May’s 5 must know travel tips

1. Pack separately for different parts of your trip

When I travel for business, I usually tack on a few extra days to do something active like hike in a nearby national park. I find that by taking two small suitcases instead of a single large one, I stay better organized and less burdened.

I keep my business clothes, papers, and laptop in one bag, and my hiking gear in another. I leave the suitcase I’m not using at the time in the rental car and easily carry the lightweight case with the equipment and clothes I need into my hotel room.

Sherill Berg, Indianapolis, Ind.

2. Read the fine print on your rail pass

You can often use it to save money on the other modes of public transportation.

With a Scandinavian rail pass, for example, you’ll pay less to ride the ferries. In Switzerland, a rail pass can get you free bus rides, as well as complimentary entrance to museums and discounts on funiculars and hotel accommodations.

Scott Berger, Pawling, N.Y.

3. Put freebie key chains to good use

No longer do the many key chains I get as advertising languish in a bureau drawer. I attach one or two at the ends of my luggage zippers. These extensions help me identify my luggage on airport carousels.

Sandi Brenner, Port Townsend, Wash.

4. “No early check-in” shouldn’t deter you

If you take an overnight flight to Europe and early check-in at your hotel isn’t an option, ask the concierge if you can store your luggage until later in the day and use the hotel gym’s shower.

You’ll be refreshed and ready for a day of sightseeing. Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on.

Ronda Burk, Celina, Tex.

5. Set up your own desk

Need a place for a laptop in your hotel room? Take the largest drawer from the bureau and put it upside down on the bed with the drawer front away from you.

This creates a perfect height desk for while you’re sitting comfortably on the bed (you can even lean back on the pillows), plus there’s side space for papers, and the top leans towards you for easy typing or writing.

Patricia Callahan, Flagstaff, Ariz.

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