Travel Tips

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SHOWER CADDY: Hotel travel or cruise ship travel – these days we travel lighter to avoid paying luggage fees. We all have those little carry-on bottles that are less than 3oz in order to meet TSA high standards. Those little bottles of shampoo and cleansers and other showering toiletries can be a jumbled mess to control and organize. While hotel showers/tubs are much larger than those found on cruise ships, they have one thing in common: no place to store your tiny bottles for bathing.  To the rescue – the shower caddy by Favors By Serendipity. A lightweight travel companion – the shower caddy – is perfect to store all your bottles, razors, etc. It rolls up and takes no space or added weight in your luggage. It comes with velcro straps and suction cups so you have options in order to hang it up in your shower.  It controls all your products easily within each pocket and no fumbling for them when you can’t find room to store them. I have used it in a hotel and on a cruise and love this product. I recommend it for your traveling needs. I have added it to my packing list, although I store it in my carryon. Here is the direct link: 
Check it out. You will be pleasantly surprised. Tell them you heard about the shower caddy from Aaron’s Cruise Chatter.

SUNBURN: According to Harvard Medical School (scientific study here) taking 240mg of fern extract lowers your risk of redness and sun damage for 2 1/2hrs. This does NOT indicate skipping a UVA & UVB sunscreen protectant in which you should use with at least an SPF 15 or above.

HYDRATION:  We all know that if you feel thirsty, then you are already dehydrated and whether at home, work, on a plane, or on vacation in the tropics, staying hydrated is a top priority. It appears that coconut water rehydrates you better than water and is as effective as a sports drink. Coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes and includes 515mg of potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. Soda, alcohol, and drinks containing caffeine are off-limits as these intensify your deydration.

HUMIDITY & ELECTRONICS: Those little silica packets you find when opening the boxes of some items (shoes, electronics, etc) that you are warned not to ingest – save them in a safe place from children and pets. In humid weather, they can come in handy if you carry one or two in a baggie in which you carry your electronic devices. You don’t need to be near water for your electronic devices to suffer from condensation. The silica packets will absorb the moisture and offer you a little more protection.

LEAKY LIQUIDS: Zip-loc bags serve a great packing purpose to keep your liquids from exploding all over the contents in your luggage. They are also great for storing wet bathing clothes. Sometimes you need a little extra insurance from leaking fluids than just zip-loc bags. If you have the patience, and I do not, unscrew the caps on all the bottles of fluids and creams you will be packing. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening and replace the caps. Upon your arrival remember this little task you performed while packing as you frustratingly shake and squeeze the bottle with no results.

AIR-TRAVEL: TRAY TABLES – when they are not in their upright and locked position it is a good idea to wipe them off with a disinfecting wipe before use as the tray tables are rarely cleaned between flights. BLANKETS & PILLOWS – are often re-used and are rarely washed. AIPORT CODES – it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the airport codes you are flying in and out of as they are not always obvious (MCO = Orlando, ORD – Chicago O’Hare, MCI = Kansas City, MO, etc) and sky caps and ticket agents can easily mix up the tags. YOUR NAME – make sure when booking your tickets you use the exact name that appears on your photo id (no nicknames, maiden names, etc).

LAUNDRY: As airline fees rise for checking bags, travelers are finding unique tricks for packing lighter. One of the ways to lighten the load is packing fewer clothes. How do you get a week’s worth of wear from less than 7 packed outfits? You may have to do laundry, but you can get away with doing one load for all of your clothes instead of the proper separating of types and colors. To the rescue SHOUT COLOR CATCHER. Throw a sheet in the wash and it absorbs loose dyes in the water so no colors bleed onto other clothes. You’ll know it works when your sheet comes out colored. The TSA liquid rules limit what you can bring onboard so use PUREX 3 IN 1 laundry sheets which combine detergent, softener, and anti-static in one sheet. Wash your load and then throw your sheet into the dryer. No liquids required and no space required in the luggage. If you travel extremely light and wash your undergarments in the sink, try EXOFFICIO or any moisture wicking underwear which not only keep you cool and dry, they also dry in a couple of hours after washing for use the next day vs cotton underwear that can remain damp for days.

LOBSTER DINING: This isn’t really rocket science but you may be a little intimidated, if not by the price, then perhaps by a whole lobster sitting on your plate and not knowing where to start.  The main point is to make sure you have a firm grip on your lobster as you start each process of breaking apart the crustacean as you do not want your meal flying across the dining room.  Also, wear a bib as fluids may spurt out as you break apart your dinner.   

           You will want to start by twisting off each of the lobster’s claws where they are attached to the body. If the lobster is served with the rubber bands still attached to the claws you can remove them after you break them off.

            Use your nutcracker (lobstercracker) to crack open the claws. The larger claw is the crusher claw while the smaller is the tearing claw. Use the nutcracker to crack and break off the large section of the claw. The meat will be revealed and using your finger or a knife, push the meat out of the claw. You can use the lobster pick to extricate the meat inside the joints of the claw sections.

            The tail is next. Flip the lobster over and straighten the tail and grab the lobster with one hand and grab the spread tail with the other hand and break the tail away from the body by twisting the tail off. Break off the little tail fins as there is some meat here not to be missed. Use your thumb to push the meat out of the tail.  You can also use a knife to slit the tail shell to remove the meat. Remove the dark vein (like in a shrimp) from the tail – do not eat.

            Remove the eight legs from the body by twisting them off. You can bite down on the legs to loosen the meat and then suck out the meat or you can use a fork to pull out the meat.

            If you decide to attack the body you need to know one thing: anything that is brown or black (no matter where you see it on the lobster) – do not eat.  There are a few more specifics to know: When breaking open the body (and even pulling off the tail) you may discover some green gunk and red stuff. The green stuff is the lobster’s liver – called tomalley – and considered a delicacy by some. As the tomalley is the lobster’s digestive system I would pass on eating this. If you see some bright red spots you have a female lobster and this is the lobster’s eggs – roe. This is also considered a delicacy and ok to eat. The mouth, antennae, and beak are not edible. The sack that is in front of the body is the lobster’s stomach and is not edible. A note on the stomach – the stomach contains two sets of teeth and is where the lobster chews its food; you can see why to pass on this.

            The tail and claws are the main parts of the lobster and most people only eat these and discard the body as there are some areas of the interior of the body you want to avoid. You can eat the meat from the eight legs once twisted off the body, but discarding the body is a safe way to go when in doubt.


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