Monthly Tips June 2011

To access the past hints please click on the link, Archives Tips

Quality Living Styles has a new travel segment, Shared Travel Tales and More. This segment describes a few of my vacation trips. It is meant to be a place where readers share their travel experiences, suggest places to visit, share travel tips and other useful information.

For this reason, the tips for this month will feature tips for travelers. As usual I look forward to receiving your tips.

Before Leaving Home

There are several things to take care of when making travel plans, apart from booking your flights and accommodation. These include:

Neighbors, Mail & Newspapers and Credit Cards

If you are going away for more than 3 days, inform your neighbor/s and ask them to pick up any fliers that may be left around your front entrance. It may be a good idea to leave a contact number where you can be easily reached, in the event of any mishaps. An email address, left with a neighbor and a next of kin contact details is also useful, if going away for a prolonged time.

Cancel newspaper delivery in good time so that you do not have stacks of newspapers at your front door. Also ask the postal service to hold your mail. You can arrange for it to be delivered, or you may fetch it from the post office upon your return.

If you are visiting another state or another country, inform the credit card company that you will be using your card in another location, for the dates that you will be on vacation. About 3 years ago, one of our cards was declined. We had not informed the credit card company that we would be using the card in another country. We were glad to see, however, that the company took precautions against identity theft.

Thus far the only credit card company that I know of, that does not charge fees on foreign transactions, is, Capital One. Therefore we use only this card when traveling overseas.

It is a good idea to make copies of all your credit cards, & passports. Keep these safely packed away.

Bills, Shopping, & Animals

Arrange to pay your bills that may be due while you are away. Paying your bills online is a good way to ensure payment arrangements ahead of time, with a date that payment should be made.

Limit the amount of fresh produce, fruit and perishables, like milk, that you purchase close to the day you will be leaving home. If you do have extras, consider what you can freeze and give the rest to friends, family or neighbors

Empty all your trash cans before you leave home, and don't leave dirty dishes in the sink

Make suitable arrangements for the care of your pet/s


If you are taking school kids during term time, make suitable arrangements with the child's teacher and learn what the schools policy is on on taking kids away from school. Make sure all this is in place before you book tickets.

Find out if you get discounts for being an AAA member, senior citizen or other kinks of discounts and coupons.

More Precautions

Social Networks

It is suggested that you do not make announcements on Facebook, Twitter or other social network sites, that you will be going away on vacation. It is almost an invitation to a would be burglar. Your home could be a prime target for burglars.

Set up a timer so that your lights are turned on, and your home is not in total darkness. We had also used a timer to turn on music and the television, when we were away for about a month

If you do your own mowing, make arrangements for taking care of your garden while you are away. An unkempt lawn may also be a sign that nobody is home, besides neighbors complaining about your yard


Clothing & Shoes

I would love input from others on packing. I usually tend to pack too much. One should consider the climate and the type of clothing that you will need. Try to accessorize so that you can use an outfit a few times, but give it a fresh appeal with jewelry, scarves or sweaters

Make sure you carry reading material, especially if you have a long journey. If you own a Kindle, or similar electronic reader, then you have more than enough to read. Carry light snacks or sandwiches if you do not want to buy lunch.

If you have children, you will need to carry things that occupy them during driving or flying time. What are your suggestions?

Create a cheat sheet

If you have a cheat sheet, please do share. This will help in streamlining packing. What helps me is to decide on categories, like electronics, clothing, cosmetics, medicines, gifts, personal items, and so forth. The same sheet can be used on the return trip. So many of us, leave things behind.

I once saw a tip that suggested, if you have left behind your phone charger, go to the front desk of the hotel. They usually have drawers full, as guests leave these behind all the time. I experienced this myself.

A vacation is a time to take a break, rejuvenate and feel better. If we take steps to prepare for vacations, that goal will be more easy to accomplish. Chaos, temper-tantrums and irritations can be compounded when one does not prepare adequately. I have experienced the latter as well!!

If you have any interesting tips to share please email them to
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You may also reach me via my contact information at Contact

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