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TRAVEL/HOLIDAY TIPS

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Here are some general travel tips which may be useful –

If driving abroad make sure that you check out all the rules and legal requirements for the country or countries you intend to visit.  These can vary widely and also change regularly.

Drink-driving laws differ from country to country so they should be checked before travelling.

Apart from documentation, headlamp converters etc. there are other things to bear in mind. e.g. When driving in France you are required to have a warning triangle, high viz jackets and radar detectors are illegal EVEN IF TURNED OFF and have one in your car carries a large fine.  This now includes SatNavs and GPS which show where speed cameras are so these should be turned off.

Today (1st July, 2012) the French have added another requirement.  It is now compulsory to carry an unused breathalyser kit in each car.  I believe these are special red and white kits which are inexpensive and should be widely available.

If you intend to drive in a different country then check out the following country by country guide to local rules for drivers provided by the AA.

 
  If you have to pack a kilt into a case for travelling, roll the kilt up into a roll like a sausage and put the kilt into the leg of a pair of tights or a stocking. The kilt can then be placed in the case at one of the long edges and so takes up less room and arrives crease free, my husband has done this numerous times when travelling.

Ann of Ayr

A sarong can prove very useful as it can be used as a skirt, head scarf or head rest whilst travelling.
Empty film canisters make excellent containers for travel toiletries such as shampoo, moisturiser etc. and take up less room.
Press a retracted ballpoint pen under the ball of your big toes when flying, this is a reflex point which should help jet lag.
Eating garlic and drinking stout is said to help repel insects.
If you don’t wear sunglasses for a couple of days after arrival it will help you adjust to daylight more quickly and get over the effects of jet lag.
Lemon is a natural antiseptic, therefore, lemon juice dabbed on insect bites will take away the itch, burn and help dry it out.
Before purchasing bottled water abroad, turn the bottle upside down, if it leaks it may have been filled with untreated water.
To keep luggage secure and avoid losing keys, thread a key ring through the zip ends instead of a lock.
Avoid unwashed salad and water melons. Locals have been known to pierce holes in the melons and put them into the river to absorb water. This makes them look fresh and juicy but they could be contaminated.
Hang clothes in the shower room, the steam will get the creases out.
Place a golf ball on the floor and roll bare foot over it whilst travelling. This helps circulation.
  A light eau de cologne is an ideal refresher when travelling.
Pack dark colour clothing to cut down on washing whilst away.
To avoid dehydration when visiting hot countries, drink sweet fizzy drinks and eat crisps or salted nuts for salt content.
Photo copy passport and carry separately in case of loss.
Put feet in brown paper bags under inflight socks to prevent swelling – just don’t get up to go to the toilet!!!!!
On the beach don't try and rub sand away from between toes and fingers, but shake baby talcum powder on hands and feet and the sand comes away easily,

Catherine Smith

 
If a caravan holiday is your thing
  It is important to use good quality tyres on caravans but using 8 ply tyres instead of the usual 6 ply can give extra piece of mind.  It is not the tread which wears but the side walls and this is usually caused by deterioration either by mistreatment or age.  Taking the wheels off the van and supporting on axle stands for the winter can also prolong tyre life.

Thanks to Mike Cook for this advice.

Put cling film over caravan windows when travelling which can be removed at the end of the journey, together with all the "bugs".
To ensure the caravan is level place a cylindrical packet of biscuits on the floor. These will roll if not level.
To avoid being woken up by early morning sunlight (you should be so lucky), ensure front of caravan is not facing East.
To prevent getting grease on clothing from the tow bar, place an old sock over the end.
If the sink or bath plug is missing, cut a tennis ball in half and place over the plug hole - fits any size.
For a nice picnic without an army of ants you did not invite, sprinkle a box of Tide with bleach around the picnic area - it seems to discourage them.  It also seems to repel flies and mosquitoes.  Ideal for people like me who don't like pesticides sprayed on their children.

Thanks to Melinda Noblett for sending us this one

Caravan insurance is currently not a legal requirement in the UK but, as with most other insurances, specific cover is recommended to protect your investment and, of course, its contents.

Although car insurance policies sometimes include third-party cover for trailers they will not cover caravans, in addition to which, you would not be able to claim under a car insurance policy should your caravan be stolen or damaged by accident or fire.
 
 
If you travel long distances try to listen to radio stations that broadcast in the city that you are travelling to.  It may be worth it to listen to what the locals like - you can gauge this from what is played on radios in local hairdressers, cafes, pubs and the like.

If you like that station, pay attention to whenever it calls out its identity and frequency.  If you come across some bumper stickers for that station, grab a handful of them and put one of them on your luggage.  This is a nice change from "I've been to (city name)" stickers that are often seen on various well travelled suitcases and can help in identifying them on the baggage carousel.

If you operate a radio and tune into a station that you like, note down the frequency and station identity in your travel diary.  If the set shows up the station identity, transcribe that identity from the set's display.

Also, if the set is equipped with a recording facility, you could record the station by leaving the set to record non-stop for the duration of the tape or disc.  You will be recording everything, including the local traders' advertisements and the local news bulletins.

If you listen to local commercial (advertiser-supported) radio in a foreign city, you will gain a lot of useful information.  The commercial breaks will provide information about shops, discounts, offers etc.  The local traffic broadcasts will keep you posted about potential travel problems, whether by car or public transport.   The local news broadcast can alert travellers of potential problems or events in the city.  Let us not forget the weather forecast which can be a very important deciding factor.

Thanks to Simon Mackay for this information.

 

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