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Old 01-14-2015, 11:01 AM   #81
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I've been looking at Norwegian and WowAir. Prices are very good on Norwegian but I've read really BAD reviews about how uncomfortable their seats are. From reading the reviews, it sounds like they lightened the plain by removing padding in the seats. It also sounds like you could do some serious back injury on a long haul flight.

Has anyone flown Norwegian? I love their prices - but don't want to start off a trip with a husband who through his back out on the plane. Are the reviews overly negative?
Put your boys in the cheap seats and you and DH in the premium seats.

http://www.norwegian.com/uk/travel-i...premium-cabin/
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:24 AM   #82
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I looked at that - the premium seats have more leg room - like premium economy on other airlines - but even those seats get bad reviews for lack of padding and/or back support.

As far as the fees... I'm actually flying one of the worst airlines for that - Allegient, next month. They charge for checked bags, they charge for CARRY ON bags, and the size of the "personal item" is very small (although I'm still going to try to get buy with a daypack that meets those restrictions for this long weekend trip.)

For europe we're doing carryon only anyway. More for ease of train travel... We'll have laundry at all the apartments we're renting. Good thing I'm not a fashionista... We've gone 3 weeks with carryon - and it's not really different for longer trips. Forces you to NOT overpack.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:36 AM   #83
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I'm flying Allegiant Las Vegas to Honolulu on 3 weeks--$250 one way. They're a different breed of airline--more like RyanAir or EasyJet with nicer flight attendants.

We need all the budget air carriers we can get to keep all the consolidated "legacy" air carriers honest. Without them, we'll be destined to only travel North America by car for our vacations. They're just about to price us out of international travel already.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #84
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For europe we're doing carryon only anyway. More for ease of train travel... We'll have laundry at all the apartments we're renting. Good thing I'm not a fashionista... We've gone 3 weeks with carryon - and it's not really different for longer trips. Forces you to NOT overpack.
Pro tip: baby wipes and baby powder. That's the key to making your clothing life stretch when wearing the same thing days in a row. Of course, you'll have shower access...pure luxury!
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #85
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I'm an overpacker. I rather lug more stuff around than spend time looking for something I forgot to pack.

I've lugged a big checked bag (28-30 inches) on trains, ferries, hydrofoils, funiculars, buses, etc.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:48 PM   #86
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Pro tip: baby wipes and baby powder. That's the key to making your clothing life stretch when wearing the same thing days in a row. Of course, you'll have shower access...pure luxury!
I'll have shower access... flush toilets, washing machines, and wifi.
(The latter two are my base criteria for looking for vacation rentals.)

I grew up backpacking... so having hot water bathrooms and wifi is luxury for me. Not to mention not having to sleep on the ground.

We still buy babywipes even though the boys are middle schoolers... keep a pack in our car at all times... so useful at times.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:55 PM   #87
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We really did have trouble finding laundry facilities on our last Europe trip. There was a laundromat down the street from one hotel. And other than that, if we had not washed a few things before leaving my SILs apartment, we would have been in deep doodoo. I hate hand washing and leaving stuff to dry in the hotel room.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:03 PM   #88
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I'm an overpacker. I rather lug more stuff around than spend time looking for something I forgot to pack.

I've lugged a big checked bag (28-30 inches) on trains, ferries, hydrofoils, funiculars, buses, etc.
My elderly father went to the Holy Land and Egypt with heavy travelers. Unfortunately the ladies were looking for help handling full size suitcases on and off buses. It took my father a year to physically get back to normal.

My family rule is that everyone handles their own luggage. You have to be able to carry it 2 miles. And the maximum size is a 21" carry on rolling bag. Be free to stuff anything you can get into that size bag.

Light bags are a product of good planning. See RickSteves.com for packing lists.

I don't carry any bag for anyone. I intend to travel into my 80's, and it'll never happen lugging a 60 lb. suitcase.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:20 PM   #89
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Has anyone flown Norwegian? I love their prices - but don't want to start off a trip with a husband who through his back out on the plane. Are the reviews overly negative?
I've flown about 20 legs on Norwegian, but only in Europe, and seats were average. We are going to fly their Dreamliner on transatlantic route (MCO->OSL) this June & back in August, I'll have an update.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:23 PM   #90
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We really did have trouble finding laundry facilities on our last Europe trip. There was a laundromat down the street from one hotel. And other than that, if we had not washed a few things before leaving my SILs apartment, we would have been in deep doodoo. I hate hand washing and leaving stuff to dry in the hotel room.
I try to just hand wash a few items every few days to keep the clean inventory up. Plastic zip locks for when they aren't quite dry and you have to move on. In warm conditions seems to be a necessity as deodorant only goes so far.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:13 PM   #91
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I will actually use those wash and fold places if they exist.

They charge by the kilo.

Often it's an elderly person who's just putting the coins in the machines and then folding. End up paying 10-15 Euro but better than waiting an hour or two at a laundromat, though I've done that too.

But only on trips that last over a week. For a week or less, I just bring it back home.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:26 PM   #92
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Much of the country can use a budget air carrier to get to the five NorwegianAir gateway cities and still come out ahead.

I can get to Orlando for $97 each way on Southwest Airlines.

You just have to be open go into Oslo or Copenhagen or places in Scandinavia to get to your intended destination. There again, I've really been wanting to visit Stockholm and Helsinki.

Once in Europe, you can fly between great cities on European budget air carriers for around $100 each leg. It sure beats taking trains between cities.
Thanks for that tip. My husband has already started scoping out travel dates since I sent the Norwegian Air link to him this morning.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:36 PM   #93
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I will actually use those wash and fold places if they exist.

But only on trips that last over a week. For a week or less, I just bring it back home.
Before we go on long trips, I get all jeans and khaki pants heavily starched at the laundry. If there's no dirt on them, you can wear a pair a week and they still look good. 2 pairs of pants and 5 golf shirts, and I'm good to go for 2 weeks.

Another trick is to stay in an apartment or a B&B with a laundry.

And remember: You'll never see any of those people again.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:47 PM   #94
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Ferry is overnight.

Mallorca is one of the places I want to go. Not easy to find flights from US to it. Better to go to Madrid or Barcelona and take a short flight from there.
We are going to Mallorca and Spain next March. Internal trip from Seville-Mallorca-Valencia was in the range of $150 per head. Check Orbitz and be aware of ridiculous add-ons.

Our itinerary is SFO/Lucerne/Madrid/Seville/Mallorca/Valencia/Madrid/SFO (we're meeting up with friends here and there, hence the somewhat confusing route).

Happy travels.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:12 PM   #95
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Our itinerary is SFO/Lucerne/Madrid/Seville/Mallorca/Valencia/Madrid/SFO (we're meeting up with friends here and there, hence the somewhat confusing route).
So many North Americans overlook going to Spain and Portugal. They're world class destinations. And they're a trip to themselves.

At least you can now catch a fast train (6 1/2 hrs.) from Paris to Barcelona. Spain's a very large place--and a long trip from anywhere in Europe by ground.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:19 PM   #96
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Here's one guy's take on why airfare in the USA is so high.

Europe Shows Us Real Airline Competition - The Travel Insider

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The largest European carrier has only 13% of the market, and the top four airlines have 39% of the market. But in the US, the largest carrier – newly merged AA/US – has a 25% market share, and the top four airlines have taken 83% of the market.
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But airlines with 15% – 25% market shares no longer need and definitely don’t deserve protection. It is us, the passengers, who now need to be protected.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:10 PM   #97
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Yeah but when Continental and US Air were separate airlines, they were struggling and weren't going to service without the big mergers.

So there has to be some medium between then and now.
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:26 PM   #98
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We flew Norwegian Air last fall & were in new planes both times & the seats were fine & I have a very bad back problem.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:30 AM   #99
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Well, here's one deal that was too good to be true:

United Airlines will VOID all tickets bought during online glitch | Daily Mail Online
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:11 PM   #100
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I started researching flights for my next trip to Switzerland. I usually fly with Swiss. But with the big run up in the Swiss Franc in January, I was not sure whether they'd still be a competitive option from the west coast. Looks like they have aligned their fares on their competitors' for now.
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