Travel Gems for April 12th – 16th

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 April 12th – 3 Ways to Be Productive on the Road

Google Sync: Easily synchronize your Gmail contacts and Google Calendar events between your cell phone and the cloud. Works with Blackberry, iPhone and more. Any contact or calendar changes you make on your phone automatically push to your Google account, and vice versa.

Dropbox: A great tool for syncing your files online and across your computers automatically. 2GB of online storage for free. Offers file sharing, online backup, folders only available to those you invite and mobile device access. It even supports file versioning so you can recover an old version of a file if it gets lost or corrupted.

Open Table: This is a great website for making restaurant reservations the easy way, no matter where you are:  Find a restaurant » Choose a table » Book online. Includes U.S. and international restaurants.  Get tons of detail about each restaurant including a copy of their menu and customer reviews. Also available as an iPhone app.

Tuesday April 13th – If you’re going to nap on the plane, dab some super-rich night cream around your eyes and don a sleep mask. Both will help you look fresher and more relaxed when you wake.This sleep mask has sufficient room for you to blink your eyes and not smoosh your mascara: Bucky 40 Blinks Mask Ultralight Eye Mask.

Wednesday April 14th – Smart airport drop-offs and pick-ups: Early in the day drop off at arrivals and later in the day pick up travelers at departures…avoid the crowds! My driver picks me up at departures whenever I carry-on my bag. It’s easy to find me and quick to exit the airport.

Thursday April 15th – Great aids for creating a packing list:  The Universal Packing List website takes all the variables (length of your trip, destination climate, accommodations, planned activities, transportation, bag size and whether you are traveling with kids) and creates a packing list just for you. Independent Traveler’s interactive packing list is similar. It has a list of more than 100 commonly packed items separated into categories.

Online, you check off the items you need and then add up to 10 additional items of your own. The Packing Pro application for iPhone creates your packing list based on the number of adults (male and female), the number of children, how many days you’ll be gone, climate and destination. It also has eight sample packing lists, ranging from couples on vacation to business travelers, as well as a pre-trip checklist.

Friday April 16th – Is there a doctor in the city?

Traveling to New York, Washington DC or San Francisco and need a doctor? ZocDoc is a free service that allows patients to book doctor appointments online; helpful when you’re traveling and get sick. Check out doctor ratings, which docs take your insurance, and find specialists.

Let them know what cities you’d like to see and hopefully they’ll add more.

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

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One Comment

  1. I loved the list of travel items. One tip that I use is that I keep a small bag of travel items ready in my closet at all times. It has an extra thermometer, band aids, small shampoo, Alka Seltzer, stuff like that. I never unpack it so that it’s always ready to throw into a suitcase. Although I do admit, however, to occasionally raiding my little bag when I am running out of stuff at home. I gotta stop doing that……

    Thanks for the tips,

    Kay Lorraine
    Honolulu, Hawaii

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