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Not Your Everyday Travel Tips

Not Your Everyday Travel Tips

Not Your Eveyday Travel Tips

    Stop me if you’ve heard this before… it’s a good idea to differentiate your luggage by tying a brightly-colored object to the handle… oh, you’ve heard that one? Here are some tips that may not be as common, based on experience and mistakes I have personally made or have learned about from my frequent flier clients and colleagues.

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    Don’t travel with gel pens. One time I fell asleep on a plane while holding a gel roller-ball pen in my hand. I woke up with a pool of black ink all over my notebook, my hand, and very nearly on my pants too. Evidently the air pressure changes caused the ink to burst out.

    Bring some of your pre-printed return address labels with you. You can quickly slap one of these stickers on a paper airline luggage tag or use them to fill out a form. A few of these labels are good to always keep in your wallet, not just while traveling, to use conveniently if you buy a bunch of raffle tickets or have to fill out school forms.

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    ALWAYS take a second to look at the airline luggage routing tags that the ticket agent is putting on your checked baggage, and look at your claim stubs too. Don’t just assume they are putting the right tag on the right bag. My son’s bag once was tagged as belonging to some other guy going to Memphis (we were going to Puerto Rico… not good).

    Take note of something interesting about the contents of your bag so you can better identify it. Once when my luggage was lost, the paper ID tag was torn off in transit, and the baggage agents asked me to tell them about something unique inside my bag to help identify that it was mine. I was able to tell them about my tiny orange travel hair dryer and that did the trick. Of course, it’s also great if you provide your contact information on the inside of the bag (I did, but they didn’t find it… do make sure it’s clearly visible).

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    Do travel with Sharpie® markers and zip-closure plastic bags. They are great for marking and identifying things quickly, like which child’s identical souvenir rhinoceros toy belongs to whom… or whose bottle of half-consumed water that is in the back seat. You can use the plastic bags (gallon size is great) to store open snack food packages, seal up a leaky toiletry bottle, or contain wet clothing.

    If your flight is cancelled, don’t wait in the long line in front of the ticket agent to get on another plane. Just step aside and call your airline directly from your cell phone. It’s just like cutting in line, but nobody will get mad at you. (Bonus tip: have the airline number with you!)

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    Love your Bucky®. I have a Bucky travel pillow, the neck pillows that are filled with buckwheat hulls. Mine has a protective travel case that you can take off and stuff inside the pillow while you’re using it. There is nothing worse than giving yourself a neck injury while trying to sleep!

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    Last Updated on March 24, 2021

    8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

    8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

    We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

    On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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    Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

    1. Smart Door Locks

    A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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    2. Smart Kitchen Tools

    Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

    3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

    If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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    4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

    These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

    5. Nest Thermostat

    This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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    6. Smart Lighting

    Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

    7. Google Chromecast Ultra

    Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

    8. Canary

    This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

    Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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