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Share your favorite travel "secrets"

Share your favorite travel "secrets"

Old Jan 15, 19, 3:24 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: NC
Programs: AA, Marriott/SPG, AMEX
Posts: 272
My husband and I do all kinds of travel, luxury hotels for a couple of weeks to hop on and off trains in Europe for a couple/few days per city to road trips. Less than a week I'm good with just a carry on but over a week we will have one checked bag between us.So many wonderful tips that were shared (a few I use and a few I will try) by everyone, thank you!

One of my tips started because of another one. I carry a plain roll (no plastic package with cutter) of scotch tape that I have used scissors or a package cutter to slice down through a few layers. It started as a way to cover the hole I made (with my safety pin) in sample packets of shampoo and conditioner to use the tiny amount I need to wash my short hair and not have the leftovers leak. But tape is good for so much!

I carry a small box of Baking Soda, great for rubbing on stained clothing, teeth brushing in a pinch, washing delicates and socks in the sink, many uses.

A cheap, thin washcloth in a ziplock that I moisten with water on longer flights to breath through to give my nose a bit of humidity. I'm prone to nosebleeds so this really helps.

A baggie of condiment packets and a little baggie of herbs/spices-I can produce a pretty good egg salad out of those hotel lounge boiled eggs

A thin, insulated bag that folds flat (the kind you use for groceries like these) and some ziplocks for when we want a picnic. Also, a couple of camping fork/spoon/knife combos (NOT sporks) and reusable straws.

I never leave home without my travel steamer, I've been known to use it to boil water for coffee or tea.

Happy travels!
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Old Jan 17, 19, 12:54 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12
I've used
this mini crossbody bag this mini crossbody bag
on my last three trips and love it! I travel with a rolling carry on and a backpack as my personal bag so it always used to be awkward digging through the backpack when I needed my ID, phone, etc. This bag keeps my essentials within easy reach: phone, passport, credit card/cash, chapstick, lotion, portable charger, cable, plug, and earbuds. It can easily fit into the backpack in order to stay within the two-item limit but it's so small that I've never been asked to put it away. If I'm in a crowd and worried about pickpockets, I can lock the zipper and wear it under my jacket (it's padded though so it doesn't lie flat but it wouldn't stick out too noticeably as long as you didn't overfill it).
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Old Oct 9, 19, 11:44 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: PIS
Programs: BAEC Blue, and anything Amex Plat are dishing out
Posts: 252
Always travel in something like these
https://www.amazon.com/Foldable-Ballet-Flats-Portable-Ballerina/dp/B07BGTJNB7/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=foldable%2Bballet%2Bslippers&qid=1570642757&sr=8-10&th=1 https://www.amazon.com/Foldable-Ballet-Flats-Portable-Ballerina/dp/B07BGTJNB7/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=foldable%2Bballet%2Bslippers&qid=1570642757&sr=8-10&th=1
although mine are a pair I picked up in New Zealand years ago. Go with everything, from dinner to hotel pool. Surprisingly sturdy plus the carry bag doubles as a wristlet purse for essential documents, phone etc and saves me bringing an additional evening bag.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 7:34 pm
  #49  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum; Amex Plat; Four Seasons; Fairmont; HH; etc.; "Retirees-In-Training"
Posts: 625
For those who need to bring along a variety of meds, especially prescription meds... When crossing borders (especially *certain* borders!), it's probably a good idea to have the meds in containers with the pharmacy printed labels (and copies of the written scripts, etc.). Our pharmacy recently stopped stocking their smallest size little amber-colored pill vials, and even those usually had way too much empty space. So now, there is waaaay too much empty space in those containers. Weight isn't the problem but if one has quite a few meds (regular plus the "in case of..."), that takes up a *lot* of space in those carry-ons.

DH just had a great suggestion ("Why didn't *I* think of that", and perhaps some/many of you already have?). He's got a bunch of the teeny "ziplock" type bags, something like 2x3 inches.

So we just asked the pharmacist to give us new "stick-on labels" for our current meds, and those will fit nicely on the side of one of those little bags. Worst case, it could wrap to the back.

And the best part is that whether there are 60 pills or 6 pills in one of those, the air can just be pressed out, so there is almost no extra space used up.

We are about to do this for the first time two weeks from now, and I just wish we had thought of this some years ago. At least in the past, we were able to request the smaller bottles, and the pharmacist would put fresh labels on those, so if we had a 90 day supply of something, for example, but only needed a couple of weeks' worth, we didn't have to deal with any jumbo bottles.

GC
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Old Nov 5, 19, 6:47 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,824
Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
We are about to do this for the first time two weeks from now, and I just wish we had thought of this some years ago. At least in the past, we were able to request the smaller bottles, and the pharmacist would put fresh labels on those, so if we had a 90 day supply of something, for example, but only needed a couple of weeks' worth, we didn't have to deal with any jumbo bottles.

GC
Amazon owned Pill Pack not only bags them, they collate them by date & times kind of like a multivitamin pack.
Amazon Amazon

CVS also has pill packs https://www.cvs.com/content/multidose

Pill Pack does prescriptions, vitamins, and OTC https://help.pillpack.com/hc/en-us/a...ons-we-deliver

More info:
https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/...keting/553364/
https://www.businessinsider.com/how-...service-2018-7

No first hand experience but I did want to mention this option. Might be worth asking the pharmacist if they offer alternative packaging, too.
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Old Nov 5, 19, 6:57 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum; Amex Plat; Four Seasons; Fairmont; HH; etc.; "Retirees-In-Training"
Posts: 625
Originally Posted by freecia View Post
Amazon owned Pill Pack not only bags them, they collate them by date & times kind of like a multivitamin pack.
https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/5...9-A746AE18E19B

CVS also has pill packs https://www.cvs.com/content/multidose

Pill Pack does prescriptions, vitamins, and OTC https://help.pillpack.com/hc/en-us/a...ons-we-deliver

More info:
https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/...keting/553364/
https://www.businessinsider.com/how-...service-2018-7

No first hand experience but I did want to mention this option. Might be worth asking the pharmacist if they offer alternative packaging, too.
Thanks. We are aware of Pill Pack/etc., but for a variety of reasons, at this time, we don't want our Rx's that way.

We are using these little bags such that each little bag holds a supply of a single med (per the label), for the length of the trip, plus about a week or so in case of delay. In a few cases, there are just a few pills, "if needed", and those were even more ridiculous in a little Rx bottle, even when they used the smallest one available.

GC
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Old Nov 5, 19, 8:03 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,824
Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Thanks. We are aware of Pill Pack/etc., but for a variety of reasons, at this time, we don't want our Rx's that way.
GC
I think your method is a good one, too. We have a bunch of small ziplock bags in different form factors and I like the Ezy Dose ones for pills
https://www.amazon.com/Disposable-Pouches-Count-Vitamin-Storage/dp/B001TIOLN4/ref=pd_sbs_194_t_0/131-6146195-7970737?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001TIOLN4&pd_rd_r=e2be3693-d4c9-4e89-8cd4-28e66ee1700b&pd_rd_w=DPBwJ&pd_rd_wg=v2eJX&pf_rd_p=5cfcfe89-300f-47d2-b1ad-a4e27203a02a&pf_rd_r=13MV8J0A9M9FMP1AV4EG&psc=1&refRID=13MV8J0A9M9FMP1AV4EG https://www.amazon.com/Disposable-Pouches-Count-Vitamin-Storage/dp/B001TIOLN4/ref=pd_sbs_194_t_0/131-6146195-7970737?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001TIOLN4&pd_rd_r=e2be3693-d4c9-4e89-8cd4-28e66ee1700b&pd_rd_w=DPBwJ&pd_rd_wg=v2eJX&pf_rd_p=5cfcfe89-300f-47d2-b1ad-a4e27203a02a&pf_rd_r=13MV8J0A9M9FMP1AV4EG&psc=1&refRID=13MV8J0A9M9FMP1AV4EG
There's enough plastic at the top to get the bag apart. Small bags aren't the fastest if collating pills. Perhaps next time we'll sort them in an ice tray first, open the bags, and spoon them in all at once.

I also use a small Ezy Dose over the top of my Venus Snap travel razor cartridge to prevent cutting my fingers or hairbrush/toiletry bag. Some people put small amounts of liquid toiletry in them. I've been carrying lotion over my last few trips in a 50ml spout bag similar to Matador FlatPak or kids squeeze food pack. I fill it via pumping lotion in (thick ceramide based lotion). The flat shape makes it easier to pack in my 311 and lighter than the silicone bottle it replaced.
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Old Nov 5, 19, 9:27 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum; Amex Plat; Four Seasons; Fairmont; HH; etc.; "Retirees-In-Training"
Posts: 625
Originally Posted by freecia View Post
I think your method is a good one, too. We have a bunch of small ziplock bags in different form factors and I like the Ezy Dose ones for pills https://www.amazon.com/Disposable-Pouches-Count-Vitamin-Storage/dp/B001TIOLN4/ref=pd_sbs_194_t_0/131-6146195-7970737?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001TIOLN4&pd_rd_r= e2be3693-d4c9-4e89-8cd4-28e66ee1700
b&pd_rd_w=DPBwJ&pd_rd_wg=v2eJX&pf_rd_p=5cfcfe89-300f-47d2-b1ad-a4e27203a02a&pf_rd_r=13MV8J0A9M9FMP1AV4EG&psc=1&re fRID=13MV8J0A9M9FMP1AV4EG
There's enough plastic at the top to get the bag apart. Small bags aren't the fastest if collating pills. Perhaps next time we'll sort them in an ice tray first, open the bags, and spoon them in all at once.

I also use a small Ezy Dose over the top of my Venus Snap travel razor cartridge to prevent cutting my fingers or hairbrush/toiletry bag. Some people put small amounts of liquid toiletry in them. I've been carrying lotion over my last few trips in a 50ml spout bag similar to Matador FlatPak or kids squeeze food pack. I fill it via pumping lotion in (thick ceramide based lotion). The flat shape makes it easier to pack in my 311 and lighter than the silicone bottle it replaced.
Right. I'd hate to collate pills into those tiny ziplocs! But your idea of first putting them into little sections of some sort (ice cube trays seem great) makes a lot of sense. We'll keep that in mind if/when we need to do that. DH used to put our vitamins into those tiny bags, but now we just put a bunch of all of them in one bottle. IF they get confiscated, we'll be fine until we return home. That's probably the one "big" (relatively speaking) "pill bottle" we bring, but there are no Rx meds in that.

I also use the larger ziplocs (the freezer type b/c they are thicker/stronger) for anything that might ooze within checked luggage. In some cases, I'll double ziploc them, and also put something like a washcloth inside the inner ziploc. Thus far, that washcloth has always survived intact and dry :-)

But after reading what you wrote, I like the idea of putting each of the 311 liquids into a tiny ziploc. Shouldn't be any problem with inspection, given they are all clear.

I also bring along a bunch of quart and gallon freezer ziplocs for "whatever" during the trip or en route home. They don't take up much space just sitting flat on the bottom of a carry on (or checked) bag, and I just let them stay there when unpacking (along with some other "always take along" items).

We leave in less than two weeks, and this is reminding me how much I *hate* packing. Sigh.

GC
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Old Nov 7, 19, 7:31 am
  #54  
tcl
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: In a hotel somewhere trying to repack everything I brought (and bought) in to a carry-on smaller than my last one.
Programs: UA, Asia Miles, Southwest, IHG
Posts: 1,061
Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
For those who need to bring along a variety of meds, especially prescription meds... When crossing borders (especially *certain* borders!), it's probably a good idea to have the meds in containers with the pharmacy printed labels (and copies of the written scripts, etc.). Our pharmacy recently stopped stocking their smallest size little amber-colored pill vials, and even those usually had way too much empty space. So now, there is waaaay too much empty space in those containers. Weight isn't the problem but if one has quite a few meds (regular plus the "in case of..."), that takes up a *lot* of space in those carry-ons.



We are about to do this for the first time two weeks from now, and I just wish we had thought of this some years ago. At least in the past, we were able to request the smaller bottles, and the pharmacist would put fresh labels on those, so if we had a 90 day supply of something, for example, but only needed a couple of weeks' worth, we didn't have to deal with any jumbo bottles.

GC
If you have a pet, veterinarians have even smaller bottles. I frequently bring the bottle my dog's pills were dispensed in, to the pharmacist for any medication to be transferred. They just stick a new label on.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 3:33 pm
  #55  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: MEM
Posts: 632
Ziplock Snack size.... I have these in the horizontal style and vertical style for all sorts of things. Add to your Ziplock arsenal.

https://www.target.com/p/ziploc-snac...05#lnk=sametab

https://www.target.com/p/portionpk-b...2/-/A-15698330

I put a couple moistened makeup cleaning cloths in and use a couple/few over the length of a trip. I also use the mini ones ( from Walgreens or CVS) for my pills. I love them.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 6:00 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: JFK
Posts: 329
Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post

I also use the larger ziplocs (the freezer type b/c they are thicker/stronger) for anything that might ooze within checked luggage. In some cases, I'll double ziploc them, and also put something like a washcloth inside the inner ziploc. Thus far, that washcloth has always survived intact and dry :-)

But after reading what you wrote, I like the idea of putting each of the 311 liquids into a tiny ziploc. Shouldn't be any problem with inspection, given they are all clear.

I also bring along a bunch of quart and gallon freezer ziplocs for "whatever" during the trip or en route home. They don't take up much space just sitting flat on the bottom of a carry on (or checked) bag, and I just let them stay there when unpacking (along with some other "always take along" items).
I keep extra ziplocs in all of my bags. Like GC they're among the things that always stay packed (along with a shoe shine cloth and a plastic fedex mailing "window" as an emergency lint brush). But I always individually ziploc any liquids in checked or carry on, just in case. This way if something leaks it will be contained in the bag as opposed to leaking all over my ...everything. But tucking in a washcloth around something prior to bagging, in case of leaks, is a great idea.

Lately I've been using them to segregate some of my toiletry arsenal as well. Since they're clear it's east to spot what's what and saves me digging through my toiletry bags trying to hunt down the elusive whatever. Even my morning makeup powerhouse is all together in a small snack bag so that I can just pull it out and everything's there. No hunting around for the travel sized Beauty Blender sponge or eyeliner since it's all in the bag.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 9:57 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Atlanta
Programs: Delta
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
I always take over-the-counter medicine with me (cold & allergy pills, tylenol, something for upset stomachs - whatever I normally use at home). I've had experiences in the UK, and even the US, where I needed something and couldn't find the products I use at home in Canada. So, I had to spend far too much time in a pharmacy trying to figure out what to buy. For example, cold pills with pseudoephedrine are only sold behind the pharmacist counter in the US and require you to present photo id and sign a very official looking statement saying that you aren't using it to make meth and the penalties for doing so. It's all a bit intimidating when your nose is running and you have a pounding headache.
This is a life saver. I remember one time I was on a flight and for some strange reason I got a massive headache and the Tylenol I packed saved me.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 11:43 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Atlanta
Programs: Delta
Posts: 3
Flip Flops (I do not like my feet touching unfamiliar floors)
Long Sleeved PJ's. (I do not want my skin touch the bed sheets directly)
Clorox or Lysol Wipes & Travel Size Lysol Spray (I like to disinfect the toilet, sink, remote, door handles, etc.)
Hand Soap (I tend to purchase this when I arrive at my destination since I only travel with bar soap)
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Old Jan 26, 20, 12:23 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Gringolandia y LatinoAmerica a veces EU y Asia
Programs: AV, AA, BA, CM, UA, Hertz, Marriott, Hilton
Posts: 129
Hola muchachas! I like this topic it is practical and helpful like the medications. En la calle es muy importante!

One from mi amigo, un viajero con mucha experiencia is how to handle monies. So I have at the least three separate sets of monies. Two are "dineros de sacrificio." I learn from mi amigo this technique. It means $20 or $30 equivalent in two separate bundles in different pockets. With mixture of smaller denominations. If I am robbed I pull through all pockets and give multiple monies but the total is not so great. The act of removing everything from my pockets and emptying also informs I have no more.

In LatinoAmerica maybe other places too it is very bad to refuse the thief especially for a woman. This invites further violent acts. It is also very bad to have exactly nothing. The thief does not believe and is tempted to become aggressive also.

I conduct all sorting of money inside restaurant bathrooms, always away from eyes. Fumbling with dinero in a public place especially as a woman no! It is a total invitation for bad things to follow. I avoid. Each time I walk on the street I have the monies sorted in this way exactly. I take out what I need no more. In reality I cannot believe how many women I have seen in locations like FCO and BCN doing this with large denomination monies in a public place... I worry if they are not mugged immediately the thief notes and follows to the hotel or after.

The third set is my "dinero clave." This is a larger amount that will cover all needs for at least three days, so maybe $200 or $300. I do not like to be restricted in my plan because I am a woman but there are environmental level risks that must be resolved. Mis curvas sinuosas necesitan bras... I have two with the panels at the side, and underwire crosses for support. They are not so fashionable but very practical lol! When I buy these bras I added a small sew pouch in the lateral panel reinforcement area and with notes of larger denominations I fold carefully and place them in here. With five bills or less then there is no visible line from the dinero and I never touch or use it if things go according to plan. So far I have never used this dinero clave but I have yielded the dinero de sacrificio several times por ejemplo GIG, MEX. I do not follow the gringa movie idea of pushing the dinero into my cleavage because in fact it is obvious that money is there if more than one bill. There are more extreme methods like Papillon's :0 but those are not comfortable or safe.

I am much less worried about problems in hotels because in the big scheme of life the magnitude of the crimes on premises committed is smaller. There are more resources and safeguards.
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Old Feb 7, 20, 1:04 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 22
Another vote for dry shampoo. I love the stuff, I use it regularly even when at home. I really like the Klorane, although it's a spray. I used to swear by the Oscar Blandi power, but I can't seem to find it anymore so maybe it's been discontinued. Looking for a new powdered one, so open to any suggestions or recommendations.

I always bring a few folding travel hangers and clothespins. They hardly take up any space and I can usually slide them into a shoe when packing. Good for letting clothing air out or hang dry after being washed. I found some cute brightly colored hanging clothespins - they have a hook at one end that goes over the shower pole, great for hanging socks, undergarments, etc. I also like to bring 1-2 inflatable hangers which are great at helping heavier pieces of clothing dry; after the hanger is inflated the back and front of the shirt are held far enough apart that it gets more air circulation. (I wear a lot of merino wool and prefer to hand wash it myself when needed rather than trusting the hotel laundry.)

Makeup removing cloths like the Magic Makeup Eraser. They do a great job removing makeup using just water. I'll usually bring 2 with me so I always have a clean/dry one. I bought some travel sized ones last year in Ireland, wish I'd bought a few more of them.

This might seem like overkill, but I nearly always bring a bathrobe with me. The hotel-provided ones almost never fit (I'm very busty). I really like to lounge in my PJs/robe at night while reading or watching a movie and drinking tea (or wine!), and keeping to this routine when traveling helps with my sleep schedule. I'm often away from home for 4-5 weeks at a time and I value the little things that make living out of a hotel/suitcase more civilized. Plus, I like having a robe that fits and covers me for the sake of modesty - ie, room service comes earlier than expected, one of my colleagues asks if I have any decongestant, or there's an emergency and we have to evacuate. (I've had this happen 3 times. Twice, I was in bed asleep and the 3rd time I was in the shower.). I found a lovely, lightweight merino wool robe. It's cosy, doesn't take up too much space in my bag, and is suitable for most climates. I've also used it as a coverup en route to the hotel pool.
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