March’s five must-know travel tips…

1. How not to get confused by the time difference

Regarding time zones. I wear a watch when I travel internationally that has two faces. I set one for my home time and the other to the time zone where I will be traveling. That way, if I want to call home, I do not wake a family member up in the middle of their sleep night and I always know what time it is in the country where I am traveling. These watches are not expensive and can be purchased online from Magellan’s or Travel Smith.


Shirley B. Vanderbeck
2. How to give your luggage a better chance of finding you again if lost

Place an itinerary in every suitcase or item that may be hung up or that you carry:

  • Name, local address and phone number
  • Departing from/ to, airline, flight number and time
  • Returning from/to, same as above
  • Name of hotel, address, phone number and the dates you will be there.

3. Why you should own a “carry-on” bag rather than rely on your purse

Instead of carrying a purse on flights, I use a large canvas beach bag and pack the empty purse. Airlines consider it to be a “personal item” and it holds a lot more than a purse. I put light items in the bag and heavier items in the carry-on. I can fit a lot more in my carry-on that way and the bag does double-duty as a shopping bag once I reach my destination.
4. How to never be cold on a flight again

I’m always cold on planes so I bought an inexpensive shawl. It’s easy to stuff into a carry-on and keeps my hands and arms free

5. How to easily keep paying your bills while you’re overseas

Because my husband and I often travel for two months at a time away from home, I have set up most of our household and personal bills to be paid on line. In that way, I am alerted by e-mail from wherever I am in the world, and with a few clicks of the mouse, can make my payment directly from my checking account. I simply print the payment confirmation and on return home enter it into my checkbook. Nothing is ever late.

Nancy Matzdorff Los Angeles, CA USA

If you have a travel tip to share, please leave it in the comments box below…

6 thoughts on “March’s five must-know travel tips…

  1. HighTechNerd

    Regarding paying bills while overseas: be very careful about how and where you do this. If you’re using your own laptop, that’s fine. But try not to use someone else’s computer (eg, Internet cafe), as it’s very easy for someone to have installed software that captures every keystroke, thereby capturing your passwords when you type them in. I suggest never using an Internet cafe for anything that needs security, as there’s almost no control over these machines. A high-end hotel’s business center is better, but even then, think twice.

  2. Gila

    You are absolutely correct about not using a backpack to hold anything of real value. My husband usually carries one to put a fleece in, a guide book (covered with a local newspaper), a water bottle, and some sun lotion. On the plane or a tour we add a neck pillow, ear plugs/buds and an eye-cover. That’s it!
    My lightweight, small, strap purse has some tissue,
    a comb, spritz sanitizer, gum, my clip-on sunglasses and a little coin purse with some “small money” for the metro, buses, etc. Everything else is in a waist wallet – money, credit cards, airline/train tickets, prescriptions, “vault” internet info, phone number, passport, driving ID- under my clothing, except my camera and cell phone.
    It would inconvenience us to have our backpack or anything in my purse stolen – but that’s all – it wouldn’t really be a bother.
    I carry the camera and phone (and any transit card or pass)in a small, strapped over-the-chest camera case, separate from my purse, and I wish I could put them in some sort of inner secure coat pocket. Has anyone tried doing this?

  3. Maurice

    Another tip concerning time is to set your world phone to your home time. You will always know the correct time at home and never call at an inappropriate time.

  4. John

    1. Carry On Bags: Consider something like the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Zip Top canvas bag. My wife has used ione for years. She can put her purse, our travel documents, a book and who-knows what in one. With a zippered top nothing will fall out or get lost; and
    2. Lost Luggage Protection: 1. As added insurance, consider strapping a Retriever Luggage Tag []to each piece of luggage to supplement your regular luggage tag. It’s really a pouch – you put your itinerary inside so that the finder can return your luggage to where you are on vacation. Much better than fining it waiting for you at the front door. Also, take a photo of each piece of luggage, print it off and carry it with you. Makes it easier for the lost luggage people to ID yours.

  5. Jane Ackling

    Regarding: “How to give your luggage a better chance of finding you again if lost”. While it is a good idea to give information that will allow your luggage or belongings to be reunited with you, avoid adding your home address and number, as it alerts a potential thief to the fact that you are not at home and how long he has to burglarize the place before you return. With a phone number, he even has the option of calling to make sure your house is unoccupied. Limit information to the absolute minimum needed to contact you.

  6. Jean Bell

    Do NOT use a backpack for sightseeing, unless it is secured w/ a lock. I have switched to a purse (Magellan’s), the strap of which has metal links to prevent “cut and run”, and a protective flap for valuables, difficult to tamper with. The chic design can also serve as an evening bag. This was the result of a theft in Istanbul, Turkey, as I reached for my camera and lost my wallet in the blink of an eye.

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