For less than $1 each, you can buy three tools that will not only make your life as a travel writer easier… but might just save your little behind some day, too.

Jen Stevens here (author of AWAI’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program) with your “Olympic Fuel” Tip of the Day.

These are my three cheapo “secret weapons” for when I’ve got my travel writer hat on. I never leave on a trip without them.

** Must-Have Tool # 1: A ball-point pen. Not an ink pen. Because, as I discovered in a downpour in a Belizean jungle, if you’re writing with one of those, your notes will get completely smeared when they get wet and you won’t be able to read them.

** Must-Have Tool # 2: A notebook with a cover — to help repel rain and other liquids that can threaten the notes and quotes you’ve written down. I like a steno pad. It has a cardboard cover and a back hard enough to provide a good writing surface. But I also like those little spiral-bound memo pads. They fit easily into a pocket or a purse and are a little less conspicuous, too.

** Must-Have Tool # 3: A gallon Ziploc bag (or two or three). I use these when I’m on a trip to hold all the story-related “stuff” I pick up, like business cards from people I meet and from shops… brochures from hotels and attractions… articles from local papers… menus from restaurants. This way it’s not coming out of every pocket in my suitcase and I can find what I need when I go looking for it.

[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.]

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