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Archive for Monday, August 14, 2006

Plan ahead to deal with new travel restrictions

August 14, 2006

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For many Americans, boarding an airplane is stressful enough under normal circumstances.

So last week's announcement of a foiled terror plot and further restrictions on what you can carry onto a plane could add to the inconvenience.

Here are some tips from travel experts aimed at easing the airport experience:

¢ Liquid ban: As you've probably heard by now, all liquids are now banned from your person or carry-on. Those include beverages, shampoo, sun tan lotion, creams, toothpaste, hair gel, lipgloss and other items with a similar consistency.

¢ The exceptions: Baby formula and medications are permitted, if they are presented for inspection at the checkpoint.

¢ Pack lightly: The Department of Homeland Security suggests packing as lightly as possible to aid in screening. Also, the department says packing neatly - with less clutter - will help screeners do their job.

¢ Stinky shoes: Dickey suggests putting perfume bottles in your shoes, wrapped in a sock, to prevent breaking.

¢ Hedge your bets: Dickey suggests putting a change of clothes in a travel companion's bags, in case your luggage gets lost. Have your companion do the same for your bags.

¢ IDs: Label your bags clearly, in case your luggage is lost in the confusion. The tag should have your name, address and phone numbers on the outside, and an itinerary and additional contact information inside, says Susan Foster, author of "Smart Packing for Today's Traveler."

¢ Extra room: Leave a little extra space in your checked bags in case you accidentally pack a banned substance in your carry-on. That way, you can move it over instead of throwing it away.

¢ The kiddos: Check children's backpacks for toy guns, plastic swords, etc. Eileen Ogintz, a syndicated columnist who offers travel advice, suggests explaining to children that the long lines are just meant to keep everyone safe.

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