Strategic Packing Prevents Travel Misery


It’s happened to us more than once. We’ll arrive at our destination, but not so for all of our luggage. On one vacation to Pawley’s Island, S.Carolina, it was two full days before all of our luggage showed up. That was a miserable situation. The one bag that did arrive with us did didn’t hold much of anything we really needed. But never again thanks to today’s first tip. What a great idea!


STRATEGIC PACKING. When traveling by air with a companion, be sure each checked piece of luggage has a change of clothing and some toiletries for both of you. That way if a bag gets lost or is delayed (chances are at least one will show up), you’ll both have at least one change of clothing. Cindy B., Indiana

RECYCLE REWARD. Instead of throwing away those empty vases and baskets that your flowers came in or allowing them turn into more clutter, ask your florist if they take the containers and baskets back. Mine not only takes them but also gives me fresh flowers in exchange. It’s a nice way to recycle and get something in return. Ruth P., Illinois

QUICK CLEANUP. To remove paint from a paintbrush, immediately after use put 1/2 [one-half] cup of any liquid fabric softener per gallon of water in a 5 gallon bucket. Swish the brush vigorously in the liquid while counting to ten. Remove the brush and there will be no paint on the brush, in ten seconds flat. Be sure to rinse it well in clear water to remove the fabric softener. Kendra H., Arizona

TOOL CARE. Fill a cheap galvanized bucket 3/4 with play sand. Add enough motor oil so you can just barely see the color, leaving it mostly sand. When you are finished gardening for the day, or for the season, put your tools in the bucket blades down and leave them. They will be clean, oiled, rust-free and ready to go the next time you need them. And as a bonus, you’ll know where they are. Pauletta S., Ohio

COOL BLUE. My toddler saw a commercial for colored bath crystals for kids that turn bath water into various primary colors, and was asking for a blue bath. Rather than pay $10 for bath crystals, I decided to experiment. I found that just 2 drops of plain old blue food coloring turned his bath a beautiful aquamarine color. He was thrilled with the blue water, and emerged clean—not a trace of blue skin. Mary P., Minnesota

LAUNDRY INSIDE OUT. Wash your clothes inside out to keep them looking newer longer. The inside takes all of the abuse and fading caused by the agitation instead of the outside. Clothes get just as clean when washed inside out. Pam K., Wisconsin

DOWN THE HATCH. I own a kennel and have found an easy and quick way to administer pills to sick dogs. Cut an inch or two (depending on the size of the pill) off the end of a hotdog. Scoop out the center of the hotdog and place the pill inside. Mash the scooped-out piece of hotdog back over the pill. The pill is gone in a quick swallow. Save the rest of the hotdog for the remaining daily doses. Jolynn H., Virginia

Question: What little trick have you used this week to save time and money? 

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5 replies
  1. beth
    beth says:

    when traveling to a beach resort destination, be sure to pack your bathing suit (or at least one of them if you are bringing more), in your carry on. in that way if your luggage get’s lost, you can start your fun, without having to wait for your luggage to show up, or buy another bathing suit (which is usually expensive at a resort destination).

  2. ZA
    ZA says:

    I have trouble imagining using motor oil in sand to store gardening tools. Motor oil has an odor that does not go well with caring for food in the garden. Mineral oil is safer if it gets on the hands and is accidentally ingested. I see this main idea has been discussed online, but thanks for posting it here to spark the imagination.

    • KGinATX
      KGinATX says:

      I second the notion of NOT using motor oil for the tool sand bucket idea. Motor oil is not safe for consumption and using it anywhere near plants that you consume isn’t safe. Additionally, the small traces of motor oil could eventually leach into groundwater sources, contaminating drinking supplies (which in the long run increase costs for consumers to have it treated or find new sources). Better to use something else less toxic and polluting – I’d recommend veg oil or mineral oil in a pinch if you have to.

      • DianaB
        DianaB says:

        The motor oil is not USED oil but clean oil. Vegetable oil will go rancid. Mineral oil MIGHT be a substitute but I don’t know about that one. Motor oil in sand has been touted as a rust inhibitor for years. Of course, you wipe it all off when you take the tool from the bucket. Don’t know what the ruckus is all about. Does one seriously think that the minute traces of clean motor oil would harm your soil–where do you think the end product comes from, if not the ground to begin with? Small traces in contaminating drinking water? Just how far are you digging anyway. You guys are bewildering me here.

  3. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    When we fly, we carry a change of clothes in our carry-on bag. If your checked bag is delayed, you will have a change of clothes with you.


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