On surf trips to Baja take a roll of toilet paper in a zip lock plastic bag, a small bottle of Drano, and cheap rubber shower sandals. While unpacking your vehicle, pour a couple of ounces of Drano in the shower drain. Wait five minutes to turn on the hot water. Away goes trouble down the drain.
Always check to see whether the ATM's instructions are in English, especially in a country with other letters. (If it's at a bank — and those tend to be safest — ask inside the bank.) I found this out the hard way. When I was in Greece, I put my card in an ATM and only Greek letters and arrows appeared on the screen. I couldn't even get may card back.
Andres G. Raab
For hotels that ask for passports, leave a copy of the photo and data page from that document in a clear plastic sleeve of the same size. If you leave it behind, no problem — as long as you have the original passport.
Shirley J. Lane
I always carry a small digital kitchen timer — easy to set to the exact minute for waking in the morning, and does not require time-zone changes as clocks do. Also great for timing naps, etc., and for alerting when to leave for tours, meetings, whatever.