Travels: Quick Tips

Traveling with a curling iron? Pack it in an oven mitt.

Tight connection? When booking, pick an aisle seat near the front.

Traveling several months from now? Sign up for fare alerts at Kayak, FareCompare, Hipmunk, and others.

Checking your luggage? Use an expandable suitcase. As long as it doesn’t exceed the weight amount, you will be able to add more by expanding the suitcase.

Need to save room in your suitcase? Try travel space bags which will compress your clothes and usually keep them wrinkle free.

Have a long flight and want to stay comfortable? Wear breathable fabrics like silk, cotton, or linen on the plane.

Forgot your laundry soap? Baby shampoo works just as well. You can also use it to defog your swim or ski goggles. Just dab a small amount and rinse. Throw in some dryer sheets. One in your dirty clothes bag helps with smelly clothes. Use another one to remove static. Place one in each shoe to keep them smelling better.

Need thread? Dental floss works well.

Travels: Personal Guide

When you travel, do you make all the arrangements or do you hire a guide? Do you use a travel service that provides everything or just a guide for certain sites? Are you traveling by boat, air, or car? Are you going to be traveling all over Napa Valley drinking and sampling wines? Will you be hiking in unfamiliar territory? 

While there are pros and cons for all of the above, you should decide what you’ll be doing and how beneficial a guide would be for your trip. 

For instance, if you’re going to some location during a time when dozens of tourists visit…you may want to seek out someone ahead of time to let you know the best days and times to visit. That guide may also have special passes or can get you a private tour.

Or, if your time is limited in a city, a guide may be your best bet.

For dive trips, we always hired a guide. We didn’t just sign up for a 40 person boat where no special services were offered. You want someone who is familiar with the best dive spots if that’s your vacation.

A wine tasting vacation, no matter where, is another time when a guide is a good idea. They may recommend great spots. Better yet, you won’t have to worry about drinking and driving.

When visiting places where language is a definite issue, a guide could come in handy when trying to read street signs, order in a restaurant, or get a taxi.

Travels and Books

Traveling to Venice was a great opportunity to discover places, streets, canals, and surrounding areas I could use in my latest suspense, mystery novel. In fact, the cover shot is one I took the day we went to Burano.

The foothills of the Dolomites, wandering around the countryside where the prosecco grapes are grown, and highlights of other places around Venice make it into the book as well. 

Check it out on Amazon or from my website at 

Stay tuned for the next one…you may be surprised.

Travelers: Camera Tips

Remember to pack:
Extra batteries…you don’t want to run out

A battery charger…this would work in place of extra batteries

Extra memory cards…know what kind of memory your camera has and pack accordingly

A lens cloth…having a smudge on your lens doesn’t equal great photos

Plastic bag…if it starts raining, your camera is protected

Filters…if you use filters, remember to pack them

Flashlight…you may need to shine a little light on something

Tripod…if you plan on taking photos with long exposure times, this is essential

Travelers: Luggage Tips

Make sure your checked luggage has a tag with your name, flight number, final destination, and a phone number.

Place a business card inside your bag.

Don’t check anything you can’t live without.

Try to get your bag to stand out on the luggage carousel. All the black bags in the world tend to look alike as they round the corner.

If your bag doesn’t arrive, file a claim before you leave the airport.

Travelers: Long Flights

If your sinuses give you trouble on long flights, pack a small washcloth in a resealable bag. Ask for a cup of hot water, dip the washcloth in it, and place it over your face. Breathing in the steam may help you breathe better.

You can also use that washcloth in the lavatory to freshen up before you land.

Also pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, some lip balm, hand lotion, and eye drops. 

If you carry a refillable water bottle, you may ask the flight attendants to fill it.

If your airline doesn’t give you socks to wear, pack a pair to use when walking around the plane. Remember to pack them away with your dirty laundry so you don’t wear them until you wash them. No telling what’s on the floor…

Do you have trouble getting your ears to pop? Bring an apple. Then, about 25 minutes before you land…start eating it. The constant chewing will assist in popping your ears.

Candied ginger works for motion sickness.

Travelers: Before You Reach Security

Before you reach the security line, here are a few things to think about.

Make sure all of your documents, passport, tickets, and anything else you need in the security line are all in one place. Make sure you know exactly where that place is…in your purse, luggage, pocket, or wherever works for you.

Place everything else you won’t need until later in a different place. No sense dropping cash, tissues, your parking slip, or anything else around you while others wait for you to pick it up. And, yes I have had a lady in front of me drop everything out of every pocket in her purse. Embarrassing for her…frustrating for everyone else.

Do you know if you need to remove your shoes, jacket, and belt? If you are TSA Pre, you won’t need to. Otherwise, in the US…you will. 

Do you have to remove your laptop or tablet? Know this ahead of time.

Travelers: Plane Tips

 Especially if your flight is a long one, your feet will swell. Think about packing a shoe horn in your carry on luggage.

Remember to charge all your devices before you board your flight. 

Noise cancelling headphones are your friend on a long flight.

Eye drops come in handy to help wake up after snoozing.