20 Tips Tips you send in. This month: a creative use for an inflatable beach ball, a trick for remembering your parking spot, how to keep kids entertained at the museum, and more. Budget Travel Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008, 11:00 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

TRAVEL SMART

20 Tips

Tips you send in. This month: a creative use for an inflatable beach ball, a trick for remembering your parking spot, how to keep kids entertained at the museum, and more.

Rest assured

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1. Rest assured I always pack an inflatable beach ball in my carry-on for long flights. When I'm ready to sleep, I just blow it up, put it on my tray table, and curl over it to sleep. I don't have to worry about my head bobbing from side to side as I sleep, and I never have a sore neck when I wake up. Added bonus: The beach ball also makes a great footrest. Connie Race, Tooele, Utah

2. On the hunt When my husband and I visit museums with our children, we always ask the ticket agent if there are any organized treasure hunts. Some museums, like the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, have a list of specific works of art or facts that are interesting to kids. If we know in advance that the museum doesn't have this feature, we put together our own treasure hunt. Susan Weaver, Ghlin, Belgium

3. Trick up your sleeve I came up with a great way to keep from losing my scarf when I travel. As you take off your jacket or sweater, grab one end of the scarf and hold on to it. Once the garment is off, you'll find that the scarf has been threaded through the sleeve. Since the scarf isn't loose, it's less likely to fall off and get left behind. Chuck Collazzi, Las Vegas, Nev.

4. Beyond the books Before we travel, my husband and I download podcasts about our destination, and then we listen to them on the way there. I even bought an adapter for my iPod that allows both of us to listen at the same time. Janice Telstar, Ardmore, Pa.

5. Magnet memories I purchase magnets when I travel. When I get home, I write the month and year of the trip on the back of each one before I put it on our refrigerator. The magnets are great reminders of when I've traveled where, and they're handy when I go to give blood. I just look at them to see if I've traveled anywhere recently that would make me ineligible to donate. Julie McCauley, Eugene, Ore.

6. It's a wrap On a recent trip to Italy, my husband and I picked up an Italian newspaper to use as fun and inexpensive wrapping paper. We even matched the section of the paper with the recipient, using colorful photos of soccer players to wrap a gift for a soccer-playing relative. We found that family members took as much interest in the wrapping paper as they did in the gift! Ruth Schnur, Princeton, N.J.

7. Hike up your coverage If you're going to do any serious trekking, consider buying rescue insurance. While hiking in Aruba, I fell off a cliff and ended up in the emergency room; in Boulder, I saw someone get airlifted off a mountain. Regular health insurance doesn't always cover things like a helicopter rescue, but rescue insurance does. The American Alpine Club offers a rescue benefit to its members for as little as $40 per year. Amanda Chay, Tampa, Fla.

8. Journal on the fly When my husband and I travel, I buy a postcard and fill it with info about where we stay, eat, shop, and sightsee, and then I mail it home. I use the card as a record for our future trips—or advice for friends who are planning to go to the same place. Leslie Parker, San Clemente, Calif.

9. Lots to remember It's easy to get a little distracted while parking your car at the airport before a flight. So when my husband and I park, one of us always sends the other a text message with info about our car's location. We never have to wander the lot looking for our car after the trip. Caroline Mosey, Indianapolis, Ind.

10. Room for improvement It can be tough to figure out hotel-room arrangements if you're traveling with several people. Instead of choosing your room, ask the reservations clerk what he or she would recommend as the best deal for your situation. I always explain that we have six in our family, what the kids' ages are, and who can share a bed. We've been given great solutions: two double rooms with roll-aways, and a family room for five with a roll-away. Catherine Douglass, Tacoma, Wash.

11. The fine print I found a way to keep track of all my airline, car, hotel, and club memberships without having to carry the ID cards with me. On a wallet-size card, I listed the membership numbers and toll-free numbers for all the programs in tiny (but readable) print and then had the card laminated. Elizabeth A. Flanagan, Blacksburg, Va.

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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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