Travelers: Air Travel Tips

Do you bring your own snacks when flying? Don’t know what to bring? How about packing some small bags of veggies like carrots or celery, nuts or trail mix, chips, energy bar, or even some sliced chicken if you plan on eating it fairly soon? Don’t forget to add a napkin and a plastic fork. Leave the sauce, condiments, and smelly food at home, though.

You can also have an empty water bottle to get through security and fill it up at a water fountain before you board the plane.

Do you take photos of you luggage before you check it? Might be a good idea, especially if you have a stop or two.

Travelers: Free Museums

Traveling can get expensive, especially with a family. Did you know there are many free museums all over the US? Check out some of these.

The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri offers a wide array of art and artifacts from different cultures all over the world. There is also a sculpture garden outside.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. offers not one but 19 different museums…plus a zoo. Everything from art to sculpture to airplanes to giant pandas…you can spend days and days visiting these.

The Getty Center in Los Angeles, California offers extensive collections of modern art, photography, gardens, and more.

There are many more. Have you visited any free museums?

Travelers: Do You Pack These?

Do you pack copies of your travel and important documents? If you take the time to scan your passport or visa or other important documents, getting replacements is easier. Keep those copies somewhere safe while you travel. Another great idea is to send an email to yourself with any important numbers…passport, driver’s license, credit cards, etc.

Do you pack flip flops? Not that you would wear them in Paris, but they come in handy if you’re headed to a pool, spa, or anywhere some foot protection would be a good idea.

What else do you pack?

Travelers: Do You Pack These?

Do you use a reusable shopping bag at home? Why not pack one when you travel? Some fold flat and fit into your day pack or purse. I use one that stuffs into its own bag and also fits in my purse. When I need it, I shake it out and it’s ready to be filled.

Do you pack emergency snacks? You might love the pretzels and peanuts on the airplane. But, what about something a little more substantial to get you by until you can eat dinner somewhere other than the airport?

Do you pack an extra memory card? If you’re like me, you take hundreds of photos. I always have an extra memory card in my bag. I don’t have to waste time asking where the nearest electronics store is.

Do you pack lip balm? Even if you don’t regularly use it, it’s great for lips on airplanes. With all that dry air, your lips could use the extra moisture. Did you know you could use it in an emergency to tame frizzy hair ends, add some moisture to dry cuticles, unstick a stuck zipper, and even double as sunscreen?

TSA and Ticket Prices

According to Smarter Travel:

TSA Fee Hike Set to Raise Prices on All U.S. Flights
Your plane tickets are about to get a little more expensive.
A TSA fee hike goes into effect at the end of this month. In a few weeks, the September 11 Security Fee will rise from $2.50 for one-way flights (with a cap at $10 roundtrip) and $5 each way for trips with connections, to $5.60 per one-way flight. The cap will be no more.
Under the new rule, fees for direct round-trip flights will jump from $5 to $11.20.
The way the TSA applies the fees to airfares will get slightly more complex, too. The TSA will $5.60 charge for each flight leg that occurs more than four hours following a previous leg, for domestic flights. Internationally and for flights to Hawaii and Alaska, the same rule applies for legs that are 12 hours apart. This means that flights with long layovers, which would have previously counted a single one-way trips, will get taxed doubly. So a round-trip flight with two four-hour connections would cost an additional $22.40 in security fees.
These changes were enacted in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, and they officially go into effect at 12 a.m. Eastern Time on July 21. But if you buy your tickets before July 21, you won’t have to pay the higher fees, no matter when you’re flying.
Annoyed? Angry? Happy to foot the bill for backscatters and pat-downs? No matter what you’re thinking, you still have time to give the government your two cents. According to the Federal Register notice on the rule, “You may submit comments, identified by the TSA docket number to this rulemaking, to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS), a government-wide, electronic docket management system, using any one of the following methods: Electronically: You may submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal at”

Venice and Napoleon

Napoleon has not been forgotten. When his army invaded Venice they tried to crush the identity and spirit of the Venetian people. One of the things they did was to destroy all the lions that were carved and painted onto buildings and bridges. You can still see some of the places where only parts remain.

The winged lion is the symbol of Venice.

Venice by Water

Venice waterways have speed limits to avoid damage to structures along the water. Vaporetti and traditional wooden boats tend to obey where some of the water taxis don’t.

The acqua alta, or the exceptionally high tides that flood parts of the city, may be an alarming or strange site for visitors. Locals know when these high tides are coming. If you want to know, us an app like hi!tide Venice or Venice tides.

Venice Language

Venice has its own language. Italy has only been its own country for fewer than 150 years, so regional dialects and languages get mixed in with mainstream Italian.

Meet some old Venetians in a bar and they’ll tell you they are Venetian…not Italian.

When saying grazie, just soften the z to an s sound and you’ll sound more like a Venetian.

Travelers: More Packing Info

Do you ever pack these easy things? Maybe you should…

Reusable water bottles fit just about anywhere. You can fill them at water fountains, cafes, or the hotel sink. Or, purchase a large bottle of water and refill your smaller ones.

Laundry bags keep your dirty clothes separate from clean clothes in your suitcase. Throw a dryer sheet in the laundry bag to keep the dirty ones smelling a little better.

Make a First Aid Kit by adding some band-aids, individual packages of antibiotic ointment, some moleskin, and aspirin or other pain reliever.