Travel Smart

Highlights from the October 20 Tips column, including sound advice for noisy hotel rooms and a clever way to share a good book.

(Illustrations by Jon Cannell)

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1. Sprinkle some suds I discovered a great way to pack powdered detergent for washing clothes in a sink. Clean out one of those plastic spice containers that have a shaker cap under the lid and fill it with detergent. When you're ready to wash clothes, just shake out a little of the detergent into the sink. Joan Burns, Silver Spring, Md.

2. Use Snapfish to snap fish I planned to do a lot of snorkeling while in Hawaii, so I bought disposable underwater cameras on the mainland, where they were less expensive. I also brought prepaid mailing envelopes from the photo developer (Snapfish, in my case). After I was finished with the cameras, I dropped them in the mail, and the pictures were waiting when I got home. Christine Zardecki, Highland Park, N.J.

3. Meet in the middle When my husband and I travel together, we share a journal. One of us records thoughts, observations, and experiences starting at the front of the journal, and the other starts writing from the back. We don't read what the other has written until we get home. This has given us surprises, laughs, and insights into how we see thing differently at times. Glenna Simms, Wheat Ridge, Colo.

4. Bring the noise A sound machine has saved me from many sleepless nights in hotel rooms. The white-noise setting is just enough to buffer outside commotions when the hotel walls are thin or the room is close to an elevator or an ice machine. It also helps us sleep better when my family of four is staying in a single room. Jane Tague, Fort Myers, Fla.

5. Instant book club My partner and I like to listen to audiobooks when we fly. Now, besides packing the appropriate player (MP3, CD, cassette), we also make sure to bring a splitter for our headphones. This way, we get to hear the same book at the same time, and we can discuss it as we go along. Kathi Graham, Asheville, N.C.

You can find all 20 Tips in the October 2007 issue of Budget Travel magazine.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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