50+ Travel Tips and Tricks

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Planning and Preparation

  • If you are combining business and leisure travel, take a diary to keep careful records of all business expenses for tax purposes. You may also want to take an envelope to hold all receipts.
  • Consider trip insurance to protect against losses if you must cancel your trip for any reason.
  • Write down confirmation numbers whenever you make reservations. If one isn't offered, ask.
  • Leave a detailed itinerary of your trip with someone at home in case you need to be contacted.
  • Pack a duffel or ultralight knapsack inside your check-in bag. You may need the extra space later to carry home gifts and souvenirs.
  • Use accessories such as scarves and belts to enhance the limited number of outfits you pack.
  • Check the weather forecast for your destination before you leave to ensure that you are packing appropriate clothes. Also, don't forget that nearby mountain areas may be much cooler than the valley where your hotel is.
  • When making reservations, always ask, "Is this the lowest price you have?" You'll be surprised how often you may qualify for a discount.
  • You may have a better chance of getting a seat on a sold-out flight if you call just after midnight when many "reservation holds" expire. The same holds true for train travel.
  • No matter how short your trip, pack enough socks and underwear for at least four days.
  • Tape a contents list for each suitcase inside the lid. This saves pawing through every bag when you're looking for those argyle golf socks, and makes it easier to repack for your trip home.
  • Hope to return "someday" to that ultra-popular hotel? Make a reservation for next year at checkout. You may be able to get a special price. (Just be sure to ask about the amount of cancellation notice required.)
  • Call or visit the Web site of the convention and visitors bureau in your destination city three months in advance and inquire about discount coupons and special attractions packages.
  • Plan well in advance if you want to bring your pet on vacation. Inquire about pet rules and regulations for every form of lodging and transportation you plan to use. You should also bring proof of vaccinations.
  • Pare your packing list by creating mix-and-match outfits using one or two colors.
  • If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair, let the reservations agent know when you are booking travel.
  • Find space for a folding travel umbrella.

Continued on page 3:  Making Travel More Pleasant


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