Travel Gems for April 5th – 9th

Each Monday through Friday, a Travel Gem of the Day will be posted at SmartWomenTravelers.com. These Travel Gems are tips that will help a traveler travel smarter, safer, handle home issues, be prepared and enjoy their journeys.

Here are last week’s Travel Gems:

Monday April 5th – In a new city and looking for nearby businesses? Find out what‘s around you with AroundMe, a free application for your iPhone.

This application will use your phone’s current location and help you find:

Banks/ATMs

Bars

Coffee

Gas Stations

Movie Theaters

and more . . .

Tuesday April 6th – Does your skin and hair feel tight or dry when you get off of a plane? The humidity on a plane is next to nothing and it can take just a 3 hour flight to sap all the moisture from your skin and hair.

Fight-back strategies to stay hydrated during and after your flight:

  • Drink lots of water before and during your flight. Although you can request water from flight attendants, it is a good idea to bring plenty of water on board with you. You may either purchase bottled water once you pass security or bring an empty bottle with you to fill from a water fountain.
  • Limit your intake of coffee and alcohol – they dehydrate you more.
  • Carry your moisturizer in your hand luggage to slather on mid flight and before you deplane, splash your face with water and follow by your moisturizer.
  • Bring lip balm in a 3 oz or smaller container and use it to protect your lips from becoming painfully dry. Bring a small container of hand lotion or cocoa butter if your skin dries easily.
  • Nasal passageways are easily dried out by airplane air, so take along an over-the-counter nose spray to diminish congestion.

Wednesday April 7th – Airlines and hotels can delete your frequent flier miles without notice for inactive accounts. Here are ways to keep your accounts active and know your balances:

  • Sign up for services such as AwardWallet.com (free), or MileBlaster.com ($6.99) which notify you when your balance changes and when expiration dates are sneaking up on you.
  • Ensure that your accounts are up-to-date with your address and email by logging into each airline, hotel or car rental company’s website and verifying your accounts.
  • Have a credit card tied to your frequent flier account so that each time you shop the expiration date gets extended.

I wish I had known these tips years ago. Hilton wiped my account clean because I wasn’t watching the expiration date. United Airlines lost track of me when both my name and address changed and I hadn’t updated my account.

Thursday April 8th – Good news: For luggage that hasn’t been claimed after at least three months of being with an airline, it ends up at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama-–a veritable Land of Lost Luggage. Only two hours from Birmingham and two and a half hours from Atlanta, the Unclaimed Baggage Center is a treasure hunter’s dream destination. Over 500,000 people a year make the trek to shop amid over a million lost items, including watches, jewelry, electronics, and designer clothing.

Bad news: I hope it’s not your beautiful clothing, shoes and jewelry that is going for rock-bottom prices at the Unclaimed Baggage Center!

Better news:  Your chances of ever having your luggage show at the Unclaimed Baggage Center are slim.  Over  98% of misdirected luggage eventually catches up to its owners.

Friday April 9th – It’s easy for kids to tell their teachers that the reason why they didn’t do their homework or other school task was because mom is out of town.  And for us moms, the guilt of not being available to our kids is a heavy burden.

Keeping in touch with your child’s teacher, via email or phone, helps increase the information flowing home and also reduces the guilt that we carry.  Get your child’s homework emailed to you on a daily basis as it will keep you up-to-date on what’s happening at school and give you a chance to answer any homework questions when you’re on the phone together.

If you would like a favorite travel tip of yours to be included in the Travel Gem of the Day, email your tip, name and website to travelgem@smartwomentravelers.com.

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