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Sun May 18, 2014, 09:04 AM

Air travel hints and helps

I often take a frozen bottle of water with me through TSA. I generally have it about 1/2 to 2/3 full. After TSA, I stop at a fountain and fill it. It generally stays very cold for a few hours. I asked TSA; they said it's fine as long the water is frozen solid. If you have a long trip to the airport and it melts a bit, have a cold drink before putting your bag in the scanner.

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Air travel hints and helps (Original post)
discntnt_irny_srcsm May 2014 OP
discntnt_irny_srcsm May 2014 #1
ginnyinWI May 2014 #2
CTyankee May 2014 #3
Laura PourMeADrink May 2014 #5
CTyankee May 2014 #6
Laura PourMeADrink May 2014 #9
CTyankee May 2014 #12
Laura PourMeADrink May 2014 #13
CTyankee May 2014 #14
47of74 May 2014 #15
greatauntoftriplets May 2014 #7
CTyankee May 2014 #8
Laura PourMeADrink May 2014 #10
Laura PourMeADrink May 2014 #11
uppityperson Aug 2014 #18
CTyankee Aug 2014 #19
uppityperson Aug 2014 #20
CTyankee Aug 2014 #21
uppityperson Aug 2014 #22
CTyankee Aug 2014 #23
uppityperson Aug 2014 #24
CTyankee Aug 2014 #25
uppityperson Aug 2014 #26
CTyankee Aug 2014 #27
Laura PourMeADrink May 2014 #4
discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2014 #16
discntnt_irny_srcsm Aug 2014 #17
left-of-center2012 Oct 2014 #28

Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 09:33 AM

1. Consider checking "Add nearby airports"...

...on sites like kayak.com or orbitz.com. Sometimes you can find and a fare that's cheaper by more than the price of a rental car. Large cities and metro areas (like DC, NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles) often have multiple airports. If you're not up for traffic and driving, look into a shuttle van. I've flown via the Burbank, Ontario and John Wayne (Orange County) airports and saved more than $100.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 05:30 PM

2. I have one or two:

1. I bring an empty "Honest Tea" bottle on board. My favorite for taking water with me--has a wide neck. When they serve the beverages, I pour mine into my bottle, ice cubes and all. Then I can have it whenever and don't worry about knocking it over onto my lap. I don't get soda so going flat isn't a problem.

2. I have used a lot of different carry on bags, cheap and fancy. I don't mean the rolling bag with your clothes in, this is a smaller bag to carry the things you will use during the flight: reading material, electronics, snacks, neck pillows, etc. What I think works best is a smaller gym bag, maybe 18" long, barrel shaped. It is short enough to be shoved under the seat ahead of you and has a flat bottom and zips open fully so that you can find what you are looking for. Many have both hand and shoulder straps. Since it zips together completely, you don't need to put it in a bin to go through security. A lot of travel bags are taller with many compartments, and things disappear. You need to haul the thing up onto your lap to find those earphones or whatever it was you needed. Or they tip sideways under the seat and you can lose things on the floor. Anything bulky like a sandwich gets squeezed into one of the compartments. And I paid good money for this thing?

For a train or bus trip, a nice sturdy shopping bag can also do the trick.

3. Okay I have one more quick one: Make your car rental reservations a few weeks ahead or whenever. Don't prepay. Then about a week before, check again. You may be happy to find a cheaper rate. Get the new reservation and cancel the existing one. I just did this for a five day rental in California and saved $48. The final rental, with taxes and fees was less than $20 per day.







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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #2)

Mon May 19, 2014, 04:08 PM

3. I go to Europe once a year and have looked for the perfect carry on bag...

A tote was too tall and had no zipper. Most carry ons I had or looked for were just too big. Finally, I got a LeSportSac bag I could wear, that has an adjustable strap, across my chest. It has some nice inner pockets and zips up...a good size that fits under the seat ahead of me. So it frees up my hands. I take a medium sized roll around titanium bag, very lightweight, that I check. For a 10 day trip I usually take 3 pairs of basic pants, an extra pair of sturdy shoes, several tops and rain jacket. Since I travel in either spring or fall, my black cotton jacket is the perfect weight and a trim fit. Just enough underwear that I only do one laundering in the hotel sink, using a disposable travel pack of Tide liquid detergent.

It helps to wear a passport/cash/credit card holder on a cord across the chest chest but under my jacket. Only 2 credit cards and my ATM card, all of which, plus the passport, go into the hotel safe, unless I know I will need a cc for shopping or a restaurant. I try to aim for just enough euros so I can get them at the airport ATM when I arrive, but it is a bit tricky trying to gauge what you'll need.

I now carry at least $110 extra dollars, besides what I need for my travel to the airport and for when I return. This is because I had my passport stolen several years ago and had to have $100 in cold hard cash to get an emergency passport at the U.S. Consulate. The fee is now $110.

I never carry my passport on me during my stay. However, I have a copy of it in my carry on bag as well as taping another copy on the inside of my checked bag (I write in my home phone number on the sheet). I also leave a copy at home (hubby doesn't travel). I write down the emergency phone numbers on my credit cards ONLY and I also contact them, and my bank for my ATM card, at least two weeks before I leave and tell them dates of travel and my destinations. That way, they expect that I will be using them in a foreign country.

A friend of mine packs her old underwear and just discards them as she goes, so she has bag space for things she buys. It's an interesting concept and does have some merit.

I always pack Immodium! I only had to use it once but thank god I had it. You can easily pick up a virus on an international flight, so I try to keep my hands washed/sanitized during the flight.

Going over, I always have low dose Ambien, and even with the low dose I try to use just half. No alcohol or at the most one glass of white wine with the evening meal. It's difficult for me to sleep on planes but the small amount of Ambien usually gets me a couple of hours, and I don't wake up feeling drugged. A sleep mask is a must, however. You are warned to carry prescription meds in their original bottles, altho I've never been asked to show them.

An inexpensive midsized ringed notebook serves as my journal since I travel mostly for art and need to jot down my discoveries/observations. I had a bad experience using my cell phone camera so I am going to upgrade to a smart phone, which I should have done once smart phones came on the market. You generally cannot take photos in art galleries, even if you don't use a flash. My photos are usually of the ambiance type of picture...street scenes and architecture.

Return flights are hell on me, so my new strategy is going to be flying nonstop on return if at all possible. Still, I have not found any "cure" for jet lag...I wish I could!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #3)

Mon May 19, 2014, 11:24 PM

5. Love the underwear idea - maybe even buy some very cheap

undies and t-shirts to sleep in and throw out.

Next time we go - I want to find lightweight washable clothes - we brought too much and could never find laundromats in Europe. And heavier stuff couldn't dry overnight on the balconies. We were schlepping heavy suitcases with damp clothes mixed in. Never again.

As for jet lag - there is hope. My SIL runs drug test studies and just finished one with a group of paid subjects - flying NYC - Hawaii back and forth for a month. Bad part - two of the participants ended up hooking up and the girl got pregnant. It invalidated the study and they have to do it again.

Good travel tips ! thanks.

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #5)

Tue May 20, 2014, 08:07 AM

6. I hope your SIL comes up with that cure for jet lag soon!

I haven't found anything that helps. I got back from a remote village in Tuscany in March exhausted, jet lagged and sick with a cold. I left little Anghiari at 6:30 am on a Monday and walked into my house in CT at 2 am Tuesday. Even with the time difference it is too long. And Alitalia sucks...

Two more trips on my bucket list: the south of France and the southern cities of Spain (Seville, Granada, Cordoba, winding up in Barcelona). There's a nonstop from Nice to JFK and from Barcelona to JFK.

You can look at travelwear catalogues for quick drying clothes. I get Magellan and it has all kinds of handy travel stuff. I should try their No Jet Lag pills again...it didn't seem to work the one time I took it but it's worth another shot...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #6)

Wed May 21, 2014, 07:15 AM

9. Yes..got to look to Merck someday. One thing that we did

that helped was to build in extra time at the beginning and end. Like, we spent the night in NYC before the flight the next evening. And, on the end the night before the direct flight to NYC before leaving Europe. I felt much worst at the beginning though - but couldn't sleep - next time - will use your tip about 1/2 ambien. Everyone was sound asleep - but I was the only one to see Ireland.

May have told you this -- But if you can go a couple hundred miles inland from the southern coast of France - you wouldn't be disappointed by including Annecy France. The last time we went to Europe, I googled "most beautiful place on earth." When planning, somehow I found the results from a survey done at an international conference of CEOs - and the most often place mentioned was Annecy France. Annecy is a medieval village set in the Alps and Lake Annecy has one of the cleanest lakes in the world. It is 50 miles south of Geneva.

Lake Annecy has stunned plenty of visitors. Winston Churchill reckoned the lake held "the most beautiful view on earth", and when Mark Twain visited in 1891, he flatly refused to believe that he could do justice to the scenery in writing.


We stayed at the Auberge du Pere Bise - with a patio view of the lake. I also picked it because their restaurant's chef had a Michelin star.

Man, couldn't pick from all the stunning pics but here's some of village, lake, and hotel:







http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/69king/Lake-Annecy-in-















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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #9)

Wed May 21, 2014, 07:55 AM

12. Wow! Let's see, I can be packed in about 2 hours...

I'll book the airline tix and the limo to JFK...go to sleep and wake up in France! It's gorgeous!

As for jet lag, mine is worse coming back, prolly because I'm worn out from the trip (I have a tendency to overdo it so that's gotta be the reason). I do rest at the hotel after getting there, but a quick nap will suffice. Besides, I'm really excited and eager to go look around!

Thanks for the tip about Annecy! It will go on my list!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #12)

Wed May 21, 2014, 08:24 AM

13. You're welcome. This is probably a no-brainer - but what

seemed to help us a lot was alternating a relaxing place with a big city. Paris and then Annecy. Lake Lugano then Venice then Capri then Rome. Alitalia may suck - but it was super cheap flying Venice to Naples. BTW, Lake Lugano is another extremely stunning place - on the Italian Swiss border - for some reason it is a semi-tropical pocket amid the mountains and snow. Tidbit: George Harrison loved it so much he had his ashes sprinkled there.

What's good too is that the wine - even the house - is so fantastic - that you never feel sluggish

Wish I could afford first class next time. We had tons of frequent flyer miles and booked it last time. Leave JFK at 5, filet mignon and wine at 7, sleep (at least everyone else) in Charles De Gaulle by 9 next morning.

My bucket list - Have you been to any?
Sicily
Cinque Terre
Lake Maggiorre
Loire Valley wine tour - in caves
Bicycle tour somewhere - nothing too strenuous - but met someone who loved it.
Kracow - touring concentration camps is supposed to change your life forever more.
Sound of Music setting Salzburg

I am really driven by French and Italian food though - or I would include Spain too.

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #13)

Wed May 21, 2014, 09:11 AM

14. Yes, I have been to Sicily and Lake Maggiore.

Both were great. Sicily is quite beautiful, esp. Taormina



That's Mt. Etna rising in the background (going up Etna can be dicey...I know from experience!). Also, Palermo is a world class city and Siricusa (an old Greek city) is facinating. We had great food and the history is just fabulous. Just avoid Catania if possible...but do go up into the Madone mountains. Sicily is greatly underrated by U.S. tourists for some reason.

Lake Maggiore is lovely. It was a memorable visit on a trip to northern Italy that I took in 2008. I was bent on eating that region's dish, Ragu Bolognese, so I had it in every town/city I stopped in. The Italian Riviera was a disappointment to me; however, Verona more than made up for that...gorgeous city that I thought would be too trite (I anticipated that I would hate Juliet's house because I deemed it "touristy" but I fell in love with the place!). Venice was mobbed, so that detracted from my enjoyment...and who knew that the Po River overflowed in early May, making the Piazza San Marco a wading pool at noontime...

I adored Spain's food...it was very fresh and good. I went to Bilbao to see how Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum transformed that old, rather gritty industrial Basque town, another place not a lot of tourists visit. I may go Barcelona and Valencia with my dtr and granddtr, TBD, to visit the City of Arts and Sciences and eat paella. And you can't find a better coffee drink than the cortado...

I've been traveling with Road Scholar for a while now. They are an offshoot of elderhostel and go places that most travel companies don't offer and plenty of bike tours. Here is their hiking trip to the Loire valley region http://www.roadscholar.org/n/program/summary.aspx?id=1-795L9Z

I missed out on cinque terre (long story) but would like to go back before I get too old and fall apart...

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #5)

Fri May 23, 2014, 11:25 PM

15. That's pretty much what I do.

 

On my four overseas trips I would take old socks and underwear and throw them out after I was done with them. It has the effect of leaving room in the suitcase for goodies to bring home. I'm trying to decide what I want to do for my next trip for clothes to hopefully lighten the load a bit next time around.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #3)

Tue May 20, 2014, 08:50 AM

7. Many years ago, I worked with a woman...

who would beg her coworkers for our used underwear to take to Europe so she could throw it away after wearing once. I never contributed.

That said, I have taken some older things on trips with the intention on throwing them away to make room in the suitcase.

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #7)

Tue May 20, 2014, 09:00 AM

8. Oddly enough, I don't have old, worn out underwear...I have some I throw out because they're

too small but they would be too uncomfortable to wear. I tend to have a lot of underwear since I have back problems and doing laundry in the basement is literally a PITA.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #8)

Wed May 21, 2014, 07:18 AM

10. You crack me up (no pun intended) with too small. haha nt

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Response to greatauntoftriplets (Reply #7)

Wed May 21, 2014, 07:23 AM

11. That is totally unbelievable. I can't even imagine giving

someone my old underwear or asking people for theirs. funny. Geez you can probably go to the Dollar Store and get a 6 pack for less than 5 dollars.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:22 PM

18. I just traveled with one of these, though bought cheaper at newegg. It worked well, was comfortable,

fit a lot of stuff and no problems with it being carryon sized. It opens fully, like a suitcase, and with the inside and front pockets was easy to organize.

newegg was having back to school sale so it was less expensive there. It was durable, no issues with quality either.

http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/etech-20-weekender-convertible/242274?productid=10211619&rlid=DETAIL_AI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA04V0HC9398&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-_-pla-_-Bags-_-9SIA04V0HC9398

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #18)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 06:34 PM

19. Looks good! I don't think I'm a candidate for a backpack, given my age and back issues, but

it is a sensible design.

I am leaning toward getting a tablet or an Ipad, I don't know which. It is hard for me to do, but I guess I have to do it. I need to have something to read on my overnight trips to Europe...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #19)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 06:45 PM

20. I've a first gen kindle touch whose battery lasts for a long time, unlike my ipad1 that runs downf

faster, but can do more on an ipad.

If I were able to afford it, would get a faster pad, with more memory and ability to hook my camera up to it. But then I am cheap, frugal and don't want to spring for data, using wifi. If I were in a business where I needd it, I would.

The kindle reader drives my spouse nuts as I am always reading the same black book, can't read the bit on the back telling about it. If that makes sense.

Backpacks vs roller bags was a tough call for me. I decided to try this, and did miss the roller part sometimes, but figured I can use it for the nxt few years before my body heads further south. I usually liketo. eing way too much along so it was a challenge fitting into smaller bag. I have to admit I also brought along my carryon roller bag as I knew I was going to bring home liquuids that would not make it through security and wanted the stiffness of the hard sided bag for protection.

But if I am not needing that protection, this bag should be good.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #20)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 07:42 PM

21. so you would recommend a Kindle over an IPad?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #21)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 07:44 PM

22. They are very different beasts. For just reading, I like my kindle. But for anything else, the ipad

is a small computer.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #22)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 07:38 AM

23. Is it the size of the screen that makes you prefer the Kindle for reading?

I was hoping to just invest in one device, but I thought it would be economical tohave a reader and my email in one gizmo rather than having the expense and hassle of two. Am I misinformed here?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #23)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 08:11 AM

24. I have an old kindle that does not have back lighting, prefer that type screen to read with, though

it does mean I need light otherwise. I thinkthe newer ones all have lighted screens though, which decreases battery time but you do not need external light. The original kindles they were, imo, trying to make more like books to break into the market.

I like the size of my kindle device, more smaller book than my ipad, and the battery lasts forever. But with my old kindle, I can barely get online, with the experimental browser. The newer kindles, or kindle fire, have more online capability. It is nice to have it all in 1 device.

Considerations would be size, what you want to do, battery life between recharging.

I end up traveling with the kindle to read with, the ipad to go online, check email, etc. I just used a rather dull smartphone and they are quite appealing as they have reading, computing, email, etc capability, depending on what apps/programs you put on them.

If I were starting over and buying what I wanted vs cobbling together the cheapest way, would probably go for a larger smart phone for an all on one device. But I do not really know because then I'd probably be stuck with some monthly plan, as of now just use wifi and a pay as you go phone plan, being the frugal/cheap person I am. There are some nice devices, but you end up chosing size. Small packs well but is small, large is easy to use but large. Around and around.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #24)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 08:24 AM

25. What I want to do is to read on long trips and have email and Internet so I can read

articles from newspapers/magazines via Google.

I wouldn't mind carrying my device in its own case since I can wear my carry on across my chest On Europe trips I never carry a purse, just my carry-on bag and wear my travel wallet (under a jacket) which has handy enough room for passport, money and credit cards/ATM card. One good reason for a smaller device is that it could fit in the carry-on, so I have considered the IPad Mini, but there we go with the size issue...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 08:31 AM

26. Midtrip my smartphone decided the microsd card wasn't in anymore so I could not

access the programs I'd put on it. And it had minimal internal memory so could not even take a photo. Rather stupid smartmphone but it gave me a taste of what it could do. My adult child likes smart phone for everything, itis a small computer that you can also talk on.

It is a conundrum. Borrow friends devices, touch different ones if possible as that can help, or it does for me. Mini for fitting the travel bag or large enough to read on and need a different bag, or in between somewhere? Try as many as possible, visit electronics stores when you are not tired or hungry just to hold them and try them out, then go think more.

Good luck.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 08:35 AM

27. I'll go again. It's been a while since I made my first foray and gave up in despair.

I'll look for a mid-size...I can't invest in yet another carry-on...

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 11:17 PM

4. Firm believer in Priceline.com for cars. I have

saved an amazing amount of money bidding. You do have to pay up
front.

Priceline does hotels - which I don't like because you can't pick which
one you stay in. But cars - who cars? You know you will get one
in the airport - might as well lower the price.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Original post)

Thu Aug 21, 2014, 07:10 PM

16. Although not generally publicized by TSA...

...I have asked and, while you can't bring a bottle of water through the security line, you can bring ice since it's not a liquid. I often take a bottle of water and pour half into my mug to drink and put the remaining half bottle in the freezer overnight. I put the frozen bottle in an outside carry on pocket and drink anything that's melted while waiting in the line.

After the check point, I stop at a fountain in fill it on the way to the gate.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Original post)

Thu Aug 21, 2014, 07:16 PM

17. Don't put anything vital in a seat-back pocket that you can't plainly see.

I've left stuff behind and lost it. If you can't see it when you're getting out of your seat, you may never see it again.
Wallets, eyeglasses, tablets, books, cell phones...

Better to take the time to return it to your carry on than lose it for good. Many lost and founds only hold items for 24 hours after they're turned in.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Original post)

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