Travel Gems for March 1st-5th

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 Mar. 1st – Avoid missed flights and getting stuck in a middle seat. Always confirm your flight info the night before your trip – better yet, a few days before. When booking your flight weeks in advance, the departure time may change from what you originally booked.  You do not want to arrive at the airport only to find your flight left earlier than you thought.

The plane configuration may also change, resulting in a middle seat that you did not expect!  (Tip: many frequent fliers get upgraded into first class in the few days before a flight, so you may have a chance to move out of a middle seat as their coach seats become available.)

Validating your flight a day or more ahead of time gives you a chance to contact the airline online or via telephone to address any seating, timing or other ticket issues.

Tuesday Mar. 2nd – Looking for great facial cleansers without all the liquid? Travel with easy to pack, non-liquid make-up removers.  Several to choose from: Olay Make-up Remover Towelettes , Pond’s Clean Sweep Cleansing and Make-up Removing Towelettes with Chamomile and Green Tea and Facial Cleansing Tissues by Olivella are available at Amazon.

Wednesday Mar. 3rd – Ever feel rushed when reviewing your hotel bill? Here’s a quick way to check hotel or cruise bills for accurate restaurant and other purchases where a gratuity is included:  During your stay, adjust the amount of the tips so that each room charge ends with the same digit. For example: Add enough of a tip to end each charge in an odd cent (17.03, 25.43 …. Notice the ‘3’ at the end of each charge).  It takes only a moment to scan the bill for items that do not end in ‘3’ and thus may not be your charges.  The odds of an mischarged bill ending in this odd number (‘3’ in this example) is low.

Thursday Mar. 4th – Ever have to cram clothes from one bag into another to avoid overweight baggage fees? Don’t you hate doing this on the airport floor with people walking all around you? Now know the weight of your luggage before you get to the airport check-in counter!

Check out the Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale. It weighs 10 oz. and can weigh up to 100 pound bags. Other frequent fliers have found this digital luggage scale to be very accurate. Allow for a 2 lb margin of error as the airline scale may differ.

You can also weigh your luggage on your home scale before you depart on your trip. Trouble is, your bag may be under the weight limit upon departure but they you buy lots of stuff during your travels.  A 40 lb bag can quickly become an over-50 lb bag! In this case, the digital luggage scale is your answer!

Friday Mar. 5th – Leaving your kids at home while you travel? Keep them busy with creating their own  ‘postcards’ of what they did while mom was away.

Each day have them take a 4”x6” or so piece of paper and draw a picture about something they did. If they’re old enough, have them write a few sentences on what they learned or what fun they had. Have them address it to mom and draw a stamp on it like it’s a postcard. They can add these ‘postcards’ to the pile of mail that’s awaiting your return.

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

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