What Is Your Best Holiday Travel Tip?

Posted in Family Travel, Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips on April 12th, 2024 by – Be the first to comment

How do you manage all the details throughout the holiday and travel?  Share your best ideas.  Here are some helpful tips to get you through this busy month.

Managing the Gifts

Because you cannot bring wrapped presents on a plane (and they’d get wrinkled or torn anyway), I pack cloth bags to put gifts in, such as velvet bags from fabric stores or a fun purse I may find on sale. It’s easy to “wrap” the presents once I arrive, and the bag is a bonus gift. It also helps the environment a little by eliminating discarded wrapping paper.

Carrie Cihasky
St. Francis, Wisconsin

To travel light and save money when visiting my family in Germany for the holidays, I purchase gifts through the German branch of Amazon.com and have them sent to the home where we celebrate, thus saving international shipping charges.

Katharina Wilkins
Weston, Massachusetts

Traveling With Children

A few tips for traveling with young children on a long flight: (1) Check in early and request front-row seats. You’ll be less frazzled because Junior isn’t kicking the seat in front of him for 10 hours, and the nearby crew seat is needed only for takeoff and landing, so you can get some extra space. (2) Bring along little gifts: mini coloring books and crayons, to make your kids happy and relieve boredom; chewable candies to prevent earache and tears on landing; and a spare set of clothes for each child, plus a fresh T-shirt for yourself. (3) If you have a baby or a toddler, take your umbrella stroller with you on the plane. The crew will store it during the flight, and customs and luggage checks are much less stressful when your hands are free.

Emma Fashokun
Houston, Texas

When I traveled overseas with my 16-month-old daughter, I was inundated with equipment (car seat, stroller, diaper bag). To thank fellow travelers who helped me through the customs and immigration lines, I gave them gourmet chocolate bars―a great way to see smiles on your travels rather than scowls.
Holly Driggers
Austin, Texas

My husband and I make his-and-hers travel CDs with copies of our favorite holiday tunes. As we take turns playing them throughout the long road trip, it’s fun to see which songs the other has come up with.

Deanna Holt
Springfield, Illinois

For long drives, I bring holiday and thank-you cards, stamps, and my address book. During the drive, I write cards for those I am on my way to see. On the way home, I write thank-yous for gifts, dinners, or parties for the people we just left. That way, no one is forgotten and the details are fresh in my mind. Finally I stamp them, and they are in the car, ready to be taken to the post office.

Annesia Bixler
Dayton, Ohio

Getting Organized

Always take notes when making travel plans over the telephone: whom you spoke with, what was said (promises, rates, etc.). Should something go wrong, you will have the details in writing.

Lori Frank
Bethlehem, New Hampshire

I order fresh flowers or fruit to be delivered to the home I’m visiting on the day I arrive. It’s always a welcome hostess gift, and I don’t have to carry it.
Deb Fecher
Acton, Massachusetts

Packing Strategies

Pack your bags for your trip and then carry them around the block. It will inspire you to rethink what you packed and simplify.
Tracy Gillin
The Woodlands, Texas

When I travel, I keep my jewelry in a small fly-fishing box (with storage compartments) in my makeup bag. This keeps necklaces and earrings from getting tangled.
Shery Rogers
Grenada, Mississippi

I store a cosmetics bag with travel-size versions of everything I use every day in my suitcase. When I take a trip, I never have to worry about leaving the essentials behind.
Sandra Boemler
Atlanta, Georgia

When packing for a trip where I’ll be on the go a lot, I put together as many outfits as I need (including underwear and socks). I then place each outfit in a plastic grocery bag and put it in my suitcase. While on holiday, I take out a bag each morning and my outfit is ready to go―no fussing about what to wear or digging to the bottom of the bag to find something. At the end of the day, I turn the bag inside out and put the worn clothes in so I know which outfits are dirty.
Jessica Baldasaro
Stratford, Ontario

More Good Ideas

Be sure to get plenty of sleep during the holidays, especially in the days prior to traveling. It’s stressful packing up the family, battling the parking at the airport, and dealing with other travelers, and sleep is one way to keep your immune system healthy so you can thoroughly enjoy the holidays.
Heidi Heikkala
Everett, Washington

Traveling with toddlers is easier if you don’t have to rely on restaurants for three meals a day. When possible, book a room with a fridge, a microwave, and a coffeemaker, then stock the fridge with breakfast and lunch basics.
Jennifer Meacher
Almonte, Ontario

During hectic holiday travel, I make it a point to smile at my fellow travelers and help them with luggage and doors or dropped items. I also thank and extend a sincere “Happy Holidays” to the service workers who are away from their families and festivities while they help me get to where I want to be.
Susan van Allen
Orono, Maine

RealSimple readers share favorite tricks and strategies to make traveling easier.

Article by RealSimple

Healthy Travel Tips

Posted in Travel, Travel Tips on April 11th, 2024 by – Be the first to comment

Wherever you’re headed, you’ll want to feel healthy and strong. Here are some helpful tips for not being under the weather when you’re going above the clouds.

Before Your Trip

Here are just a few precautions you can take ahead of time:

  • Make sure your immunizations are current.
  • If possible, delay your trip if you’re not feeling well.
  • If you’re prone to air sickness, ask for a window seat over the wing.
  • If you have any health questions, or if you suffer from a chronic ailment, motion sickness, or fear of flying, ask for advice from your physician.
  • Stress is bad for you. Reduce stress by allowing plenty of time to check in and reach your departure gate.
  • Always carry your medication with you—never pack it in baggage you’re planning to check.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes for your flight.

During Your Trip

Here are a few things you can do to feel good while you’re flying:

  • Eat lightly during your flight.
  • Stay hydrated while you fly.
  • Leave room under the seat in front of you so you can stretch out your legs.
  • If conditions permit, try to stand up and walk around the cabin every once in a while.

At Your Destination

Here are a couple of things to remember once you arrive:

  • Never purchase local medications unless you’re familiar with them.
  • Wear sun block and sunglasses in the tropics and at high altitudes.
  • Drink a lot of water to minimize altitude sickness.

Helpful Web sites

These sites offer comprehensive information about healthy travel:

Data from Delta.com

Should I Check My Bags or Ship Them?

Posted in Packing Tips, Travel, Travel Tips on April 11th, 2024 by – Be the first to comment

You probably assume that checking your luggage is the cheaper option, even though you’re stuck paying the airline about $25 for the first bag (each way) and $35 for the second, not to mention additional fees for heavy or large items. And sometimes it is. But not always, says Susan Foster, author of Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler (Smart Travel Press, $20, amazon.com). So before you jet off, it’s worth doing the math. If your baggage is unusually heavy or bulky, shipping may be a better deal—provided that you don’t send your Samsonite overnight or by two-day mail, says Jami Counter, a senior director of Seatguru.com, a travel-resource site. Case in point: UPS can ship a 75-pound box from New York City to Orlando, Florida, for $57. Checking an item that heavy would probably cost between $100 and $175—one way. Get quotes from the two options that you have for shipping: a standard delivery or courier service, such as FedEx or DHL, or a specialty luggage handler—particularly useful for bulky items, like skis—such as Sports Express (sportsexpress.com).

You should also consider shipping your baggage if you want to hit the ground running at your destination (which means skipping the luggage carousel), or if you want to be assured that those bags will be waiting for you when you arrive, says Peter Greenberg, a travel editor for CBS News. “Shipping is an especially good idea if you have a connecting flight, which increases the risk that your bags will be misplaced,” says Greenberg. And delivery services offer far more bells and whistles than air carriers, says Counter, such as superior insurance, better tracking, and, best of all, picking up your luggage at your home. No schlepping!

Article by Vera Gibbons, Real Simple

Bottled Water – Do you know the actual source?

Posted in Daily Use, Recreation, Water Bottles on April 10th, 2024 by – Be the first to comment

Bottled Water Services comprise a billion dollar industry today which is growing annually. However, there are multiple researches and studies done, questioning the “purity claims” of bottled water. The big question has always been: Is bottled water cleaner and healthier than tap water?

We all know that most of the companies that supply distilled water use city water as their source, which is far from being healthy. Popular companies like “Dasani”, “Aquafina” and “Nestle” are also included in this list. (Reference: www.msnbc.com)

Why is distilled water unhealthy?

There are many reasons. Few are mentioned below

1. The oxidation of water is harmful for human body.

2. It results in improper pH balances and ionization.

3. The ‘plastic’ in which they are packed releases chemicals that are leached into water.

How is Planet Earth affected?

Environmental institutions are struggling to cut down the consumption of fossil fuels. This effort is directly affected by the use of ‘Bottled water’ as ‘Virgin Petroleum.’ Virgin petroleum is the source for manufacturing plastic bottles for bottled water. This means that the more bottles we use, the more virgin petroleum is consumed. This fact is true for other beverages and drinks that are packaged in plastic containers. “According to a study of the Oregon State University, it takes about 273 billion liters of water a year, worldwide, just to make empty bottles” – Valuable water is being wasted for manufacturing bottles which again is wasted after use! – It’s about time to think.

Some facts on Bottled water from the Internet:

“People tout bottled water as this pure substance that’s trickling from clear mountain springs when, in fact, that may not be the case,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, author of one of the bills.

The Food and Drug Administration needs to tighten its regulations on bottled water after a four-year study by the NRDC found that of 103 brands surveyed, one- third contained levels of contamination.

The NRDC found the contents of one bottle, labeled “Spring Water,” actually came from an industrial parking lot next to a hazardous waste site.

By the end of this year, bottled water will have moved past milk, coffee and beer to become the second most popular beverage behind soft drinks, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp.

Do you want to stop participating in destroying Planet Earth?

Well, you can. Go Green! There are multiple water filtering systems that can be used as an alternative. Tap water does have impurities and contaminants, but filtering them is a healthier option than choosing “Bottled Water”. Once you filter your tap water, avoid using plastic bottles. There are many stainless steel water bottles that are in the market with great quality. One of them is the  Klean Kanteen ClassicKlean Kanteen™, the 27oz stainless steel water bottle is made of 100% recyclable, 18/8, food-grade, stainless steel so it doesn’t need a special lining like aluminum bottles. It’s completely BPA-free and won’t leach toxins or funky flavors into your water, juice, smoothie or drink of choice. Plus weighing in at only 6 ounces, this durable, reusable, BPA free stainless steel water bottle is designed to last for years.  Be sure to check out the special savings through June 7th on all of our Klean Kanteen products, including the Wine Carafe.  All with free shipping!

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias (adias@bottlewise.com)

Wine Gadgets Galore

Posted in Daily Use, Packing Liquids, Recreation, Travel, Wine Gadgets on April 10th, 2024 by – 10 Comments

Check out all these cool wine gadgets reviewed and featured on NBC NY – Behind the Burner.  You can also win any of these items…especially the BottleWise Duo!

One key item left out on the BottleWise Duo is that you use it to transport wine when you fly!  No Breaks! No Leaks! No Worries!

Watch segment of must have wine products.

Shipping Wine? Think Again!

Posted in 3-1-1 Liquids Bans, Packing Liquids, Shipping Wine, Travel, TSA Regulations on April 9th, 2024 by – 16 Comments

Heard the rumors lately? I’ve been hearing through the grape vine (no pun intended!) various concerns about wine transportation in air travel. These are mostly due to the new regulations of various airlines and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).  These regulations can lead to hassles and delays for both leisure and business travelers.  Some organizations need specialty wine at conferences for whatever reason and need wine shipped to these conference locations. So these businesses have to create an entire plan just to ship wine! Below are a few points that may be helpful if you’re caught in this situation:

What is your state law?
There are three major categories that any wine lover should consider before shipping wine to or from their travel location.  Make sure you are aware of your state’s law before you book your next wine trip or plan to send a wine gift.

1. Reciprocal states: Reciprocity requires the legislative cooperation of other states to recognize a two-way shipment privilege.  This means that only wineries in another reciprocal state can ship into the reciprocal states: Iowa and New Mexico.

2. States wine can be shipped to on a limited basis: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

3. States where wine shipping from direct to consumer is prohibited: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah

So with all of these restrictions and hassles, would a consumer still want to ship wine?  The TSA regulations do not allow travelers to carry wine or liquor on board these days, so you need to be able to safely pack these liquids in your checked luggage.  Socks and dirty clothes may have done the job in the past, but TSA can still confiscate your valuable liquids if they are not properly packed.  To ease the burden of TSA inspecting your luggage or worrying about shipping wine to your home state, what you need is a wine travel case! BottleWise Duo – The Ultimate Multipurpose Wine Travel System is your perfect solution to your wine travel needs by eliminating wine shipping hassles. It’s much more economical since it is a onetime investment for long-term enjoyment. Benefits of having a wine travel case like BottleWise Duo is that you have your favorite wine with you whenever you travel, and you don’t have to worry about state regulations for wine shipping. Free the grapes by giving your vino the freedom to travel safely and comfortably in the BottleWise Duo wine travel case!

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias  – adias@bottlewise.com.

Picture Perfect Picnic

Posted in Picnic Accessories on April 9th, 2024 by – Be the first to comment

It’s a gorgeous day outside, what better way to celebrate that than to go on a picnic to the park in the neighboring town? Theoretically this seems like a great idea, but in reality, such an event requires planning. What if the food gets spoiled? Will it stay cold? Will it stay hot? Will my liquids spill? And if this picnic is supposed to be anywhere near romantic, will the wine that you bought stay fresh, cold and intact? The list of questions goes on and on…

So let’s say you are on a date with your special someone. You want the picnic to go perfect, right? The food should be delectable and the ambiance should create that “Kodak moment.” The scene would be ruined if you shrieked, “Oh no! The wine bottle broke!”

Freeze the frame. What would your picnic buddies’ reactions be? Most likely, “Oh, I don’t feel like wine anyway…” or “It’s alright, we can do without.” We know that they’re thinking inside, “Why didn’t you watch where you put the wine bottle?! We could have had a great picnic, but no. You had to pull another one of your stunts. I was really looking forward to it too!” Not the greatest reaction…

However, there is a silver lining in even this situation. BottleWise is here to save the day! Our Picnic With Ascot line features the Sunset Wine Carrier, Bahamas Picnic Basket Cooler and more. These are perfect for storing wine and other liquids. Both have several compartments to store wines and other supplies. In addition to that, they’re insulated as well. The Sunset Wine Carrier even has a place to store wine glasses. How convenient for your picnic date!

Are these not enough for you? Then take a look at the BottleWise Picnic Plus line. This takes storing wine to the next level. With 12 more product choices, you won’t have a hard time finding your perfect match at all. Bringing only one or two wine bottles? The Veranda Wine Tote is a perfect fit. Elegantly hand woven and lined with thermal foil, you can be sure to picnic in style. Is two too small of a number for you? Don’t worry, BottleWise offers the Quad Bottle Bag.  This way you’ll be able to give that special someone a choice of wine on his or her special picnic day. It’ll be one that they’ll remember forever.

So the romantic picnic idea went over well. And you know what the plus is? Now that you have the BottleWise supplies to help you out, you can go on as many of these amazing outings as you’d like. Your friends and family won’t be able to stop thanking you for your planning and preparedness.

Be sure to shop the BottleWise catalog for spectacular savings and free shipping on all our picnic accessories through Sept. 13th.  Have a great Labor Day picnic with BottleWise.

Cheers!

Happy Labor Day!

Electronic gadgets – To pack or not to pack?

Posted in Electronics, Travel on April 8th, 2024 by – 17 Comments

While electronic gadgets were created for convenience and entertainment, sometimes they can be frustrating at places like airport security checkpoints. This is an alert for our tech junkies with gadgets like laptops, laptop accessories, MP3 players, iPod, pager, cell phone, Kindle, video game consoles, video cameras, DVD players and much, much more.

I can completely understand the fun in listening to your favorite music, watching a movie filled with humor, or playing a thrilling game that makes time fly while on a plane. However, the TSA says Pay now, Play later. If we follow the TSA rules, we can have a fun enjoyable flight. All we need to do as travelers is pay attention to their rules especially for the electronic gadgets and it will make our security process smooth and neat.

Few quick gadget security tips:
Simplify…have only the electronic gadgets, which are crucial on your journey. This can quickly add up though between your laptop, phone, iPod, GPS and Kindle.  Besides the laptop and dvd player, many of your electronics can stay stored in your carry-on while passing through security – even your Kindle!  TSA prefers that you put most of your electronics in your carry-on as it makes it easier to screen the devices.  I once was pulled aside in security for an iPod docking station (last minute purchase).  I didn’t even think it was something that would be a concern…but it was!

Most corporate travelers have their laptops in their carry-on luggage. The best thing to do is to have laptops in checkpoint friendly bags. For more information on the styles, visit http://tinyurl.com/358hojk .  The seasoned business traveler has this process down to a science.  It really is important though for the average traveler to keep all the electronics organized.  Mini, convenient packing cubes are perfect for packing cords and small electronics.

Don’t be surprised if you are requested to switch off all your battery-powered devices. While packing your carry-ons, make sure the electronic gadgets are organized to make the screening process easier. If not, your bags have to undergo additional screening process, which would be more time consuming.

Every airport within U.S and international airports have similar regulations for electronic gadgets. If you are planning for a domestic or international travel, it is highly recommended to check the electronic regulations for the country.  You wouldn’t want your favorite gadget to end up in the hands of TSA in another country…never to be seen again!

What is the ONE gadget you can’t stand to travel without?  Have you ever had electronics confiscated?  Please share your gadget drama.

BottleWise is committed to manufacturing high-quality bags that make life easier for the discriminating culinary traveler and is founded by Amy Dias (adias@bottlewise.com).