What better way to experience some of the country's most iconic destinations and hidden gems than to camp in their midst? At these 10 family-friendly campgrounds, you'll find natural beauty and a bounty of modern amenities to entertain and immerse your entire clan in the splendor of our national treasures.
Assateague Island National Seashore Campground (Berlin, Maryland)
The standout experience at Assateague Island National Seashore Campground is seeing the wild running horses on the beach—and, if you're lucky, playing in the waves. But the fact that you're camping within earshot of those crashing waves isn't a bad thing, either. Pitch your tent right in the sand or park your RV along the seashore. In addition to watching the horses, you can also kayak, go crabbing, bird watch, enjoy a sightseeing cruise, hunt, and bike.
There's a lot of interaction with the horses, so you'll need to mind your food and personal items. Assateague Island National Seashore Campground is also a dry campground, so there are no hookups and only cold showers. There's plenty of room, though, with more than 300 available campsites. Sites closer to the ocean have fewer bugs but less interaction with the horses. ... read more»
Accountability. In the business world, it means that there's a link between a company's fortunes and the fortunes of its top executive. If the company prospers, so does its chief. And the converse: If the company suffers, its CEO does as well.
It's an intriguing concept, but in reality, it seems that it's all upside for executives. They're richly compensated whether their companies do well or do poorly. Heads they win; tails they still win.
The accountability link is especially tenuous between customer satisfaction and management compensation. While a falloff in a company's stock value might at least raise some eyebrows, substandard customer reviews are routinely given a blind eye.
Spirit is a prime example. The company is consistently ranked at the bottom of traveler surveys and regularly generates more complaints than its industry peers. But so long as the company's financials remain strong, Spirit's management gets a pass, and big paychecks. ... read more»
J.D. Power, best known for its annual customer-satisfaction rankings of car owners, this week released its new survey of customer satisfaction with the airlines.
According to the 2015 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, travelers are more satisfied with their overall flight experiences than they were a year ago. And last year, they were more satisfied than they were the previous year. In other words, there's a positive trend, with airlines doing a better job of meeting their customers' expectations. ... read more»
What's the best frequent flyer program? Is there even an all-around best program at all? Two new reports help shed some light on a very complicated question. And as so often is the case, "best" depends as much on your personal travel style as it does on the details of each program. And today, my take is from the perspective of a regular but not ultra-frequent leisure traveler living in the United States or Canada—those road warriors have probably long since determined where their loyalties lie. ... read more»
United's website redesign has been in the works for ages. And it's now in beta. Which means that looky-loos can finally have a look-see.
And, well, yes, it's new alright, at least for United. But your first impression is likely to be tinged with deja-vu. Because, although it's a significant departure from the old website, it's also somehow familiar. ... read more»
The all-inclusive vacation package that just popped into your inbox seems like an amazing deal, and it's limited-time only, so you better book it now, right? Not so fast. Before you commit to that package deal, follow these steps to make sure it's really a bargain.
Run the Numbers
If airfare is included, search online for the dates that the package is offered (and additional dates, too, if you're flexible). Next, go to the website of the hotel (s) featured in the deal to see how much it costs for accommodations alone. Make sure those two numbers add up to a price that's higher than the package deal.
Many package deals will throw in a freebie or two to sweeten the pot. Think carefully about whether or not you'd actually use the extras they're offering. A free bottle of wine is a common example of something a hotel will offer as a booking incentive. But it's usually not worth much (and sometimes it's not even a full-size bottle). Could you book elsewhere for cheaper and use the savings to buy things you'd rather have? ... read more»
A traveler I know recently had a flight canceled, and the airline not only failed to re-accommodate him on another flight but also had the chutzpah to deduct a cancellation penalty from his refund. That, of course, violated not only general legal principles but also the airline's own contract of carriage. In response to a vigorous complaint, the airline realized its mistake, issued a full refund, and, as a "sorry about that" apology, also issued a voucher good for $200 toward a future flight. But that voucher included a severe gotcha: To use it, he had to rebook a flight within two months, something he was very unlikely to do. The airline didn't owe him the voucher; it was pure lagniappe, so he couldn't logically raise too much of a fuss. But this story does illustrate one of the big problems with vouchers.
Related: 7 Secrets of Ultralow Airfares
You can potentially encounter a voucher problem whenever an airline owes you something—refund, penalty, or whatever. ... read more»
Forget the stress of planning flights, deciding what to pack, and figuring out how to get around ... one of the aspects of travel that causes people the most anxiety is tipping. When should you do it? When shouldn't you? Who expects it? Who doesn't? And always, how much?
We went straight to our Trusted Travel Experts—handpicked by Wendy as some of the top travel specialists around—to find out the customary tipping rules all over Europe. From Amsterdam to Russia (with stops in France, Italy, Greece and more), we've listed the do's and don'ts of tipping throughout Europe. ... read more»
The latest issue of the DOT's "Air Travel Consumer Report," released this week, showed an uptick in March traveler complaints, both over the previous month and over March 2014.
Year over year, complaints for the month were up 55 percent. Frontier and Spirit were the worst and second worst, with 16 and 10 complaints per 100,000 enplanements, respectively. Southwest was best, with just 0.46 complaints per 100,000 enplanements. ... read more»