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getting around
Tips for Travelers

If you are travelling internationally, check the voltage of your destinations and get an adaptor with the proper prongs and wattage for your electronic equipment. Your notebook computer is probably ok - but check the transformer.

Keep an eye on your notebook computer as you are going through the x-ray machine. Some crooks work in pairs to help themselves to such.

Long trans-Pacific flights used to be a killer for me because I could never sleep on the plane. But now I can sleep for hours on end. Here is my trick: I take along an inflatable neck pillow. Then take the blanket and pillow they give you on the plane and put them behind your back so that your back can be level with your neck that is resting on the neck pillow. Nowadays I even travel with a spare because they always leak after a few trips - even the name brands.

Take along a pair of ear-plugs. You just never know when there will be a screaming baby sitting close to you! Even without that, they help reduce the engine noise. Blinders are also good to have along for naps since the airlines only turn off all the lights when it is a very long flight.

If you have a big carry-on and don't want to be stuck with it under the seat giving you no leg room, or worse yet, get asked to check it in due to a full cabin, book a seat close to the back: you will be boarded first. (That is not the case with some international airlines though.) And get one with wheels - the carry-on bag, not the seat. Just about all the airports I have been in require some walking to get to and from the gate - and airports are getting bigger and bigger. If you are traveling on business and want to save time, try to fit everything in one carry-on and not check it in. This will get you to your destination faster and reduce the risk of losing stuff that you cannot do without - like your brochures and pamphlets and your change of clothes!

Try not to sit close to the bathroom. I paid for it on a long international flight one time! Not only was the aroma annoying, people waiting in line with their elbows on the back of my seat also kept me from getting some much needed sleep. Bulkhead seats are great because not only do you get more legroom, you also don't have to climb over people to get to the bathroom even if you don't get an aisle seat, nor do you have to get up to let someone out! But the downside is the airbag in the seatbelt (on some planes) that makes it uncomfortable.



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