Travel Tips

Taking a trip? Check out our travel tips.

PACKING YOUR BAG

travel tips in a pinch

  • Fold clothes over a paper towel roll -- that way, they won't crease in your suitcase.
  • Slip fabric-softener sheets between your clothes to keep them smelling fresh.
  • Put one outfit in your travel partner's suitcase, and vice versa. If luggage is lost, you'll have a change of clothes.
  • Stash cosmetics inside resealable plastic bags, then inflate with a straw so nothing will break.
  • Before packing your hairbrush, cover it with a thick sock so the bristles won't prick your clothes.
  • Leave perfume bottles at home. Soak cotton balls, then put in plastic bags.
  • Save leftover mint tins and use them to hold pills, bobby pins and other small items.
  • String necklaces and bracelets through straws to keep them from tangling in your suitcase.
  • Get a TSA-friendly case, and you won't have to remove your laptop at security.

HANDY TO HAVE

  • Stuff a couple of plastic grocery bags in your luggage -- they'll come in handy for storing dirty laundry.
  • Pick up a small spray bottle to fill with water -- it'll keep you hydrated and de-wrinkle clothes.
  • Pack binoculars, whether you're spending a day at the races or sightseeing in a new city.
  • Sneak in your favorite flavored teas. You'll never be stuck with a hotel's or airplane's boring blend again.
  • Bring a stack of 20 one-dollar bills for easy tipping.
  • Pick up an audio cable with a 3.5-mm jack, and you can connect your MP3 player to a hotel room TV and speakers.
  • Pack an audio Y-adapter so you and your travel buddy can enjoy music and movies together.
  • Pack a scented candle for your next trip or two -- it'll add a little romance to the hotel room.
  • Before a romantic trip, send your favorite wine to the hotel and ask the concierge to have it waiting in your room.

DOUBLE-DUTY ITEMS

  • Use your hair straightener on its lowest setting as a portable clothing iron.
  • Take dental floss to sew a button in a pinch.
  • Take along a sarong -- you can use it as a skirt, scarf or beach blanket.
  • Carry a big scarf on a plane to use as a makeshift pillow or blanket.

WHILE YOU'RE TRAVELLING

  • Pass the time on a road trip with the animal game -- one point for every new creature you spot first, three for a roadrunner.
  • Travel with an extra cell-phone battery as an emergency backup.
  • If your flight is cancelled, call the airline directly. You'll get help much faster than if you wait in line.
  • Plot out your itinerary by writing on a laminated map with a wax pencil. The markings are a cinch to wipe off.
  • Hotels are cutting back, too. Call and ask if your room with be stocked with creature comforts like a robe.
  • When you're in a new city, stop by an independent bookstore. The owners can be full of great local tips.
  • When you visit a new place, be sure to snag a bird's-eye view. Ask the local Chamber of Commerce to point you to a lookout spot.
  • When you're eating in a new town, dine at the bar. You'll make fast friends with locals.
  • To save battery life, remove AAs when storing your camera.
  • Free up memory on your camera: Upload pictures to your hotel's computer and transfer them to a USB flash drive.

SOUVENIRS

  • Pick up native ingredients as souvenirs.
  • Wrap souvenirs in the map you used on your trip.
  • Gather postcards on a road trip and laminate them to make placemats.
  • Print your photos during a trip and send them to friends as postcards.

 

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