Travel Gems for July 26th – 30th

Each Monday through Friday, a Travel Gem of the Day will be posted at 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 – Flight delayed and you’re all alone? A Twitter-based service is available to help. Just send a simple tweet to @Boarding with your airport code (JFK, LAX, CDG, …). Upon doing so, Boarding will send you a reply notifying you about other Twitter users in your location facing the same predicament.

Connecting with others in the same flight delay situation might offer you someone to commiserate with, have dinner with, or just talk with. Either way, it’s a way to pass the time a bit faster while you wait for your flight to board.

This service is provided at no cost and entails no registration or sign up process. All you need is a Twitter account in order to start connecting with individuals in your same position.

Tuesday – Olive oil isn’t just for healthy cooking … it is the main ingredient in many beauty products you can purchase. Here are several resourceful uses for olive oil that you can create yourself and are very travel friendly! Just add olive oil into a 3 oz. container and bring the mini-bottle along on your next trip:

Today’s Travel Gem was so packed with information that we have turned it in to a full article. Read the full article here.

Wednesday – TripAdvisor has introduced a new feature that allows its readers to combine advice from their Facebook friends with the reader reviews that the site is known for.

At, you can click on a Facebook icon to create a TripAdvisor account that links with Facebook (or log in with your Facebook id). Then, when researching a destination, hotel, attraction or restaurant you will now see a list of your friends who have also been to that location in the top, right-hand corner. In order for friends to show up, though, they also have to be users of the TripAdvisor Cities I’ve Visited application on Facebook. The TripAdvisor Trip Friends feature then allows you to message friends for travel advice.

According to TripAdvisor, the Cities I’ve Visited application has more than five million monthly active users. But how well this works for you will depend on how many of your friends use this application.

I’ve got my Cities I’ve Visited set up, so maybe we’ll be connecting soon to talk travel?

Thursday – Who doesn’t want extra space in their luggage? Compression bags create this extra space and keep your clothes organized! I’ve been using a compression bag when I have seven or more days’ of clothes to pack in my carry-on bag. I’m amazed at how much little the collection of clothing items become once the air is rolled out of the bag. My bags have a very tight seal, similar to a Ziploc bag but stronger. After I’ve placed my clothes in the bag, I seal the bag, roll out the air through special vents in the bag and voila! My tall stack of clothes is shrunk down to a much smaller size.

I showed several days of clothing inside a compression bag when recently on These bags are great for keeping outfits together, or all tops or all undergarments … however you want to be organized.

Some of the clothing I put into the compression bag need a bit of ironing, not much different than had I not used a compression bag. I just hang everything up once I get to my hotel room and by morning most, if not all, of the wrinkles are gone.

Eagle Creek, a bag and travel kit maker, says its Pack-It Compressor Set can offer up to 80% more space.

Other vendors also offer compression sacs, so check related products on to find what’ll work best for you.

I’ve been using a set of Small-Medium-Large and mostly using the medium size for my weekly travels.

Friday – Bringing Fido on your next trip and need a pet-friendly hotel?

If you’ve ever considered taking your pet along on your travels, you know that finding a pet-friendly hotel, understanding airline policies and international quarantine rules can be daunting and usually more difficult than the ‘people’ arrangements. is a site that offers tons of help for pet owners.

It’s a searchable database of 25,000 pet-friendly hotels, B&B’s, ski resorts, and vacation rentals in the US and beyond. The site also lists international vaccination requirements and quarantine policies. It even gives you driving instructions as to where you can stop over at pet friendly lodgings on the way.

They offer a wealth of pet travel information including pet-friendly locales and events, including beaches, parks, stores and other attractions, as well as valuable how-to travel advice and health tips. They also have a bulletin board to ask questions and/or provide help to other pet travelers.

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