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Leftovers… Travel tips and ideas

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It’s that time of year when I present my annual leftovers article. Just like the remainders of Thanksgiving dinner, it’s a collection of many things – a gathering of various travel tips that I have found throughout the year that are handy to know but aren’t enough for a full article…

Leftovers…Travel Tips and Ideas

Here are a few of the travel tips I’ve picked up during the year to share in my annual leftovers article.

A good philosophy to follow. When you are on vacation, don’t eat at any restaurant that you can eat in at home. Stick to local restaurants, not chains. Seriously, you didn’t fly half way around the world just to eat a Big Mac. And that includes Starbucks – see if you can find the local equivalent.

Restaurant Hint. When you are looking for a restaurant in a popular tourist area, get off the main street and walk 2-3 blocks away. The restaurants on the popular roads and easy to reach locations don’t have to be good to have a steady stream of customers. The spots that get less tourist traffic have to be very good to attract locals and get recommendations. Take the time explore a bit and find one of those better restaurants.

Leave your camo themed clothing at home. Did you know it’s illegal to wear camouflage in over a dozen different countries? Since camouflage is associated with the military, countries ban it to avoid confusion of civilians being perceived as a soldier. Saint Lucia, Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, South Africa, Zambia, and Saudi Arabia are among those with laws against wearing camo clothing.

Phone identification. When traveling, you’re probably using your phone quite often for online boarding passes, maps, and sightseeing research. That unfortunately leads to many opportunities to misplace your phone on a plane, in a cab, or at a restaurant. Most folks that might find your phone would want to help get it back to you, but how to track you down when your phone lock keeps them from getting to your information? Change your phone wallpaper background image by adding your contact information, and then your details are always available if your phone is misplaced. You’ll need to edit the image to add your details, then save the updated picture as your wallpaper. Make sure to put a phone number that a friend or family member will be monitoring if the good Samaritan tries to call you.

Packing list tip. Don’t throw your packing list away when your suitcase is packed. Instead, put it in your suitcase so when it’s time to pack to come home you can use it to make sure nothing is missing.

Delta Digital ID for domestic flights. For those who live or fly often from Atlanta or Minneapolis airports: Delta Airlines is running a pilot program at these two airports for Delta Digital ID, an online system that uses facial recognition to help you breeze through security with an expedited line. This program applies only to domestic flights so you won’t find this option if you have an international flight from Atlanta or Minneapolis. In order to be eligible for Delta Digital ID, you must 1) be a SkyMiles Member, 2) be enrolled in TSA PreCheck, and 3) have a US passport. You opt in once though the Delta app, and you are set for future trips. See the details here:

Stay hydrated when you travel. Fill your water bottle and freeze it before going to the airport. You can take it through security as long as it’s frozen, and then you’ll have water during your flight. You can refill the bottle at various spots along your trip. Some hotels will provide water bottles in your room but they can be hard to open, so bring along one of those rubber bottle openers.