These reader hints are a trip

Dear Heloise: As a veteran traveler, I’ve picked up a few “do’s and don’ts” along the way, and here are some important ones:

≤ Do pack a hat of some kind — knit for winter, and something to keep the sun off your face in warm climates.

≤ Do bring a gift if you are staying with someone else, or take that person out to dinner.

≤ Do pack a small traveler’s first-aid kit — believe me, you’ll use it.

≤ Do keep your shoes on while flying, especially when using the plane’s lavatory.

≤ Don’t pack more than one dressy outfit, and don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket. Women should use a crossbody bag.

≤ Don’t take a picture of anything if you’ve been instructed to not to.

≤ Don’t pack more than two bags or one carry-on and one bag. Travel light.

— Anita R. in Connecticut

Elbow protector

Dear Heloise: A friend of mine injured her elbow, so to secure a bandage, she cut off the toe of one of her socks and slipped the sock up her arm, with the heel part covering the elbow. I did the same thing when I injured my arm. — Jean in Elizabethtown, Ky.


Dear Heloise: As I’ve aged, it’s harder to get a good night’s rest. Falling asleep and staying asleep is difficult. I’m up every couple of hours. My doctor wants to give me sleeping pills, but I don’t want to depend on them. Any hints? — Leigh N., Salem, Va.

There are a few things you can try, such as adjusting the temperature of your room. Researchers say the best sleeping temperature is 60 to 67 degrees F. Try getting up and reading for a while to help you relax. Stay away from your phone and computer for at least one hour before bedtime. Think positive, happy thoughts. Are you under a lot of stress, feel depressed or have suffered a traumatic event? Sometimes these will trigger a bout of insomnia. If so, speak to your doctor. Don’t drink alcohol before bedtime; you’ll go to sleep but won’t stay asleep. Try to establish a regular bedtime. — Heloise

An orginal idea

Dear Heloise: While visiting my son I opened the refrigerator and saw my daughter-in-law’s car keys with the children’s lunches. She said she sometimes misplaces her keys, so she puts them with the lunches so she can grab everything on the way out the door. — Patricia M., Potomac, Md.

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send money-or time-saving hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: