On-the-Road Travel Tips (part 15)

By Randy Keck
This item appears on page 27 of the June 2021 issue.

It is with a note of sadness that I announce that this month’s collection of readers’ On-the-Road Travel Tips — things that enhance the travel experience while actually traveling — will be the last in the series. It feels rather like parting ways with an old friend who served as a loyal companion through the tough, travel-restricted times we have endured during the pandemic.

The tips have helped keep our dreams of, and plans for, post-pandemic international travel alive and well. And as we make ready to again heed the beckoning call of travel to lands near and far, we now will be able to hit the road just a little more travel savvy than before. For that, we are grateful.

Looking forward, you now are invited to send in tips regarding the topic of travel etiquette. Share your insights!

Jim Royle, (San Diego, CA) — Around 2015, I started to take a small nightlight along on my travels. My current one is a USB type (plus a small adapter that came with a cell phone) intended for use as a keyboard light, with a flexible neck so I can direct the light.

The nightlight lets me use the bathroom at night without blinding myself with the room light or bathroom light, the switch for which sometimes also operates the fan, so if I’m sharing the room, having a portable nightlight also reduces the chances of waking my roommate.

Practical and considerate equals A+, Jim. — RK

Janet Clayman (Stratford, CT) — Many years ago when I traveled alone, I had nightmares about having my handbag snatched, which would have left me with nothing. No money. No ID.

My solution? I took a handkerchief, folded it in half, then folded it again and stitched it so money could be put in but could not easily fall out.

Into this I put the big bills. I attached two small safety pins to the top corners and pinned it to the inside of the elastic waistband of my panties each day. A folded copy of the first page of a passport can also be included, if it does not make the package too lumpy.

Travel companies now make something like this, but I still use Janet’s Handy Dandy Panty Pocket.

Janet, do you have the patent? What works, works and is therefore impossible to fault. If a larger bandana were employed, it could be called a Grande Panty Pocket. It might also be able to accommodate a passport, although probably not lump-free. — RK

Julie Adamik (Carlsbad, CA) — To replace too-hot duvets while staying in hotels, other readers have mentioned packing silk sleep sacks (Feb. ’21, pg. 31) or sleeping bag liners (May ’21, pg. 25). In the past, I have used sleeping bag liners purchased at Walmart for about $7, and I just found one by Goodlee, a polyester/cotton blend, on Amazon.com for $9.99 plus shipping (free with Prime). No need to pay $25-$99!

In fact, I bought one of the very expensive ones a few years ago and hated it, as it took up too much space, even when folded up.

I have a friend who uses an old sheet, sewing the bottom shut and halfway up the open side. That one was FREE!

Julie, I also found many liner options on the Walmart website for $13 to $49. — RK

Mike Anzures (Denver, CO) — A couple of travel tips from someone who has traveled to 173 countries….

• We are often told to make copies of our important documents, i.e., passport, medical info, credit card numbers, etc., and store them in a safe place while traveling. Rather than make paper copies, take a photo with your phone and email it to yourself. Store the email in a separate folder (titled anything other than “Important documents”).

This way, no matter where you go, you will always have access to any of your important information without having to carry or stash the documents.

One last thing — if you happen to lose your passport (mine has been stolen/unavailable a few times), the US embassy in any country will accept the digital copy from your emailed folder and provide you with documents to continue your travels.

• In my travels, at one time or another my luggage has been “lost,” but because I have been using various luggage trackers that operate with GPS, I have been able to locate its exact whereabouts with my smartphone or computer, allowing the airline to recover my bags.

You can discreetly place luggage trackers inside your luggage (or anything else, for that matter) or simply use the luggage tag versions.

I am currently using the LugLoc luggage locator and am testing Apple’s new AirTag, but I also have used and recommend the Samsung SmartThings Tracker and Dynotag.

Wise and valuable travel tips, Mike! — RK

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