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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 January 14, 2019

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

    What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

    1. Take the scenic route.

    Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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    Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

    2. Distract yourself.

    No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

    3. Listen to music or podcasts.

    There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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    4. Bring a friend.

    Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

    Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

    5. Accessorize.

    There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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    For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

    6. Compete.

    A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

    7. Relax.

    The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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    With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

    Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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