Tips you send in. This month: a creative souvenir for kids, a warning to shell collectors, and a booking tip for obese fliers!
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1. Art supply When we go to museums, we give each of our children a sketch pad and a pencil and have them draw something they like in each room. When they look back at their drawings, they discuss the sketches like they're art critics! Ashleigh Hodges, Hercules, Calif.
2. Sea through a different lens I knew I'd be snorkeling a lot in French Polynesia, so instead of buying several disposable underwater cameras, I bought a digital one on eBay for about $100. Unlike with disposable cameras, I know right away if I took a good or bad picture. I can delete the rejects, and I don't waste money developing crummy shots. Jennifer Robak, Hatfield, Pa.
3. Foot fault Don't get too comfy on train rides overseas. In Italy, a friend of mine was recently fined $78 for resting her feet on the seat located across from hers. Sara Trotta, Lockport, Ill.
4. Early-bird special When my wife and I fly with our young children, one of us preorders a special meal (kosher, gluten-free, etc.). These are almost always served at the beginning of the meal service, so one adult can eat while the other watches the children. When the rest of the meals are served, whoever has already eaten goes on kid duty. Scott Barber, Harpenden, U.K.
5. Place place mats Kid-oriented destinations, such as Legoland and SeaWorld, provide free paper maps of the parks. Instead of throwing them away, have them laminated to use as place mats or decorations in your child's room. Mike and Cindy Shields, Wellsville, Kans.
6. Gold star for Goldstar Go to goldstar.com for half-price tickets to shows and events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Orange County, Calif.; New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and Boston. You buy your tickets online and pick them up at will call. I recently used the site to get half-price tickets to The Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas. Kevin Lum, San Francisco, Calif.
7. Shell shock When we were in the Dominican Republic, we walked many miles collecting seashells, but someone told us we might not be able to take them home. We looked into it and learned that some Caribbean countries limit the number and type of shells you can take from the islands. Offenders can be delayed at the airport and get slapped with a fine. Donna Mercier, Stratham, N.H.
8. Pharmaceutical sales I'm a flight attendant, and I often use just a carry-on bag when I fly. The TSA allows liquids in three-ounce bottles, but I could only find travel containers in two- or four-ounce sizes. On my mom's suggestion, I asked the local pharmacy if it had three-ounce liquid-prescription bottles I could buy. They sold me four for just $1. Julie Childers, Dublin, Ga.
9. Secret agents I hoped a travel agent in my area could dig up deals for my trip to Hawaii, but the rates she quoted me were higher than the ones I had found on my own. Then I happened upon info about Panda Travel, in Hawaii. I did a search for a car and hotel package on pandaonline.com and pulled up the best deal I'd seen yet. From now on, I'll look for travel agents where I'm planning to go. Brianna Yamashita, Kew Gardens, N.Y.
10. Attached at the hip I bought my sons fanny packs to use as toiletry bags. When they need to brush their teeth or comb their hair, they just grab their packs. This tip is especially handy when you're at a campground. Debra Kushnick, Marietta, Ga.
11. Ye shall receive On a recent trip to Tucson, I asked the woman at the visitors information center if she had any two-for-one coupons for area attractions like our visitors center in Seattle does. She did even better than that, producing two free tickets to the next day's spring-training baseball game at Tucson Electric Park. Charlie Tiebout, Seattle, Wash.
12. Big-box bargains If you're on vacation in southern California, check out a local Costco for discount tickets to theme parks such as Universal Studios, Legoland, and the San Diego Zoo. Michele Sinclair, Playa del Rey, Calif.
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