Monday, November 23, 2009

Adieu, pour maintenant

You know what I'm going to have on my gravestone?
"She did it the hard way."
~Bette Davis

Well, lovelies, it has been a joyous year of sharing my adventures and jet set tips with you. Fortunately for me, business is booming and my travel calendar is expanding. If all goes well, I will be transitioning from jet-setter-in-training to Official Jet Set Diva in the coming months. (Cross your fingers!)

For now, I must bid you farewell so that I can focus all of my efforts on building my empire and globetrotting across this amazing planet. Thanks for reading, ranting and raving with me.

Au revoir,


Friday, November 20, 2009

JSTD: Talk to the community

Find and share firsthand recommendations of the best things to do, places to eat and experiences to have at nextstop.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Thursday, November 19, 2009

JSTD: Advance planning

Planning your next getaway can be even more fun with Duffle Up. This visual trip planner lets you clip and organize ideas and notes from the web onto a virtual dashboard. You can even share your growing itinerary with friends.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

JSTD: Help is on the way

Hopefully, you are never, ever the victim of a crime during your travels. If something unfortunate does occur, you must contact the local police to report the crime. You should also call the nearest U.S. embassy, consulate or consular agency for assistance. And, be sure to get a copy of the police report.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

JSTD: Roll with it

To fit more clothes into your luggage, try rolling each item with tissue paper (like the kind used in store displays and store gift-wrapping). Also, when you try this, be careful of your luggage's weight to avoid extra fees at the airport.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Monday, November 16, 2009

JSTD: Traveling with gifts

Avoid wrapping gifts before you travel because a TSA agent might make you unwrap them to confirm the contents. (Imagine the wasted time, gift wrap and tape!)

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Giveaway winner for the Travel Chic Silver Luggage Tag & Handle Wrap

Out of 71 valid entries, selected #43 which makes Smita the winner of last week's giveaway!

Smita, be sure to send me your contact info (to ava AT avapierce DOT com) by Wednesday, November 18, 2009 @ 11:59 p.m. ET to collect your prize.

Travel Chic, you and your fantastic products are awesome! Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway.

Also, major thanks go to everyone who entered the contest. I really appreciate your comments and tweets.


Friday, November 13, 2009

JSTD: Customs restrictions

There are lots of restrictions about the kinds of items that you can take to and from most countries. To avoid any airport hassles, review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection booklet "Know Before You Go: Regulations for International Travel by U.S. Residents".

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Thursday, November 12, 2009

JSTD: Divide and conquer

Never keep all of your valuables together, including cash, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, etc. That way, on the off chance that you lose your purse or one piece of your luggage, you're not left without cash, ID and some of your most important possessions.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

JSTD: Take your meds

Although I don't have any allergies or other medical issues that require me to take prescribed medication, I do tend to carry a small container of my daily vitamins and over-the-counter pain medication (for headaches and such) whenever I travel. Luckily, most grocery stores and drugstores sell travel-sized packets. If you have prescribed medication for a pre-existing condition, it's a good idea to travel with a letter from your doctor which describes your condition and the related medication. That way, you don't run into trouble when crossing international borders. You should also travel with your meds in their original, clearly-labeled container.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

JSTD: Craft your own personal travel guide @

Build a free personal travel guide with restaurants, shopping areas, nightclubs, things to see, art museums and more at You can also find and book hotels at discounted rates. Destinations include most of the major metro cities in the world, like Beijing, Dublin, Marrakech, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Vienna.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Gift ideas for jet-setters-in-training

Today's Annoyance: Thoughtless re-gifting
Mantra of the Day: Any time is a good time for gift-giving.

No, the holidays aren't here just yet, and my birthday's in January. So, why do you ask, would I post a list of gifts now? Because I like to get a jump start on things, that's why. Plus, some of my fellow globetrotters will undoubtedly have birthdays or other special reasons to celebrate coming up soon. (Just for the record, I love surprises year-round so if you're in a gift-giving mood...)

Many of the things on the following list are things that I want. But, I'm kinda guessing that any jet-setter-in-training will likely treasure similar goodies. You're always welcome to add a comment with your preferred gift item(s).

Beyond the usual travel pillows, blankets, voltage converters and universal plug adapters, there's always:

1. A Zagat subscription - For less than $25, your jet set pal can have online access for a whole year to more than 40,000 reviews and ratings for restaurants, hotels and entertainment attractions around the world.

2. An e-book reader - This will definitely lighten the load from all those novels and magazines that we travelers tend to carry. Luckily, there are lots of options nowadays from Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Samsung and others.

3. An iTunes gift card - Remember, I like my sounds.

4. WiFi finder - These typically inexpensive little gadgets can help even the least tech-smart traveler find a wireless hot spot without booting up their computer.

5. Um, travel anyone? - If your loved one tends to fly often and uses one airline or hotel chain fairly regularly, why not buy them some mileage or an airline or hotel gift card?

Aside from these gifts, peruse the sites of any of my blog's giveaway sponsors and you're sure to find something great to make your friend's jet set life a bit easier.

[IMAGE: Courtesy of Getty Images]

Monday, November 9, 2009

JSTD: Mail forward

What to do with your mail while you're away? You always have the option of having a friend or neighbor collect your mail. Also, your local post office can hold your mail until you return from your trip (up to 30 days). If you're planning to go on an extended trip (more than 1 month), you can try to have your mail forwarded to you at your hotel or overseas residence, or via the overseas office of your bank or credit card company. (You must call to see if your bank or credit card company offers this service.) Post offices in some countries will hold mail for travelers. Finally, the embassy of your destination country may offer mail processing and delivery services.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


New giveaway: Travel Chic Silver Luggage Tag & Handle Wrap

No one likes the inevitable task of trying to claim baggage in a sea of boxes, bags and similarly-shaped pieces of luggage. What better way to dress up your luggage and make it stand out from the crowd than to add some of Travel Chic's luggage accessories!

A trip to Paris inspired husband and wife team Michael and Kay Ponicall to create a distinguished line of luggage taps, handle wraps, tassels, scarves and keychains. Their products are functional and fabulous at the same time; you couldn't possibly ask for more. They even have a fun kids collection. And as fabulous as their products are, can you believe that everything is under $30?

Travel Chic is sponsoring this week's giveaway with a Silver Luggage Set (shown above), which includes a leather luggage tag, a reversible denim/silver handle wrap and a Travel Chic airplane keychain.

Enter for a chance to win!!

You have 3 different ways to enter (max entries = 3):

1. 1 entry for leaving a comment below, naming your fave Travel Chic product.

2. 1 entry for sending a tweet about the giveaway on Twitter. Be sure to reference my Twitter account - @avapierce - in your announcement so that you receive an entry.

3. 1 entry for leaving a relevant comment on any of my other blog posts. (Spam and single-word comments don't count. As usual, comments posted before today don't count.)

The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends on Friday, November 13, 2009.

One winner will be selected using and will be announced on my blog and via Twitter on Monday, November 16.

The winner must contact me by e-mail (ava AT avapierce DOT com) within three days of the announcement to claim their prize. If the winner does not claim their prize within that time period, another name will immediately be drawn for the prize.

E-mail me with any questions: ava AT avapierce DOT com.


Friday, November 6, 2009

JSTD: Learn to fly without fear

Do you have dreams of becoming a jet-setter but fear flying? That's not good. No worries though; there are lots of "fear of flying" strategies and courses that will help, including SOAR, Fear of Flying Self-Help Course and Virgin Atlantic's newly-released, inexpensive iPhone app. A recent USA Today article mentions several airlines and airports that fear of flying courses.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:

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