Each Monday through Friday, a Travel Gem of the Day will be posted at SmartWomenTravelers.com. 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 – Better than emailing yourself a copy of your ID, passport and other important documents, have a high-res copy on AccessMyID’s encrypted website. Email is not normally encrypted, but AccessMyID uses 2048 bit SSL security to ensure that only you can get to your documents. In you ever misplace your passport or lose your credit cards, having a copy online that you can access any time of day from anywhere in the world in invaluable.
The photos won’t get you through airport security but can be used as id at hotels, casinos (personal experience here!), and other locations where an ID is needed.
Pricing starts at $19.95 per year and you can save a few dollars if you purchase the three year plan at $49.95.
p.s. If your ID is ever stolen, file a police report. A copy of the police report was enough for a friend of mine to get on her plane to get home as her id was stolen while she was out of town. A copy of your id can certainly help in this unfortunately situation.
Tuesday – Bad Hair Day and You’re Out of Town? Find a hair stylist using this online service: Wahanda (a Native American word for “great spirit and creator”). Nothing raises the spirit more than good hair. Massage also works!
Wahanda has the most comprehensive listing of day spas, destination spas, beauty salons, hairdressers, health clubs and yoga studios anywhere. With thousands of locations to choose from across the US and around the world, they’ll help you find exactly what you are looking for.
You’ll also find a big pond of knowledge – everything you need to know about treatments, classes and therapies.
Wednesday – If you travel frequently and you have an iPhone, this app is a must-have. It’s the Airport Remote Monitor and it’s like having your own personal airport flight monitor. No more connecting to airline websites, having to type in your originating or destination cities in another app or, God forbid, actually walking to an airport monitor to get the latest info on your flight.
I use this app before I head to the airport to see if there are early delay notices. I use it again as I approach the airport to see what terminal and gate my flight is at, and I also use it while eating in an airport restaurant yet still want to monitor my flight.
How accurate is it? I had a few doubts about the timeliness of the information, but a recent delayed flight proved it’s accurate and quickly updated. My flight had continually changing departure times and the Airport Remote Monitor kept these times updated very quickly and accurately. The data comes from FlightStats, which is a website (and iPhone app) that has been in my Top 10 list of travel tools.
There is an email feature where you can send your flight info to a colleague or family member.
For me, it has definitely been worth the $3.99 purchase price on iTunes. The reviews are looking very positive on this handy travel tool. Just one enhancement I’d like to see: a quick way to find just my flight without scrolling through by city or by airline.
Thursday – I can attest to bringing too many toiletry and makeup items. I lay a towel down and get everything organized. This is time-consuming and takes valuable time when I arrive at a hotel and again when I need to pack back up at the end of my stay. Here’s an idea that may help: pack a hanging shoe bag. It will easily hang on the hook on the back of the bathroom door and keep smaller toiletries (hairbrush, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.) in the different compartments. This frees up lots of space on counters and keeps everything in one spot! Especially nice with hotel rooms with tiny bathroom counters –just ask my husband! I tend to take over the entire counter with all my stuff. When he reads this travel gem, he’ll be running out to wherever hanging shoe bags are sold to get me one!
Friday – Traveling Moms – Here’s a great book that is perfect for reading to your little ones: My Mommy’s on a Business Trip by Phaedra Cucina.
My Mommy’s on a Business Trip is a little girl’s rendition of the adventures of business travel with the endearing and reassuring message that no matter what mom’s up to, she loves her and is coming home soon! This unique book allows children and parents to discuss fears and concerns about upcoming trips in a fun, supportive way.
This story is not only a great bedtime story, but a great way to initiate a conversation with your children about the things you do on a business trip and reassure them that you don’t want to go just as much as they don’t want you to go!
Purchase My Mommy’s on a Business Trip at mommytrip.com.