CHARLOTTE, NC: With the travel industry reeling from coronavirus quarantines, cancellations and rescheduling, perhaps now is a good time to offer a new collection of travel tips that, hopefully, can be useful when our topsy-turvey world returns to normal.
Not all of these will work for everyone in every case, but many of these neat little tricks may save lots of time and hassles during the course of a trip.
If you have a problem with clogged ears when you’re flying, bring along and apple. When the plane begins to descend – about 25 minutes before arrival – eat the apple. The chewing and swallowing will keep your ears clear.
Grow a Pair:
Sometimes it just takes having a little nerve to speak up. When travel websites offer rAll Postseally great deals for hotels, print them out and save them. Even after the validity date has passed, you have a printed version of a previous offer.
If the hotel is not busy during a certain time, they might honor an earlier deal just to fill up space. It’s worth a try, especially for last-minute arrangements.
Ever been bothered by street merchants who keep pestering you to buy something? Instead of saying, “No thank you,” in English, learn how to say the same thing in the language of the country you are visiting.
Sounds silly, but many times the vendor will get the message and think you speak his language and go bother somebody else.
Unique Christmas Tree:
At a loss to figure out what to do with some of those travel souvenirs you pick up and never seem to use? Why not use them to decorate your Christmas tree! The tree will be unique and during the holiday season when people stop by for a visit, they can make a great conversation piece.
Postcards, ticket stubs, and disposable cameras add a quirky touch and exotic blankets or fabrics can even serve as a tree skirt.
Why not carry two or three bags of microwave popcorn in your carry-on? If you arrive at the hotel too late with no place to get something to eat, you can usually find a microwave in the guestrooms or the common area.
It can tide you over for a little while and you can also use the ice bucket as a popcorn bowl. Be sure to clean it first, lots of hot water and soap or use the plastic bag liner.
Did you know that candied ginger is not only tasty but a preventative or remedy for motion sickness? If you are prone to car, air or seasickness, a small supply might be very helpful.
Rubber Band Safety:
Lots of people are wearing rubber band bracelets these days. When you are traveling with children in a crowded place such as an amusement park etc., you can write your cell phone number or the name of your hotel on the inside of the bracelet.
If you get lost or separated, the kids will have a way to find you.
Returning to the Hotel:
Many times locals do not pronounce words in their language the same way we do. In a country where language can be difficult, take a hotel business card with you when you go out. Then when you need a taxi back to the hotel, just show it to the driver and you can save yourself a lot of aggravation, and possibly money as well.
A photo on your cell phone of the hotel and the nearest cross street can also be helpful.
Next time you rent a car, check the license plate to see if it’s from the same state you are in. Many times police officers prefer to give traffic tickets to a driver with out-of-state tags rather than their own state. It’s no guarantee but it might help.
The best thing to do, of course, is knowing local rules of the road and following them.
A New Kind of Postal Service:
Want to make sure your cabin steward or maid gets a message when you are out of the room while on a cruise? Take some post-it notes and leave the messages on a mirror when you want more ice, Kleenex, extra towels, etc. Believe it or not, it works!
Let There Be Light:
Do you ever need a flashlight but just can’t find one? How about using your cell phone! Most of the newer phones have powerful little displays that are bright enough to light the way down a dark staircase or help you find some items in a dark corner.
Fresh as a Daisy:
Take two or three bars of your favorite soap and put them in strategic places in your luggage. They make everything smell better and they also come in handy in places where soap isn’t furnished.
Lighten Your Load:
Many people abandon old clothing at the end of a trip rather than lug it all the way home. Buying yourself new underwear, for your drawer, and disposing of your briefs as you travel is one way.
However, Some hotels do not allow the cleaning staff to take things from wastepaper baskets (not that they want your underwear). In fact, some hotels even mail the discarded items back to you.
Next time, just leave a note on the basket stating your desire to leave them and that they are available for anyone who wants them. Case clothed.
Those insulated foam can holders make great little storage places when you are traveling a long distance in a car or van. They’ll store pens, notes, glasses, receipts, coupons or any other little items you might want to keep track of. No wonder they call them cozys.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is the founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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