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6 Expert Travel Tips

Photo by Antonis Achilleos

Q: What's the secret to not getting sick on a germ-filled plane?
A: Get plenty of rest, eat vitamin-rich foods, and wash your hands. Also bring a heavy wrap to stay warm. That means not staying up all night to pack and grabbing some fast food as you rush to the terminal. And cut down on the cocktails!

Q: Are there shortcuts for not getting jet-lagged?
A: Sleep on the plane and get some exercise, no matter how tired you are, right when you arrive. The next day, have a big breakfast, work out again in the afternoon, have a drink or two with dinner, and try to stay up until your normal bedtime. Voila -- the next morning you’ll be ready to climb Mt. Fuji, or, as the case may be, nap on the beach.

Q: Any practical strategies for not over-packing?
A: Try to pack so that each piece of clothing can be paired with everything else, every top with every bottom. Talk to someone who’s been where you’re going so you know what to leave out. For example, if you’re going to the tropics, don’t take jeans. Once they get wet, they won’t dry, and then you’re stuck with a mess and a heavier bag. 

Q: What’s the most eco-friendly means of travel?
A: Direct flights are better because connections add more takeoffs and landings, and that’s when planes burn the most fuel. And red-eye flights are worse for the environment. Once you arrive, use public transportation or walk and don’t use a lot of disposable crap.

Q: How can you get a hotel room upgrade?
A: Be a repeat guest -- loyalty has it's rewards. Or, if you book through an agent who has a relationship with the property, they may score you an upgrade. Sometimes hotels that aren’t full may also dole out a nicer room. Of course, there’s always hiding the spouse so you can flirt with the hotel clerk.

Q: When taking a road trip, how many miles should you plan to cover in one day?
A: After six to eight hours of driving, most people start to feel tired, and going longer than that gets risky. Take turns at the wheel, especially on longer trips. To find hotels along your route, check MapQuest, Yahoo, or Google maps. AAA maps are free to members, and they list hotels (including a rating and price info) and gas stations.

Nestperts Erik Torkells of Budget Travel; Michael Pina of AAA

>> Get More Travel Tips for Two

-- Cemile Kavountzis

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