Air Travel Tips

Air Travel Tips for the un-initiated traveler. Taking some of the hassle out of your travels.

Isn’t air travel, with all the new airline and government imposed regulations and pesky fees, getting to be a real pain in the you know what?  Unfortunately, when distances are involved, it’s still the fastest way to get from point A to point B.

How about all those new pat downs, scans, and rules on what you can and cannot take on board with you.  Because things can change at the spur of the moment, or at least it seems that way, the best way to stay informed and stay calm is to make sure you’re informed ahead of time.  Following are some Air Travel Tips to help you in that way.

For baggage restrictions and costs, contact your airline directly, or go to their web site. E.g. . Also be sure to check TSA’s regulations, below.

For all security related concerns go to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) site, they’ll have the latest information – For a more direct way to find out what you can and cannot take with you, click here. This is TSA’s permitted/restricted items page.

Now on to travel tips for all those extra fees you may encounter; checking a bag, extra baggage, more leg room, window seat and… oh yea, no more free lunch. All those fees can add-up and make your cheap flight not so cheap.  This is one way the airlines keep up with their rising costs without significantly impacting the cost of the basic airline ticket price. Following are some travel tips that you have some control over and that will help you dodge some of those fees:

Checking a Bag? Fees normally range from $15.00 to $35.00, plus perhaps $25.00 for the second bag. Fix: Some travel related credit cards provide an allowance for things such as baggage check, also check with the hotel you’re staying in whether they have a reimbursement policy.

Better Seat or More Legroom? Here, depending on the airline, you may find fees ranging from $5.00 up to $50.00 and possibly more. Fix: The best suggestion here is the old standby – get to the counter early. Unless the flight is already totally booked, if you get there early, seats are often up for grabs, and don’t forget to be courteous to the counter person.  A smile goes a long way.  Another suggestion, if departure time is not an issue, travel during off-peak days and hours.

Overweight Bags? Here the charges can run up quickly, go over 50 lbs. and $50.00 will be tacked on. Fix: Travel light, keep heavy items such as books and magazines out of your luggage, and perhaps you need to invest in light weight luggage. Find that and more at: Travel Resources and Supplies

Hopefully these Air Travel Tips will take some of the hassles out of your travels to Austria, Europe or wherever you may travel to.

Wiener Schnitzel – Austria’s National Food

Wiener SchnitzelApfelstrudelSacher Torte and Vienna Coffee are all an integral part of Vienna and Austria.  My mouth is watering just thinking about putting up authentic recipes for these and other Austrian foods.

We’ll start this series off with a Wiener Schnitzel recipe, which is as close to an Austrian national food as you can get.

Display of a Wienerschnitzel meal, Austria's national dish
Wiener Schnitzel

In fact across the border to the north (Germany), Austrians are frequently referred to as Schitzelfressers (Schnitzel munchers).

This is a recipe for Wiener Schnitzel my mother used to make. In our house it was called the Grandma Meal by our two sons and it will surely please your pallet.

Here’s “Grandma Lilly’s” Wiener Schnitzel Recipe:


Veal cutlets (pork can be used as a substitute but is not as authentic)

Potatoes ( for mashed potatoes)

Butter, egg, bread crumbs, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon slices

Cranberry sauce and some parsley for garnish

How to prepare “Grandma Lilly’s” Wiener Schnitzel:

You should have three ingredients ready: one with the beaten egg, one with flour and one with fine breadcrumbs.

Cut the cutlets, if necessary, into a small size portion. A person may eat 3-4 or more of these.

Take a wooden hammer and “punch/hit” it tender to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch. Sprinkle some (according to your taste) salt, pepper and garlic powder on meat before applying the wooden hammer. Do wear an apron because little splatters will fly.

Dip each, now tenderized cutlet (Schnitzel) in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs respectively and put it in a skillet with hot “healthy” oil (Canola Oil) and fry till golden-brown.  Some may prefer to use butter instead of oil, although for health and overheating reasons, not highly recommended.

In the meantime, cut the potatoes (peeled or un-peeled, as preferred) into chunks and boil along with some bay leaves, celery leaves and garlic cloves.

Mash the potatoes the old fashioned way, with a hand masher, add some butter and Sour Cream (optional) a pinch or two of Sea Salt and they’re ready.

Serve the Wiener Schnitzel with the potatoes and cranberry sauce and you’ll surely please your plate. Sprinkling some lemon juice on the Schnitzel, adds a bit of tang and WOW.  Guten Appetit, Enjoy!

Stay tuned for Apfelstrudel next!

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