Tips you send in. This month: airport security timesavers, easy electronics advice, and a history lesson kids love!
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1. Easy listening Our children are fans of the audio tours offered at many museums and monuments throughout Europe, especially since the tours are often available on iPods. At 10 and 12 years old, both kids were fascinated by Berlin's Charlottenburg Palace and insisted on listening to the complete (and quite long) tour. They did similar tours in France, at Chenonceau and Chambord châteaux. Gwen Gibbons, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
2. Marking a memory I wanted an inexpensive souvenir from my recent trip to London, so I laminated a receipt from Harrods to use as a bookmark. You could do the same thing with an admission stub from a museum or a show, or a tag from a special purchase. Colleen McGuiness, Stony Point, N.Y.
3. Central planning Next time you're coordinating a trip with a lot of people, set up a poll at doodle.ch to decide where to go, plan activities, and pick restaurants. When you log on, you can see in real time how everybody is voting on a topic, eliminating the need for phone calls and e-mails to get everyone's input. Rose Jakubaszek, Jersey City, N.J.
4. Red alert When I write out my packing list, I note in red any liquids, so when I'm repacking to return home, I know exactly what I need to dig out from my purse, cosmetics bag, and toiletry bag and transfer back to my one-quart Ziploc. Eileen L. Keplinger, Sparks, Nev.
5. It's in the bag We recently went to Disney World and on a Disney cruise with our kids. We wanted to save money in the parks by bringing our own double stroller, but we needed a smaller stroller for the cruise. We found that our umbrella stroller fit perfectly in the shoulder-strap bag of our camping chair. And because the stroller was enclosed, we were able to check it as luggage. Angela MacKinnon, New Freedom, Pa.
6. Keep your cooler My husband uses a small soft-sided cooler as his carry-on bag. When we arrive at our destination, we have a cooler to use in the hotel, in the rental car, or at the beach. Mary Wohlers, Fairfax, Iowa
7. End the streak I tried window cleaner to get a smudge off of the inside of my windshield, but the mark always reappeared. Out of frustration, I put some hand sanitizer on a napkin and rubbed it on the glass. The smudge went away for good! Jon Rich, Las Vegas, Nev.
8. Don't get tied up Before I go through airport security, I untie my laces and tuck them into my shoes. This makes my shoes more like slippers, so I can get them on and off quickly and easily. Roger A.C. Williams, Boulder, Colo.
9. Play away I travel a lot on business and have to leave behind my dog. While I was in Kauai, I happened to drive by the humane society. It had a huge yard, so I took a dog out and played with him. I think I brought the dog joy, and I definitely felt less homesick. From now on, I'll seek out animal shelters on my trips. Jessica Ward, Pasadena, Calif.
10. Tech department We store all our adapters, chargers, batteries, iPods, cameras, and phones in a toiletry bag, which we call our technology bag. It's easy to grab when we go on a trip, and if we have to leave it in our car, it just looks like an ordinary toiletry bag—and who breaks into a car to steal toothpaste? Jody Kirincich, Falmouth, Mass.
11. Totes awesome Many stores sell earth-friendly bags for grocery shopping, but they can also be used as carry-ons or packed empty in suitcases and then filled with any goodies you bring home from your trip. Besides being handy, the bags also remind others about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Cindy Swanson, Beaverton, Ore.
12. Photographic proof If you sign up for Disney's PhotoPass card, which gives you access to the shots the park photographers take of you and your family, make sure to snap a picture of the code on the back. We lost our card on our third day, but because we had taken a picture of the code, the park was able to transfer our info to a new card right away. Stella Brewer, New York, N.Y.
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