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Know More About Safety while on Airline Tips

safety-while-on-airline-tips# Carry your passport even on domestic flights. During a crisis, U.S. flights may be diverted to Mexican or Canadian airports and having a passport will facilitate the border crossing.

# Dress for comfort and safety-best protection from heat and fire is natural fiber (cotton, denim, leather, wool) so avoid synthetics and bear in mind that the safety slide is pretty rough material and the end has strips of Velcro, so a skirt and panties will not survive the trip down-women should use natural fiber slacks.

# In crowded terminals or flights, try to find a buddy in line or in the seat next to you if traveling alone, so that you are watching his or her bags at the counter or on board and he or she is watching yours.

# When putting your carry on baggage through the x-ray belt, put your laptop last so that it comes out behind your other luggage, and with luck, about the same time you are cleared to pick it up-or, better yet, have a buddy that has cleared security keep an eye on your laptop until you have cleared security.

#Put your luggage in the overhead bin across the aisle from you so that you can see that no one is opening your luggage during the flight. Overhead storage bins may not be able to hold very heavy objects during turbulence, so if you or another passenger is having trouble lifting an article into the bin, have it stored elsewhere.

# The safest seating is on the exit aisle in the back of the airplane-usually farthest from impact and farthest from explosive fuel.

# The time for greatest concern is during take-off and landing so nonstop flights reduce exposure to these most accident-prone phases of flight. You should have an evacuation plan in mind-memorize how many rows to each exit point. Choose larger aircraft whenever possible, as they provide a better opportunity for passenger survival. Planes with more than 30 passenger seats are designed and certified under the strictest regulations.

# Always carry a penlight flashlight for use in an emergency when no other source of light may be available. Follow directions from the flight crew and exit the aircraft as quickly as possible.

# If you are traveling over water, make sure you know how to locate and don your life jacket or floatation device. The primary reason flight attendants are on an aircraft is for safety, so if one of them asks you to do something like fasten your seat belts, do it-ask questions later.

# Don’t drink too much alcohol! The atmosphere in an airliner cabin is pressurized to about the same altitude as Denver, so any alcohol you consume will affect you more than at sea level. Moderation is a good policy at any altitude. Drinking non-caffeinated products is a good practice as well.

Booking Inexpensive Flight Tips

booking-inexpensive-flight# Don’t avoid flying on the actual holiday.

Changing your departure or return date by one day can save major cash. The biggest savings typically come with flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. The exception is if you’re traveling over a three-day weekend around Labor Day or Memorial Day. Then, everyone is looking to fly on the actual holiday, so that’s the perfect time to try and extend your vacation by a day.

# Do search for tickets one at a time

Even if you’re flying with a group. Airlines often sell multiple fare classes at different prices, with a couple seats in each class. If there’s only one seat left in the lowest fare class and you search for four seats, most automated systems will show you the highest fare class for all four tickets. Try searching one at a time, just in case there are limited seats on sale. This way, you’ll rest assured that at least some, if not all, of your tickets were purchased for the lowest possible price. If you lock in the cheap fare and have the option to select seats, pick one next to an empty seat; then, immediately book the second ticket and select the seat next to the first one. It takes a little time and effort, but can really pay off.

# Do search for two one-way fares, even on different airlines.

While some airlines charge extra for a one-way fare, it can pay to compare. Just make sure to triple-check the dates, times and cities so you don’t book two tickets from, say, Seattle to LA. Not that this has happened to any of our Deal Experts.

# Do try to fly at least one leg of your trip on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.

Because planes are least full on these days of the week, these flights usually have the lowest fares. Side perk: Getting through airports is usually a breeze.

# Do jump on a hot fare when you see it.

Airlines are required by the DOT to offer 24-hour free hold or cancellations as long as you are booking your ticket 7 days prior to your travel date. Typically, you’ll have to pay first, then you get the full refund. The only exception is American Airlines, which is transitioning to this policy, but still offers a free hold for 24 hours. The other big exception to note is that you have to book with the airline directly. This rule doesn’t apply if you book your ticket with an OTA (online travel agency), like Expedia or Orbitz.

# Don’t rule out alternate airports.

For example, JetBlue mainly flies to Long Beach instead of LAX — so if you can fly into LGB, you might save as much as $50-$100 on the flight. Consider the same for Chicago, New York, the Bay Area, Dallas, Houston, South Florida and Washington, D.C. Fly.com automatically notifies you of a lower fare from a nearby airport — just make sure the difference in parking or transportation to the airport is big enough to make the trip to an alternative airport worth it.

# Do look to book a package.

If you need a hotel in addition to your flight, it may be cheaper to buy a flight-and-hotel package than to book each separately. Many hotels take this opportunity to hide a very aggressive discount within a packaged price versus discounting the hotel alone. This is a great opportunity to find deals at big brands that are hesitant to have a low price next to their name.
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# Do check Twitter, Facebook & Travelzoo Newsflash emails.

Follow your favorite airlines on social media, and — shameless plug — follow Travelzoo and Fly.com, in addition to signing up for Travelzoo Newsflash emails. This way, you’ll have access to deals that airlines can’t advertise directly. Little known fact: Airlines only have a certain number of seats they can advertise at a sales price, so when we see something hot, we’ll make sure you know about it ASAP.

# Do know when to be loyal and when to compare.

Keep a loyal rewards membership with favorite airlines to rack up points when it makes sense. Sometimes, it’s worth it to book a slightly more expensive ticket when it earns you points. Many airline credit cards offer generous sign-up bonuses that are enough for a free flight, not to mention perks like priority boarding, free checked luggage and more. But, to make an informed decision, it pays to compare all available fares before booking.

# Don’t be afraid of the layover.

Even though a nonstop is ideal, you can sometimes save $100-$200 by stretching your legs during a plane change. Some airlines, like Icelandair, also offer free stopovers — meaning you can extend your stay in the layover city and make it part of your vacation.

# Don’t shy away from off-peak or shoulder-season travel.

During months when destinations see a lower volume of visitors, they respond by lowering flight and hotel prices. For example: Don’t rule out Europe in winter. Flights are a bargain (think $400+ less than what you’d pay in peak months). In addition to fewer crowds, you can check out picturesque Christmas markets and escape feeling guilty for spending all your time indoors wandering museums, palaces and cathedrals. And is there anything more romantic than wandering centuries-old cobblestone streets while snowflakes fall dreamily from above?

Flying Etiquette You Must Know

flying-etiquetteBoard (and pack) courteously

As airlines squeeze in more and more people per flight, passengers fight for the same bin space. To maximize room in the overhead compartment for other travelers, place your bag vertically rather than horizontally on the shelf. And only put one carry-on bag in the bin; the other one can fit in the open space under the seat in front of you.

Help your fellow traveler

While you’re loading your carry-on bags into the overhead compartment, offer to hoist a fellow passenger’s up there, too. Not only is it kind, but it could make the boarding process more efficient for everyone else.
Proper flying etiquette begins before you even board the plane. Have your boarding pass and ID ready as you approach airport security. If you’re waiting in line, start thinking ahead; you can speed up the process by removing your watch and belt, pulling out your laptop, and separating your liquids before you reach the conveyor. This will get you—and everyone behind you—to the gates faster.

Be willing to swap seats with a family

Airlines sometimes block out certain seats or charge extra fees for adjacent ones, making it tough for family members to buy seats together. If you’re traveling solo, offer to switch seats so that a family can sit beside each other; it’s a kind gesture that they won’t forget. But be sure to delay swapping until the plane has reached cruising altitude, as switching seats while everyone is boarding can be an inconvenience for those standing in the aisles.

Keep your personal items, well, personal

It’s as important to be mindful of your personal belongings as it is your personal space. Avoid hitting other passengers with your bag as you walk down the aisles by keeping it in front of you and close to your body. And once you sit down, you should stay there, so make sure you have everything you will need for the flight once you settle in. Reaching over other passengers to access the overhead storage during the flight is uncomfortable for everyone.

Converse with caution

Although some people pass the time on an airplane through conversations with strangers, others would prefer to keep to themselves. Be mindful of the cues your fellow passenger is giving; if they avoid eye contact, leave them be. If you do strike up a conversation, speak in soft tones, as loud and disruptive conversation can disturb the rest of the cabin.

Avoid bringing smelly food

Cramped quarters are no place to break out a pungent tuna sandwich. If you bring food to snack on during the trip, opt for less intrusive goodies like nuts or pretzels. Your fellow passengers will thank you.

Snooze at your own risk

Sleep with consideration for your surroundings and other travelers. Only lean back in your seat if you absolutely must; reclining your seat may be more comfortable for you, but it makes a tight space even tighter for the person behind you. A travel pillow is a great tool because it helps you sleep without invading other people’s space. And beware of snoring; you could risk getting an unpleasant awakening from a flight attendant or fellow traveler.

Disembark calmly

“Touching down has the same effect as the old school bell,” according to Expedia Airlines; “chaos ensues as everyone tries to be the first through the door.” Be courteous of other people’s belongings in the overhead compartment as you reach for your own, and offer to help them get their bags if you can. And as you leave, take the time to thank your flight attendants—they will appreciate your kindness.

Respect your (limited) space
In the cramped quarters of an airplane, maintaining your personal space will go a long way to make a smoother ride for everyone. Let the middle-seat passenger use the armrests (it’s the least you can do), and keep your legs within the width of the chair frame.

Visit Bologna, Ferrara, Modena With Bellarome

One of the most fascinating and unique areas in Italy is the Northeast region of Emilia-Romagna, and some of the most popular cities in that area are Bologna, Ferrara, and Modena. Each of these beloved centers is renowned for arts, architecture, and their rich history and culture. Bellarome’s expertly organized vacation packages allow travelers to visit these beautiful cities with ease and style. Lose yourself in the splendor and passion of each of these must-see destinations.

Bologna

Bologna is a vibrant city, known for its architecture. The terracotta buildings and homes create a picturesque and charming landscape. Bologna is home to the oldest university in Europe – over 1000 years old, and the legacy buildings and museums are spread throughout the city for all to appreciate.

To enjoy the breathtaking architecture, there are many impressive buildings, porticoes, and sights to see in Bologna. In addition to the enchanting structures, some of the premier destinations in Bologna are:

  • The Basilica di San Petronio, the city’s main cathedral, the which features ornate carvings, reliefs, paintings, and frescoes on the doors and ceilings.
  • The Towers of Bologna which were constructed in the 12th century as part of a larger group of towers. The two leaning towers that remain today are a sight that cannot be missed. Climb the 498 steps of the taller tower to the observation deck for a magnificent view of the city.
  • The Piazza Maggiore, the city’s main piazza, adjacent to the Piazza Nettuno, home of the famous Fountain of Neptune.
  • The Pinacoteca Nazionale, one of the region’s best art galleries, housing pieces by both local artists as well as Renaissance masters like Rafael, Titian, and Giotto.

Bologna is also home to the Ferrari Museum and the Bologna Museum of Modern Art, which showcases some of the city’s present-day offerings. In addition to the sights of the city, the food in Bologna is exceptional. One of the city’s primary industries is pasta and sausage manufacturing, so tasting tours of Bologna are an essential part of any time spent there. Bologna vacation rentals will give you an authentic experience of what the city has to offer.

Ferrara

The city has been honored as a World Heritage site, and all of the marvelous Ferrara attractions make it easy to see why it is so revered. This walled city is predominantly characterized by the ruling of the Este family, which spanned more than 300 years. They were art patrons who created a network of places around the city, known as the “delights of the Estes.” Take a walk along the charming cobblestone streets to explore the beauty of the palaces. The main castle, the Castello Estense, is a spectacular historical structure, complete with a moat and dungeons.

Ferrara is paradise for art and museum lovers. Enjoy trips to the Palazzo Massari and the Pinacoteca Nazionale to see masterpieces by Bellini and Carpaccio, as well as by local Ferrara artists. The Museo Archeologico showcases find from the Po Delta, the river area around the city.

No visit to Ferrara is complete without taking in the vibrant streets near the Cattedrale di San Giorgio which bustle with the energy of shops and cafes. Stay at one of the beautiful Ferrara hotels near this lively area to experience the pulse of the city every day of your visit.

Modena

Modena is a city that is rich in Medieval history and is dripping in both historical and modern day sights. The 12th century Duomo de Modena is the main cathedral in the city and shows off the best of Romanesque art with works by Lanfranco and Wiligelmus. The Duomo features a grand tower and the stunning Piazza Grande.

In addition to the beauty of the art and architecture of Modena are some other industries for travelers to explore. Enzo Ferrari founded the Ferrari car in Modena and several other high-end Italian car makers, such as Lamborghini and Bugatti, are headquartered in Modena or the nearby areas. Each spring the city celebrates this important part of Modena’s heritage with a festival devoted to luxury cars.

Modena is home to some of the most delectable dishes in the country. Modena is famous for its balsamic vinegar which any traveler to the area simply must experience for themselves. Indulge in some of the finest restaurants in Italy, then stroll the quaint cobblestone streets and take in the lively energy of the city at night.

Bellarome

The best way to explore these remarkable cities in Northern Italy is by arranging a vacation package with Bellarome. The experts in Italian tourism and luxury holidays, Bellarome can easily make all of the arrangements you need to enjoy the best that Bologna, Ferrara, and Modena have to offer.

Travelers can relax and experience all of the beauty of the region when all of their considerations are taken care of by the professionals at Bellarome. Whether you need flights to Bologna or Modena hotels, Bellarome’s complete vacation packages can be customized to your personal needs and tastes. Remove the stress that can come along with planning a trip and instead savor the moments that matter by leaving the planning and details to Bellarome. Booking one of their Italian travel packages is the easiest and most enjoyable way to experience Italy and visit Modena, Bologna, and Ferrara.

Jet Lag?, Here Its Tips

Don’t let jet lag spoil that much needed holiday trip to paradise or stop you from closing that career enhancing deal you’ve been working on for months. Arriving full of excitement and anticipation is great, but finding that you can’t sleep at night, you’re tired during the day and you’ve got an upset stomach and a headache can do a lot more than just take the edge off your trip. If you’re seeking ways of preventing jet lag, or looking for the perfect jet lag remedy, then here are seven tips to start you on your search.

# Dress comfortably for your flight.

Choose comfortable and loose fitting clothes to travel in and tuck a pair of slippers into your carry-on luggage to wear on board the aircraft. It’s nice to be able to get dressed up and go out once you reach your destination but nobody is going to expect you to get dressed up to the nines while you’re traveling.

# Clear the decks before your departure.

A much overlooked aspect of jet lag is the part played by stress. Running around trying to do a 1001 last minute jobs in the week before you fly. Worrying about whether the house will be safe. Sitting up until midnight the night before your flight paying the household bills. Sound familiar? Plan well in advance and make sure that you’ve taken care of everything at least three or four days before you go. Then take it easy, get lots of rest and set aside time specifically for relaxation.

# Reduce you caffeine intake.

Coffee, as well as other caffeinated drinks, both speeds up and slows down your internal body clock, depending upon the time of day that you consume it. When you’re settled into a regular pattern of sleep this doesn’t necessarily present too much of a problem, as the effects can tend to ‘balance out’. However, when your body clock finds itself at odds with local time the effects of caffeine can be quite marked and add considerably to the problems of jet lag.

# Start adjusting your bedtime before you go.

In the two weeks before your trip start to gradually adjust your bedtime. If you’re flying east, bring your bedtime forward by ten or fifteen minutes each night so that, by the time you leave, you’re going to bed about two hours earlier than normal. This will ‘narrow the gap’ between the time at which your body wants to go to bed and the time that the clock says you should go to bed at your destination. Similarly, if you’re traveling west, put your bedtime back by ten or fifteen minutes each day.

# Avoid Pills.

With the exception of any prescribed medication that you normally take, you should avoid sleeping pills, so-called ‘jet lag’ pills and over the counter medication for jet lag. Not only do these have little or no beneficial effect, many of them can actually add to your problems. In particular, avoid the common temptation to take sleeping pills during your flight. They may well help you to get to sleep on the aircraft, but they will add to your problems when you arrive at your destination.

# Get out in the sunshine.

Once you reach your destination get out into daylight as much as possible during the first few days of your trip. Daylight sends powerful signals to your body clock and you’ll find that it adjusts far more quickly if it is exposed to the normal cycle of daylight and darkness at your destination. So take advantage of this and don’t hide yourself away indoors.

 

Getting Good Sleep While Travelling Tips

# Pack your workout shoes. Exercising for as little as 20 to 30 minutes during the day can make it easier for you to fall asleep at bedtime. Just try to exercise at least five hours before lights out, since working out too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep.

# Bring along the comforts of home. Your favorite pillow is one of the best sleep aids you can have, along with the blanket you used on your way to your destination.

# Stick to your regular sleep schedule. When possible, go to sleep and wake up at the same times you would at home.

# Set the scene. Before hitting the sack, look around the room and make needed adjustments, such as closing the curtains, turning off a dripping faucet, and changing the thermostat, to make your sleep environment as comfortable as possible.

# Turn off your phone. Before you turn out the lights, turn off your cell and ask the front desk to route any calls to voicemail so that your sleep will not be disturbed.

# Use white noise. If the unfamiliar sounds of a hotel keep you awake, consider bringing along a machine that plays white noise to block out distracting sounds.

# Talk with your doctor. If the above strategies are not enough to allow you to sleep comfortably on the road, talk with your doctor about whether temporarily using prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids might help.

Your body needs a full rest every night to function properly and enable you to enjoy your trip. For the best travel health, use these strategies to get the sleep you need and make the most of your time away.

Less Cost Vacation Tips

Check fares often

Become a regular visitor to your favorite travel booking sites—it could give you the best bet of snagging a good deal. According to CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee, airlines usually have 10 to 15 different price points for any flight, so their rates could fluctuate in a matter of hours. Logging on in advance will give you a good idea of the expected rates; that way you’ll recognize a deal when it comes along. Once you do, be prepared to pounce. “While everyone wants to get a good deal, you can’t obsess about finding rock-bottom prices,” Klee told U.S. News. “Once you see a good deal, grab it. If you see a good deal during the day, there’s a very good chance that it will change by evening.”

Start early (but not too early)

Rates can shoot up in the blink of an eye, so it’s best to start researching your trip well in advance. The sooner, the better, but don’t get overzealous CheapAir.com recommends booking domestic flights an average of 47 days (and for international flights, 60 days) in advance for the best rates. Outside of those date ranges, airline companies probably won’t be advertising a competitive price. This is what airlines won’t tell you about safety, disgusting airplane habits, and more.

Read the fine print

If you’re not careful, the bucks you saved when booking could start slipping out of your pocket the minute you arrive at the airport. Sometimes, online booking companies will hit you with unexpected fees for extra services. Airline companies could charge you to print a boarding pass if you didn’t do it at home; others could hide additional taxes or fees for hotel rooms or extra luggage. Luckily, those fees are avoidable; just make sure to do your homework on the company and read the fine print before you press the “purchase” button. Stop making these airport mistakes before your next flight.

Befriend the experts

Although travel itineraries and emergency contacts are important for a safe trip, a travel agent can be your most trusted getaway companion. If something goes wrong before or during your trip, they will be your primary advocate and have your back in sticky situations, especially when traveling abroad. Travel agents also book directly with the travel companies, so you won’t get stuck working through a third-party service, which could cause you to lose your ticket or get you bumped from a wait list. If you prefer to go about it alone, Klee said, make sure that you are using online services that provide reliable customer support. “That way, if you’re in a bind, you can get help more easily,” he told U.S. News. No one likes to be left on their own when things go sideways.

Set a realistic budget

Don’t freeze the minute you see big dollar signs. If you’re traveling around peak times like Christmas or Thanksgiving, you should expect to pay more for your ticket. Budgeting for the escalated costs of holiday travel will give you a safety net for spending. “Holiday flights are more expensive than everyday flights,” Klee told U.S. News. “Don’t get sticker-shock and wait longer to book in hopes that the price will drop, since you could end up paying more.” You can pounce on great deals by researching flights and hotel rates several months in advance, but settling on a realistic cost will be your best bet at success.

Know when to spend money

Even though it’s nice to save a few bucks once in awhile, there are times when cutting corners can go a little overboard. Opting for an eight-hour overnight layover just because it was $10 or $20 cheaper probably isn’t worth it. Pay close attention to the listed travel dates and times and avoid skimping where it’s not necessary, no matter how enticing the travel companies might make it seem.

Be flexible with dates

Saving a few bucks could be as simple as adding a day to your trip. A survey conducted by CheapAir.com shows that travelers saved an average of $249 per airline ticket simply by shifting their Thanksgiving travel dates to depart the Monday before the holiday and return the Tuesday after. This applies to hotel rates, too; sometimes, a longer stay could actually be cheaper. “Always check for a three-night stay because lots of hotels give much better rates when booking three or more nights, rather than a one- or two-night stay,” Hotels.com co-founder Bob Diener told U.S. News.

Keep your currency local
Booking international flights in the local currency could save you big bucks, since flights at converted rates are almost always more expensive. Avoiding the conversion costs isn’t hard; just select the native country as your location in the upper right-hand corner of the airline website.

Know your tools

Tons of powerful money-saving sites are out there on the world wide web, so take advantage. For example, certain services like Hopper will notify you as soon as a price drop happens. Another site, ITA Flight Matrix, collects flight information from every service provider, and allows you to sort results by location, cost per mile, date ranges, and more.

Things You Shouldn’t Do on Airplane

Skip the ice in your drink

An EPA study in 2004 found that out of 327 aircraft’s water supplies, only 15 percent passed health standards. Since the 2009 creation of the EPA’s Aircraft Drinking Rule Act, standards have risen and most airplanes don’t serve drinking water from the tap, but their ice cubes, however, are often still made from the same water. “Water tanks on an airplane are old and they’ve tested them and bacteria is in those tanks,” said Ferguson. “I would definitely drink bottled water—that’s why they board tons of bottles on an airplane.” This is why airline food tastes so bad.

Don’t walk around barefoot

Flight attendants have seen everything from vomit to blood to spilled food hit that carpet. “We see people walking from their seats into the bathrooms all the time barefoot and we cringe because those floors are full of germs,” said Linda Ferguson, a flight attendant for 24 years. “Never walk barefoot into the bathroom or the galley area because sometimes we drop glasses and there could be sharp glass there, too.”

Don’t sit in your seat the entire flight

On an airplane, you are at a higher risk to develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is a type of blood clot that usually forms in your legs. DVT has been coined as “economy-class syndrome” and walking around for a few minutes or standing up to stretch are good bets to help prevent it. (Just remember to put your shoes on!) Also, try to avoid tight clothing that could cut off circulation while in flight. “The most important thing is to try to move around and move your legs at least once every hour,” said Catherine Sonquist Forest, MD, a primary care doctor at Stanford University Health Care. “If you can’t get up, you can do exercises in your seat by lifting alternate knees up to your chest and twisting in your chair from side to side.” Try these other simple ways to prevent DVT.

Don’t turn off the air vent over your seat

If the air blowing makes you chilly, it might be smarter to throw on a sweatshirt rather than turn off the vent. Doctors recommend that the adjustable air over your seat should be set to medium or high in flight so that any airborne germs can be blown away before they enter your personal zone. These tips can help protect your skin on a plane so it doesn’t dry out.

Don’t use the blankets

Another airplane item that doesn’t get a thorough cleaning between flights? Yup, those blankets and pillows offered in the seatback are recycled flight to flight and usually don’t get properly washed until the day is over. Items like pillows and blankets are ideal places for germs and lice to camp out and spread from person to person. “I see people wrap their feet in the blankets, I see people sneeze in the blankets,” Ferguson adds.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated
Parched throat mid-flight? Don’t just blame the salty snacks. Airplane cabins are known for their low humidity because the manufactured air in the cabin is made to mimic the highest altitude humans can breathe at, usually between 6,000 and 8,000 feet, according to the World Health Organization. “For every leg of flight, each flight attendant will try to drink a full 16 oz. of water,” said Ferguson. “That’s the most important. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.” Here are clever ways to drink enough water.

Opt out of coffee or tea
You don’t want to drink anything that could possibly be made with the tap water from the plane. Even though the water for tea and coffee is usually boiled, if you can opt for bottled water or another beverage from a sealed container you should. Another reason to avoid coffee and tea: Caffeinated beverages aren’t your best bet while flying. “Caffeine slightly dehydrates you,” Dr. Forest says. “It’s not a huge problem to drink caffeine but include water also.” These are signs you’re drinking too much caffeine.

Don’t eat food after it’s fallen on the tray table

Yuck! That tray table doesn’t get sterilized between flights, so unless you’ve brought your own disinfectant or place mat, let that cookie crumb go if it hits the tray and not your plate. “The tray table is notorious,” said Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Ferguson adds that tray tables are usually only wiped down once a day, when the plane goes into an overnight station. “Those tray tables are used for all kinds of things,” said Ferguson. “During flights, I’ve seen parents changing babies on top of tray tables. I’ve seen people put their bare feet on top of tray tables.” Don’t be that person: Follow this airplane etiquette next time you fly.

Don’t booze too much
While a nice glass of wine can take some of the edge off of traveling, alcohol is extremely dehydrating. Combine that with the low humidity of the plane and your body’s in for a drying experience. In addition, the thin-air of a plane makes the effects of alcohol hit you faster, and harder. Not to mention that excessive drinking lowers your immune system in general, so this tip goes for pre-flight rituals at the airport bar as well. “One drink in the air is like drinking two on the ground—it can affect you faster,” said Ferguson. “We’ve been known to water down drinks a lot or if someone just keeps wanting glasses of wine, we’ll pour half a glass instead of a whole glass.”

Don’t touch the flush button in the bathroom
Like other public spaces on the plane, the bathroom is also a major place where germs hide out. To protect yourself, wash your hands thoroughly and use a paper towel to press the flush button and open the door. “When you go to the bathroom, the right thing to do is always wash your hands, dry your hands with a towel, and then use the towel to turn off the water and even open up the door,” says Dr. Forest. “You don’t want to not flush the toilet, everyone should flush the toilet, but wash your hands with soapy water and use a towel.”

Don’t fall asleep against the window
You’re not the only one who has had their head pressed against that wall. Who knows who else has breathed, sneezed, coughed against that glass you doze off against while your head’s in the clouds? “I see plenty of people carry Lysol wipes with them that will wipe the area around their seat,” said Ferguson.” If there was a backlight and they could light up a plane with all the germs, I think it would petrify everybody. My rule of thumb, and I never get sick, is I never put my hands in my mouth or near my face.” Don’t miss these other secrets airlines don’t want you to know.

Don’t wear shorts
If you can, try to wear clothing that covers skin that could touch your seat. Like other parts of the plane, the seats aren’t cleaned between flights and could be places where germs hide. “I think you have to assume that most surfaces in an airplane are probably no cleaner than, and in most cases not as clean, as any other similar public space simply because they’re not cleaned as often and people are in very tight quarters,” said Morse. “All the normal things we usually deal with, we don’t normally think about when we sit down in shorts in a seat that’s been used by many other people.”

Don’t feel embarrassed to tell a flight attendant you’re not feeling well
Never think your health and safety is an inconvenience to what may seem like an already stressed flight crew. Flight attendants are trained to help with medical emergencies, even learning how to properly handle a childbirth before becoming certified. “Flight attendants are completely trained,” said Ferguson. “If you’re not feeling well definitely speak up. You don’t want to be sick on a plane—that’s the worst.”

Suitcase Packing Mistakes that You Should Know

You throw out your packing list
A packing list can help make sure you don’t forget anything important, but don’t chuck it in the trash when you’re finished. Instead, slip it into a pocket of your suitcase and take it with you, says USA Today. Then when you leave your destination, you can review the list again to make sure you don’t leave anything behind.

You wait until the last minute

“Then you’re stressed and can’t think clearly, so you end up packing too many options and don’t have what you need,” says Dacy Gillespie, a St.Louis-based personal stylist, who runs mindfulcloset.com. Start packing a few days in advance. Make a list of the activities on your itinerary to determine what you need: comfy shoes vs. sandals, dressy clothes vs. casual, etc. Want to explore the beauty of the American West? Get more info about an amazing travel experience to America’s Cowboy Country here.

You forget to check your destination’s weather
Put your weather app to good use. “This way you won’t be stuck with all pants if it’s hot or no jacket if it’s cool,” says Nelson. But don’t take the forecast too literally—weather does change. Conde Nast Traveler suggests packing clothes you can layer, so you can throw on a cardigan or a lightweight jean jacket if, say, a cool rainstorm unexpectedly blows in.

You have a “when in doubt” mindset
“The biggest mistake is over-packing. People don’t know what they’re going to wear and are afraid to sacrifice stuff,” says Sarah Nelson, a professional organizer at Less is More in Miami, Florida. Lay clothes out on the bed and mix and match outfits to see what works. Choose a couple neutral colored bottoms to pair with different tops, or pick a color scheme such as “blue and white”—like the blogger behind cupofjo.com did for her honeymoon. Coordinating your outfits around one or two shades ensures you always have something that matches. For extended trips, bring a few less outfits than the number of days you’ll be away. “Wear basics several times; no one will notice,” Business Insider suggests.

You don’t make the most of your shoes
“I love to stuff small items like jewelry, underwear, or socks in my shoes. This saves a lot of space,” says Gillespie. Slip each pair in a Ziploc or plastic grocery bag to avoid spreading dirt. Another smart move: Wear your heaviest pair of shoes to save space and cut down on weight, suggests Realsimple.com.

You don’t factor in souvenirs
Overdo it on shopping and your suitcase might not zip up on your way home. To be safe, “get a duffle bag that compresses into a very little pouch. You can easily throw it in the suitcase, and you’ll have another bag for extra purchases,” says Nelson. This foldable nylon bag on Amazon.com comes in two colors and three sizes.

You fold instead of roll
“Rolling is a great way to maximize space in a suitcase,” says Gillespie. Follow these steps from travelandleisure.com: First, fold the article of clothing lengthwise once. Then, roll tightly as you would a sleeping bag. Lay the piece of clothing in your bag with heavier items like jeans or sweaters along the bottom and near the wheels for balance. Light items, like pajamas or t-shirts, should be on top. For fancier items you don’t want to roll, place a piece of dry-cleaner plastic or tissue between each layer to prevent wrinkles.

You want one whole suitcase all to yourself
If you’re traveling with a partner, it seems logical to each pack your own suitcase. But if a piece of luggage gets lost, one of you is left with nothing. Go half-and-half; split your wardrobes between two bags, suggests Business Insider.

You buy a whole new wardrobe specifically for your trip
“Don’t try a new look on vacation!” says Gillespie. New clothes you’re not used to wearing may not fit as well or look as good as they did in the dressing room when you bought them. Instead, “stick with trusted outfits you know you look good in,” she says. Pay attention to fabrics—knits and denim travel well; silk and linen wrinkle easily.

You don’t keep your toiletries well contained
If it is capable of leaking, assume it will. Place all non-solids like hair gel, shampoo, or mouthwash in a zip-top bag to keep your stuff safe from any potential spillage.

You forget about food
Vacations are notoriously tough for sticking to a healthy eating routine. That’s partly because you often don’t know where your next meal or snack is coming from, so you’re at the mercy of whatever you happen to encounter. Stash your own snacks—like protein bars or trail mix— in your luggage to ensure you always have something healthy handy.

Vacation Items That You Shouldn’t Bring

Your own hairdryer

Check with the hotel to see if they have one in every room. If they do, consider leaving yours behind. The hotel’s version might not be the one you’re most comfortable with, but it will save an outfit’s worth of space in your bag. Try these tricks to keep your hairstyle looking fresh.

Items you’ve never found useful
Those just-in-case items you pack on every trip but never use (think: special travel wallets, overdone first-aid kits, and odd technology)? Leave them behind this time, especially if they’re the type of thing you can buy at your destination.

Liquids in faulty packaging
Make sure the lid on every liquid is closed tightly and package each one in a Ziploc bag. The TSA allows one quart-sized clear plastic bag per passenger. While you’re at it: Don’t make these suitcase packing mistakes.

Hardcover books
While you’ll definitely need a beach read, the latest hardcover bestseller will take up valuable space and weight in your luggage.

Overlap with your travel partner
Whether you’re going on a girl’s weekend with old college friends or a vacation with your spouse, cross-check your packing lists to ensure there is minimal overlap. You can share toothpaste, sunscreen, and other toiletries.

Anything irreplaceable
If you must bring along a family heirloom or other invaluable item, stash it in your carry-on.

Too much workout gear
Be honest: Do you really need five pairs of sweat socks so you can go on a 5 a.m. jog each morning? While it’s admirable, if you’ve never worked out on a vacation before, don’t go overboard. Bring along enough athletic outfits for a hike or other adventure, and leave the rest of your gear at home.

Your entire medicine cabinet
Obviously, all of your essential prescriptions will be making the trip. But aside from those, stash a small bag of ibuprofen or aspirin in your handbag and rest assured that the place you’re visiting will have a drug store or pharmacy.

Anything that’s not on your packing list
Make a packing list and stick to it. Your list should take into consideration the weather, your itinerary, and any possibly overlap with your travel buddies. And bring that list with you on the trip—it can act as a packing checklist on the morning of your flight home.

More than two bathing suits
For most trips, two is enough. One can dry while you wear the other. To clean a suit without a washing machine, fill your hotel sink with warm water and add a splash of mild hand soap. Swish the bathing suit around and allow it to air dry.

The formal outfit you might wear
Consider your itinerary carefully. If you don’t have any formal events, then you most likely won’t need formal wear. Same thing goes for stiletto heels and strings of pearls. If there’s an event where you’ll need these items, you’ll most likely know about it in advance.

A sun hat you don’t have space to pack properly
Don’t risk breaking your sun hat. To pack it safely, try this: Fold a shirt and push it into the crown of your hat. Next, pack your heavy clothing, including denim and shoes, into the bottom of your suitcase. Lay your hat on top of these items and pack your folded lighter items around it. When your finished, all you should see of your hat is the very top.

Anything mismatched
Pack your clothes in outfits and, if you can, aim to match them around a certain color scheme. For example, pack all tan accessories: tan shoes, a tan bag, and a tan belt.