April’s 5 Must Know Travel Tips

1. How To Say Goodbye To Currency Exchanges

International travel: Rather than exchange dollars for the local currency at the Exchange booths, I prefer to use the ATM in the country where I am visiting. The bank card of choice for me is a debit card because there is no charge from my home bank as opposed to a credit card withdrawal. The banks are good at negotiating a good rate because they have so much volume and I have an immediate transaction record.

Verna Duchesneau, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

2. An Unusual Way To Recycle Hotel Shower Caps

I’ve been living and traveling overseas for over 30 years and I always bring back those shower caps the hotels give to you. I use hem in place of plastic wrap for covering bowls or dishes of food once I’m home. Much better than fighting with Saran Wrap!

Elaine Kokoska, West Redding, Conn.

3. An Unusual Way To Recycle Dry Cleaner Bags

I save the dry cleaner’s sweater bags and pack my clothes in them. One for underwear, night clothes, one for tee shirts, socks, one for blouses, etc. Things stay neatly organized – even after rummaging through the suitcase for a needed item. Once our bags were left on the tarmac in Madrid during a rainstorm – everything in my suitcase was dry, and my husband, who had not put his things into plastic bags in his suitcase, had soggy clothes for days after.

Sharon Kaufman

4. How To Avoid Motion Sickness Using Duct Tape And A Macadamia Nut

I always carry a small roll of duct tape with me whenever I travel. I usually use an empty scotch tape spool to hand roll a few yards of 1 in wide tape and throw it in my carry-on. During a particularly choppy cruise in the Med several years ago, the ship’s store ran out of Sea Bands, those elastic wrist bands for seasickness that place a little pressure over the P6 pressure point on the wrist. (3 finger breadths above the wrist break line between the two tendons).

I created a few dozen seabands of my own using strips of duct tape to fit around each wrist and a half of a macadamia nut (I split them myself) pasted to the sticky side of the duct tape. I had many grateful passengers whose symptoms of nausea and vomiting improved significantly ! This accupressure point has now also been shown to be helpful for patients with nausea of pregnancy.

Ed Jacobs, MD (Board-Certified OB-GYN)

5. How To Avoid The Need To Do Laundry While Traveling

Hi Michael,
I always pickup very inexpensive undies at wallmart……..throw them away each day and don’t waste time doing laundry in hotel rooms.

I learned this from a travel catalogue advertising paper throw away undies and they were a lot more expensive!


8 thoughts on “April’s 5 Must Know Travel Tips

  1. Anonymous

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  2. Frank Funicelli

    Renee,s suggestion of disposable underwear is right on.

    Along the same lines, for some reason men buy new underwear but never throw out the old. I realized that my underwear draw was overflowing, mostly with old worn out underwear. I was going to Italy, so I decided to pack all the old underwear and throw a set out each day. This accomplished several things.

    No need to do laundry.

    Opened space in my suitcase to pack purchases.

    Got rid of my old underwear.

    Of course, I violated my mother’s orders of never wearing torn or worn underwear for fear of an accident where the doctor’s and nurses would see them.

    When I told someone on the tour what I was doing with my underwear, she mentioned that she packs whole outfits that she was planning to give to charity.
    She then leaves them on the hotel bed telling the maids they can keep them or donate them. I guess for the cost of dry cleaning people can get new outfits.


  3. Carol

    that’s dandy unless you need a bit of hold! But they dry overnight, mostly!

    Jeans from Travelsmith look great, and dry in 1/2 the time.

  4. Sally Williams


    You are so right on with your tips. Its the first time I have seen such wisdom in print. A few I would add:
    1. Pack in threes: one on, one clean and one dirty.

    2. A person can live for a month in a carry-on. Any one should be able to lift their suit case over their head and walk around a block or up stairs without using the wheels.

    3. Wash your clothes while in the shower. A little foot stomping does wonders.

    4.In addition to no fanny packs, no vests with multiple pockets and no around-the-neck passport holders. (You can get pulled down with them and they are easy to snip. Same with back packs with loops ) Wear a waist money belt inside your clothing. Carry your sweater and water in a local plastic bag you buy or get at a local market. I sometimes carry an envelope with cash small amounts to use in markets or on the buses.

    5.Don’t answer a hotel room door for a “policeman” plumber, etc. Call the desk to see if they sent someone.

    6. Always carry a business card from a hotel to show a taxi driver.

    7.Don’t carry your passport around. Make a colored copy of the info page. Get it notarized. Show that when asked for ID by a non-offical or a local cop. (You can tell real cops from fake. The fakers might be able to afford a uniform, but they can’t afford black shoes so they ‘ll wear tennis shoes.)

    8. Keep all of your valuables including meds and glasses in a bag by your bed so you can grab it in case of fire or other emergencies.

    9.If you are traveling with someone, exchange copies of passports so you have something to show the police if your friend goes missing.

    10. Watch where you drink. Bars are good places to get rolled, cheated, or taken for a ride. Find out which taxis are safe.

    11.Remind people that if they get into trouble in a country where they are a visitor, they are subject to the laws of the country and their Embassy can do little but to give them a list of local lawyers. (and bring them magazines to read while in jail. )

    12.If you are going to drive, check the laws. Zero alcohol is the rule in most countries. If you are in an accident, the drinker is held responsible and his car is confisgated. In some countries, both parties involved in the accident are jailed until blame is established.

    13. Carry two different credit cards. Use one for hotels and car rentals and the other for incidentals. Keep the credit limit on the hotels/car low. Hotels and rental agencies can put a 45 day hold on a card to be certain you pay for any extra charges that may come up. Let the card company know where you are traveling. They might put a stop on your card assuming it is stolen if you suddenly start making purchases in a country where you don’t usually make purchases.

    14. Be certain your Mobal Sim card works before you go and be certain that Mobal used your credit card for your account. I activiated the account, but failed to test it while in the U. S. I was without a cell phone during a recent trip to Mexico. Mobal e-mailed me that they tested the number and it worked. My cell only gave the message that the sim card was not activated.

    Sally Williams
    I use to write guides for Ex-Pats when we were posted in Central Europe and Central Asia.

  5. Janet Reider

    Re. exchanging dollars vs ATMs. Yes, ATMs are often the better choice – Exchange booths are always going to cost more. However, ATMs are not a free ride as this person seems to believe. The bank that owns that ATM will assess a percentage of the amount taken out and the ATM card holder will also assess a fee. Each 300Eu that I took out of my bank using a debit card (never a credit card) cost me about $8.00. $5 on the Eu end and $3 on the USA end. That is pretty standard. Sometimes it is worth exchanging dollars at a bank…I will take $100 dollar bills as the fewer bills the less the cost regardless of $ amount.

  6. Debra

    I use the ultra-slim stickable panty liners and bring enough for each day I will be traveling. I change them every day and never worry about washing dirty underwear.

  7. Janet Baquero

    Wonderful & helpful hints all. Greatly appreciated.

  8. Angie

    Rather than send once-worn clothing to the landfill, just use the hotel’s bath soap or shampoo to hand-wash them in the sink… hang them over the tub to dry, and re-wear them. It just takes a few minutes, less time than it takes to shop for cheap undies ahead of time!

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