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Mobal Members’ travel tips for March

1. Keep your luggage safe in a car

Our bags have been stolen twice from inside locked rental cars.  Now we travel with a bicycle cable and lock.  If we absolutely must leave our suitcases in the car, I hook them together by the handles and attach the whole thing to the frame of the seat or a secure item in the trunk.  Even if the thieves manage to get into our car, the cable will make it very difficult for them to make off with the luggage.

Fran Montiazeri, Staten Island, N.Y.

2. Consider bring your bike on a cruise

We decided to take along our own bikes on our last Caribbean cruise.  It was a little crowded in the cabin, so we asked the steward if we could store them down the gall with the wheelchairs.  We were last off the ship when we docked in the Bermuda, but in less than 5 minutes we were far away from the busy port, enjoying a beautiful, deserted snorkeling.

Robert James, Providence, R.I.

3. Pack a few hooks

I find that hotel bathrooms rarely have enough hangers and hooks for clothes and wet towels, so I always bring a few snap-lock suction hooks.  (They work better than regular suction hooks because they’re more secure and therefore hold heavier items.)  It’s always nice to have a place to hang a bathrobe.

Erica Murphy, Atlanta, Ga.

4. Water-bottle holsters are good for holding more than water

I own several Water Bottle Totes by Outdoor Research.  With their Velco-like straps, I can fasten them anywhere to my belt, camera strap, airplane seat etc.  In addition to holding water, I’ve used them at various times to carry binoculars, snacks, umbrella, fan, flashlight, sunglasses, windbreaker and a rain poncho.

Ellen Parks, Mechanicville, Va.

5. Book separately to earn bonus miles

We’ve noticed that when booking a flight for our family under one reservation, some airlineswill only credit the 1,500 bonus miles to the person whose name the reservation is under.  This is regardless of whether the other family members have mileage accounts.  To avoid this, make separate reservation for each family member, and then pick seats together.

Ed Pearce, Dexter, Mich.

Got a travel tip to share? Leave it as a comment below…

5 thoughts on "Mobal Members’ travel tips for March"

  • CPH says:

    Suggestion #5 is a good way to earn points – but beware if there are schedule changes. Since the individuals are not all booked together, they may not all be re-protected on the same flights if the airline makes changes. As a travel agent, I’ve seen this problem happen several times.

  • Don Newcomb says:

    About the bike idea. They make little bikes that fold down to the size of a carry-on bag. The only disadvantages they have is that the wheels are pretty small and the better quality ones are quite expensive.

  • Don Newcomb says:

    Taking the bicycle lock idea one step further, I own something called a Pacsafe®, which is a 1.5 lb steel-mesh bag with a cable and lock. It will accommodate a standard 21″ carry-on suitcase and packs down to the size of a small shaving kit. They come in various sizes. It might help people traveling in high theft areas to consider one of these.

  • James Hensley says:

    IN RE: 1. Keep Your Luggage Safe In A Car
    Poor Advice – Never, for any reason, leave luggage or valuables (passports ; credit cards, et al)in a rental car. That is not safe no matter your devices! Rental Cars are heavily targeted in Europe; the thieves carry all tools [cable/bolt cutters]necessary for breaking into the vehicle.
    And, like most who try this, the keys are lost and you can’t get your luggage out of the car. Don’t worry, the thieves will easily do that for you!

  • James Reilly says:

    In response to Tip number 1., “Keep your luggage safe in a car”, I agree that a cable lock is an novel idea to deter the break, snatch and grab thieves. But I’d have to add that travelers should not leave ANYTHING of value, locked or unlocked, in a rental car that is not under their constant observation. This includes traveling in the U.S.A. (notably Hawaii) as much as anywhere else!

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