20 Tips

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1. Rice can salvage wet electronics. After I fell into a stream in Cambodia, my digital camera wouldn't work. Someone suggested leaving the camera in a bag of rice overnight to draw out any condensation. Sure enough, the next morning it was dry and working perfectly. Roger Bailey, El Dorado Hills, Calif.

2. Books on tape are great for road trips. I always try to match our itinerary with the story line--My Ántonia for a drive across Nebraska or Tom Sawyer for a journey along the Mississippi River. Lisa Lowe Stauffer, Roswell, Ga.

3. Hang on to cancellation confirmations. If you make a hotel reservation online and then cancel online, print out and save the cancellation confirmation for at least two billing cycles past your trip. After our vacation, I found a "no-show" charge on my credit card for a room that I'd canceled well in advance. Without the cancellation confirmation, I had no way to contest the bill. Karen Griffith-Hedberg, Eugene, Ore.

4. Let your cell phone speak for you in an emergency. Paramedics now look for emergency contact information in victims' mobile phones. Store the word "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your address book, along with the name and number of the person you'd like emergency personnel to call on your behalf. (For more than one entry, use ICE1, ICE2, etc.) Tell your friends or family members that you've chosen them as your contacts and make sure they're aware of any medical conditions or allergies that could affect your treatment. Cindy Nguyen, Chicago, Ill.

5. Recycle those old cassette cases. My husband packs Q-tips in a plastic tape case. It's small and snaps shut, keeping the cotton swabs clean and dry. Nancy Bastian, Brewster, N.Y.

You can find more tips in the February 2006 issue of Budget Travel magazine.

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