10 Essentials for Summer Travel Survival
Airlines have already attempted six fare hikes this year, with Delta(DAL) alone attempting to boost prices three times since January. Delta was only successful once, but alleged "discount" carriers Southwest(LUV) and JetBlue(JBLU) were behind the only other two fare increases that stuck.
All together, domestic airline ticket prices have risen between $20 and $40 this year regardless of fuel prices or demand. Since passengers' wallets aren't weighing them down anymore, they may want to consider springing for the following 10 items to cope with the stress and small spaces the airlines are charging a premium for:
Why buy a $10 pair of Maxell headphones or a $300 Beats Studio By Dr. Dre headset when a pair of earplugs will do? Because the big boys are padded and won't stick in your ears and irritate them when you're drifting to sleep, won't slip out of your ears just as a baby starts wailing and won't allow an airline to rob you of $5 to $10 more of your dollars for the privilege of hearing their radio stations.
Why an e-reader instead of a smartphone or tablet? Three reasons: Size, price and battery power. At six to eight inches and five to 12 ounces, the low-end version of Amazon's(AMZN) Kindle, Barnes & Noble's(BKS) Nook and Sony(SNE) Reader can be had for half the price of a smartphone and a fraction of the cost of a tablet. Meanwhile, the Nook can hold charge for more than 10 days, the Sony reader for two weeks and a Wi-Fi-only Kindle for three weeks to a month.
A water bottle
Isn't there an alternative to paying $3 to $4 for a bottle of Coca-Cola(KO) Dasani or Pepsi(PEP) Aquafina at the terminal or $2 to $3 for drinks on the plane? Yep. Bring an empty water bottle in your carry-on and fill it at a fountain once you get through security. Problem solved, wallet fatter.