule follower that she used to be. Best of all her progress is something that Travel Essentials just might learn something from. On our recent Mexico adventure, we ran in to a little trouble with our carry-ons. We were boarding an Aeroméxico flight from Mexico City to Queretaro, and at the top of the boarding ramp, an Aeroméxico employee pulled us aside and said we’d have to gate check our bags, as the plane was going to be “very full.”  > Read More

Kiss Your Loved Ones Goodbye at the Airport Gate

Remember the days when you could walk to your loved one’s gate at the airport and say goodbye as they boarded? Well, two airports are currently piloting a program that allows non-ticketed visitors through airport security, which has not happened since prior to 9/11. Pittsburg International Airport has been running it for over a year, and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is testing the same program through December 14th. You must, however, apply for, and obtain a Visitor Pass the day before you wish to be in the airport, which you can do online. The TSA will then approve (or disapprove) your status by midnight. It sounds a little complicated, but a step in the right direction perhaps.


Lighten Up With Inflatable & Solar Luci Lights

The Luci Light has just about everything going for it. And now with several solar-powered styles to choose from, there’s one for just about every lighting need you have. The original Luci has been updated as the 2.0 model, and now includes a battery level indicator and still lasts up to 24 hours on a single seven hour solar charge. We’ve also got the Luci Color that gives you eight brilliant hues to choose from and guarantee’s a perfectly fun atmosphere for your next social occasion. Lastly the Luci Outdoor Pro Mobile offers speedy USB charging (in addition to solar!) for an astounding 50 hours of light. When fully charged it also works as an emergency phone charger. They’re all bright, they’re all handy and they’re all powered by the Sun! > Check 'em out Here!

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