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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Untried But True Holiday Travel Tips

It's that time of year when scores of people ask me, "Laura Powell, you are a travel expert. Give us some tips." Generously, I comply, with directions to allow yourself plenty of time when traveling; to keep presents unwrapped if you are going through airport security; to wear your bulkiest clothing and boots on board to save luggage space; yadda, yadda, yadda. But this year, I want to present to you, dear reader, the gift of tips that keep giving all year long. And lest the headline fool you, I have tried them all, and they all work like a charm.

First, if you are a contact lens wearer, stop by a local optometry office to pick up a free, TSA-approved-size bottle of contact lens solution. By law, these offices cannot sell sample-sized bottles, but most will give one or two to the nicely-dressed consumer who asks nicely. If you are naughty, though, expect nada.

Feet aching after a day or two or three in stiletto heals? Raid your panty liner container. (For any gentlemen who are still with me after reading the word "stiletto", you may skip ahead two paragraphs). A panty liner can prove a pillow for your sole. Simply stick the adhesive side onto the sole of your shoe (liners are skinny enough so that they will not bleed over the sides of even the narrowest shoe) and let the ball of your foot absorb the newfound comfort.

As an aside, let me also mention that the larger sanitary pad can serve double duty as a duster, particularly for wooden floors. Lest you laugh, do note that The Swiffer was invented in the 1990s by an engineer at Procter & Gamble who noticed that very phenomenon. So, if any of you have extra pads lying around, you can always fashion your own cheaper version of The Swiffer and clean carefree.

But I digress. Gentlemen, welcome back to the conversation. Did you know that those little environmentally-wasteful bottles of amenities placed in your hotel rooms can also do double duty? That's right. In a pinch, conditioner can become shaving cream; shampoo can become detergent for washing your delicates; and skin lotion can serve as an anti-static agent for hair or for clingly socks/stockings that insist on sticking to your pant leg/skirt.

I will be back with more heartfelt travel tips as the holiday season progresses. Meantime, please share some original tips from your list.

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