Late summer means a lot of travel.
Whether it's trips to the beach or a vacation before the kids or grandkids go back to school, plenty of folks are getting ready for a trip. What's more, according to a poll from CBS, more folks prefer to travel in September. If you aren't traveling with children, that's a great time to travel thanks to smaller crowds and cooler temperatures.
I travel a lot. And over the years, I've picked up on some tricks and tips to save you time and reduce stress. Here are a few of my favorites about what to pack...
1) An empty water bottle.
I hate paying $4 for a bottle of water, but what can you do when the security goons make you pitch any bottle with more than 3.4 ounces of liquid? Well, here's what I do: I put a large EMPTY bottle through the screener in my bag. Once through the checkpoint and inside the terminal, I fill it at a water fountain. Voila, I save $4 each way.
And one more thing... if you fill up after clearing security, you can take the bottles onboard with you, which saves having to wait for the attendant to make it up and down the aisle with everyone else's drinks.
2) A tennis ball.
Traveling often leaves you stiff and produces a lot of backaches. One of the best remedies I know for this is to use a tennis ball. I use the ball under my upper back and roll it around until I find the pressure points. You can easily adjust how much weight is on the ball and focus on different pressure points.
3) Duct tape or packing tape.
Not only will strong tape save you should your bag tear or break during your travels, but it's an essential item on cruises.
Three years ago, my research assistant went for a fall cruise to the Caribbean... and got hit with heavy winds and rough seas from a hurricane. The worst part for her – all the doors and sliding drawers in her cabinet would fly open and slam shut all through the night. A seasoned traveler later told her that's why she always carries packing tape – to keep them shut during bad weather.
4) Empty deodorant stick.
We recently read a piece from Jeff Yeager over at UltimateCheapskate about a travel tip for carrying valuables. Jeff travels with an empty deodorant stick. In it, he hides some cash and an emergency credit card. If you get robbed on vacation (as he was), having that hidden away will certainly help.
5) Medication list and allergy warning.
This is something we've urged you to put together before... Listing your medications – including what they look like and when to take them – will keep you safe. It'll help you stay on schedule and make sure you're taking what you need. And be sure to adjust for any time changes as well and work that out before you go.
If you have any allergies, particularly to medications, make sure to indicate that on your list and keep it on your person at all times. A wallet card or even an ID bracelet can be a lifesaver.
6) Copy of documents.
It's worth taking the time to scan your ID and write down your credit-card info (including the customer service number). If you're robbed, you'll still have all of your information. Likewise, list out your emergency contacts.
7) Plastic bags.
This is one of the most practical tips. Keep any liquid or creams like mouthwash, bug spray, or others in Ziploc bags. That means any leaks or spills won't get out into your bag or clothes. And if a beach trip is in your future, take some bigger bags to wrap up damp clothes or pool shoes.
What's your one essential item to pack on any trip? Let us know at [email protected]. And don't forget to keep sending in your questions and comments – you might just find an answer on our Weekly Update series (which you can watch right here).
What We're Reading...
- Even more travel secrets from our newsletter.
- Something different: The best applicant for the "Planetary Protection Officer" position.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
August 10, 2017