20 Tips

1. Pack a glue stick for journaling. Rather than bringing home an envelope full of ticket stubs and mementos, glue them into your journal while you're traveling. You'll have a better chance of remembering what the ticket was for if you label it right away. Jon Chun, San Jose, Calif.

2. Therm-a-Rest's Compressible Pillow is perfect for the plane. It comes in three sizes, packs smaller and expands bigger than any other pillow, and is machine-washable. Whenever I pull mine out of my carry-on, I get jealous stares: People always ask where they can get one. REI sells the pillows for $15 to $25, depending on the size (rei.com). Sheila Lauber, Anderson Island, Wash.

3. Wash fruit, even if you plan to peel it. My dad and I bought oranges from a street vendor in China and didn't bother to wash them, figuring we were going to peel them. We felt sick after our snack: Our hands must have gotten contaminated from handling the oranges. Now I know it's better to be safe than sorry. Esther Lee, Concord, Calif.

4. You can do more than mail postcards in British post offices. Most locations will also allow you to change foreign currency without any commission charges. This fact is particularly useful for changing euros and U.S. dollars to pounds sterling and back again. To find a branch near your hotel, log on to postoffice.co.uk. Angela Skelcher, London, England

5. Tip in advance. If you plan to leave a gratuity for hotel staff, follow our friend Phil's good advice: Give it at the beginning of your vacation, not at the end. He introduces himself to the housekeepers early in the trip and hands them a nice tip. Guess who always has plenty of coffee and fresh towels? Lou Stover, Cardiff, Calif.

You can find more tips in the March 2006 issue of Budget Travel magazine.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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