Never Leave a Phone Charger Behind Again

When you are packing your phone charger, put it in a zip-type bag along with a 3 x 5 card (or a note paper) printed with this note on both sides: DON’T FORGET THIS CHARGER.

When you arrive, leave that baggie with the note showing somewhere out in the open – maybe next to the hotel phone – so that when you pack things up it is a visible reminder to unplug and pack your charger.

P.S. If you forget to bring your phone charger, the hotel front desk may have one you can borrow because they are often left behind!

Sanitize Your Inflight Space

As soon as you enter the airplane, find your seat and have a package of anti-bacterial wipes handy in your purse or carry on. Immediately wipe the tray button, tray,  both sides, the video screen, and controls, and the back of the seat in front of you, the safety instructions card and whatever else is in front of you with a wipe.

Wipe the arms of the chair on both sides and bottom and the reclining button.  Wipe the upper buttons, lights, call, etc. If you are on the window seat, wipe the window and its surroundings. Wipe the headrest. Wipe everything with a wipe that you know someone else has touched. Use more than one wipe for this cleaning. Ask your seat partners if they would like a wipe.  Hopefully, they will think it’s a healthy idea too.

Trips with Grandchildren

My tip is to create a Travel Account then fund it with rebates, cashback rewards, coupon savings, discounts, and refunds.

The photo is our granddaughter and me in a New York City limo on our way to see The Lion King on Broadway. The photo, taken 15 years ago, marks our first trip to NYC with the first of 10 grandchildren we have taken to New York City for a 4-day weekend on their 13th birthdays.

All of these trips have been paid for by saving the frequent shopper rewards at grocery stores, home goods stores, pharmacy—anywhere I get a discount, I have saved it; along with any refunds that come in the mail from any source, and the change from our pockets.

Each trip, which costs about $3,000, has brought us (and them) so much joy. We reminisce about our trip with each of them whenever we’re together.


Huge Discounts Restaurant Gift Cards

We all know that Warehouse Clubs can save us money when buying in bulk, but did you know that you can save money when dining out, going to the movies, or buying a Honey Baked Ham? Check your favorite warehouse club dining and entertainment venues gift cards. Often you can buy $100 worth of Gift Cards for $75 or $80 (depending on the restaurant). That’s a 25%  savings! Now couple the gift card with a coupon for that restaurant to save even more.

My favorite way to do this is with a Honey Baked Ham purchase. If I know that I’m going to be serving a Honey Baked Ham for a holiday, first I go to Costco and buy the Gift Cards. I’ve found that just before Christmas and Easter, Costco knocks another $10 off and $100 worth of Honey Baked Ham products bringing it down to just $70! (30% off). And I usually add a coupon to that for even more savings. Plus, the Gift Cards never expire.


Have Jewelry, Will Travel

I like to look my best, even when I’m away from home. But packing necklaces can be a pain, and I have little patience for untangling knots in the chain. Luckily, I have a solution. Now whenever I’m packing my suitcase, I put my jewelry in an old glasses case. It’s padded to keep the jewelry from getting broken, and keeps necklaces from getting knotted.

Simply fold the necklace chain in a half a few times so that it fits the length of the glasses case. Alternate the direction of the pendants so that the chains aren’t next to each other. You can even slip a ring over each chain for more protection. Happy travels!


Homemade Gel Ice Pack

No need to use a frozen bag of peas.  Make your own gel pack to ease your pain.

You need:

  • 2- quart or gallon plastic freezer bags (depending on how large you want the cold pack)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol


  1. Fill one plastic bag with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 2 cups of water.
  2. Remove as much air out of the bag that you can before sealing it shut.
  3. Place the bag inside a second freezer bag to protect against leaks.
  4. Place the bag in the freezer for at least an hour.
  5. When it’s ready, place a towel between the gel pack and your bare skin to avoid burning the skin.

Alternatively you could use dish soap instead of water, as this has a gel-like consistency.  It will also freeze and stay cold. 

Water and Plastic


Road Trip Tip

When beach balls are on sale, buy a few extras for stowing away in your trunk for road trips.  They don’t take up much space but are great for rest-stop activities.


Tried and True Travel Tips

I love to travel, and have found that the key to a stress-less trip is to be as prepared as possible. That means I bring as few things as possible. I’ve shared my simple travel tips with friends, only to be met with awe and envy.

First, pack an empty pill bottle with some large safety pins, single shoe laces, small carabiner clips, a few rubber bands, binder clips, paper clips, a few adhesive return address labels, and the tiny screwdriver from a glasses repair kit. This little fix-it kit goes thru security without  hassle, and has saved my bacon more than once when things have broken.

Second, stuff one bottle full of a dozen or so long thin plastic bags, like what they use to deliver newspapers for home delivery or produce bags. Or get bread bags or some of the doggie-job pooper-scooper pick-up bags.

Use those bags to pack shoes, for a wet bathing suit; a wet fold-up umbrella, or a few shells or stones you found while beach-combing. Use them to separate currencies from different countries, as pill bottles don’t rip or tear like envelopes do, when you have amassed too many coins or euros.

Pill bottles were really handy on a recent trip to Patagonia where Chile and Argentina both use money called pesos, but have very different values. Chilean money went into the chili-red bottle, and the Argentine went into the green one.

Third, use a large pill bottle to assemble a small first-aid kit. Several sizes of Band-Aids, antiseptic, alcohol wipes, acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, diphenhydramine, blister pads, eye drops, lip balm will fit in there easily.

Fill every extra nook and cranny in your suitcase with empty plastic bags… will find a million uses for them, from trash bins on bus trips, or during your own car trips, to bringing home liquid souvenirs that you want to be waterproof in your luggage.

And all these together weigh only a few ounces, which is very important with the strict limits now on planes.