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(Photo: Nate McFadden)

Guest blogger Nate McFadden is the cohost of the Alpine Strangers podcast.

While waiting on a rental car at the Cabo airport, someone mentioned it might rain. I didn't think much of it at the time, as it was about then that my wife returned with our rental car and we started our vacation. But it did rain that weekend—Hurricane Odile dumped 15 inches of rain on us.

We were very fortunate that the hotel where we stayed had water, food, and limited generator power. Even so, being trapped in a disaster zone has its challenges. We had to wait four days before we could be evacuated. The days after the storm were not as scary as the storm itself, but were more trying.

Riding out a hurricane in a hotel room—and being stranded for days afterward in a severely damaged tourist destination—gave me a lot of time to consider what I wish I had known in advance, what we did right, and what I'd do differently next time. Here's what to know if you find yourself vacationing in a hurricane. ... read more»

(Photo: Genius Pack)

This compact, well-designed pack has just enough bells and whistles to wow the completely disorganized flyer. ... read more»

(Photo: Shutterstock)

A new members-only hotel-booking site has plenty of perks, but is it worth the price? ... read more»

(Photo: BareTraps)

What Is it: The BareTraps Women's Tatiana Riding Boot.

Price and Where to Buy: At time of publication, the boots ranged from $74.39-$109 depending on size and color, on Amazon. They are also available on Footwear Unlimited's website for a sale price of $84.99.

... read more»

Today, members of United's MileagePlus program can earn miles when renting cars with eight rental-car companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Sixt, and Thrifty.

Beginning on November 1, that list will be pared to three: Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty. (Dollar and Thrifty are both owned by the Hertz Corporation.) ... read more»

(Photo: Thinkstock/Fuse)

On a recent three-week trip from my home airport, I chose to stay the night before departure at an airport-area motel. Why? Even though the airport is only 25 minutes from my home, the motel's stay-park-fly package was the best deal. The room rate was $80 for one night, with shuttles to/from the airport and up to 30 days of parking included. The airport's long-term parking lot charge would have been $180 and the round-trip taxi fare from my home would have been close to $100.

My situation wasn't unique. Airport parking at even long-term or "economy" lots can be pretty expensive. At Seattle-Tacoma, for example, the least expensive parking is $28 per day or $130 per week, and costs are in the $20 range at many large fields. Independent off-airport lots typically charge just enough less than the airport to generate business. And even when you live relatively close to your airport, taxi and shuttle rates can often cost more than one night in a motel. ... read more»

Air: Man Sitting in Plane, on Phone (Photo: Thinkstock/Hemera)

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), "a network of leading airlines, suppliers, and related companies committed to elevating the level of the airline passenger experience," released its latest "global survey of passengers," and the primary conclusion is that passengers want to be thoroughly connected and wired. That theme also pervades the association's 10-year travel forecast: No matter how bad the rest of your travel experience may be, you'll be connected.

Connected or no, the central conclusion about the future of air travel is contained in this excerpt from the current issue of Airline Passenger Experience, APEX's publication: "Seat manufacturers are now under constant pressure from their airline customers to focus on three design parameters: lighter seats, increased number of seats abreast with varying widths, and reduced seat pitch." In short, expect economy class to get worse, not better. "Lighter, tighter, and narrower" is the guiding principle. ... read more»

Air: Baggage: Racing through Airport (Photo: iStockphoto/Chad McDermott)

What Is It: At Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, which serves as Air Canada's hub, a simplified baggage handling process sends checked bags directly on to connecting flights so that travelers no longer have to retrieve and recheck bags for U.S. Customs inspection.

Price and Where to Buy: This is a free service offered on all flights that connect in Toronto and continue on to Air Canada's U.S. destinations.

Pros: Ease of use! I came away fully impressed with the service. No waiting in long lines, no fretting about missing a connection, no stress of any kind. I connected in Toronto en route from Beijing to New York, and I was responsible for my carry-on bag alone; my checked luggage made it from Asia to the U.S. with no difficulty. As I had a relatively tight connection for an international route, this was a real game changer for me. ... read more»

There's one quick and easy task you can do that will more than likely save you money on your next flight. Less than 24 hours after you've booked your plane tickets, hit up some airline websites and check fares. You'll thank us later.

We received an email from airfare-analysis website Hopper today that reminded us of something very important: U.S. travelers can cancel or change all plane tickets within 24 hours of booking, as long as those tickets are booked more than seven days ahead of departure. This largely unsung yet very consumer-friendly policy has been the law since 2011. The Department of Transportation (DOT) says so. If you've dropped some cash on a plane ticket and are having regrets, there's an easy way out for at least a day. File that factoid in the back of your brain and put it to use when you're planning your next trip. ... read more»

Photo: PhotoDisc

Enter the Budget "Road Trip" sweepstakes by November 4, 2014, for a chance to win the grand prize: a $5,000 Budget car-rental credit, plus a $10,000 check.

To enter, "Like" the Budget Facebook page, provide the requested contact information on the sweepstakes landing page, pick five destinations on the interactive map, and press "Submit." Done! Time required to participate: less than one minute. ... read more»

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