Travel Smart

Illustrations by Jon Cannell

Tips you send in: Highlights from the September issue's 20 Tips column, including iPod tricks and a credit card safety tip.

Got a Great Tip? Send your travel tips and if we publish one, you'll get a one-year subscription (or a renewal) to Budget Travel. You can email them to us at, or submit one here.

The cleverest tips we've ever run are compiled in The Smart Traveler's Passport, a new book available in bookstores and at and other online stores. If your tip is one that we illustrate in the magazine, we'll send you a free book (along with that year's subscription)!

1. In plane sight I download TV shows to my iPod to watch while I fly. I was having trouble figuring out a way to watch hands-free until I discovered that the plastic cups that airlines serve drinks in are the perfect size and shape to prop up an iPod. Put a cup on your tray table and place the iPod inside; the screen will be just above the lip--the perfect position. Everyone I've shown this trick to says it works great. Kristi Wright, Norman, Okla.

2. Call for help Program your credit card companies' phone numbers into your cell phone. Recently, I left my card at a restaurant. I called the credit card company, and it was able to flag my account to show that the card was at risk. Once I had retrieved my card from the restaurant, the company simply removed the flag. David Rhoads, Derwood, Md.

3. Show them the way I enjoy boutique hotels, but they're often difficult to locate, even for locals. When I'm staying at one, I print out a street map of the hotel and surrounding area for the driver taking me from the airport to the hotel (drivers are grateful for the help). I also keep a copy of the map for myself and mark on it the locations of a market, pharmacy, and interesting nearby restaurants for reference throughout the trip. Cindy Kilkenny, Brookfield, Wis.

4. A question of taste When wine tasting in Napa Valley, I ask the pourers to recommend their favorite local wineries. I'm always given the names of a few great nearby vineyards--and often free tasting passes, as well. Michelle Johnson, Santa Cruz, Calif.

5. Two are better than one To get out of my hotel room on time, I request two wake-up calls: the first for when I need to get up, and the second for when I should be walking out the door. Scott W. Ball, San Antonio, Tex.

You can find all 20 Tips in the September 2007 issue of Budget Travel magazine.

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