Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts.
But his focus isn’t on the destination, or even the journey, but on the tools you need for a successful trip.
No other journalist has his depth of knowledge when it comes to offering practical travel advice, useful strategies and helpful tips.
Elliott is National Geographic Traveler magazine’s reader advocate and writes the nationally syndicated Travel Troubleshooter column, which appears in more than 50 U.S. newspapers and Web sites.
He also pens a popular weekly travel column on MSNBC.com.
Elliott is a prolific blogger, filing daily dispatches about consumer travel on his Web site and about general travel industry issues for Tripso.
He’s also one of the most sought-after public speakers in the country on subjects ranging from travel to blogging and social networking.
Although being separated from my kids on a long flight appeals to me on one level, I am sensitive to the fact that it could be another passenger’s worst nightmare."
Being separated from your family while you’re traveling is every child’s worst nightmare. Every parent’s, too."
Here’s the problem with Spirit Airlines’ new $5 fee for printing a boarding pass, according to Dennis Tucker. Not everyone has access to a PC and printer when they’re on the road."
"Mary is an in-house reservation agent for an upscale, full-service hotel in a major American city."
"Anyone who thinks tarmac delays are dead was in for a little shock this week..."
It would be tempting to stay on the touristy side of Oahu..."
Words you don’t want to hear, unless maybe you’re there to see steam, sulphuric smoke and lava coming out of a mountain. And we were. Our oldest son, Aren, is fascinated by natural disasters, and Hawaii’s Big Island is, in geological t…"
It’s an island of microclimates..."
Quitting a frequent-flier program looks easy: You cut up your card and donate the miles to charity. And that’s it."
In a word: fees. Lots and lots of fees."
If you don’t have the time or the money for vacation this summer, maybe you can spare a few hours for a daycation."
Is your Gulf Coast vacation refundable?"
If you thought airlines had wacky rules, try renting a car."
To get an idea of how badly airlines might treat your luggage in the summer of 2010, consider the latest offer by The Stafford London by Kempinski. It’s called the “Baggage Emergency Response Squad.”"
If you think hotels will never stoop to the level of airlines — charging extra for anything that isn’t bolted down — maybe you’ve never heard of easyHotel."
The Transportation Security Administration’s unpopular restrictions on liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on luggage — better known as the 3-1-1 rule — are history."
Mandatory resort fees have been annoying hotel guests for almost as long as I’ve been covering the hotel industry..."
Fares between Atlanta and Las Vegas changed once every six seconds."
Having second thoughts about those new full-body scanners being used at airports?"
Want to hear the latest stupid-passenger joke?"
If you found a bargain airfare, you’d book it, right? But what if you knew the price was a mistake? Would you still do it?"
You show up at the car rental counter with a confirmed reservation, only to learn that you have to buy mandatory insurance. And before long, you’re paying 20 to 30 percent more than you expected."
Next time you fly, keep your boarding pass. Especially if you collect frequent flier miles. And especially if your airline is playing the codeshare game."
Of all the recurring complaints I get from readers, the one they find by far most vexing has nothing to do with excessive fees, surprise surcharges or surly employees. It’s about traffic tickets. In Italy."
Here’s a common problem for travelers who book a hotel room online: Once they “confirm” their accommodations with a credit card, the hotel doesn’t assign a room, leaving them wondering if they’ll have a place to stay."
It’s no secret the airline industry wants you to pay extra for everything. And I really mean everything."
The Clear Airfares Act is a Senate bill that would require airlines and online travel agencies to disclose any additional fees before you buy a ticket."
At a time like this, with governments imposing new security rules, airlines teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and many hotels facing foreclosure, travelers often have more questions than answers."
As of this month, visitors to the United States who don’t require a visa must fill out a Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)..."
When your airline cancels a flight because of weather, are you entitled to a full refund?"
When Leticia Lopez returned to Albuquerque from her trip to Puerto Rico, she found an “international transaction fee” added to every purchase on her credit card bill."
When you buy a travel package through an online travel agency, you expect the price to be significantly less than if you booked each item separately, right?"
I asked Howard Altschule, a meteorologist with Forensic Weather Consultants, what to do when weather threatens to ground your next flight."
Helen Teresa Roberts believes it did when she flew from Rome to Newark this summer. After Flight 43 was canceled, Continental Airlines offered her overnight accommodations and 660 euros, in accordance with EU 261."
I’m not sure how a fully inflated beach ball got in my hotel room."
Ever wished there was a law that forces airlines to disclose all extras on their tickets? Right up front. While you’re shopping for flights."
It’s every traveler’s worst nightmare: You’re in trouble, so you reach for your phone to call your travel insurance company. The line rings. And rings. And rings."
A word of warning to anyone taking a cruse: Don’t trust anyone with your valuables..."
Adam Salamon’s honeymoon did not go well. His all-inclusive resort wasn’t what he expected. The food was lousy, the staff was rude, there were bed bugs and his travel agent didn’t care, he claims."
When Mel McBeth and his wife booked a cruise on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 last year, they weren’t expecting any additional charges. But that’s exactly what they got when the cruise line helped itself to another $180, which it claimed was a fuel surcharge, on"
Beware of the airline seatback cops. They recently nabbed Cheryl Smith, and they could be coming for you."
When I think of great customer service, I remember Alamo."
Dale Nielsen did everything he could to confirm his Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu. He booked the trip through an online agency that offered a notification of flight schedule changes. He called his airline."
The Unclaimed Baggage Center would have to be ten times its size if every piece of lost luggage ended up there."
For years, I’ve been telling travelers to pay with plastic and so have my buddies in the vacation punditry business."
When Erin Hott checks into her hotel, she's shown to a room with an unmade bed. When she asks for clean sheets, an employee tells her they can't change her linen until the next day. And if she doesn't like it, she can find another hotel, but she'll still"
“I’m sorry your Silver Elite status on Northwest Airlines didn’t qualify you for a first-class upgrade on your recent flight from New York to Minneapolis,” Kevin Winge quips. “All of us, your fellow passengers, shared in the incredulity you expressed so v"
A disturbing new poll says 51 percent of air travelers say they’d rather fly while infected with the flu than pay a $150 airline change fee."
My husband and I were scheduled to visit India last Thanksgiving, the day after the horrific terrorist event began. British and Americans were being singled out and murdered, hotels were being burned, and threats were made of hijacking and attacks on airp"
Here’s a cautionary tale for anyone buying an airline ticket for the holidays, and a little advice: Pay attention your bank account balance. And be patient."
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has some fresh numbers this morning that suggest airlines are no longer spending a fortune on fuel. Last August, domestic carriers spent an average of $2.02 per gallon on fuel — up from $1.90 a gallon the previous m"
Ididn’t think it was possible to see the Vatican in half a day. But after hitting the highlights of Rome in just seven hours yesterday, I shouldn’t have been so skeptical. Yes, it can be done. If you arrive early enough (before 8 a.m., whic…"