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Handy Travel Tips

If you don't want to stand around in an airport for 3 hours trying to find transportation to your destination, and you don't want to spend a fortune, a bus or airport shuttle is the way to go. Most large airports have them. To shorten the time even more, call ahead and reserve one. It doesn't cost extra. The companies are not all the same, so try to get a recommendation from a local travel agent. Also, when you make your reservation, make sure you find out WHERE to catch your ride. Airports are large and confusing, but most have specific signs for transportation services. Make sure you're at the right bus stop.

If you are in a hurry, here are some handy ideas to make finding your luggage at the baggage pick up quick and easy!

Purchase luggage that is a color other than black - because with the high percentage of black luggage out there, yours will stand out.

Always put a strap around your luggage. Once again, this makes your luggage stand out.

Carry a photograph of your luggage, it will make your luggage much easier to find if it does happen to be lost.

In preparation for long flights, purchase an inflatable travel pillow (Walgreen's has them) to keep your neck positioned and supported. The U-shape helps maintain your neck's natural cervical curve. It can be used back home, too, while watching TV or snoozing in the recliner!

When flying, the low air humidity can really affect you. Carry lip balm to protect and moisturize your lips, so they don't end up cracked and dry.  Also, if the flight attendants offer you a warm, damp towel near flight's end, take it! It can be a very refreshing comfort.

Avoid stiff muscles by trying to keep them in motion. They can ache from being too still for too long at a time. Every 10 or 15 minutes, help your circulation and muscles by rotating your shoulders (backward and forward) and bending your neck to each side by lowering your ear to your shoulder (& repeating on the other side), as well as back and forth (chin to chest, then back). Also, get up and walk around once in a while to keep that blood flowing.

Have a typed copy of all passport numbers with issue dates and expiry dates and dates of birth of children - so that you do not need to get out your passports or other documents when going through customs etc. You have the information to complete the numerous forms without having to show where you keep your documents. Also, take a spare photo of all your family members to enable you to comply with any immigration or visa needs.

If you have a scale at home, and you know what the weight limit is, then you can weigh your bags at home - and if your bag is too heavy, then you need to lighten your load by removing non-essential items.

Don't pay for airport or port parking charges. Use an airport transfer service, which will take you and collect you from the airport etc. from outside the terminals, and can carry your party in one car/bus for a fraction of the price of taxis, trains, and buses. Find them local in your area in most directories or newspapers in the summer months.

One of the main reasons luggage goes to the wrong flights is because of old destination tags and check-in tags. Remove these so that the airlines don't get confused on the suitcase's destination.

For those traveling on a long flight, be sure to drink lots of water 2 days before, and no caffeine (or little caffeine) during the flight. This will help your body accustom to the air pressure and jet lag. Ask for fruit on the flight and try to limit salt intake.

Pay attention to all instructions and advice for all types of travel, even if it sounds like something you think you know already. This may prevent a scare when something "unexpected", like an abrupt pull-up or short nosing down occurs, because you will be aware of it before it happens. There is plenty of time to converse when in the air or once you're on your cruising way.

When you first arrive at the check-in counter, request that your bags be deemed "fragile"; this will keep them at the top of the pile and they will be among the first to come out in the baggage claim!

Bring your own sandwich and juices on the flight. Many times you will be served with the usual peanuts and cup of juice, or on long-haul flights, you could wait a long time for that food cart to reach you. This way you can eat what you like, when you like.

Wear fire retardant clothing, like wool, when traveling. Nylon and synthetic clothing such as panty hose can melt to your skin if you are caught in a fire on board.

Prior to long distance flying, have a good workout or go for a long walk, it keeps you form getting cramps.

Before the plane takes off, suck gummie bears or any type of sweet. This will lessen the effect of getting the pressure into your ear while the plane is taking off.

Be sure to keep your valuables (passport, tickets, and wallet) in a small waist pack or pouch so that you can carry it around your neck or middle. Especially in busy airports you should never put these valuables in your backpack or purse. Criminals have lots of handy ways to unknowingly get into your backpack or snatch your purse. Be careful!!!

Carry a toiletries bag with you on a long flight so that you can freshen up before you reach your destination.

If you are going to consume alcoholic beverages, consume them in moderation. The lack of oxygen while flying greatly intensifies the effect of alcohol in your blood stream.

It can be really helpful to carry disposable earplugs when flying. Using them reduces the stress associated with flying - particularly if you are unfortunate enough to be sitting near a crying child.

Check In at least 90 minutes before departing (overseas) or you may loose your seat. When you check your luggage, make sure they tag it directly to your destination. If you have to change airlines, you may not have enough time to claim luggage, pass through customs and immigration, and catch your next flight.

It would be best to have a few items of clothing in your hand luggage, at least to ensure you have a change of clothing for two days. This is just in case your luggage has another destination in mind. While most of the airlines will provide you with some means of purchasing the basic necessities, if you happen to arrive at your destination on a weekend or public holiday, this may not be possible. Lost luggage will usually take a day or two to show up, so plan with that in mind.

Book all flights with at least 2 hours between, because if you have a delay, the airline has to get you the next possible flight + hotel + dinner, if there is no flight on the same day. If, however, you do not have at least 90 minutes before your flights are scheduled to board, then the airlines will consider it to be your fault and will not reimburse you for a missed connection.

New "checked luggage" explosive detectors/scanners WILL ruin all undeveloped film - whether it is new in the box or exposed. It's okay to check your camera gear, but get your film out of the "checked luggage" and carry with you. Standard X-ray screening will not hurt or damage your vacation/family memories - but machines such as the InVision CTX-5000 which will be in use at over 100 U.S. airports by the end of 1999 will "fry your film".

When asked if you want window or aisle seats, ask for exit seats. Now you won't have that annoying seating row in front of you. You'll get the same legroom in coach as in first class. On top of that, the toilet is right next to you. Really makes a difference on those 12-hour flights.

If you must take expensive jewelry items, make sure they are securely packed in your small carry on. Carry a medium leather backpack or case that can easily be placed safely under the seat in front of you and carried easily to the restroom as well. You may also want to include a lightweight change of clothes and toothbrush/toothpaste just in case your luggage goes on vacation.

Traveling with a backpack gives the freedom to use both your hands. Important to consider: A 65 liter pack, with front zipper to access contents at bottom of pack without unpacking, is plenty big enough to travel 30 days, in both hot and cold weather including heavy footwear. Pack a day pack in your main pack. At the airport remove and use it as carry on luggage with essentials for several days should the main pack get lost.

When waiting in line or sitting in the airport (or anywhere else, for that matter), always have the strap(s) to your carry-on luggage wrapped around an arm or a leg, then they won't disappear without your knowledge. I carry this suggestion to the extreme if I am in a questionable area. I have even straddled my large bags when I felt it necessary - or at least have them touching my leg so I'd know if they were moved.

Last but not least...  Do not joke about bombs or guns - you could be prosecuted.

Janna's Cruise And Travel
4410 N. Midkiff, Suite D206 at The Courtyard
Midland, TX 79705

Phone:  432-689-2758
Toll Free:  866-689-2787

Copyright 2005 Janna's Cruise And Travel all rights reserved. 
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