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“Must Haves” to Pack in Every Toiletry Kit

After carefully checking out cheap traveloptions such as cheapairplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, thelast thing you want to realize after arriving at your hotel is that the onething you really need is sitting in your medicine cabinet at home.

In addition to your usual makeup and medications, thefollowing are small travel items that are must haves for your toiletry kit,according to Shannon McMahon:

  • Foldabletoothbrushes save space in your toiletry bag and shields the bristles fromcoming in contact with anything you do not want to put in your mouth. Folding toothbrushes such as GUMs On-the-GoSoft Toothbrush are inexpensive. Makesure to pack travel sized toothpaste and floss as well.
  • Travelsized deodorant such as the natural, fresh smelling antiperspirant Toms 24Hour Naturally Dry Antiperspirant, smells clean, not flowery or soapy, and is smallenough to go through airport security in your carry-on.
  • FacialWipes come in handy since traveling often makes people sweat and exposed toadditional germs, and the stress, sleep change, or change in diet often makestravelers more prone to breakouts. Alight cleansing towelette such as Yes to Cucumber Hypoallergenic FacialTowelettes keeps skin clean and comfortable. The cucumber, aloe, and green tea in these wipes keeps users fresh facesafter dealing with a crowded flight or a long day exploring a dirty city.
  • Nailclippers are a must in dealing with a broken nail or a hang nail. They also are useful when there are noscissors in your hotel room. Ideallytravel with a foldable version that comes in a small case, such as TweezermanFolding Nail Clippers.
  • Babypower is infinitely useful and the cool white powder can be used as a dryshampoo, to remove sticky sand from your skin after a day at the beach, insmelly or damp shoes, or on skin to stay cool on a humid day.
  • Lipbalm is great in preventing chapped lips and dry skin. A small tube of Vaseline Lip Therapy isversatile and can also be used as an eye make-up remover, on cracked hands, andfor dealing with fly away hair.
  • Wide-ToothComb, either a half-sized version or a foldable comb with wide-set teeth, likeCricket Ultra Cleans mini comb are ideal for dealing with thick or curly typesof hair.
  • Tintedpowder SPF is handy in combating oily skin after a long flight and providingprotection from the sun. Consider anatural, oil free liquid option such as Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen. When going to the beach or hiking sweatprooflotions such as Coppertone Sport does the trick.
  • Medications,particular motion sickness pills and pain reliever often come in handy. Travelers sometimes get nauseous on flightsor in cars. Knowing how your body mightreact to the stress of travel, the climate you are going to, or the activitiesyou will be doing is important.
  • Adhesivebandages often come in handy when you need to wrap a cut or prevent blisters beforewalking all over town.

Safe Ways to Carry Money on The Road

After carefully reviewing your cheap traveloptions, including cheapairplane tickets, cheap auto rentals, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, thelast thing you want to face while traveling is to have your cash stolen.

Ideally you should deter thieves by making your moneydifficult for them to access, but you still want to be able to get to itwithout having to strip off clothes or hunt through a bags hidden pockets.

The following are tips for carrying money safely andelegantly while traveling, according to Christine Sarkis:

Placeyour travel cash and credit cards in multiple safe spots. Otherwise it only takes one theft to totallywipe you out.

Considerbuying under clothing storage accessories such as bra stashes, long johns,underwear and undershirts that come with built-in pockets for safestorage. On body storage accessories areespecially helpful if you are sleeping somewhere that does not offer a secureplace for cash and other valuables. Youwill still want to carry a wallet since fishing around under your clothes formoney lets others see where you are hiding your cash. Be aware that fanny packs make people morevulnerable to thievery since it marks the person as a tourist.

Makesmaller denomination of cash easily accessible. Each morning place a variety of small bills and coins in a handy spotfor purchases such as food, souvenirs, and attraction entry fees. Leave larger bills in your under-clothingmoney pouch, or place them in a secure part of your wallet or bag.

Travelwith an anti-theft bag that comes with features such as cut proof, steel cablereinforced shoulder straps, slash proof fabric, and locking zippers.

Beforedeparting on your trip go through your wallet and take out everything exceptthe necessities such as a universal credit card and a backup, an identificationcard, and an insurance card. Ultimatelynot only will this allow you to travel lighter, but if your wallet ends up lostor stolen, you will have less to replace.

If youwill be traveling someplace known for pickpockets or muggings, look into buyinga cheap wallet that you pad with some small bills and sample credit cards thatyou get with offers in the mail. Carrying a dummy wallet gives you something to throw and run, providingyou time to safely escape with your real wallet.

Buy atravel only wallet so that your credit cards will have snug pockets and willnot accidentally slip out. Regularlyused wallets have pockets that tend to be stretched out over time with cardssuch as gym memberships, pre-paid coffee cards, frequent buyer punch cards,etc. Instead of having to unpack andrepack your day to day wallet you can simply transfer what you need for yourtrip to your travel version.

Adaptto the local money culture. If you arein a cash economy, you will need to carry a variety of bills and coins at alltimes, without needing to carry credit cards. In much of Europe and parts of Asia having a compatible credit card(with chip and pin technology) will prove very useful, particularly if you findyourself at an unattended gas station or train station after hours.

Takeadvantage of money alternatives such as at metro stations and bus lines wheretravelers often forgo cash and credit card transactions totally and relyinstead on a multi-use ticket or other cash alternatives.

Often the best way to protect your cash is not to carry it at all. Hotels in room safes are usually secure. If you have something (including a large wad of cash) that you are concerned about, ask if the hotel has a safe deposit box behind the check-in desk.

Do Not Use These Hand Gestures Overseas

After smartly planning for a trip abroad by thoroughly reviewing cheap traveloptions including cheap airplanetickets, discount hotel rooms, and cheap vacation packages, itwould be a shame to later run into problems because you used a certain gesturethat is totally innocent in the U.S. but means something completely differentand offensive overseas.

The following are hand signals to avoid when travelingabroad, according to Caroline Morse:

If you give someone thepeace sign with your palm facing inward in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, orthe United Kingdom you are giving someone the equivalent of your middle finger.

While two thumbs up isa sign of approval in the U.S., in Afghanistan, Greece, Iran, and parts ofItaly it signifies up yours.

Making a circle withyour index finger and thumb is not OK in certain countries. For example, in France it means zero orworthless. In Brazil, Turkey, andVenezuela, it is a vulgar slang that will offend anyone who sees it.

Finger summoning mightbe OK to signal someone in the U.S. to come over to you, but in the Philippinesusing your curled index finger is reserved for calling dogs and is consideredvery rude. In Japan and Singapore themotion signifies death.

Using your left hand toeat is viewed as inappropriate in Africa, India, the Middle East, and Sri Lankabecause the left hand is traditionally viewed as unclean since it is associatedwith cleaning yourself after using a toilet.

The palm out, fingersup stop sign in Greece may result in someone punching you in the face. This is a gesture used to insult Greeks anddates back to Byzantine times, when shackled criminals were paraded through thestreet and gawkers were allowed to smear charcoal or excrement in their facesusing their open palms.

While crossing yourindex and middle fingers is one used in America as an indication of hope, inVietnam crossed fingers symbolize a part of the female anatomy and isconsidered very rude when flashed at someone.

Displaying devil horns(with your hand in a fist and index and pinky finger extended) is fine at aUniversity of Texas game but not in Brazil, Colombia, Portugal or Spain. In these countries this gesture is used tosuggest that someones wife has been unfaithful.

Hailing a taxi by waivingyour arm is common in the U.S. but in Korea it is how people summon theirdogs.

Patting someone elseshead or hair for a job well done is a definite faux pas in Thailand. In the Buddhist faith the head is the mostsacred part of the body and is where the spirit

Avoid Credit Card Missteps When Traveling

Savvy travelers know that they should thoroughly reviewtheir cheap traveloptions such as cheap airplanetickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packagesbefore finalizing any plans abroad. Unfortunately many people are less aware of credit or debit cardpitfalls that commonly are encountered overseas.

The following are the credit or debit card gotchas to beon the lookout for, according to Ed Perkins:

Mostcredit cards charge a foreign transaction fee that averages 3 percent. What many travelers are unaware of is thatthis fee is usually also charged even when transactions are processed overseasin U.S. dollars.

Usinga credit card is a terrible way to get cash. A recent survey of the top 100 credit cards found that taking a cashadvance results in a fee, typically around three to five percent with a $10minimum, plus an ATM charge unless you are using one from your own bank, as wellas a stiff interest rate with a median value of 24 percent even if your accountis fully paid. Never use a credit cardfor cash unless you have no alternative.

Creditcard rental car insurance usually does not cover holders completely. Often, though not always, when using a creditcard to reserve and pay for a rental, the credit card issuer provides secondarycollision coverage. Rental car coverageis universal with Visa and American Express but not with MasterCard andDiscover. MasterCard and Discover rentalcoverage depends on the issuing bank. Beaware that most credit cards do not extend car rental insurance to car rentalsmade overseas.

Overseasfees for using a credit card when paying often can be as much as two to fivepercent of the bill.

Withdrawalsfor Global ATM Alliance banks now incur a three percent exchange fee. In the past the Global ATM Alliance wasviewed as the ideal way to get foreign currency. By having a Bank of America checking orsavings account, you could use a debit card to withdraw local currency withneither an ATM nor a conversion fee from ATMs at affiliated banks at manycountries.

Airportno fee ATM gouging is largely a thing of the past at most internationalgateway airports. Foreign exchangecompanies such as Travelex have negotiated exclusive ATM arrangements with bighub airports and installed their own ATMs. While they typically advertise no fees, they usually provide lousyexchange rates, often as much as 10 percent worse than you would get with a bigbank ATM.

Non-chipcredit cards are increasingly not being accepted outside the U.S. This is particularly true of places such asgas stations and subways that do not have an attendant available.

Whilethe chip and sign credit cards can reduce some kinds of fraud, they are farfrom fraud proof. A large part of creditcard fraud originates with card not present transactions, such as those madeonline. If a thief can get your data,for example by hacking into a merchant account, the chip is of no help.

Also your personal information can bestolen by someone carrying the right hardware nearby without ever touching you,unless your credit cards are shielded by a credit card protector.

Speed Through Security Checkpoints

Often trips that started off promising after a thoroughreview of cheap traveloptions such as cheapairplane tickets, cheapdeals, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, seemless promising when travelers arrive at the airport only to face seeminglyendless airport security lines.

The following are strategies to help make the screeningprocess go by in a flash, according to Caroline Costello:

Jointhe Transportation Security Administrations (TSA) PreCheck program toexperience faster, smoother screening at select domestic airports. Usually PreCheck travelers are allowed toleave their shoes on and their laptops and toiletry liquids in their bags whengoing through security checkpoints.

During the application process travelershave to provide a fair amount of personal information in order to essentiallybecome pre-screened. Members are generallyhappy to trade a modicum of privacy in order to spend less time in airportsecurity lines.

Watchsecurity agents prior to selecting which line to go through. The quickest line is not always the only withthe shortest number of people in it. Instead look for the line that is moving the fastest. Choose the line where the security agent ishustling travelers through with the greatest speed and efficiency.

Byjoining a frequent flier program and attaining elite status travelers and theircompanions often are given access to exclusive, and faster, security lines atairports.

Gettingan upgrade sometimes comes with the added bonus of expedited security. Upgrades can be had by asking in person atthe check in counter, politely and directly for an upgrade. Other options include paying for an upgrade,redeeming frequent flier miles, or even bidding on one, depending on which airlineyou are flying. Sometimes discountedupgrades are offered at electronic check in kiosks. For some it is easily worth an extra $50 toadvance to business class and hustle through security.

Makesure you closely follow the 3-1-1 rule: liquids and gels must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less, and thesecontainers must be in a single quart size zip top bag. When it comes to gels, remember if you cansqueeze it through a pastry bag, do not bring it through security.

Wrappresents when you get to your destination. Otherwise your wrapped presents could get torn open at checkpoints.

Packwisely and do not pack so much that you have to sit on your bag to get itclosed. If a security officer decides toopen your bag, you will ultimately have to waste time pulling together youroverflowing contents and trying to get that zipper closed afterwards. A well-organized bag causes less confusionwhen going through the X-ray scanner.

Getorganized before going through a security checkpoint. In addition to having your boarding pass andID handy, pack the items you will want to take out quickly, such as your laptopand zip top bag of liquids, in an easy to grab spot at the top of your carry-onbag.

Makecertain to completely empty your pockets including spare change, keys, and anyother metal item that will set off a metal detector and result in extrascreening. If possible, do not wear anyjewelry since it may set off alarms. Wearing an outfit without a belt could make things a little easier. Remember to wear easily removable shoes.

TSA has an app where you can type the name of an item in a Can I Bring? field for instant answers. It also provides security wait times and a guide to TSA rules

Fly like a Savvy Traveler

Flying like a pro involves more than just checking out cheap traveloptions such as cheapairplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages.

The following are tips on how to get the best seats on aflight, save time and money, and avoid hassles, collected from travel writers,industry insiders, and ultra-frequent fliers by Deb Hopewell:

Iffinding space for your carry-on is not a factor and your flight is not soldout, it sometimes pays to be the last person to board. That way you can look around to see if thereare any empty rows or two empty seats adjacent to each other. If you are traveling with carry-on luggage,10 minutes before boarding approach a gate attendant and politely ask if thereare any available seats with empty ones next to them.

If youare traveling with someone else, reserve one window seat and one aisle seat inthe same row. Since middle seats areusually unpopular, you have a shot at that seat being empty, thus providing youextra space. If someone ends up in thatmiddle seat, that person is highly likely to be happy to switch to the aisle orwindow, thus allowing you to sit with your traveling partner.

Toavoid having to jockey for space for your carry-on in the bins along witheveryone else, ask the gate attendant to check your carry-on, especially if theflight is full or nearly full. Mostairlines (with Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit notable exceptions) allow freecheck in of carry-ons at their gates.

To notbe taken advantage of by airline pricing technology, search for airfares usinga few different browsers, if not devices (such as your laptop, table, andphone) and then purchase the one showing the best price. As you search, you should delete your cookies. Pros have found that this approach helps findthe cheapest tickets. Typically, on anygiven day, the same seat is offered at many different prices, with pricesliterally changing from minute to minute.

If youwill have time between connecting flights, carry a lightweight power strip thatcan be packed up small so that you can charge multiple devices at the same timeat the airport as well as at your destination.

Onlong distance flights look into ordering one of the airlines custommeals. These usually include vegetarian,low sodium, and kosher options and sometimes other tasty offerings. These meals tend to be served and clearedfirst, providing select passengers extra time to sleep.

Inflight theft is more common that many people believe. Valuables, including passports, havedisappeared from overhead bins. Keepyour passport, wallet, and any critical valuables on you at all times. If you have any valuables in a bag, take thatbag with you when you get up to stretch or use the bathroom.

Bringan empty reusable water bottle on the plane that can be filled at a waterfountain after you pass through airport security. Remember to never fill your container fromwater in the planes bathroom since sometimes such water has been known to makepassengers ill.

Carrya few TSA approved quart sized plastic bags in your carry-on. That way you will never accidentally bewithout one. At times passengers havehad to surrender their carry-on liquids because they were not packed in aseparate bag.

To reducethe odds that you will be within ear range of a loud toddler choose a seat atleast a couple of rows back from the bulkhead seats which are popular withparents traveling with children. Packingearplugs just in case is also advised.

Tips on Making Effective Travel Complaints

Once you have done your homework and researched available cheap traveloptions such as cheapairplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, youshould make certain that you get what you paid for while traveling.

Problems often happen on trips and hotel bookings sometimesget mixed up, flights are delayed and tour companies sometimes dont deliver aspromised. While this is all part oftravel learning experiences, that does not mean that you should be a silentsufferer.

The following are suggestions on how to complaineffectively and ensure that your wants and needs are satisfied, according toShannon McMahon:

Beforeyou contact a companys customer service department make certain that you willbe communicating with the best possible point of contact. Sometimes you need to deal with someonehigher up in the company who has the authority to be in a position to helpyou. If the person you are speaking toappears not to have the power to help, politely ask to speak to a manager.

Having the correct paperwork on hand,including your confirmation and account numbers is important. Travel companies usually want to help butneed specifics in order to do so.

Take adeep breath before communicating with a company. Hot headed complaints rarely endpositively. Never raise your voice or berude. Remember the person you arespeaking to is someone you hope will decide to help with your situation.

Keepyour communications simple. Long windedrants and embellished complaints wont positively resolve problems. Start by explaining what went wrong and whatyou need from them. Quantify yourcomplaint with time or money values so that it is clear how severe the problem isand be specific as to your expectations. Be ready to identify what you want, be it a refund, credit, upgrade, orchange. Sometimes all you have to do isask.

Listenclosely to the company representative. You might learn details of how to fix your problem which could come inhandy if this problem reoccurs. If youconduct a cordial conversation, you might end up with an upgrade in addition toa solution to your problem to make up for the hassle.

Clarifyand ask questions. By verifying that theperson assisting you is making changes, you may not need to follow up after youare finished speaking. If further actionis required, get a detailed explanation so that you do not end up having tohave the same conversation with another representative later.

Makecertain that you get what you need. Savvy travelers ask for a confirmation in writing as to what exactly hasbeen fixed. Changed reservations,returns, and upgrades usually come with a receipt or confirmation email.

Oncesatisfied with whatever solution is offered, get the name and/or employeenumber, and contact information of who helped you so that you have a point ofreference if later what was promised does not happen.

If themistake is yours, then admit it.

Make a point of knowing how to proceed if your problem cannot be resolved via a single email or telephone conversation. Always make certain to thank the employee once your problem has been

Vacation safety tips for when you’re about to travel

  • Resist the urge to mention your trip on social media or in public. You can always post the pictures (and re-live the vacation) once you’re back home.
  • Make an inventory of your valuables, including serial numbers and photos.
  • Stop the newspaper and mail, or ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up.
  • Park your car inside the garage – and ask a neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally.
  • Put at least one light on a timer.
  • Arrange for your lawn to stay trimmed.

Tasty Ways to Save at Disney World

You dont want a trip to Disney that was carefully plannedon a budget after a review of cheaptravel options, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, and cheap vacation packages toend up costing more than expected because food is so expensive at the park.

The following are insider tips for navigating the parksfood scene that wont cost you a fortune, including how to select the rightrestaurants, dine at the right times, and take advantage of special offers thatfew park-goers know about, according to Ashley Dickey:

Makeyour character meal a morning/breakfast experience. Breakfast is the cheapest time of day to eatat Disney World Orlando. Destinationsincluding Winne the Pooh and Friends at Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom) andDonald Ducks Safari Breakfast (Animal Kingdom) offer memory makingexperiences while saving 35 percent per person. The food at both buffets is top notch. By eating plenty at breakfast you can eat light (i.e., save money) atlunch.

Bringyour own snacks and water. Park munchiescan add up quickly. Pack snacks such asgranola bars, fruit gummies, and crackers to keep the family satisfied. Splurge on a few Disney-themed snacks, suchas the unique pineapple flavored soft serve Dole Whip dessert, but avoidpurchasing multiple expensive Disney bites throughout your day. Instead of paying $3 per bottle of water, bringa refillable water bottle.

Make areservation at a full-service restaurant for lunch. Full-service, sit down restaurants are someof the best Disney World dining experiences, but they are not cheap. Instead of eating a Disney dinner, reserveyour meal for lunch. By doing this youwill be able to save about 20 percent compared with the evening and the restaurantsare less crowded. Another plus is thatit is easier to make a lunch reservation, which allows for greater flexibilityfor the rest of your day at the park.

Eat atDowntown Disney where visitors can realize the biggest savings on food. Take one of the Disney World buses and arrivein less than 15 minutes. Earl ofSandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express are two top picks for delicious food ataffordable prices. Also check outDowntown Disney food trucks.

Ordersmart. Adults can order from the kidsmenu at quick service restaurants. Oftenthe meals are virtually the same as regular options which means you will not belimited to chicken fingers and grilled cheese. Another money saving option is ordering a large platter to share. Tangierine Caf (Epcot) and Flame TreeBarbecue (Animal Kingdom) are two cafes with shareable-sized meals. Most counter service meals come with sideitems included in the price. If youdont want to pay extra for the sides, then request an entre only price.

Make Your Phone a Full-Service Travel Center

Dont make the all too common mistake that you are ready todepart after researching available cheaptravel options such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages. Today there are valuable apps that will helpmake your flight more efficient, less stressful, and a little more fun.

The following flight apps are recommended by Allison Michael:

Makecertain you load your airlines app since it will allow you to review yourreservation, check in, and have a mobile boarding pass. This means you will have one less thing toprint out and one less piece of paper to worry about misplacing. Most airline apps also show a seat map andsome help users manage their mileage and reward points.

JetBlues app sends check-in reminders andreal time updates regarding flight delays or changes. It also displays the movies and TV shows thatwill be available on your flight. Uniteds app enables customers to access upgrade and standby lists andshare their reservations, if desired, with their preferred social network.

TripCaseis an ideal app if you want to easily find your flight, hotel and carreservations. It enables users toorganize all of their reservations in a single place and share your itinerary,if desired, with family and friends. Italso alerts them to travel plan changes and delays. All you have to do is forward your onlinereservation emails to TripCase and you are all set.

FlightStatsprovides exact takeoff and landing times as well as the actual in flightlocations of planes and of every other plane en route around the world. This app provides access to flight statusinformation by flight number, airport or route. This apps maps are based on a planes actual route.

GateGuruis an app that provides worldwide airport guides to restaurants, cafes, shops,and free Wi-Fi. Ratings and reviews areprovided to help make better informed decision of where to go. This app shows estimated airport security checklane wait times as well as takeoff and arrival information.

LoungeBuddyprovides insight into airport lounges. Users can view the hours, check out photos, reviews, and bookaccess. Lounges can be filtered bylocation, amenities (such as Wi-Fi, showers, spa services) and guestprivileges. Over 2,000 lounges arefeatured.

SOARis an indispensable app for nervous fliers. SOAR was developed by an airline captain and a licensed therapist, anduses cognitive behavioral techniques to ease flier anxiety. The app comes with a G-force meter whichmeasures the current G-force of the plane and offers a reassuring explanationthat turbulence is not a safety issue. The app also provides a turbulence forecast so fliers can anticipatebumps as well as other general weather information.

Duolingoteaches users a few useful phrases in foreign languages. Even if you will not be traveling out of thecountry, you can quickly pick up some basics and stretch your mind whileflying. Duolingos simple fonts andicons make learning a language easy. Every lesson builds on the last, focusing on speaking, listening andtranslation. The app keeps track of howthe user is advancing and how often he or she is practicing. Up to 16 languages can be learned.

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