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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Travel smarter with these travel tips from our readers

We've compiled the best recommendations from our well-traveled readers. Streamline your next adventure with these foolproof packing tips and innovative travel hacks.


Clay & Shannon G:

  • Choose the right season. Travel during off-peak times for fewer crowds, better prices and favorable weather, or be prepared for the conditions you will encounter.
  • Understand the cultural landscape and history of your destinations. Avoid overwhelming yourself by visiting too many similar attractions and focus on enjoying a few select places deeply rather than superficially.
  • Start your trips in the countryside to immerse yourself in local customs and pricing, saving cities for later to fully appreciate their complexities without the rush.
  • Be flexible: Keep plans adaptable to make the most of local recommendations and changing conditions. Book flights in advance but leave other arrangements flexible.
  • Ensure your credit cards have no foreign transaction fees. 

Nancy K: Using a clothespin to close the gap in hotel curtains makes a good night’s sleep possible. Earplugs are also a must!

MtnReno: Bring an empty water bottle to fill at the water station before boarding. Pack some sandwiches, as airport food can be expensive (many don’t know you can bring non-liquid food items through security). If you’re retired military, visit the USO lounges for free food and places to rest.

Carole C: The three things I always have: a small, powerful flashlight (I’ve experienced power outages even in upscale resorts); a round, rubber universal sink stopper (very few sink plugs keep the water in); a 3-ounce bottle of Shaklee Basic H, a versatile biodegradable cleaner perfect for hand-washing clothes, dishes, and more.

Lucie K: Bring universal power adapters—not every country uses the same plugs we do.

Heidi P: Always pack an extra day or two of essential medications. You never know when you might get unexpectedly delayed or stranded.

Rik B: If you check a bag, keep medication and hygiene supplies in your carry-on (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant) and extra underwear. 


Carole J: Put your necklaces into straws for traveling, that way they don’t get tangled up with each other! Works great!

Glenda H: I use the "shrink" bags so that I don't have to check a bag. Put the clothes in it and roll it up to remove air. I can fit a week's worth of clothes in a carry-on bag.

Shirley S: Buy travel insurance, take photos of everything (passport, boarding pass, luggage receipts) and leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home. If traveling with husband or significant other, take pictures of their boarding pass, passport and luggage receipt as well. 

Goofy Nanna: I roll my clothing to prevent wrinkles and save space. Wet items go in ziplock bags and I wrap my curling iron in cloth to prevent breakage. Shoes are cleaned, sealed in see-through bags, and placed flat along the suitcase sides in the crevices.

Jan W: Travel light! No more than one rolling suitcase and a daypack or tote. Hauling a mound of luggage will wear you out quickly, and  you’ll find you wear only half the clothes and shoes you brought with  you. I traveled through Europe for a month with two pairs of shoes, two pairs of pants, three shirts and undies. Shampoo will wash not only hair and body but also drip-dry clothes. Certain phone plans let you call home from anywhere. You’ll have more energy for fun and less worry about theft if you keep traveling simple.

Cathy T: When packing jeans, slacks, or pants, lay them flat in the suitcase with the legs hanging over the edge. Place folded shirts, blouses, and accessories on top. Then fold the pant legs over these items. Layer each day’s outfits this way to avoid digging through your suitcase.

Glenda H: When I pack, I use shrink bags to avoid checking a bag. I put my clothes in the bags and roll them up to remove the air.

Rik B: Stick socks inside shoes to save space.

Bonnie E: I start making a list of what I need/want to take as soon as I know I'm taking a trip. I keep it out so I can add to it.

Clay & Shannon G: Opt for a backpack and a versatile handbag that fits under airplane seats. Wear bulky items like jackets during boarding to save space. Dress in layers with synthetic fabrics for easy care. Choose footwear suitable for various activities and bring Crocs for casual use. Pack an e-reader, a small first aid kit and sewing supplies. Keep clothing minimal to ease mobility and laundry needs. Use a neck-strapped pouch inside cargo pants with secured pockets to protect against theft.

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