luck. But whatever your wireless com-
pany, take a look at the coverage map
on its website before heading out—
T-Mobile, Sprint, and Nextel are par-
ticularly weak in rural areas. If you
need to stay in touch at a destination
where you know your phone won't
work, rent a phone that does from
InTouch USA ( & 800/872-7626;
www.intouchglobal.com) or a rental
car location, but beware that you'll
pay $1 a minute or more for airtime.
If you're not from the U.S., you'll
be appalled at the poor reach of our
GSM (Global System for Mobiles)
wireless network, which is used by
much of the rest of the world (see
below). Your phone will probably
work in most major U.S. cities; it def-
initely won't work in many rural areas.
(To see where GSM phones work in
the U.S., check out www.t-mobile.
And you may or may not be able to
send SMS (text messaging) home—
something Americans tend not to any-
way, for various cultural and
technological reasons. (International
budget travelers like to send text mes-
sages home because it's much cheaper
than making international calls.)
Assume nothing—call your wireless
provider and get the full scoop. In a
worst-case scenario, you can always
rent a phone; InTouch USA delivers
9 Getting There
THE MAJOR AIRLINES
Domestic carriers that fly regularly to
O'Hare include American ( & 800/
433-7300; www.aa.com), Continental
( & 800/525-0280; www.continental.
com), Delta ( & 800/221-1212; www.
delta.com), Northwest ( & 800/
225-2525; www.nwa.com), United
( & 800/864-8331; www.united.com),
and US Airways ( & 800/428-4322;
service is also provided by several
regional airlines. Airlines that fly to
Chicago's Midway Airport are Amer-
ica West ( & 800/235-9292; www.
americawest.com), AirTran Airways
( & 800/247-8726; www.airtran.com),
ATA ( & 800/435-9282; www.ata.
com), Continental ( & 800/525-
0280; www.continental.com), Frontier
( & 800/432-1359; www.frontier
airlines.com), Northwest ( & 800/
225-2525; www.nwa.com), and
Southwest ( & 800/435-9792; www.
iflyswa.com). The toll-free numbers
listed are for use in the United States
FLYING FOR LESS: TIPS
FOR GETTING THE
Airfares are a great example of capital-
ism at work: Passengers within the
Kids with Colds
It's more difficult for kids to make their ears pop during takeoff and land-
ing than it is for adults. The eustachian tube is especially narrow in chil-
dren; the passage is even tighter when mucous membranes are swollen.
This can make ascent and descent especially painful—even dangerous—
for a child with congested sinuses. If your little one is suffering from a cold
or the flu, it's best to keep him grounded until he recuperates, if that's an
option. If you must travel with your child as scheduled, give them an oral
child's decongestant an hour before ascent and descent or administer a
spray decongestant before and during takeoff and landing.