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Today:
*** Another Use for Airline Luggage Tags
*** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: Social Issues at Home
*** Reader Feedback: Eating Right

Dear Reader,

I have to admit: Some of the travel tips I give you in this eletter aren’t mine. Some of them are tips given to me on the road and some I steal.

When a woman seated next to me opens her briefcase, I peek inside. When a guy sits down beside me with a new travel gadget, I ask him about it. When a savvy traveler shows up at one of our live workshops, I pick her brain. And the rest come from my own experiences, often tested by trial and error…

** Which is a better stain remover on the go — Oxi Clean Wipes or Tide To Go?
Tide To Go.

** Which brand of luggage is both easy to roll and lightweight (as well as durable)?
Travelpro.

** How — after an hour in the desert — do you get camel hair off your blue pants when you only have 15 minutes before dinner and no lint brush?
Airline luggage tags.

I watched in awe as a mother of three stripped all the hair off her kid’s pants in the hotel lobby as they were checking out. She simply ripped off the luggage tags and used them like a piece of tape. The super sticky adhesive collected all the hair and then she threw the tags away.

And wouldn’t you know it?  Two days later when we went on our first camel ride in Dubai, that little trick came in handy. Brilliant!

Do you have a travel tip to share? Reply to this e-letter with “travel tip” in the subject line and I’ll feature the best tips in an upcoming issue — giving you full credit, of course.

And don’t forget to scroll down for today’s writing prompt. It’ll give you something to think about this weekend when you’re out and about in town.

— Lori
Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK:

Last Saturday I sent you an article from freelance travel writer Stan Sinberg on integrating “real world” issues into travel articles. You’ll find that article in our archives, here: Turning Social Issues into Travel Articles

This week, think about a social, environmental, or religious issue in your own hometown that might interest somebody traveling there — something that could give a visitor some insight into your community he wouldn’t likely get just passing through on his own.

Say, for instance, water is at a premium in your town — lawns are to be watered no more than twice a week — and some folks are responding by Xeriscaping their properties. They’re pulling up the grass and filling in, instead, with drought-tolerant plants that use less water.

There’s a B&B in town that’s done it… you could make that the focus of your piece and then expand your discussion to include the pros and cons of the Xeriscape movement.

Whatever issue you focus on, peg it to something “travel-related” and then write a few sentences (maybe even a whole sidebar) about the larger issue.

When you’re done, send it to the Travel Post Monthly or your local paper: www.travelpostmonthly.com

READER FEEDBACK:

“Hi Lori, Just a quick note [in response to last week’s e-letter on turtle shell jelly].

“I lived in Malaysia for the last 10 years and that was quite an experience for the nostrils and taste buds. The rules most of us followed there were similar to yours with one addition… if the animal was endangered we boycotted the consumption of it. In other words we refused to eat shark fin and turtle soup or turtle eggs, or any other meal that either only used certain parts of an animal (not all of it and was highly wasteful) or if it entailed the killing of endangered species. We also encouraged all our friends and associates to do the same. Many local people who were aware also did this.” — Janie Ravenhurst

Thanks for adding that Janie. I should clarify, too — that what I was served in Shanghai was not actually made with real turtle shell (although there is such a thing as turtle shell jelly, made with powdered shell).

What I had was made with an herbal alternative (most call it an herbal grass even though it’s really a leaf). Many restaurateurs pass this grass jelly off as turtle shell jelly because turtle shell jelly is thought to have healing properties.

For a complete list of endangered species, visit The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Site at: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/us-species.html

Know, too, that there are also customs restrictions on products made from endangered wildlife along with hefty fines if you try to bring them into the U.S..

Watch out for the following prohibited items:
* All products made from sea turtles
* All ivory, both Asian and African elephant, and rhinoceros (unless you have documents to prove that it’s more than 100 years old)
* Furs from spotted cats
* Furs from marine mammals
* Feathers and feather products from wild birds
* Most crocodile and caiman leather
* Most coral, whether in chunks or in jewelry
(Source: U.S. Department of State)

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