Tips you send in. This month: A creative use for hotel shower caps, a tip for organizing photos, how to monitor hotel rates, and more.
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1. Avoid laundry mishaps When we travel by RV, I always pack four refrigerator magnets, which I put on my washers and dryers when I go to a laundromat. I never have to guess which machines are mine—and best of all, I never forget a load. Marilyn Denham, Surprise, Ariz.
2. Vacation education Anytime I plan a trip, I subscribe to blog feeds and news from the area I'm visiting. It helps me catch up on the culture and gets me even more excited about what's to come! Megan Stokes, Boston, Mass.
3. Go back to school Before you travel to a big city or a college town, check out the local university calendars. Most schools schedule events well in advance and list them on their websites. I've attended wonderful concerts, film screenings, festivals, talks, and exhibits this way—most of them open to the public and at a very low cost, or even free. Edie Greenough, San Francisco, Calif.
4. Save your souvenirs I always buy a composition book to use as a travel journal, and every few pages I'll attach an envelope where I can stash tickets, receipts, and any other mementos I want to keep. Kelly Hess, Sacramento, Calif.
5. Daylight saving dates It helps to remember that some countries begin and end daylight saving time on different dates than the U.S. does—and others, like Thailand, don't change their clocks at all. I once missed a symphony orchestra performance in Cologne when I forgot that most of Western Europe begins daylight saving time after we do. Greg Becker, Goose Creek, S.C.
6. Early-bird breakfast When you're on a cruise and you've booked an excursion that leaves early in the morning, order room service for breakfast. That way, you won't have to wait in line at the buffet and risk missing your tour departure. Mirvet Sidhom, Quebec, Que.
7. Hotel-rate watch Once you book a room at a hotel, check its website weekly for changes in room prices. I recently saved $600 on four nights in a room in New York City by making a new reservation at the reduced rate and then canceling the first one. Just be sure to note the hotel's fine print. Janet Willis, Ormond Beach, Fla.
8. Archive articles I save all my favorite travel stories as electronic files. Anytime I find good information about a place—a great piece online, e-mails from travel websites, etc.—I copy it and paste it into a Word document. I have separate folders for each destination, so when I'm ready to start planning my trip, it's easy to refer back to the info. Kristi Magee, Landstuhl, Germany
9. Free information Google has a service that anyone can call for information (800/466-4411). You just give the name of the business you're looking for in the U.S. or Canada, and the automated operator provides the address and phone number and can even connect you directly. The service is great when you're on the road and need to find information about a restaurant or a hotel. Rose Jakubaszek, Jersey City, N.J.
10. Write home Every time I visit a new place with my kids, I let them each choose a postcard as a souvenir. They write down what their favorite part of the trip was on the back, and then we send the cards home. It's fun to get them in the mail when we return, and the cards serve as great memories of our trips. Tricia Parkey, Gilbert, Ariz.
11. Organize your pics After my computer crashed, I learned my lesson and started saving photos from each trip on a flash drive with a hole for attaching a key ring. When I travel, I buy a souvenir key chain to hook to the drive. Since the key chain usually has the name of the place or an instantly recognizable graphic, I can always tell right away which flash drive contains which photos. Amy Pfenning, Coalinga, Calif.
12. Get a bonus performance Instead of buying tickets to go on a tour of a theater, look into seeing a performance itself. That can actually be cheaper, and you get the benefit of seeing a show. For example, a tour of the Globe Theatre in London is $15.25, but tickets to a play are as low as $7.25. Gloria Hasler, Palmdale, Calif.
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