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The last 2 weeks, I’ve given away a $50 Amazon gift card as a promotion (Week 1 and Week 2).  One of the ways that you could enter the giveaway was to leave a comment on one of the posts with a favorite travel tip.  Sorry – no giveaway this week! but there were some really great tips that I thought I’d compile and share with you.

Now, there were a bunch of lame tips that were clearly just attempts to quickly enter the contest, although nobody used my favorite tip, which is “Don’t eat yellow snow” :-).  But there were a lot of really good ones that I had never thought of!

I’ve categorized the tips into a few different categories

Flying

  • When flying, always carry a card that reimburses airline fees (if you have not already used up your benefit for the year). You never know what’s going to happen and you may just end up getting stuck with some bogus fee along the way….not having to actually pay it will make it much easier to take.
  • Bring an inflatable lumbar pillow to save your back on long flights
  • My favorite travel tip is a rather unconventional one – I always wear a soft, wide, cotton-elastic headband when flying. It’s handy, of course, to keep hair out of my eyes, but I will pull it down over my eyes when trying to sleep. It’s thick enough to actually keep almost all ambient light out and is never too tight.
  • Travel tip when traveling with little kids: triangular crayons. They won’t roll off airplane tray tables
  • My favorite travel tip is to bring your own snacks on the airplane

Travel documents

  • Travel tip: Make a copy of your passport and store it somewhere else when traveling overseas. If you ever lose your passport, you at least have something to speed up the process of recovery
  • I usually carry my current and my expired IDs when traveling. When going to the beach or out at night, I carry the expired ID. If I happen to lose that, I can always board the plane back home without much hassle using the current ID.
  • I always email a copy of my passport to myself, and also copies of my e-tickets, reservations, etc. That way, if my bag is stolen, or I lose my documents, I have a copy I can retrieve from my email. I do the same for my husband and daughters, too. Came in handy when my daughter lost her passport in the UK. She printed a copy of her US passport and was able to take it to the US Embassy in London to get an emergency travel passport that enabled her to come home!
  • I always bring printouts of all confirmations. I can’t tell you how many times people don’t “find my reservation” and then I have a printed copy and bingo. Also, it’s a way of making sure that other things that were promised (upgrades, free breakfast, etc) are honored.

Charging devices

  • I always travel with 2-3 small adaptors when I travel to Continental Europe (not talking about the bulkier multi-countries ones & also the big ones for the UK, of which I only take one). Just in case one gets stuck in the outlet & is left behind and so I can help out a fellow traveler or two.
  • One of the best things to bring with you is a portable battery bank “Portable Charger”. Seriously, it could save your life when traveling!
  • i purchased a multiple outlet USB adapter that would allow me to charge Apple devices, micro usb, and mini usb so I only have to carry one cord instead of 3

Medical on the road

  • Also, if you have any health issues, like asthma, ADD/ADHD, etc. Be sure to pack your medications, such as your prescription tablets, inhalers, etc. Even over the counter medications, like Tylenol, robitussin, etc. In case you get sick. If you forgot to pack your medications, both prescriptions and over the counter, then go to the nearest store/pharmacy, like Walgreen’s or CVS, and they will help you out, like call your doctor back home, or look it up, and then take it from there, and so that you can enjoy your vacation, and nothing to worry about. And if you have any emergencies, while out of town, find the nearest clinic, and they’ll help you out.
  • Keep using a saline nose spray on the plane, it helps keep the nasal passages moist and flush out bacteria. Great prevention for colds!

Money

  • Always keep an emergency credit card or two separate from your wallet!

Clothes

  • For me, I always adhere to this tip: Don’t pack clothes that require ironing. Who wants to iron while traveling. Buy fabrics that do not wrinkle and roll them up in your luggage.
  • My favorite hack is to keep you belt rolled up in your shirt’s collar to keep it stiff.

Cleanliness

  • A pillow! Only your pillow isn’t filthy.
  • Travel Tip: Traveling is gross. I ALWAYS toss a pack of disinfectant to-go wipes in my carry on and clean the tray table, seat belt, and arm rests. People’s thoughts/stares go like this:
    1. What is that smell–
    2. Oh. It’s those disinfecta–OMG. Is that guy REALLY cleaning like that? That’s ridicu–
    3. Well. Hm. I wish I had the same idea. I wonder if I could ask him for a wipe.
    4. *Looks at me longingly*
  • I keep all the free shower caps. When I first check into my room I take it and wrap it around the remote cuz it’s the dirtiest thing you touch. Then I bring the other remaining shower caps home to use on my self when I’m conditioning my hair with coconut oil! I just watch tv while I’m getting my hair conditioned

Packing

  • my best travel trip, if your planning on taking children down south where its warm, during OUR winter months, at the end of summer before you are going, pack your childs summer clothes in a suitcase and packing is done for the kids. Then fill up kids closets with fall and winter wear. By taking your childs, last summer, summer clothing with you south and knowing they will not fit your child next summer if your in a country where children do without, give the clothing to a child who can wear them and pass them on to siblings. Now you have an empty suitcase to take home your souvenirs and you have made a child very happy..:-) (PWaC: This is a great one!)
  • Put shower cap over shoes so they don’t get your clothes dirty
  • Rolling clothes rather than folding them for more room in a suitcase
  • Pack most necklaces by sliding the chain through a large straw. Keeps them from tangling.
  • Pack foldable shoes and boots and pieces that mix and match effortlessly
  • Pack everything in one carry-on suitcase and bag; you gain so much more flexibility in your travels when you have less to tote.
  • And if want to bring something back that cannot go in your carry-on bags, pack a smaller crushable bag and (using your free check-in bag benefit from a good credit card) check a bag on the return flight when you care less about it being delayed.
  • Bring a backpacker’s backpack even if you aren’t “backpacking.” It forces you to streamline your items and is so much easier to travel around with
  • If im flying domestic I will never check my bag. Not only does that save on baggage fees but I can get out of the airport instead of wasting time waiting for my bag to come out of the carousel. For intl flights I always tie a bright pom Pom ribbon on my checked bags because there are a ton of black suitcases on that carousel. Can’t mistake your bag for mine

Booking travel

  • Always book the full refundable rate at the SPG hotel AFTER you get approved for the best rate guarantee so you can change/cancel if you need to!
  • I love sites like BetterBidding to take out some of the guesswork if you are going to use Hotwire or Priceline
  • Called airline customer service for better seats when all good seats seem to be taken online. It worked yesterday – I got a window seat instead of aisle seat in a full flight
  • Making sure to take advantage of best price guarantees when booking hotels! (PWaC – though sometimes it takes up to FIVE times to finally get a hotel to honor one!)
  • Email the hotel in advance if it’s a special occasion, like an anniversary
  • Using iberia avios site to find low level availability and calling AAdvantage to book low saaver business class award with no phone booking fee. Iberia award flights can’t be seen or booked on the AAdvantage site.
  • putting an aa awards ticket on hold, just before expiration tweaking it just a bit, re-put it on hold, repeat repeat
  • Break up the flights if its cheaper, for example from Vegas to Cali to Washington instead of from Vegas to Washington

Miscellaneous

  • My favourite travel tip is to try and find a language partner on a long flight! I was lucky enough to find an Italian next to me on my flight to London, and since neither one of us had anything to do for the next 8 hours, a long, great practice conversation ensued. Very fun!
  • Take advantage of the new benefit for fourth graders and the their families now get free admission to all national parks starting this fall. (PWaC: Wait, what?  I need to check in on this!)
  • Always google discount codes before booking anything
  • Sign your kids up for FF programs too then transfer the points to yourself
  • My favorite traveling hack is the one you expedite the security process by wearing a jacket and stuffing the pockets with all your stuff, then place it in the bin with your shoes
  • Refill your empty water bottle after passing security instead of buying something to drink. Headphones and devices with your music, audio books…. can make a trip much more pleasant
  • Check car rental rates closer to the time of departure as last minute deals might be available.
  • Before you leave on your trip, download an app like Wi-Fi Finder which offers an offline database of free public wifi hotspots.

Just plain Funny

  • My travel tip is to avoid fighting lions and elephants because they are big and scary.
  • Half the clothes. Twice the money
  • Carry a neck brace or a sling with you…board early every time *hides*
  • my question to you is, how do you afford giving things away when you have 7 kids to feed ? (PWaC: Hey now, it’s only SIX kids :-P)
  • Sign up for every free point opportunity, every free offer, and every contest. It takes very little time and hey, someone has to win, right? (PWaC: Note.  He did not win either time 😀 )
  • As of now, my best tip is following PointsWithACrew on Twitter(PWaC: Mom?  Is that you?!?!)

Find anything you hadn’t seen before?  Got something better?  Leave it in the comments!

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