• As you do when you are the parent of a child with some kind of health issue or even glitch, I have become an expert at dealing with motion sickness.

    For as long as I can remember, my son has been what my mother calls "an urper." Especially on planes. Or in the car. Or when the stroller was trucking along too fast through the neighborhood. It's not a huge deal, not any kind of medical crisis, but it is something we've either had to prepare well for or deal with accordingly.

    * I've learned that Dramamine for adults is a lot less expensive and exactly the same as the formula for kids. The adult version is approved for child use, and the orange flavor tastes a lot better than the plain old "icky white", as my son calls it.

    * I've learned that Dramamine will also make the child blissfully drowsy. And while I am very careful about giving my child medication of any kind, is a happy little side effect of taking care of his tummy, particularly on cross-country flights or road trips that have

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  • egdigital/istockphotoegdigital/istockphotoWith a different airline filing for bankruptcy every week, it seems most of them can barely afford the jet fuel to transport us, let alone the bare-bones snacks necessary to keep testy passengers from all-out revolt. Some airlines boast gourmet meals, which you have to pay for, "designed" by celebrity chefs. (Delta offers a "bistro salad" by Todd English for $8, for example.) But even dressed up plane food remains just that-plane food. The solution to in-flight cravings? Pack your own meal. With limited drink service, crackdowns on what and how much you can bring on flights, it is more difficult than ever to prepare your own meals and snacks. Difficult, but not impossible. Here are snack ideas for your next flight. They're inexpensive and don't require massive prep-time (you're better off spending the time packing), and won't raise any alarms at security checkpoints. Just remember that each item needs to be in a snack-size (not gallon), slide-close (not fold-over) sandwich bag, or

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  • Dan LeccaDan LeccaTravel has never been more expensive, thanks to the surging cost of fuel and the plunging value of the dollar. You don't have to look any further than the airport to see it. Overpacking doesn't come cheap these days, with most major airlines charging upwards of $25 per piece of extra luggage you check in. (That fee more than doubles if the luggage weighs in excess of 50 pounds.) Airlines, looking to nickel and dime passengers to offset rising costs, also now charge for everything from on-board snacks to in-flight movies. Worst of all, the surcharge surprises don't end once you've exited the airport. On your next getaway you'll likely get socked by hidden fees tucked away in the fine print. Bring plenty of patience and lots of extra cash for these common charges.

    1. Rental Car Insurance
    If you're planning on being your own tour guide, you'll probably need a rental car to do it. Most renters agree to the optional car insurance thinking it's better to be safe than sorry. True, but you

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  • Christine BalderasChristine BalderasIt's hard not to be a Chicken Little these days. The weak dollar has translated to higher prices abroad for everything from hotel rooms to bottled water. Gas is at $3.33 per gallon at last check, according to the Department of Energy, up almost 20% over a year ago. Never mind that being an American abroad isn't what it used to be. "Ugly American" may be among the nicer terms hurled at tourists these days. But, much of the grim news surrounding travel these days overshadows a rosier truth. Example: the market woes mean resorts are desperate for your business, and are willing to lower their prices to prove it. True, it's likely fewer travelers will hit the road this summer. But that will result in fewer tourists obstructing your view or elbowing you in line. Herewith, we refute the biggest myths about traveling today.

    1. MYTH: Everything's so touristy - there are no genuine experiences left.
    Frustrated by the masses? Then get off the beaten path! Check out Wikitravel.org, which

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  • Stressed about work, the kids or the bad economy? You need a vacation! But you're not like everyone else, so why not consider a great trip that takes care not to spoil the magical spots for everyone else, including wildlife?

    Yes, "staycations" are cheap and inherently green (since we don't burn fuel and we don't normally consume much when we stick around our neighborhoods). But there's also a tremendous amount to gain from experiencing different ecosystems and cultures. Plus, we certainly enjoy daydreaming about fantasy adventures! If you are still flush, wow your loved one with the romantic experience of a lifetime. Or if you're like many of us, at least you can dream, and maybe plan, together.

    Take advantage of the growing area called ecotourism, which is about protecting local and global resources, reducing pollution and cultural impact, and supporting local economies and people, especially indigenous populations. It's about enriching your own life through learning and

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  • Your ideal vacation

    Having trouble figuring out the perfect holiday destination? Explore your astrological element -- Fire, Earth, Air or Water -- and discover your celestial travel agenda.

    Fire Signs

    Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

    The Fire Sign traveler is red-hot and on the go. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius don't have much tolerance for sitting around. Their vacations are often filled with vim and vigor, adventure and exploration. Backpacking, camping and sporting trips are always a high priority, and rest assured that a lot of ground gets covered when the Fire Signs blaze the trail. The agenda for the Fire Signs isn't very stringent: These signs prefer to do as they feel and to go as they will.

    Aries is the least likely to plan an itinerary ahead of time as they know how quickly they can get bored and they love the thrill of variety and the unexpected. Their favorite kind of trip allows them to travel at their own pace; thus, they like to bring their own car or van, even on long distances. They

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  • Garth Johnson/iStock ImagesGarth Johnson/iStock ImagesIf worst came to absolute worst, your vacation could end up like a Chevy Chase movie - a string of cringe-inducing mishaps and perpetual wrong-turns ("Look kids, Big Ben!"). But even in the event of utter disaster - the airline's lost your luggage, you were pick-pocketed while hailing a taxi - there are ways to salvage a vacation, be it a long-planned international trek or a quickie weekend at the shore. Check out these must-know survival tips for overcoming your worst-case vacation pitfall.

    You lost your passport. Before you go: Color copy your Passport and a secondary government-issued photo ID, like your driver's license. Write the phone number of the US embassy in the country you're visiting on the back, and pack the copies in a separate place from the originals - so if one gets lost or stolen, you'll have backup ID. The fix: Call the US embassy right away and report your passport stolen; it may be a few days before you can pick up a new one, but having copies can expedite

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  • By Annemarie Dooling Don't let the economic downturn take a toll on your travel plans. These simple globetrotter tips will save you some serious overseas money.

    1. Although everyone knows about discount search engines like Kayak, Cheapoair, and Hotels.com, few contact the airline or hotel for a competitive quote. Try calling them, announcing the Web-provider rate, and challenging them to match it. You could not only end up with a better bargain, but you'll cut out those pesky middleman charges.

    2. When searching for flights check all area airports. Smaller airports often have discounted fares - an easy trade for a cab ride or asking a friend for a ride across town. Also research shuttle-bus services and free parking to save money on your trip to the airport.

    3. Look in the last-minute-package section of travel search engines, whether you need a package or not, as they could cost less than the original airfare alone. These bargain trips could end up being the most cost-effective even if

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  • 10 Must-Have Travel Gadgets

    I'm getting ready to head off to vacation next week! I'm packing up all my gadgets and hitting the road for some rest and relaxation. Here's a list of what will make it into my Tumi.

    Battery Operated Phone ChargerBattery Operated Phone ChargerBattery Operated Phone Charger
    This Energizer Instant Cell Phone Charger is an essential gadget that everyone should store in their carry-on bag. The battery-powered device instantly brings your cell phone back from the land of uncharged cell phones. You can make a call just 30 seconds after plugging this bad boy in!

    Sony Portable GPSSony Portable GPSSony Portable GPS
    This thing takes GPS to a whole new level! If you have a Sony digital camera, hook it up to this device to keep track of where and when each image was taken. Then, upload the images to your computer, along with the device's information and watch the magic happen. Scroll over a Google-type map to see YOUR pictures from the exact spot you took them!

    Underwater Digital Camera MaskUnderwater Digital Camera MaskUnderwater Digital Camera Mask
    If you're headed to the water this summer, this gadget is a must-have.

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  • Escaping your daily routine, chasing down exciting adventures, exploring foreign cultures -- that's what travel is all about. Every astrological sign has a unique way of getting away. An Aries, for example, jet-sets with the best of them, and Virgo can pack a bag with more grace and efficiency than any other sign. Discover your own sign's approach to travel.

    Aries are the pioneers of the zodiac, and this is certainly true where travel is concerned. Ever on the go and seeking action, the Ram is a moving target. 'What am I going to do today? Is it hot? Risky? Different?' These are the kinds of questions Aries will ask themselves when they're on the road. And don't expect them to hang around very long for an answer, as they'll soon be someplace else. Those born under the first sign of the zodiac want to learn a little about a lot -- knowing who built those pyramids in Giza and when is good information, whereas the why can be saved for someone else. It's safe to say that old

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