8 Ways to Travel Smart This Summer

It’s summertime, and that means a lot of people are traveling, both for business and pleasure – and sometimes both.

Because crowds usually add to the hassle, it’s best to be prepared before you go. Here are 8 ways to travel smart this summer, from CNN and several other sources.

1. Pack as if your luggage may go AWOL

Just in case your luggage gets lost, pack overnight essentials such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and maybe even a change of clothes in your carry-on.

Smart travelers bring an empty, collapsible bag, like a duffel bag, that can handle items you pick up on the trip, including gifts and souvenirs. The reason? This is because if you’re flying, it’s generally cheaper to pay for an extra bag than a suitcase that’s over the airline’s weight limit.

2. Handy items to have

Plastic bags for dirty or wet clothes or shoes. Clothespins to hang laundry or pull drapes together to shut out light. Duct tape – not the whole roll; cut a two-foot strip and wrap it around a pencil.

3. Don’t get sick

Time suggests a few ways to stave off germs and bacteria, such as: Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth; use hand sanitizer after you’ve washed your hands; stay hydrated with water; on airplanes, order your drinks without ice — the water onboard is teeming with bacteria; on airplanes, get up and walk around once an hour.

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4. First aid 

No one plans to get sick or hurt on vacation (or business, for that matter). But it happens. 

You may not always be near a drugstore while traveling, so bring along a first aid kit stocked aspirin, motion sickness pills, bug bite medication, bandages, hydrocortisone, Ibuprofen and a topical antibiotic.

Airplane travelers should make sure their prescription medications are packed in their carry-on. Read the Transportation Security Administration’s guidelines for bringing medications on your next flight for more information.

5. Be safe

Again, no one expects to be faced with emergency situations. But if you find yourself in one, be ready. The Red Cross’ First Aid app can help you deal with choking, diabetic emergency, burns or allergies with just a few swipes of your mobile device’s screen. Especially handy: Even if you don’t know the emergency number in the country you’re in, you can download the Travel Safe app and you’ll quickly be able to reach the local police, fire or emergency.

6. Don’t overdo the food

Just because you’re in a new places doesn’t mean you have to go whole hog when it comes to eating. Yes, less expensive dining options can often be less healthy than the more expensive options.  But you cut your chances of weight gain in a few ways:

-Skip the bread and butter, breadsticks or nacho chips that are brought out first
-Ask for dressings and sauces on the side
-Stay away from fried foods

Don’t feel like you have to finish the whole meal. Take extra food in a to-go box, stash it in the hotel refrigerator, and enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day.

7. Know your rights

Airline passengers have rights, so it behooves you to know what you can do if, for example, there’s a delay on the tarmac or if your flight is overbooked.  The Department of Transportation offers useful tips for travelers to know ahead of time.

Contact the airline and the DOT with any travel complaints. If your concerns have more to do with safety and security, contact Federal Aviation Administration.

8. Insure the good stuff

It’s inevitable that some of your stuff will get lost or left behind, so it makes sense to get more valuable or hard-to-replace items insured.