Archive for ‘Simple Soutions’

January 27, 2020

Travel Tip #23 – BnB, AirBnB, Managed Condo, or Hotel–What’s the Difference?

BnB, AirBnB, VRBO, managed condo/home rental, or hotel/motel–what’s the difference? If you’re planning a trip it’s helpful to know. Sometimes it’s fun to get out of town to watch the Super Bowl. In a new location, the snacks seem more exotic and it’s easier to imagine a Cinderella outcome! As the coronavirus spreads its influence, it seems like traveling sooner rather than later could be a good idea.

If you’re getting out of town this weekend or later in the year, here are some accommodation differences worth noting:

Hotels are predictable.

Most of us are familiar with a variety of hotel and motel brands and styles. You may have a favorite that you choose on a regular basis. Each will vary slightly in layout, decor, and amenities, but many things are predictable.

The typical hotel or motel has everyday maid service. The rooms are stocked each day with enough towels for at least two showers per person and a day’s worth of hand and bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion. You’ll consistently find a hairdryer, an iron and ironing board. Some hotels also automatically provide mouthwash, makeup remover wipes, shower caps, shoe polishing cloths, and vanity kits containing Q-tips, cotton balls, and a fingernail file. You can always expect to find ice machines and vending machines around the facility.

It’s been at least four years since I’ve stayed in a hotel that did not have a coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator in a standard room, but some high-rise convention or small boutique hotels may not. Breakfast is usually served at hotels even when there’s not a restaurant on site. Some hotels and motels offer a self-service laundry as well as a traditional laundry service. Most can provide you with complimentary forgotten items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a comb.

Other hotel amenities may include room service, a pool, spa, beauty salon, shopping, bicycle rental, ballrooms, meeting rooms, exhibit spaces, a golf course, croquet courts, concierge, restaurants, bars, casinos, dance clubs, music venues, and art galleries. Resort hotels will specialize in an even wider range of activities and services from which to choose. If you love hiking, skiing, fishing, boating, or sailing, you can easily find a place that caters to your activity. You can also soak in luxury at a resort with a pillow menu.

Hotels reservations are easily canceled at no charge up to 24-hours prior to check-in. Keys or key cards are distributed from a front desk even if you book and pay in advance online.

Parking policies vary widely. In small towns and cities, parking is usually free and in an open air lot. In larger cities, parking may be in a deck where you must pay. Some facilities offer valet parking only for which they charge a fee. In metropolitan areas, there is often a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport.

Bed and breakfasts may lack privacy.

When my kids were young, bed and breakfasts were all the rage. I stayed at several in several states. Most were located in large, old homes where you rented a bedroom with named for a theme – Benjamin Franklin Suite, Roosevelt Room, Emily Dickinson Lounge, etc. Some rooms came with a private bathroom, but many required me to share with other guests.

Breakfasts in BnBs were prepared and served by the hosts who usually wanted to chat. Other guests also wanted to chat. I know everyone was just being friendly, but I’m more of a drink my coffee in silence person so I have never felt very comfortable in the traditional BnB environment.

For me, BnBs work best when traveling with family or close friends. Everyone can stay in the same place and I’m staying with people I know. If I choose to keep quiet during breakfast, no one thinks I’m being unfriendly. They already know I like to ease into the morning.

If you’re traveling with unreliable friends or family, be sure to review the cancellation policies before booking a bed and breakfast. Some require cancellation days or weeks before check-in and may charge a cancellation fee.

I think this model may have evolved into more of a self-serve situation in some BnBs. There’s a lovely one in Santa Barbara where you help yourself to snacks and breakfast. The breakfast is less elaborate than the BnBs I’m used to, but more flexible and private.

My most recent experience with a bedroom in a shared home was a HomeAway rental in Brooklyn. The owners lived downstairs and rented out the upstairs bedrooms. There was one shared bathroom located down the hall from my room. The owners provided towels and hand soap, but toiletries were up to me. That has been my experience with most BnBs.

The mornings at the HomeAway felt very much like a BnB. The owners served breakfast and expected everyone to show up at the table around the same time. It was not my favorite accommodation, but the location was perfect. I was in Park Slope across from Prospect Park and around the corner from the friends I was visiting.

AirBnB and VRBO units are everywhere and all of them are different!

When location is important, AirBnB and VRBO have made it possible to find accommodations convenient to almost anything. On my last three trips to LA, this has allowed me to forego car rental and ride sharing. I’ve been close enough to walk to my primary destinations and a variety of restaurants.

The maps on AirBnB give a reasonable idea of location, but can sometimes be inaccurate enough to put you on the other side of a major highway. Once you book and receive the specific address, it’s a good idea to review the location so that you can cancel within 48 hours of booking to guarantee a full refund if the address is not suitable.

Cancellation policies vary by host from flexible to moderate to strict. All policies are clearly stated on the site. This can still mean there are some inaccuracies if the host enters incorrect information. AirBnB has a resolution center to help resolve any conflict that may result. I sometimes choose a more expensive option in order to have the flexibility to cancel closer to my departure time, especially when I’m booking well in advance.

I use AirBnb, but my sister uses VRBO. There is some overlap, but it’s easy to search either service without creating an account. I use the filters to make sure I have completely private quarters with enough bedrooms and bathrooms for my travel group to be comfortable.

When it’s just me, I don’t care about a separate bedroom, but I do want a real bed. The site icons make it easy to determine whether the sleeping spaces are appropriate.

In addition to cancellation policies, bedrooms, and bathrooms, I review the photos, list of amenities, and house rules. This means that the flexibility of size, configuration, and location requires more time and research than booking a hotel. If you prefer to keep things simple and predictable, a hotel or motel may work better.

There are also other things that vary. Hosts rarely update their original list of amenities or general check-in instructions. That has meant I carried a hairdryer only to find there was now one provided. Most recently, it meant that the red lantern identifying the appropriate gate to my facility was missing.

Unlike a hotel, you may need to provide your own shampoo, bath wash, and lotion. If shampoo is provided, it may be in a large container like you use at home. There is not a maid or cleaning service to do your laundry or dishes. Those are up to you.

I’ve never stayed for more than a week in a single AirBnb. I’m guessing that towels would be restocked and sheets changed during an extended stay, but I don’t know what interval is considered average.

Just like visiting a friend’s home, you may encounter a broken shower handle, hot water that takes forever, and occasionally a few clothes in a closet. These are a few examples from my experience, but I’ve never had a problem large enough to ruin my trip or even my day. If this kind of thing creates undue stress for you, it may not be worth taking the risk.

A coffee maker and coffee may or may not be provided. On a trip a couple of years ago, I had to borrow a French press from my son and purchase coffee from a nearby grocery.

Your facility may not have a TV, or if it does, it may only be broadcast TV rather than cable or satellite. This is not a big deal for me, but if you’re expecting to watch a game on ESPN you may be disappointed.

My most recent stay provided Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and antenna TV. That meant having two remotes and needing to know how to change the input on the TV, but that’s what I do at home so it felt perfectly normal.

Some hosts provide extras like a variety of snacks, bottled water, and cooking basics like pots, pans, knives, salt, pepper, and cooking oil. Others may have dishes and a microwave, but no food or water.

With AirBnB and VRBO, you simply can’t expect consistency. Read the reviews. Read the lists. Read the rules. You’ll still occasionally be surprised.

Host personalities vary greatly and there is no standard for customer service. Some prefer to communicate only through an app. Others will provide their phone number and meet you at the door. I prefer hosts who are responsive, but not overly involved and I’m perfectly happy if I never meet them in person.

Having the ability to cook if I want to, value for the money, and the wide range of locations and sizes makes AirBnB my preference in spite of the inconsistencies. I just look at those as part of the adventure.

Managed condo and house rentals can be the perfect in-between.

Houses and condo rentals handled by management companies fall somewhere between hotels and AirBnB. While the units are owned by individuals, they are managed under a set of consistent policies administered by the management company. I sometimes choose these when traveling to the beach with a group or to Asheville, North Carolina by myself.

When I stayed in a studio condo at The Residences at Biltmore, I had everyday maid service just like a hotel. I also had a full kitchen sans dishwasher and a stackable washer & dryer. I did my own laundry, but the maids washed the dishes, restocked the towels, and made my bed.

I don’t think any shampoo or soap was provided other than dishwashing liquid, but I really don’t remember specifically. What I do remember is feeling as though I had everything I needed. There was an outdoor elevator to take me to the third floor. I had a lovely balcony with a view where I could sit or dine.

In addition to the bed, there was a chest of drawers, chair, twin sofa bed, fireplace, and small dining table. The closet was large and all of the finishes were high end. Outside, the pool was huge and the pool area included a fire pit for cold weather. Parking was ample and free. Spa treatments were available.

I’ve been tempted to purchase one of these condos. They’re on the edge of Kenilworth, a neighborhood I love. They seem well managed and they stay full. I’d have to be willing to give up some income in order to spend time there myself and I’m just not sure a purchase makes sense at $300,000 and up. Nonetheless, the pull is strong. I loved being there.

Most of us are comfortable in our own homes. When we travel, we hope to be equally as comfortable if not more so. The requirements for an accommodation to provide that feeling will vary from person to person. Your best choice may be guided by budget, convenience, amenities, or level of service. Whatever the criteria, knowing the difference makes the choice more clear.

So, what’s the difference? Here’s a quick recap:

  • Hotels are the most predictable, consistent, and easy to cancel last minute.
  • Bed and breakfasts may lack privacy, but can provide a homelike feel.
  • AirBnB and VRBO offer great locations, the most flexibility, and are often a great value for the money. They are not consistent and require effort to research amenities and policies.
  • Managed homes and condos have straightforward policies, fewer personal touches, and don’t require communication with the owners.

Even if you stay home for the Super Bowl, you may want to travel for Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or just a regular old day. That’s what I’m doing next–traveling on a regular old Friday to a regular hotel. Whenever and wherever you go, I wish you comfortable conditions and safe travels!

trivago.com

http://airbnb.com

https://www.vrbo.com/

https://www.homeaway.com/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

December 16, 2019

Does Chocolate Cause You Heartburn?

Does chocolate cause you heartburn? The problem may not be chocolate. I’m familiar with many varieties of stomach and abdominal pain. Sometimes, it’s quite a process to figure out what triggers a specific response.
chocolate
I can’t say I’ve ever been advised by a physician to try to figure out the cause of any pain, but it seems logical to me to get to the source of a problem whenever possible. That’s the only way to potentially resolve the issue for good rather than continually treating symptoms. After years of practice, here’s the process I follow:

Keep track

I start by being aware of what I’m taking in. Of course this means reading labels and asking good questions in restaurants. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

If you know you have an adverse response to monosodium glutamate (MSG) and you’ve been eating Nacho Cheese Doritos®, a scan of the label will tell you eliminating them may make you feel better. Kentucky Fried Chicken and Campbell’s® Chicken Noodle soup could also be culprits. Even if you can tolerate a small amount, eating three MSG containing foods in one week may overload your system.

Keeping a food journal is more effective than making a mental note. If you just can’t make yourself keep a journal, try texting yourself or creating a suspect food list in your note app.

Observe

In addition to keeping track, I observe my body sensations closely to see if I can identify an adverse response early in the process when the signs are subtle. Sometimes I don’t feel the full effects of an offender for a day or two.
Early signs often point me in a different investigative direction than I would go if I wait for full fledged cramping and pain. It can also mean some pain may be avoided.

When I consume dairy, it causes spasms throughout my stomach then my colon. When those are concentrated just to the left of my solar plexus, they can trigger something akin to panic. It’s not exactly the same, but it shares some of the physical responses and can lead to feeling panic if I don’t address it.

Knowing this is simply a response to dairy allows my brain to perceive the spasm as a temporary moment that will pass if I just wait. This keeps me calm. It also means that I don’t tense up my gastrointestinal system which causes the spasms to last longer.

Eliminate the culprit

Although it sounds simple in retrospect, it took a very long time for me to associate milk exposure with the resulting symptoms. Since I didn’t feel the full effects of ingestion until a day later, it wasn’t a natural line for me to draw. As I practiced recognition of subtle symptoms as soon as they appeared, my timeline became more accurate allowing me to identify a pattern in my response to milk. From that point, it was easy to eliminate milk and milk products in order to see if I would experience improvement. I did!

Once I have identified a food that consistently brings me discomfort or pain, I am happy to let it go. I would rather feel good than continue to ingest foods because they are convenient or I like the way they taste. And I don’t want to rely on pharmaceutical support to remain pain free. That means all foods containing milk are now suspect.

Back to chocolate

This brings me back to chocolate. If you google, “Does dark chocolate contain milk?”, you’ll get many answers saying it does not. Before you pop some dark chocolate brownies in your mouth, you need to know you’re still putting yourself at risk.

The label of Nestlé® Toll House 53% Cacao Dark Chocolate Morsels reads: chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, milkfat, nonfat milk, natural flavor and it warns of milk ingredients as an allergen. If the brownies you choose are made with these morsels, you may experience symptoms. There is enough milk in some dark chocolate to trigger my intolerance.

If you ate a few chocolate morsels by themselves, you might notice nothing more than mild heartburn. In my case, heartburn is an early clue that I may need to limit or eliminate a food. Learning to pay attention to this has allowed me to avoid more significant symptoms down the road.

Does chocolate cause you heartburn? Are you milk or lactose intolerant? If so, the problem may not be the chocolate.

For me, that’s great news because it gives me an easy way to eliminate occasional milk exposure and in the process, heartburn, stomach cramps, and panic. And it doesn’t mean I have to eliminate all chocolate. It just means I have to read labels and substitute some ingredients when I bake.

I love a simple solution followed by a So Delicious® Dipped Double Chocolate Delight cashewmilk frozen dessert. I think I’ll have one now!

https://bioelecmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42234-018-0004-9

https://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/dairy-free-foods/dairy-free-frozen-desserts/cashewmilk/double-chocolate-delight

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/does-flourless-cake-have-to-be-chocolate/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

November 3, 2019

Choose Easy-to-Adapt Recipes

It’s easy to create delicious gluten-free food when you choose easy-to-adapt recipes. We all have favorite homemade foods. Many are family traditions that connect us to comfort, loved ones, and happy memories. We don’t want to lose those connections when we change food selections in order to be healthy.

While some family recipes may be difficult to replicate in exact texture and taste, many will require only minor substitutions. I like to start with those. Beginning with simple adaptations builds confidence and creates a more soothing transition to a new lifestyle.
soup
If you’re beginning a gluten-free regimen and hope to create your family’s holiday favorites, consider easy-to-adapt recipes for:

Casseroles
If you make broccoli, corn, green bean, or squash casserole thickened with flour, try substituting corn starch, sweet white sorghum flour, or oat flour as the thickener.

Stuffing
For those in the South, this one is easy. Most likely, your family stuffing recipe uses cornbread as a base. All you’ll need to do is make cornbread that does not contain flour. Everything else can stay the same.

Desserts
Custard, panna cotta, and crème brûlée recipes are usually gluten-free without any adaptation.

Pudding recipes will most likely use corn starch to thicken. Vanilla pudding can easily be turned into banana pudding. If you aren’t comfortable making the cookies for banana pudding, purchase gluten-free arrowroot or sugar cookies.

Many pie fillings are traditionally gluten-free–pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato, cherry, apple, chocolate, coconut cream, lemon meringue, and key lime. If you’re new to a gluten-free diet, just make the filling at home and purchase a packaged or frozen gluten-free crust.

Cheesecake filling is also normally gluten-free. If your recipe is not, Cooking2Thrive has one that is. You can serve cheesecake without a crust or choose a pre-made gluten-free graham-style crust.

Since cookies do not need to be fluffy, they’re easy to adapt. Before trying flour mixes, start with peanut butter cookies which can be made without any flour. Another easy-to-adapt option is chocolate, peanut butter no-bake cookies. Substitute gluten-free oatmeal for regular oatmeal.

Soups
Broth based soups like chicken with rice or chicken noodle will normally only require a substitution of gluten-free noodles. If your recipe begins with store-bought chicken stock, there are many gluten-free brands available.

Tomato soup and chili do not need tomato paste to be thick. Substitute Pomi tomatoes for canned or fresh tomatoes in your recipe.

The potatoes in potato soup provide an automatic thickener so no flour is needed. Many potato soup recipes do not include flour.

Clam or seafood chowder can be made using only potatoes as a thickener. If you feel you need a little something extra, use corn starch.

Make the roux for gumbo by deeply browning some sweet white sorghum or oat flour in fat.

All the Rest
The most common holiday entrees will not need to change. If your family chooses pot roast that is dredged in flour, use sweet white sorghum or oat flour.

Bread based stuffing or bread pudding can be made using store-bought gluten-free bread if you’re not at the point at which you are comfortable with gluten-free baking.

When the family gathers for breakfast, consider frittatas, roasted potatoes, and fresh fruit or omelets, grits, and smoothies. You can easily add frozen gluten-free waffles, muffins, or donuts.

As you can see, adapting a recipe can be incredibly simple. When you begin with easy changes, switching to a gluten-free diet will look less daunting and feel more user friendly. That’s why I like to choose easy-to-adapt recipes!

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/gluten-free-basics-a-review/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/2892-2/
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October 28, 2019

Travel Tip #21 – Be Prepared to Evacuate

When you travel, organize so you are prepared to evacuate. I’m in Los Angeles right now. Last Thursday, a wildfire broke out 1.5 miles away from my son’s house. While smoke billowed, I watched the news and packed a go bag as I prepared for the possibility of evacuation. I didn’t want to carry a large bag, but I wanted the essentials for a couple of days. No matter where you travel, you could encounter tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or other unexpected difficulties that require you to leave quickly for safety.

Swiftly changing conditions can mean the necessity of relocation without much notice. In some cases, preparation time is a matter of minutes. An advance plan can assure that you’ll have what you need in the event you must leave immediately.
fire
Here’s a simple plan you can follow:

Carry a 2nd bag.
If you’re traveling with a large suitcase that is cumbersome, make sure you have a second bag that will hold clothes, toiletries, water, and snacks for a couple of days. If I only carry a purse on the plane, I throw a soft duffel bag in the bottom of my checked bag. This trip, I have a small cloth bag as well as an under-seat carryon that is quite spacious. A backpack is another great choice.

Set your phone to receive weather and emergency alerts.
Although I’m 1600 miles from home, I received an emergency alert from the LAFD about 20-30 minutes after the fire started. The alert contained a link to a website where I could monitor alerts.

Create a list of critical items.
It can be hard to think clearly when you’re under duress. Having a note on your phone with a list of essentials allows you to be mechanical about the packing process. Knowing you have prepared for this possibility can help reduce anxiety.

Your list may surprise you. I removed my laptop and its charger from my go bag yesterday. I have a backup of everything essential and I can access most anything else I need from my phone. The laptop adds weight and takes up space.

I also left out my yoga mat, yoga clothes, extra shoes, swimsuit, jewelry, and jacket. I included cash, phone charger, underwear, socks, sleepwear, and a couple of changes of clothes as well as toiletries and makeup. If space were tight, I would have foregone the makeup.

Other items I considered essential were: a package of hand wipes, a zip top bag of snacks, and all of the bottled water and tea I had on hand. I used my cloth bag for these.

If you have prescription medications, you’ll want to put them in your go bag along with any written instructions you need. At times I have carried an EpiPen. Thursday, I kept the BENEDRYL® that was in my purse, but that was it for meds. I’d probably leave supplements that are not prescribed behind unless there’s only one or two or they are already sorted into daily doses in a small container.

My final critical items are my ID, credit cards, and keys. I keep those in my purse. When I can fit that purse in my go bag, I am especially pleased. If that doesn’t happen, it’s not a big deal because I typically travel with a crossbody bag that is easy to carry. I sit the purse on top of the go bag in my hotel room or AirBnB so in one grab I have everything I need.

Know where you are.
You don’t have to spend your vacation time planning extensive escape routes, but it can be helpful to review the hotel evacuation map on arrival and know what major highways or streets are nearby.

Store needed information.
Record reservation numbers; padlock codes; passwords for apps like AirBnB, VRBO, Lyft, Uber, Postmates, GrubHub or DoorDash; links to emergency alert websites; airline or event tickets; and addresses on your phone or paper. The phone is most convenient, but will render these inaccessible if you are without power until the battery dies. You also may not want to store passwords on your phone.

I know you’re probably thinking you don’t need passwords with you because you’ve told your apps to remember you or keep you logged in. On a recent trip to pick up groceries, I couldn’t check-in from such an app because it asked for my password and I did not know it or have it available. I also didn’t want to reset it. In the event of emergency, this can be nerve racking.

Knowing and noting where you are in relation to major highways can reduce the time it takes to choose an escape route and decide on the best mode of transportation.

Bring extra zip top or silicone stashable bags.
Zip tops are less bulky and weigh less, but silicone bags work as well. Having a few in multiple sizes allows you to reorganize or pare down quickly. These also keep hastily packed toiletries from accidentally leaking on your clothes in a tightly packed go bag.
bag1
Wear comfortable shoes.
Thursday, the TV news interviewed a woman pushing a child in a stroller to escape the fires. Her family was en route to pick them up, but the roads were blocked. While you may not anticipate walking, you may have to, so choose your most comfortable shoes.

You may also want to pack some kind of slip-on shoe in preparation for a night evacuation. My most comfortable shoes have laces. If I need to leave in the middle of the night, I want those in my bag and something easy to slip into by my bed.

Consider a flashlight.
Power outages are common in weather events. If your phone ties your hands too much or you want to preserve its battery, consider carrying a small flashlight.

Bring an emergency phone charger.
An emergency phone charger is a great idea for travel, especially here in California where the power company may preventatively turn off the power.

Review the diaper bag.
Most of us have a routine with the diaper bag. That means it’s always packed with anything appropriate for our everyday activities. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s packed with everything required for a couple of days.

Obviously, you’ll want ample diapers, wipes, formula, and bottles along with clothes. For breastfed babies, a baby sling that is also a nursing cover can take the place of a stroller.

Don’t forget comfort items like pacifiers, blankets, or stuffed toys (only if your child requires one to feel safe or sleep). I like to include at least one burp cloth, and a changing pad or blanket makes diaper changes more sanitary and comfortable. I also throw in small plastic bags for diaper disposal.

Toddler bags may need additional items like toddler friendly snacks, a sippy cup, a couple of small toys, or a book. Food pouches are easy to carry and don’t require a spoon. Oatmeal packets are filling and can be mixed with a packet of peanut or almond butter, or a pouch of applesauce for added nutrition and staying power.

My thinking on car seats, car seat carriers, and strollers is to leave them in the car. This gets you out the door and on the road faster. You can buckle the kids in once you’re in the car.

Carry special equipment.
If you are traveling with the elderly or those with special needs, pack essential equipment so it’s easy to access once you’re on the move.

In addition to medications, include any needed special food; feeding tubes; syringes; oxygen delivery devices; braces, canes, wheelchairs, or other walking aids; power cords and even a portable generator if one is needed for equipment and it’s possible to carry. You’ll need an ice chest for medication that must be refrigerated.

Don’t forget your pet.
If you travel with a service dog, emotional support animal, or pet, keep them with you. Last Friday, I was greeted by a small dog in a toy store. The owner of the store had brought him to work because of the fire danger. It was the only way to keep him safe.

Hopefully, you’re already carrying a travel container with food and bowls that are easy to carry. Bring a leash or harness, any required medications, and a roll of poop bags.

If space allows, include other useful items.
A travel pack of facial tissue or a travel roll of toilet paper can be helpful. If you don’t have either of those handy, you can tightly roll some toilet paper and put it in a zip top snack bag. Without a cardboard tube, you’ll be amazed how much will fit in a small bag.

In my bag, there’s almost always a package of plasticware that includes salt, pepper, and a napkin in addition to fork, knife, and spoon.

On any trip, I pack a trash bag in my suitcase for dirty clothes. It can easily be moved to my go bag. A large trash bag is light weight, easy to pack, and can function as a poncho in rainy conditions.

When fire threatens, it’s handy to have a mask to block the smoke should you end up downwind.

If you don’t want to carry the weight of water, carry an empty bottle that you can fill along the way.

I don’t carry surface disinfecting wipes, but they can be helpful in some situations and are available in convenient travel packs.

For toddlers who are potty training, including several pull-up disposable diapers will take the pressure off by preventing the necessity of finding facilities at the last minute. This is true for the elderly as well. Although your loved one may still be able to use the toilet under normal circumstances, adult diapers can prevent embarrassing situations and are often an appropriate addition to a go bag.

A baby carrier for children too large for a sling is more compact than a bulky stroller.

You may want to throw in the children’s Tylenol and a couple of band aids just in case.

Bottles with clearly marked volume indicators for measuring, a bottle brush, and extra feeding tube tips can all come in handy.
bag2
Of course you’ll want to create a list that works for your particular trip and your particular needs, but hopefully this plan will get you started. This morning, I was awakened at 4:40am by news of another fire nearby. That one closed part of the 405 freeway. Road closures like this can affect your route to an airport so be sure to allow extra time.

Go, go, go, and have a wonderful trip just be prepared to evacuate when a dangerous situation arises!

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-10-28/fire-along-interstate-405-near-getty-center

http://www.wetones.com/singles.html

https://www.rei.com/product/722282/charmin-to-go

https://www.clorox.com/products/clorox-disinfecting-wipes-on-the-go/citrus/

https://vittlesvault.com/products/travel-tainer/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/travel-tip-5-preparing-for-the-unexpected-tummy-ache/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/travel-tip-2-preview-your-gluten-free-restaurant-options/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/travel-tip-1-carry-food-on-the-airplane/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”