Travel Gems for February 8th – 12th

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 Feb. 8 – New travel apps for (most) everyone! Blackberry users get Trip-It; iPhone users get Siri.

The popular Trip-It app became available to Blackberry users on January 20th. The Siri Personal Assistant for iPhone users was released on February 5th. Both are of great value to folks on the go.

Learn more about TripIt’s free mobile apps for BlackBerry, Android and iPhone

Siri is getting excellent reviews right out of the gate. Rather than me talk about it, here’s what appeared in USA Today.

Tuesday Feb. 9 – Good-bye to excuses as to why you can’t exercise in your hotel. These light-weight travel friendly resistance bands make the perfect exercise equipment right in the comfort of your hotel room. After you select your bands, search through the resistance band videos that are available.

P.S. I have found that asking for a room with a king bed (vs. two double beds) gives me more moving-around room in order to exercise.

Wednesday Feb. 10 – When flying internationally and a domestic connecting flight is involved, either book the first flight out in the morning or allow a 3-hour time between flights. International flights almost always leave on-time, so any delays on your first flight could cause you to miss your flight or have your bags miss your flight. I learned this one personally and did not have my bags for an extra day because I only allowed 90 minutes between a domestic and international flight and my domestic flight was 70 minutes late.

Thursday Feb. 11 – Good/Better/Best for Hotel Safety and Dining Out:

Good: If you are venturing out of the hotel on your own, let the front desk know your agenda or itinerary and when to expect you back.

Better: If you are returning in the dark, call ahead to the hotel and ask that someone escort you from the parking lot into the hotel.

Best: Ask the hotel if their hotel shuttle will drive you to and from a restaurant.

Friday Feb. 12 – Want to create a photo journal of your trips, but no time?

Online Photo Books and Photo Gifts are a great way to easily record the special memories from your travels in much less time than a traditional photo album. With your digital photos on your computer, it’s as easy as drag-and-drop into your desired photo pages, complete with designs that you select. Some services even let you upload photos from your phone directly to your account on their sites.

There are many online companies for photo journals. Here are a few to get you started:

I wish this had existed when I was creating photo albums for my print photos (wait … I’m STILL creating my print photo albums!

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