20 Tips

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1. An apple makes landing OK. If you worry about clogged ears when you're flying, bring along an apple. When you feel the plane begin to descend--about 25 minutes before arrival--eat your apple. The chewing and swallowing will keep your ears in good shape. I'm an airline pilot, and I always bring a couple of apples and have a flight attendant give them to passengers who complain of ear problems. They work every time! Capt. Mike Filippell, Tower Lakes, Ill.

2. The newspaper, resized. Why struggle with a newspaper in a cramped airplane seat? Before traveling, go to the newspaper's website and print out the articles you'll want to read. To lighten your load, tear off pages as you go. Susie Leibowitz, Washington, D.C.

3. Protecting your razor. A hard eyeglass case stores a razor perfectly while traveling. It snaps shut, fits neatly in a bag, and also holds extra blades. Jim Butterfield, Maryville, Tenn.

4. Spa savings on cruise ships. I've been on many cruises with various lines (Carnival, Costa, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, American Hawaii, and most recently, Princess), and I've learned that the spas usually offer discounts on days that the ship is docked. Rhonda Grabov, Philadelphia, Pa.

5. Negotiate past expiration dates. I save all the specials from Travelzoo and other websites, regardless of their dates of validity. When I want to use one of the specials, I call the hotel or tour company's sales director; many times I'll get the deal even if it isn't officially available. After all, they're trying to fill rooms and tours, especially at the last minute. I used this idea last week to stay at a hotel for free--all I had to do was agree to spend a certain amount in the spa each day. Dr. Patty Boone, Colorado Springs, Colo.

You can find more tips in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of Budget Travel magazine.

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