Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Luggage ID

Trying to identify your bag if it gets lost can be tricky. Let's's black, has wheels, is about this size, and has two zippers. Hmm...wonder how many bags that describes?

Next time before you give your bag to the airline, take a couple of photos with your cell phone. Try to get as many distinguishing shots as you can. It may help the airline track it down.

Don't forget to have a tag with your name and a phone number on it. Most do not suggest adding your address unless it's a business address. And...don't lose your baggage claim ticket.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Carry On Snacks

I know you love those small bags of peanuts and pretzels the airlines give. But, do you want a little more of a snack than that? Here are some ideas you can take in your carry on bag or purse.

Dried fruit in a resealable bag doesn't take up much room. Add nuts or popcorn in another bag and eat them together. Don't pack them in the same bag as the dried fruit tends to make the nuts and popcorn soggy. Not so good!

You can also take fresh fruit that's easy to eat. Grapes, apples, or oranges work well. Cut up the apples and oranges before you get on the plane!

Make your own peanut butter or almond butter crackers and pack them in their own bag. You could do the same with small rice cakes.

Pack some string cheese and whole grain tortilla chips.

Don't be like the guy next to me on the last flight...his sandwich made the whole plane smell like grilled onions!

Happy flying.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Airport Security Line Tips

Part two of security line tips:

It's a good idea to check with your airline and find out the recommended arrival time. International times will be different than domestic. They may even vary from airline to airline.

Wear shoes you can slip on and off easily, if possible. Same goes for jackets and sweaters.

Remember to remove anything metal and place it in the bin to go through the scanner. I'm always amazed at people who forget they have on a belt or left keys in their pockets. Having said that, I wear a sterling silver bracelet most days. I've worn it for years...literally years. Through countless airport scanners. It never sets off the scanner. On the last trip home from San Diego...the scanner beeped. I had to remove it and I felt like I just committed a faux pas. I asked the TSA agent if this was a new scanner and she said yes...lesson learned. I know now to remove my bracelet!

The TSA says to leave gifts unwrapped. Apparently they figure we all use kryptonite wrapping paper that the x-ray machines can't see through. Not sure. Bottom line...leave the gifts unwrapped!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Airport Security Line Tips

It doesn't matter whether you are flying to Rome or to still need to go through airport security. Being prepared makes a difference to me. It may save you time and hassle as well.

Get organized in your carry on luggage. The TSA says if you pack your carry on suitcase in layers it speeds up the process for their viewing agents. They don't have to wonder what they are looking at in your luggage. I prefer to roll my clothes, but I still have my suitcase organized.

You know you're going to need your boarding pass and ID. Have it ready BEFORE you arrive at the agent checking these items. Nothing worse than being behind someone who is searching and searching for their ID that dropped into the abyss of their bag.

Have your 3 ounce containers in a clear zip top bag before you get to the security line. Know where you put it in your carry on bag. Standing in line is not the time to discover your bottles are 6 ounces or to wonder where you put them in the bag.

More later...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Jessup Cellars

Fun and educational time last night at Jessup Cellars.

Tasted 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Pinot, 2009 Table for Four, and 2009 Juel. Listened to Sandor Katz talk about fermentation from his latest book, Art of Fermentation. This is all part of the TasteMaker Series. Sunset Magazine food editor Margo True and Sandor did an amazing job of bringing the subject of fermentation to foods we eat and drink.

Afterwards, we sampled food from the Cultured Pickle, Bar Tartine, and Shed. Art was provided by Cynthia Carey, Michael O'Brient, and Mikki McClure.

Wonderful way to spend an evening...

Packing Tip

When you want to pack a necklace or bracelet that is relatively thin and often tangles in your jewelry case, try threading each one through a drinking straw. You can easily secure the clasp and the straw will fit nicely in your carry on bag.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jessup Cellars Wine Tasting

Looking forward to tasting wines and learning more about "The Ancient Art of Fermentation" tonight at Jessup Cellars in Yountville.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Practical Travel Tips

Didn't pack a lint brush? Use the destination luggage stickers off of your suitcase.

Ever left something in a hotel safe? Try putting your shoes in the safe before you go to bed at night. You probably won't walk out of the room without checking the safe first.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Practical Travel Tips

Perhaps you really want to pack your exfoliating scrub the next time you travel, but don't have room. No worries. Use one or two of the sugar packets from your favorite coffee shop and mix them with just a drop or two of lotion. Rub the mixture into your hands or feet. Make sure you rinse well with water and pat dry. Voila...softer skin.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Off the Beaten Path

When you travel, do you venture off the beaten path? Do you eat where the locals eat? Do you sit at a sidewalk cafe that's listed in the guidebooks? Or, do you search out one most tourists wouldn't find?

I know what I about you?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trip Plans

When you plan your trip, where do you start? Do you plan the trip you really want? Or, do you plan what you think you should see and do while there? There are famous sites, museums, art galleries, monuments, and beaches all over the world. If you are only going to the site or the museum because you think you should...not because you really want you think you will enjoy it?

Maybe or maybe not. This is your trip. You should plan it to get the best experience for you. What do you think?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Check Your Luggage or Carry It On?

Can You Travel With Only a Carry-on?
Want to avoid the waiting game at the luggage carousel? You can with these tips…
Opt for a great bag
First, you want a bag that's easy to carry when you're rushing through terminals and easy enough to place in an overhead bin or under your seat. A quality rectangular bag that's soft and lightweight might be your best bet. Most airlines have a size limit for carry-on bags, which is often 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches.
Pay attention to what you pack
Do you really need everything you think you do? Probably not. Make your list of clothes, including those you can easily mix and match for multiple days or events. You probably can’t have only the pair of shoes you're wearing, but try to only take two distinct pairs. These will cover most occasions. You can always throw in a pair of flip-flops that don’t take up much room. Check with the hotel to see if they have hairdryers or any other appliance that takes up valuable room in your bag.
Compression bags can come in handy
For saving space, these bags can either be rolled up or vacuumed to suck out every last bit of air, leaving you with the most compact travel bag possible. Once they are compressed down, you’ll have more room in your bag.
Guide books versus tablets and apps
Instead of packing the entire guide book, pack your tablet or gadget with its wide variety of sites you’ve previously bookmarked. If there are some pages in your favorite guide book that you just can’t travel without…tear them out and bring only those pages.
Are you traveling with a friend, partner, or spouse?
You can save room by only one of you packing the toothpaste, contact solution, and shampoo. Decide who has what and you’ll save a bunch of room. Plus, you can always purchase more if you run out.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Visiting a City for the First Time?

When visiting a city for the first time, do you spend several days there? Or, do you think you can see it all in one day? Especially if you are going someplace like Rome, Florence, Paris, or Cambridge...spend more than just a day. That way you'll have time to wander around, enjoy the views from a sidewalk cafe, see more than just the tourist spots, and of course people watch.

Cambridge phone booths...

Taking time to sit by the water provides great photos as well as a chance to rest your feet from walking around the city. In Cambridge, pubs provide great spots to relax with a mug of beer. Or, is it a pint? Finding good wine was a challenge...but I managed to do it.

Once rejuvenated...take a punt on the river.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Passport Tips

You may know that routine passport processing takes about four to six weeks. You may also know that in certain countries you need at least six months worth of validity remaining on your passport in order to enter that country.

Did you know you may need completely blank pages in your passport? If you are planning a trip to South Africa, they require travelers to have one fully blank visa page in their passports. If entry.

If you are a frequent traveler, you may want to look through your passport now. Make sure you have enough room for additional passport stamps, especially if you are traveling to more than one country on any of your upcoming trips. No one wants to be denied entry based on something you could have taken care of before you left.

Need more info or have questions regarding passports and visas? Go to for more information.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Travel Apps

Check out Trip Advisor's newest app...GateGuru. They say it can help spot delays at your gate, give you information before you arrive at the airport, help you find a place to eat at the airport, and assist with car rentals.

I haven't tried it...let me know if you have and what you thought of it.

Have you ever used Evernote on your tablet? I have and it's a great way to take notes. But, it will do more...especially when you're traveling. These are just a few uses. Use it like a notebook to keep track of expenses or your travel journal. Upload brochures, maps, and menus from places you loved. Add your photos. What else can you think of?