Friday Finds: Helping Make Travel Easier and Less Expensive

Last Updated on May 15, 2014 by Jody Halsted

Friday Finds is your weekly spot for travel tips, money saving travel deals and travel contests to enter. Get Friday Finds delivered to your reader or inbox!

Travel Tip:  Lock Your Suitcase- and Know When It’s Been Opened

I know many people (even members of my own family) who don’t lock their suitcases when they fly.  “You can’t lock them,” they say.  “The TSA might need to check them”.  Now, obviously, these people may not travel often so they may not know that there are luggage locks that can be opened by a special tool the TSA has.  So, please- lock your luggage!  It goes through dozens of hands between drop off and pick up.

I really like the TravelSmith SearchAlert Combination Lock because it tells you when your bag has been opened.  Yes, the TSA is supposed to put in a note telling you your bag has been opened.  But they don’t always do that- as I learned on our return from Ireland this year.  When we arrived in our hotel, I opened one of my bags to see how my Mead fared in my Vinnibag (inflatable travel wine bag) only to find it missing- and no note in my bag.  Opening my other bag, I found the wine, and a note from the TSA stating that my bag had been searched.  But, because my wine a had been moved and I had the SearchAlert lock, I knew that both bags had been searched.  (Thankfully they didn’t put my Mead in someone else’s bag!)

Families Fall into Savings with staySky Hotels & Resorts in Orlando

Offering a diverse portfolio of Orlando properties, staySky Hotels & Resorts feature multi-bedroom suites, all designed to meet the needs of families, groups, meetings and extended-stay visitors. Guests enjoy superior service, fantastic amenities and excellent locations for outstanding value.  Great for families, you’ll find full kitchens, food courts and relaxing Jacuzzis.

Families fall into savings at each of staySky Hotels & Resort’s seven Orlando properties while enjoying rates starting at $59 per night, and all-suite accommodations. Book online now thru Dec. 20, and take advantage of a $50 excursion credit offered Florida Dolphin Tours good toward thrilling experiences, from swimming with dolphins or manatees, to a Disney character meal or visiting Kennedy Space Center.
All centrally located, staySky Hotels & Resorts give guests easy access to popular attractions including Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando.
staySky Hotels & Resorts Rates Through Dec. 20, 2012

Enclave Suites                                                                                    Rates from $59

Palisades Resort                                                                               Rates from $99

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Universal                               Rates from $99

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Lake Buena Vista                Rates from $99

Coral Cay Resort                                                                           Rates from $99

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa                                    Rates from $119

Damai                                                                                            Rates from $199

To book “Fall Into Savings,” visit and enter promo code FALL2012 or call 1-866-455-4062.

50 Days of Prizes to Celebrate KOA’s 50th Anniversary

We enjoyed our first stays at KOA Kampgrounds this year- and can’t wait to do more!  This fun Facebook contest has you “toasting” marshmallows for entries. 

Click the image to go to the contest!

Prizes include:

  • RV Expedition having an approximate retail value of $4,000
  • KOA Cabin Expedition having an approximate retail value of $4,000
  • Gas gift card having an approximate retail value of $100
  • Cabela’s gift card having an approximate retail value of $50
  • KOA Rolla Roasters having an approximate retail value of $15
  • Free night of camping having an approximate retail value depending on campsite

FYI: One entry per person, per day.  Contest ends September 10, 2012.


Friday Finds are tips, deals and vacation contests that I believe are of interest to family travelers.  Advertisers may purchase a listing in Family Rambling’s Friday Finds; I verify that the deal is available when the article is posted. Some links may be affiliates links- which means that I receive a small commission if you make a purchase at the site (no additional cost to you!)- or sponsored material (which I will disclose).  If you are interested in information about being listed in Family Rambling’s Friday Finds post, please send me email: jody (at) familyrambling (dot) com.

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