O’Hare Parking: Protest-Proofing My Thanksgiving Weekend Trip

Flying from Chicago to New York this past Thanksgiving weekend, O’Hare parking was a major consideration for me. I wanted to be at the airport with as much extra time as possible, parking at a safe and convenient place nearby and be in line at the gates early. I was a bit apprehensive about the astroturfer’s threat of a so-called “national opt-out day” where protesters will refuse the full body scans and demand pat-downs by the TSA instead.

I dropped off my car at the O’Hare parking facility and arrived at the airport a full three hours early prepared for the worst. You see, pat-downs take an average of four minutes as opposed to the 10 seconds it would take for someone to go through the body scan. If a large number of these people would opt-out, the resulting long lines will create havoc in the travel schedules of hundreds of thousands of people. Fortunately, Americans are more sensible than that – the planned protest action fizzled out at ORD from what I’ve seen (as well as in other airports, thankfully). As it turned out, it was the inclement weather that actually threatened flight schedules not some crank on Speedo demanding a pat down.

While waiting for my flight at the airport (two more hours to go) with my third cup of coffee, I was thinking about how much worse it could have been, something as nightmarish as the long lines we all went through in late 2001 and early 2002. At least, O’Hare parking today is decidedly much better than it was back then.

O’Hare Airport parking on-site is expensive and I rarely use it these days even for very short (2-3 days) trips. Daily parking here costs $31 per day both in the garage and the nearby A, B, and C lots and these tend to fill up to capacity easily on peak days. Economy Lot E has a lower rate of only $17 per day while Economy Lot F off Mannheim Road has the cheapest rate of only $9 per day. Both economy lots run excellent shuttle services and Lot F rarely fills up to capacity isn’t too bad even for long-term parking.

Off-airport, there are several O’Hare parking options to choose from. The outdoor valet parking lot run by AviStar on N Mannheim Rd is an excellent choice for people wanting to try out parking options outside the airport. Parking here costs about $74 for 7 days. The Park N’ Jet lot nearby on Belle Plaine Ave has a much cheaper rate at about $61 for the same number of days. Other facilities in this vicinity such as the Thrifty and Pride lots have comparable rates to the previous two and all are served by frequently running shuttle vehicles.

Hotel parking is also a good option for parking at O’Hare Airport. The ‘park, sleep, and fly’ packages in these airports are in fact highly cost-effective for family or groups traveling from 10 to14 days. InterContinental, for example, offers a room rate starting at $99 with 10 days of parking. Close by, Crowne Plaza has rooms available starting at $109 with 14 days of free parking. I haven’t experienced bad service in these hotels, but a couple of friends are not too thrilled about their shuttle services. In any case, it’s also possible to park in these establishments without availing of the ‘park, sleep, and fly’ packages.

For the Thanksgiving trip, I used the Lot F economy O’Hare parking lot for 3 days of parking. The New York trip went smoothly as planned and I had a great time with the family. One more Thanksgiving weekend, I guess, to be thankful about.

How to Find Cheap Travel Deals on the Internet

There are several good and reliable travel sites on the Internet where you can find great travel deals and save big bucks on your next holidays. However, getting the best deals is not always as easy as we think. Even though there are hundreds of travel sites out there, getting a bargain is not always simple.

Some of the well known sites, which I have personally used without any problem, are: Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Cheap tickets, Ebookers and Last minute.

Still, to find a good deal within these sites is not straightforward, a digging job has to be done to find the gold, despite the easy to use and wonderful sites these brands above and other companies have.

One of the activities that should not be missed is comparing your traveling schedule among the sites of your choice, because no one has the best prices, for all routes, always. Each one has its own specials and when someone has a bargain in certain route, usually the others have not the same special price.

To do this job, there are some websites which compare among these popular travel sites for the destination of your choice and after spotting the lowest fare, you can always go back to the lowest fare site to review the conditions and make the purchase, if you wish.

Major airline sites, often have special deals which are not published through travel sites, so taking a look to the airline sites, which travel to your selected destination, could give you surprisingly good fares for your flight.

Regardless the site or sites you choose to look for your travel information keep in mind the following tips when planning your next holiday.

Book as advanced as you can. Airlines fares increase as the time for departure approaches.

Try to arrive and depart in a mid-week day. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

If you have flexible dates, chances to get a bargain will increase. Sometimes, a trade show or a special event will make the city of your destination very expensive for a given week, while a couple of days later or earlier, the prices could drop sharply.

For obvious reasons, avoid holidays. It is practically impossible to find a bargain during holidays, even more, airlines increase prices during holidays.

If you are traveling during Christmas, usually the Christmas day itself is cheaper than the days before. The same applies to Thanksgiving and other crowded holidays.

Try to use several websites to research your travel information, and then you will identify the most appropriate website for your needs.

When traveling to Europe from the US, try getting to a major city like London, and then use the local cheap fare airlines to travel around Europe.

When booking a hotel, use Expedia or Travelocity to see the pictures and location of the hotel, even if you book later in other site with better price.

Use as many sites as needed to book different parts of your holidays, if you get the best price in each one of them.

After you select a flight or hotel in any travel site, get into the airline and hotel sites directly and compare prices.

Verify that the site where you are purchasing has good reputation and uses SSL encryption when you pay online with a credit card.

After you receive the confirmation code from the travel site where you made the purchase, mail directly to the hotel and/or airline and confirm that they got your reservation exactly as the one you purchased.

Following these tips will give you the lowest fares available on the Internet and will avoid you unpleasant surprises when traveling.

Buying Running Shoes: 6 Expert Tips to Consider

If you think buying the right pair of running shoes is easy, you need to think again. There is a range of brand new running shoes out there. In this article, you are going to read some expert tips that can help you find the best pair of running shoes based on the factors that you must take into account. The three most important factors include size, fit and comfort. Let’s get into the details.

Tip 1: Consider your Size

First off, size should be your number one factor when making this purpose. To measure your size, stand up with your shoes on. Now make sure there is at least half an inch of room in front of the biggest toe in the shoes. Actually, your running boots shouldn’t be too tight. This is important for a better grip. In other words, your shoes should be at least half a size bigger than your regular shoes.

Tip 2: Consider the Arch

The arch has a great impact on the level of comfort you enjoy when wearing the shoes. In other words, the heels of your running shoes should be at least 8 millimeters high. On the other hand, height is less in case of competitive shoes.

Nowadays, players prefer shoes that offer more cushioning. Therefore, you can find a lot of models that fall into this category. Also, the soles of today’s shoes are more flexible.

Tip 3: Materials and Cushioning

Nowadays, all manufacturers make use of innovative materials to design sports shoes. One of the most common materials is called polyurethane. Actually, these cushioning materials offer a lot of elasticity to ensure your feet move freely in the shoes. Also, the PU foams don’t care about the temperature anymore and work fine in both summer and winter. So, it’s better to opt for a shoe that offers a greater level of cushioning.

Tip 4: Considering Different Models

You can choose to check out different models online before placing your order. It may be hard to buy the right pair online as you can’t try on the pair you want to invest in. Therefore, it’s better to go to a specialized dealer and try on a lot of models before you settle on one.

Tip 5: Help the Dealer

Just because there is a lot of variety out there doesn’t mean you can’t buy the right pair. An easy way of opting for the right shoes is to take your existing running shoes with you to the shop. This will help the dealers get a better idea of what can work best for you. An expert dealer can help you find out which requirements you need to meet in order to get the right pair of sports shoes.

Tip 6: Choose a Good Dealer

A good retailer will listen to your preferences when recommending a good pair of running shoes. They will ask you questions about your running style, preferences, and other likes and dislikes. They will recommend the right shoes based on the type of track you are going to run on. So, if a retailer is not a good listener, you should look for another.

So, you can follow these expert tips the next time you buy a pair of good running shoes.