Though many veteran travel writers tolerate the speed of modern air travel as a necessary evil, most will tell you there was a time when “getting to” a destination was considered part of a traveling adventure.
Cynics turn up their noses when travelers claim their occupation can be arduous, but the hassles of contemporary travel can make the process considerably less exotic than it once was. Technology has made major improvements for those who suffer from the contagion of wanderlust, but minor inconveniences can have a cumulative effect that can quickly put a damper on your enjoyment.
Here are ten practical travel tips that may eliminate, or at least minimize, some of the impediments to an enjoyable trip.
1 – Sweet Somethings: Those sweetener packets at your dining table have a secret use you may not have considered. Empty the contents of several packages into a drop of lotion. You can use real sugar if you want, calories don’t matter here. For a great exfoliating scrub, rub the mixture on your hands and feet. Rinse with water, pat dry and your extremities are soft and ready for the next stop on your itinerary.
2 — Win One for the Gripper: Marble floors in bathrooms and showers may look nice but they can be hazardous If your hotel doesn’t provide a rubber mat, call room service and ask for an extra towel or two. Put them in the shower and turn the water on until thoroughly soaked. Lay one out and you have a slip-free surface. When you leave the tub, simply squeeze the excess water out of one of the towels and place it on the floor. It’s an ideal way to get a grip.
3 – Giving Luggage Stickers up for Lint: So you forgot your lint brush, or you never had one. Those awful, annoying luggage stickers are a great solution. Pull them off your bags, turn them inside and wrap them around your hands. Now go after that lint. It’s a win-win. You get rid of the ugly strips and you have also made them useful.
4 – Alarming Idea: Put all your essentials such as passport, money, cell phone, camera and other necessary items in a small tote bag beside your bed in the hotel. If you have ever been aroused in the middle of the night by an emergency alarm, you know how disorienting it can be. If an alarm goes off, just grab the tote and head for the nearest exit.
5 – Handling the Dirty Dozen: Most hotels that offer laundry services or dry cleaning usually provide guests with plastic drawstring bags. Take one of the bags and use it for dirty clothes. It separates used clothing from the clean stuff and also keeps everything a little fresher. By sitting on the laundry bag, you will compress the air allowing you to close it with the drawstring and take up less space in your suitcase.
6 – Striptease: Admittedly this one is a bit bulky, but it could be a major help. Take a small multi-socket power strip with you on an international trip. You can eliminate the need for several electrical adapters and while plugging all of your devices into an American-style outlet at one time. More power to you.
7 – Magic Carpet: Some cruise ships put carpets showing the day of the week in front of elevator doors. The mats are changed every night at midnight. A good way to keep track of your pictures is to take a shot of each day’s carpet before you take an excursion. Now all the pictures that follow, until the next carpet change, will be shots taken on any given day. It’s a handy reference for your cruise itinerary and a neat way to organize your photos.
8 – Getting Back to the Hotel: Locals rarely pronounce words the same way in their native language that we do. The same is true when we see the spelling of words that are not pronounced the way they look. In countries where language is a barrier, take a hotel business card with you when you go out. When the time comes to get a taxi back to the hotel, just show the card to the driver. It might save money and also avoid a circuitous trip around town.
9 – Afternoon Delight: Some places that offer rustic accommodations in the tropics do not have hot water. Many villages use water towers or outdoor tanks to supply pressure. If you can wait until the afternoon, the water will be warmed up after sitting a full day in the sun. It may not be hot, but at least you won’t have to deal with an icy cold burst of water in the morning.
10 – The Last Straw: If you have necklaces and bracelets that are relatively thin and can get tangled while you are traveling, try threading each piece through a straw and secure the clasp. It doesn’t take much room and there is no frustration from untying tiny knots.
Travel smart, and travel happy.
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Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.
As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in
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