DEAR HELOISE: Whenever I plan trips abroad, I research all the information I can about that destination. Such topics as attractions, history and currency-exchange conversion are just a few.
Anything I want to know about those destinations is on the Internet. Knowing as much as I can about the places I’m visiting makes my time there more enjoyable. I feel like the more I know, the less likely I’ll be taken advantage of.
Our parents had brochures and travel agents to tell them what they needed to know, but now the Internet can give us that information. Anyone who doesn’t have Internet access at home can go to the library and do the research there.
Henry in Oregon
Never miss a local story.
DEAR HENRY: I agree with you that it’s more enjoyable to learn some history and customs of a place before you visit it. I like to read biographies of several historical notables before my visit: Henry VIII; Queen Elizabeth I; Mary, Queen of Scots; and Queen Victoria for a trip to Great Britain. A lot of history and intrigue, too!
A day or a few days in a city is not enough to get the feel and taste of a locale. However, not everything is on the Internet. Some (a lot of) information may be outdated, it may not be accurate, and there is a lot of misinformation out there, too.
Don’t take the first page or post when you use a search engine as the full truth.
Do double- and triple-check facts. Distance from airport to hotel? Time from same? A lot depends on the time of day – rush-hour traffic will cost more in a taxi, as you are paying for time, too.
Don’t assume the photos of a hotel/motel/pension/rental is what you are going to actually get. Safe travels.
DEAR HELOISE: A reader wrote about taking a picture of her grocery list with her cellphone.
Many cellphones have a “Reminder App” that would help. This application allows you to create a list, along with a “bullet” by each item on the list. As you buy each item, simply touch the bullet, and it’s removed from your list.
After finding this application, I have never had to re-create new grocery lists. I simply go to the completed list and pull what I need.
Brandi, via email
DEAR READERS: Here’s a hint for those who save, send and/or receive newspaper clippings or articles:
Don’t just cut out the piece. Later on, if someone looks at it, there is no indication when, where from and so on. Include the name of publication and the date published.
DEAR HELOISE: I wear headphones when I work out at the gym, and I keep a couple of metal tins in my gym bag to store things: one is for headphones, and another stores all the little stuff I carry with me. They are cheap and come in different sizes and colors.
Sherri P., via email
Send a money-saving hint to Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.