Archive for the “Travel Tips” Category

drivingIt is possible to save yourself a great deal of time when you are driving if you just take a bit of time earlier to do the right planning and analyzing.

First of all, you can use online mapping programs or regular print maps to determine the shortest routes to the places that you wish to drive to. This will remove a lot of guesswork from the process. Also, it might not hurt to do a dry run ahead of time if you can possibly manage it. Read the rest of this entry »

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errandsWhen gas prices were so high last fall, I found that I could cluster all of my weekend errands by geography. I have kept that up even as prices have come down because I found it so efficient. Here is a short summary of the process …

Think about the typical places you go – grocery, dry cleaning, post office, the local Hallmark store, pharmacy, bank, etc. Make sure that all of these locations are located in close proximity to your home and to each other. For example, I was still going to a pharmacy near my daughter’s middle school but she’s now in high school; I have no other reason to be near the middle school.

I then started to stock up and to plan for making that grocery trip just once per week. Read the rest of this entry »

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airport-securityWhether you travel by air once a year or once a week, going though airport security can be inconvenient and take a lot of time. Here are some tips to make your journey easier and smoother.

Have your identification and boarding pass out when you reach the screening area, and do not put them away until you have cleared security. Do not put them in one of the bins you are sending through the x-ray. Keep them with you.

You will have to take off your shoes, so wear shoes that are easy to get off and back on. Slip-on shoes with no laces, or shoes with Velcro fasteners can be taken off and put back on in no time.

Heavy jewelry, belt buckles, watches, keys, change and other metal objects on your person can set off the metal detector. Remove them before going through the metal detector or do not wear them in the first place. The same goes for phones, PDAs and other electronic devices.

You are allowed limited liquids and gels in your carry-on luggage. Current rules are that you may take one 1-quart zip-top bag containing containers up to three ounces each. There are a couple of exceptions, and the rules are always subject to change, so check the TSA web site for the most recent news.

Keep the plastic bag of liquids, and other items that must go through the x-ray separately (such as computers and camcorders), in easy to reach places in your carry-on bag, such as a front compartment.

Pack neatly and do not overfill your suitcase. The easier it is for security screeners to see what is in your bag, the less likely it is you will be pulled aside for additional screening. And if you are selected for additional screening, an overstuffed bag will be harder to inspect.

Do not wrap gifts. They may have to be unwrapped for inspection.

Do not make jokes about bombs, hijacking, or terrorists anywhere in the airport. They will not be considered funny, and you may be required to go through additional screening or even arrested.

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