Thursday, October 23, 2008

PinkBird's Pointers: (Volume 6--More Travel Tips)

We're going back to Texas next month for Thanksgiving (seriously, why can't we stay away?!). We'll only be there for 3 days (hooray--small backpack as carry on! The big backpack can get annoying, despite it's convenience)...but, this got me, here are some more travel tips (perhaps one of these days I'll just combine them all into one list):

1. Before you start packing, pull your bags out and let them air out for a couple days. Better yet, before you store your luggage away after unpacking, leave dryer sheets (if you have them), lavender sachets or even small bars of soap (dry ones, that you aren't using...the ones from hotels work nicely) in the main pocket of your luggage.

2. If you tend to have to travel last minute, why not keep a checklist of essentials in a pocket of your luggage so if you have to pack in a hurry, you won't forget anything. Along those same lines, my toiletry bag is almost always packed and ready, so when it's time to travel, I can grab my case (with travel toothbrush--I use a Toob, shampoo, etc), and toss it into my bag.

3. When using self-check in (and isn't that all there is anymore?!) at the airport, if you have bags to check, make sure the kiosk you're checking in at allows you to check your bags at it. I know the American Airlines counter at ORD requires an agent to be working the kiosk terminal for you to be able to check your luggage there. I'm sure there are others like it.

4. Are you bringing your laptop? There are newer types of bags that allow security screeners better views of your computer without taking it all out. Also, if you are bring a laptop to a place that will have internet access and/or internet cafes, do you really need your guide/travel books? Most guidebooks can be bought in .PDF or even .mp3. (Some even have maps and things you can put on your iPod). I know a couple that will scan into their computer any maps or guidebook pages and save them to their laptop. This cuts down on the amount of stuff you are carrying.

5. Before you travel, clean out your wallet (or have a special travel wallet). You don't need to be carrying around every business card or grocery store saving card you've ever gotten. And, if you have a lot of store credit cards, do you really think you'll use them? Only bring the essentials. It cuts down on the amount of things you are bringing and the amount of things you could potentially lose.

(For more PinkBird's Pointers, click here).