I love these simple traveling tips for their simplicity and convenience. Try them yourself on your next trip.

A Shoe-in. At the airport security, put your valuables like your wallet, watch, cell phone, and jewelry in your shoes before you pass through the X-ray machine. There’s no way you’ll leave them behind in the bin.

Buy Ahead. Check Costco for discount tickets to theme parks. You can save a bundle, even if you have to pay the $25 membership fee to join.  The tickets will be mailed right to your home, so plan ahead.

Eat Online. Buy restaurant gift certificates at websites like restaurant.com for the city or town you’ll be visiting.  You not only will save money, but discover restaurants that you may not have normally visited.

Instant Sleeve. Pack a couple of plastic newspaper bags for wet items like umbrellas and swimsuits.

Traveling with kids? Visit a local dollar store before you go, and stock up on inexpensive toys that you can bring out as needed.  If they lose them, it only cost you a dollar.

Ship your items ahead of time.  With the cost of checked bags increasing, ship a box of your stuff to grandma’s house ahead of time.  If you’re staying in a hotel, attach a note to hold it for your arrival.


Pack a mini emergency kit.  To avoid carrying large tubes of medicated ointment and creams when you’re hiking, fill the two sides of a contact lens case and label with a permanent marker.  This also works well for small carry-on hand creams and lotions.

Make lists.  Have a packing checklist ready, either on your computer or on index cards, for each type of vacation that you take, such as cruises, ski trips, beach outings, or mountain getaways. Have another list for all those important things you need to do before you go, like water the plants, turn down the A/C, and go to the bank. Having simple reminders really help.

Quickly convert.  Go to oanda.com and print out a currency conversion cheat sheet next time you travel to a foreign country.  A quick glance is all it takes to keep your spending in check.

Souvenir Stubs.  Do you have a collection of interesting ticket stubs from your trip? Take them to an office supply store and laminate them.  The make nice bookmarks and bring back wonderful memories.

Never on Sunday.  Try to visit Christian places of worship such as cathedrals and chapels on a day other than Sunday.  Sundays are many times closed to the public.  The same holds true for other denominations of worship.

Rent an Audio Tour.  These devices are available for many museums and even for touring through different countries. They give insight that would never be known otherwise.