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General holiday and travel hints and tips including preventing jet lag.

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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.

laws differ from country to country so they should be checked before

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.

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

A sarong can prove very
useful as it can be used as a skirt, head scarf or head rest whilst
Empty film
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
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
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

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


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

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
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

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




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