Travel Gems for August 2nd – 6th

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 – Frequent travelers like to hang out with other frequent travelers. And most travelers, million milers or not, like to hear the latest airline and hotel deals. What better place to visit than Boarding Area?

Here, the best business travel blogs, all in one place, give you topics of interest for the frequent and frequent-want-to-be travelers. Head on over to BoardingArea.com and be amazed at the quality content by folks who have flown millions and millions of miles and share their best advice. Within a few short clicks you’ll be up to speed on the latest hotel point programs, airline awards, travel tips and more.

Just a side note: I was a reader of BoardingArea.com long before they invited me to be included as one of their bloggers. Look for Pearls of Travel Wisdom. I’m honored to be included in with the excellent Boarding Area bloggers.

Tuesday – Leave that shaving cream at home and have one less liquid to add to your TSA bag of approved 3-oz or less items. Here’s what to use instead: hair conditioner supplied by the hotel, or a light layer of soap. Either work well and I haven’t had a nick in years. I also use a razor that has a moisturizing strip on it. Gillette offers both the Venus Embrace Razor and the Venus Breeze 2 in 1. Moisture strips and built-in shave gel bars give a smooth shave without the nicks and last for several weeks before needing the razor head replaced. The Gillette Venus Spa Breeze is a disposable razor, also with the shave gel bars.

I’m always looking for ways to reduce what’s in my luggage and especially my bag of liquids. This is one way to keep the weight down without any downsides from not having my entire bathroom cabinet along with me.

For a spa-like feeling on your legs, mix in a few packets of raw sugar (brown packets available from any coffee shop or restaurant) into the hair conditioner or body lotion. Rub this over your legs for a dry-skin removing treatment that feels great!

Wednesday – In a big city and want to know what your cab fare will be before you even hail the taxi? Then check outBing’s Taxi Fare Calculator.

Select the region for which you’re searching. Since city cabs are usually regulated, Bing has a good idea of what the charge per mile will be. Enter your starting point and destination and you will get a map of the quickest route, along with a itemized list of what you may be charged for (initial fee, milage, waiting time).

I tried out a few routes that I’ve taken before in a taxi, and the cost seems spot on. Give it a go and let me know how accurate the fares are!

Thursday – Looking for offsite parking at various U.S. airports? Head to Airport Parking Reservations to not only see what lots are available, but you can also book a space ahead of time. Image knowing your space is reserved during those busy holiday weekends, and booking it as easily as your flight.

Friday – When traveling with kids, or if you have medically necessary liquids that exceed 3 oz, look for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) signs for Family/Medical Liquids Lane. The lanes, part of TSA’s Diamond Self-Select program currently available at 50 airports, allow families, individuals unfamiliar with air travel procedures and travelers with special needs to go through security at their own pace. Individuals carrying medically necessary liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of three ounces will also be directed to these popular lanes.

Other lanes are also available. The self-select lanes are modeled after familiar ski icons that guide travelers to choose the appropriate trail/lane based on their skill level. Green designates the queue for families or beginners, blue is for casual travelers at the intermediate level, and black diamond is reserved for expert travelers who know the TSA rules and arrive at the checkpoint ready to go through efficiently.

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