If you and your spouse are traveling together and your credit cards are from a joint account, one spouse should carry one card and the other spouse a different one. That way, if one of you has a purse or wallet stolen, the other still has a usable credit card for the rest of the trip.
For your return from a foreign trip, be sure that all your purchases are packed in your own luggage. Do not share with anyone else; you must go through customs with all your purchases
When things go well, praise the person who has provided good service. People don't hesitate to write letters or emails when service is bad; I think it is essential to send mail in praise of an attendant, Transportation Security Administration official or anyone who probably doesn't get much recognition for positive acts. It is easy to get an address from the person; they "bloom" right before your eyes when you tell them why.
Ruth Kramer Ziony
When traveling, a good way to choose a restaurant is to peruse the menu and see whether the place is busy. A busy restaurant anywhere in the world is probably somewhere at the right intersection of price, quality, selection, taste and cleanliness. The one nearby that isn't quite as busy might be just as good, but it's obvious that others don't think so. So why take a chance?
If you're taking minimal jewelry — that's what I do — get a new watch battery put in a week before a trip. I also toss a couple of clothes pins in my suitcase. They can be used for several things, such as closing the gap in hotel curtains or even as a clip for snack bags.
Use local libraries at your destination. They can be a great resource for restaurant suggestions from the staff and for the use of their bathrooms. As a lover of books, I also like to see what the local book groups are reading.
Save the cardboard core of your paper towels for scarves. You can wrap them around the tube and there will be no wrinkles.
Jan St. Amant
Take a handful of empty plastic food storage bags in various sizes. They take up virtually no room and come in handy in so many ways, from storing leftovers, to separating something that got wet or stained or broken, to preventing a sippy cup or baby bottle from leaking all over your bag, to sealing up a stinky diaper. The uses are endless.
How do you make travel less stressful? Send your trips to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your full name and city of residence. To see previous reader tips, go to latimes.com/readertips.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times