20 Tips

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1. Dress to be noticed. When you're traveling with a group, make sure one person is wearing an easily identifiable piece of clothing. My husband and I were in London with my parents, and the only way we found each other at busy intersections and tube stations was because I had on a bright-red overcoat. Jennifer Roberts, Morrisville, N.C.

2. Everyone likes toys. In the Middle East, we handed out Matchbox cars and miniature dolls not only to poor kids but also to adults for their children and grandchildren. This made a stern security guard warm up considerably. Pete Ventura, Centerville, Ohio

3. Do an advance passport check. A few weeks before international trips I double-check that my passport is where I think it is. I know several people who have spent the last hours before a trip frantically searching for their passports--one even had to cancel her honeymoon because she never found it. Marsea Nelson, Ocean View, Del.

4. The early bookworm gets the books. My husband and I love to read while on a cruise. When we take our own paperbacks, we always visit the book-exchange shelf in the ship's library on the day of embarkation and usually find some current best sellers to swap with the ones we finished on our way to the port. Margaret Leggett, Hot Springs, Ark.

5. Extra medication is a smart precaution. My boyfriend and I were in Cancún in October 2005, when Hurricane Wilma tore the place to pieces. We were put in shelters for five days (some people were stranded for two weeks). At one point, personnel from our resort realized that my boyfriend is a physician and that I'm a nurse. They asked us to go from shelter to shelter with them, to check on travelers with medical conditions. Many people had run out of their medications, learning the hard way that you should always bring additional medication, because you never know if you'll be away longer than you thought. Caroline DiGiulio, Cranston, R.I.

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

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