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Thread: Travel tips

  1. #11
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Syringes are allowed through security, per the TSA, as long as each syringe is printed with the prescription information, and the names match your ticket. It also appears to help to have a short note from your doctor explaining why you need the medication.

    I'm not sure how cold your medication needs to be, but something like this might work:

    http://www.amazon.com/Frio-Cooling-W...034235-9869535

    At least for the short term. If you have the option, book a "suite-type" hotel room (Doubletree or Embassy Suites are the two that come to mind), as they'll always have refrigerators - and a LOT more room for you if you're gong to be somewhere for a few days.

  2. #12
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Marley, in addition to the great advice everyone has offered, might it help to have a note from your doctor as well (on his letterhead) explaining that you need to take these injections every certain number of hours? Just in case. I would also keep your meds on ice in the fridge at your hotel. Too many hotel fridges don't keep things cold enough, in my opinion... (ETA, John posted the same info while I was typing my wordy thing out...)

    John, great tips. I always use the alarm clock on my Palm Pilot. It's very convenient to have. Plus, I have a world clock on there that will always give me the time at home, plus the time for wherever I happen to be traveling. It's great for long overseas trips so I'm not waking people up at 3 a.m. their time. I usually also have the hotel wake me up. I'm not a morning person and figure it can't hurt to have 2 alarms wake me.

    I don't have VIP status at any hotel to barter with, but the husband and I will often walk into a hotel (leaving our luggage in the car) and ask how much their rooms are. They usually quote the most expensive price...but then when they see us about to walk away, they come up suddenly with a "special" price for us that's way cheaper. Be sure to ask about their taxes etc., 'cause a $149 room will cost WAY more after their automatic add ons.

    I've never been upgraded to first class for free but I have gotten exit row seats a few times (and I'm not even a member of the 6-foot tall club!) just 'cause I happened to ask. But please don't ask for exit row seats if you're not capable of lifting your carryon bag into the overhead by yourself. I've seen people do that and I was thinking, "Gees, in the case of a real emergency, are you even going to be able to get the door open?"

    A tip for the ladies, I always carry a BIG purse and pack a smaller purse in my checked luggage to use for sightseeing etc. The BIG purse I have with me will have my glasses, a small trial size container of contact solution (you can buy this at the drugstore; my eye doc's office gives them out free to their patients if you ask nicely), any pills I may need, as well as a lipstick and some moist towelettes to clean up on the plane, a book, magazine etc. Like John, I always bring some undies/socks in my purse or carry on, too...just in case.

    On our last trip, we used the TSA-approved luggage lock and had no problems. Security has the key to open it to check whatever they need to and I felt safer knowing that any non-approved handlers looking to rummage around to steal stuff would have to break the lock and go to some trouble to steal from us.

    On flights longer than 2 hours, I will usually buy a snack (a sandwich or a muffin) at the airport to bring on the plane, regardless of whether I'm hungry or not. It came in handy when our plane was on the runway for 3 hours waiting for clearance to take off. The flight attendants ran out of the boxed lunches they were selling, but the husband and I had a nice sandwich to split while we waited. It helped make the wait bearable.
    Last edited by Lois Lane; 02-18-2007 at 11:46 AM.

  3. #13
    FORT Fogey Muduh's Avatar
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    I read a travel article this morning and it suggested that you leave your tip for your hotel housekeeper, daily. I've always waited and left it on the last day, but may try the daily thing to see how it works out. The article said that you get better housekeeping service like extra towels, shampoo, etc. if you tip daily.

  4. #14
    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    I tip daily because I've noticed the same housekeeper may not clean my room each day - I want to be sure whoever does the work gets the tip.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

  5. #15
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Great tips, John!

    I always use my cell phone as an alarm when traveling. That way, I KNOW it's going to go off. With a strange alarm clock or hotel staff, I can't be sure.

    My tip is to pack things like socks and underwear (and anything else small enough) in zip-lock bags. That way, you can push all the air out so they pack flat AND if your bags get selected to be searched, everything isn't a complete mess. I also try to pack a plastic bag to throw my dirty clothes into. Since the new carry-on restrictions, I buy travel sizes of all my toiletries. If the trip is long enough (and it doesn't take all that long to go through those puny containers) I can actually throw away the bottles and I don't have to pack them for the return trip. Every little bit of space counts with me.

    I have a piece of red and white checked ribbon tied to the handle of my suitcase AND one of those straps that wraps around the suitcase lengthwise... in neon green. With that combination I figure no one would take my bag accidentally or on purpose!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  6. #16
    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    Critical, I was just coming back to post a comment on ziploc bags. Not only will they help keep things tidy if your bag gets searched, but it reduces the "ick" factor of having a stranger pawing your underwear (for them as well as me!).
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

  7. #17
    addicted MamaC's Avatar
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    When my youngest daughter was little, she needed to be on a daily antibiotic regimen for her kidney problems. We took a trip to California and would be staying in several hotels. I had her bottle of amoxycillin in a cooler/lunchbag with the icepack. The flight attendant put the medicine in the airplane's fridge for us. At the hotels, if we found ourselves in a room with no fridge, the hotel would put it in their fridge in the kitchen. Happens all the time, I guess, and the airlines and hotels are very accommodating.

    Years later, post-9/11, same daughter needed to have an EpiPen for her beesting allergy. We always brought a letter from her doctor along with the Epi when we would be flying. Never had a problem going through security, etc., and thankfully she never had to use it. I also made copies of the doctors note and stashed them in my camera bag, checked in luggage, etc., just in case I lost the original.

    Another travel tip for long vacations is to use those space-saver bags. They really do work quite well and can hold a lot of clothes. I would suggest, though, that each space-saver bag contain clothing for each day rather than putting all jeans in one bag, tee-shirts in another, undies in another, etc. especially if you are not going to be in the same city or hotel for more than a day and night.

    Also, instead of placing clothes folded into the suitcases, roll up each item of clothing. One can fit more pieces of clothing into a suitcase and the clothes do not get all wrinkled either.

    When we travel, my kids use a backpack as their carry-on bag. Great for the iPod, books, cameras, food, gum., etc. I stash my pocketbook in a larger tote bag which I use for carry-on. I also clean out my pocketbook and my wallet before the trip. I leave all my credit cards at home except for one that we will use.

    I don't know if anyone uses travelers cheques anymore, but if so, write down all the serial numbers and take that list with you. Keep the list separate from the travelers cheques. If they get lost or stolen, you can get replacements with a lot less hassles..

    Nowadays, ATMs are everywhere and very convenient. The banks make a nice profit off of the transaction fees as do the credit card companies. It can really add up. Credit unions offer debit/credit cards and allow so many ATM transactions per month at no charge and then just charge something like 75 cents per additional transaction....much cheaper than the credit card companies and bank transaction fees.

    Anyone planning on international travel should really check out

    Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door

    He is usually seen on PBS and has excellent tips for traveling abroad.

    I also always leave my travel itinerary with my parents and sibs, in case an emergency occurs and they have to get ahold of us.

    I also check the airline's website to see what size luggage they allow for carry-on versus checked baggage. And also what the weight allowance is for checked in luggage. Different airlines have different allowances and I don't want to find out at check in that my carry-on bag is considered too big and/or one bag is over the limit and I have to pay extra for it.

  8. #18
    FORT Fogey Muduh's Avatar
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    Critical, are you saying that you feel others may think your (lack of) taste may extend to the contents of your suitcase?

    Cricketeen, do they not open the plastic bags? I don't know because we never fly.

  9. #19
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketeen;2246387;
    I tip daily because I've noticed the same housekeeper may not clean my room each day - I want to be sure whoever does the work gets the tip.
    Same thing here. I used to tip at the end of my stay, but once I realized different people were cleaning on different days, I began leaving my tip every morning before we left our room (always with a note so they know it's for them to keep and not just spare bills lying around). It pays off, too. Like Muduh said, you tend to get extra care. One maid even left extra soaps/shampoos on top of our little toiletry bags so that we could take them home with us if we wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muduh;2246462;
    Cricketeen, do they not open the plastic bags? I don't know because we never fly.
    I would think they would...wouldn't they? But it seems that it would just keep everything organized better. I like putting my shoes in those plastic grocery bags. It keeps any dirt from getting onto clean clothes. On the way home, when all the clothes are dirty anyhow, I use the bags to throw in dirty undies etc. (keep them a little separated). I like bringing large Ziploc bags to store wet clothes in...like when you're coming back from a cruise or a resort. I like to stay at the beach as late as I can so I just throw my wet bathing suit in there before packing to head back home. You just have to remember to take them out and wash them right away when you get home so you're not dealing with moldy wet clothes!

    Gees, this thread is really making me wistful. I want to go somewhere again!
    Last edited by Lois Lane; 02-18-2007 at 06:56 PM.

  10. #20
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    I use one of those bath "poofs" tied around my luggage handle and a multi-colored strap around my luggage to help distinguish it from others! I've seen yarn "poofs", Christmas bows, the ever faithful duct tape, writing on the suitcase, etc on others peoples luggage. When I bought my luggage I got red luggage because I hardly ever saw any...guess what I see all the time now??? Yep...red luggage!

    I make a copy of my passport and put it in all of my luggage so in case the name ID tag somehow gets separated from my luggage that ID would be inside my luggage.

    When I was going to go on a cruise, one of the cruise websites gave a great piece of advice that I was able to incorporate for other trips too. I am big on saving mementos of my trip..ticket stubs, napkins, pamphlets, brochures, etc...I always think I'm going to do a scrapbook...of which I have yet to do! Get one of those accordion style folders that you can find in the school supply section. You can keep your items for each day in each individual slot and then it will all be kept in one place rather than strewed all throughout your luggage, handbags, etc.

    I've bought some of those space saver bags to pack my clothes in and they have come in handy. I also keep plenty of ziploc bags in my suitcase because you never know if you might have a top to come off a bottle of lotion or you want to scoop up some sand and take it home with you.

    I swear by Reviews of vacations, hotels, resorts, vacation and travel packages - TripAdvisor when you are planning a trip. You can search out reviews of hotels, tourist sites, etc by regular folks. I always try to post about my experiences too. I have found some great hotels to stay at that weren't chains and never went wrong by what was posted on that site.

    Wow...all I typed out was the name of the website and when I checked my post, it ended up listing all that "other" stuff...how did that happen?
    Last edited by bbnbama; 02-18-2007 at 07:14 PM.
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