Travel Gems for May 3rd – 7th

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 May 3rd – Would you like to know what’s going on in major cities throughout the world but only have a few minutes a day to do so? Here’s the perfect solution, especially for travelers., Washington D.C.’s most interactive museum contains 574 front pages from 56 countries, updated daily with each edition of the paper. The Newseum displays these daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form. Just put your mouse on a city anywhere in the world and the newspaper headlines pop up. Double click the city and the page gets larger… you can read the entire paper on some if you click on their web page link. You really could spend forever here if you have the time.

This is a great way to get informed on what’s going on in a city that you are visiting or one that you have future plans to get to.

Tuesday May 4th – You know it’s important to keep your hands clean while traveling. Another area where germs tend to harbor is in the mouth. While good dental hygiene should always include daily brushing and flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouth wash can help keep you from becoming ill when you are subjected to a number of different strains of bacteria and viruses.

Just like using antibacterial hand soap, antibacterial mouth wash adds another layer of protection between you and the dreaded “airplane cold!”

Wednesday May 5th – The headphones available on the plane (whether for purchase or for free) are usually of poor quality and their comfort level is low. They are also not designed to cancel out the surrounding noise. Instead, bring your own noise-canceling headphones or in-ear headphones.

High quality noise-isolating (different from noise canceling) headphones, or noise canceling headphones are preferred by travelers. They can make a world of difference by reducing the plane noise to a mere background hum and allow you to fall asleep to your music in a quiet environment.

Headphones are also great for discouraging a talking seat mate. Whether you’re actually listening to music or not, put the headphones on to look like you are.

I love my noise-cancelling headphones. When I’m ready to doze off, I tune my iPod to Enya or soft classical music and the sounds in the plane fly out the window.

For a recent report on the 5 Best Headphones read

Thursday May 6th – When trying to sleep on a plane, most of us try to sit up to sleep, often with some sort of neck pillow to hold our head up. But you may sleep better leaned forward. If you have back pain, this method of sleeping on a plane may help provide relief.

Blow up a small beach ball. Place the ball on your lap or on the tray table and lean forward. Wrap your arms around the beach ball to keep it in place. You may want to bring a pillow case for it to make it more comfortable to sleep against.

You can inflate it for many needs. It works as a pillow in a bind or a handy back cushion in an uncomfortable chair. When deflated, a beach ball packs easily and takes up very little space.

And if you’re traveling with your children, you’ve got a toy with you for the beach.

Friday May 7th – It can be difficult for children to deal with a mom or dad that travel frequently. Here is a fun, helpful tip froman article on

Create a special handprint pillow case. Before you leave on your next business trip take a blank pillow case and put your handprint on it in craft paint. Have your child help you with this. They can paint your hand for you in their favorite color and watch you press the image onto the pillow case.

Then you can write them an ‘I Love You’ message on it as well.

After it dries you can put it on their pillow and tell them they can use it when you are gone. This works really well if you read them the children’s book “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. The book talks about how you can give kisses and they don’t wash away… so kiss the handprint for them before you leave and they will get your kisses all night while they sleep.

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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