Planning to hit the road for some fun family moments this fall? Travel has dropped considerably in recent months, but as things open up in the present and in the future, be sure to take these tips to save time, money, and maybe even frayed nerves.
Photocopies just in case
Before you leave, make two photocopies of everything in your wallet, both the front and the back (credit card, driver's license, health insurance card, etc.). Put one copy in your luggage, and leave the other at home. If you lose your wallet, you will have all the information you need to quickly report and replace.
You can ease the pain of losing your passport when traveling abroad by simply carrying an extra passport photo with you. Keep it in a safe place, along with your passport number and the date of issue. Now all you have to do is take the photo and numbers to the nearest US embassy. It should take hours, not days, to get a replacement.
Keep your city time
If you take medication, take an extra watch and keep it set to your city time. You never have to wonder when to take your medicine.
Organize your car
A shoe box hanging in the back of the front seat can hold small toys, crayons, and other loose items in the car.
Use ink that can be erased
A clear ink pen, available at any fabric store, is ideal for marking maps. In a day or so, your marks will fade, and your map will be ready for the next trip.
Save on the room rate
Always call the hotel reception, rather than the 0800 reservation number for the best deals. Ask about rates for weekend, vacation, and seasonal deals, or discounts for membership you may have, such as the Automobile Club of America.
If there is an overnight stop on the itinerary of your car trip, pack a small bag with a change of clothes for each family member and basic toiletries. Instead of unpacking the entire car, everything you will need for the night will be in one bag.
Put in your suitcase the list of luggage that you used to prepare the trip. Use it to double check when you gather everything at the end of your stay.
Test the weight of your bag
After packing for the trip and before leaving the house, grab your bag and carry it around for five minutes. If you are out of breath, it is very heavy. Throw away what you can, or pack two smaller, lighter bags instead of one heavy one.
A hair dryer can also work as a travel iron. Dampen the wrinkled garment and lay it out on a flat surface. Set the dryer on hot, and hold it with one hand while smoothing the garment with the other.
Pets on vacation
Have a special identification tag for any pets you travel with. Include the name and phone number of someone who can reach you while you are away from home.
Do you want more information? Visit EverydayCheapskate.com to view links and resources for the products and services recommended in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and advice on EverydayCheapskate.com, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but the letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living." Copyright 2020 Creators.com
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