On-the-Road Travel Tips (part 13)

By Randy Keck
This item appears on page 26 of the April 2021 issue.

We invite readers to keep sending in your valued travel tips (125-word limit or close) related to anything that enhances the travel experience while actually traveling. Here are the latest (each followed by my own comments).


Marcia Bansley (Atlanta, GA) — Here are some tips I can offer.

• I always use a travel agent to set up my trips and Delta Vacations (800/800-1504, www.delta.com/us/en/delta-vacations), when possible, for good deals on hotels.

• I use an American Express Platinum Card, possession of which allows me access to airport lounges around the world.

• When traveling with a tour group, I usually arrive at least a day ahead, get a hotel, take a 25mg Benadryl and sleep most of the day until I wake up naturally. This takes me out of jet lag, and I’m ready to travel.

• On that first day (and also on the airplane), I use a Bucky Sleep Mask (https://bucky.com) when I’m sleeping so light does not wake me up. I also have earplugs I buy at a gun shop to cut noise.

• To save my hairdo, I use a satin pillow case in a color so I can remember to take it with me when I’m checking out of my hotel room.

Thanks for sharing a diverse selection of your travel tip gems, Marcia. You sent so many, we split them into two groups, with the second batch to appear in a future issue. — RK

Jim Wenck (Carlsbad, CA) — I have a comment on Dorothy Allen’s tip regarding taking a travel washcloth in a zippered bag (Feb. ’21, pg. 31). I’ve also been doing that, but I try to take a color that will stand out among the typical white hotel towels. (I use blue.) That way, it is less likely that housekeeping will scoop it up with the other towels. It also helps remind me to take it when I leave.

Thanks, Jim. The brighter the color, the better. — RK



Sally Kevers (Roswell, GA) — Hi, Randy, I read the tip on packing thin, cheap washcloths, something I did for years, buying them at Walmart, etc. Then a travel friend clued me in to using blue-and-white Handi Wipes-brand towels instead!

These are big and extremely lightweight but can be folded for more thickness. Made of reusable disposable paper, they never fail to dry overnight.

In addition, they contrast with most hotel towels, so you don’t leave them behind. They wear like iron until holes appear and you throw them away. They’re very inexpensive too. The perfect travel washcloth!

Sally, thanks for the great “Who knew?” tip, which I will be happy to try on my next trip. — RK



Randy Keck (Jamestown, RI) — THE SHORTS OF IT: The plain truth is I am a shorts guy, including when I travel, unless it’s just too cold or I’m in a location where such wear is deemed culturally inappropriate or an outright taboo.

As regards shorts, I absolutely have a preferred fashion choice. Introducing Croft & Barrow 100% nylon, ripstop cargo shorts with relaxed-fit waist!

Available at retailers such as Kohl’s and Sears as well as on Amazon.com and eBay.com, these shorts are very user-friendly, with deep slanted side and lower front pockets sealed by VELCRO-brand hook-and-loop fasteners. I generally do not use the rear pockets because I prefer not to sit on items I am carrying.

These shorts are very lightweight yet durable, are easy to pack and easy to clean, and they quickly drip-dry, with no ironing necessary. They come with a flimsy belt, which I toss and replace with one of my regular belts.

Croft & Barrow shorts come in waist sizes ranging in 2-inch increments from 30 to 52 inches. My waist size, 34, can be hard to find, and I have noticed that larger waist sizes, 40 and over, seem to be more readily available and are more often discounted. These shorts are also available in big-and-tall sizes.

They’re available in several colors, some of which I don’t like, especially the darker colors. I recommend the beige (sometimes called stone) and khaki, finding I can pair either with almost any color of shirt and jacket.

I have purchased several pairs of Croft & Barrow shorts from both Kohl’s online and independent eBay sellers. Prices can range from $35, full retail, down to $15 or lower.

Note: This style of nylon cargo shorts is also available in cotton, but, for me, the cotton ones are not as suitable for travel, requiring more effort to clean, dry and iron, plus they are heavier and take up more packing space.

Contact Randy at 80 America Way, Jamestown, RI 02835; 401/560-0350, randykeck@yahoo.com.