A power trip

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dear Heloise: My sister and I discovered that many economy motels weren’t designed to handle today’s technology needs, so we always pack a POWER CORD for our phones, tablets, laptops and more. It keeps us from arguing over the limited outlets available. -- Katie, via email

Katie, this is a good idea, and for those who’ll be traveling during the coming holidays, it will be more convenient for your host or hostess if you bring along a power-cord strip of your own. Hugs! -- Heloise



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Dear Heloise: I was cleaning out my grandfather’s garage after he passed away, and I discovered an old TV antenna, also called “rabbit ears.” Apparently, there is a small but growing movement toward using rabbit ears to watch TV instead of signing up for cable. You can get one that costs anywhere from $10 used to $30 for brand-new ones.

Since major networks broadcast signals at no cost through the airwaves, you can pick up local channels with an antenna.

I can’t say it works with all TVs or in every area of the country, and you can’t get as many channels as you’d get with cable. However, if someone is cutting his or her budget, this might be an alternative way to get local channels for less. -- Howard K., Bowie, Md.


Dear Heloise: I meet so many people who are afraid to travel. A close friend told me that traveling is such an ordeal that he rarely leaves home. The difference between “ordeal” and an adventure is attitude. If you have a positive attitude, strange or unexpected experiences will bring wonder, awe and laughter instead of fear. -- Linda C., via email

Linda, I agree. I’ve traveled the world, and it’s been a very interesting and educational experience. It also makes people a bit more interesting as well. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I try not to wait until the last minute to do holiday shopping. Some hints I’ve used over the years? Why, I’m glad you asked!

I make a list of what everyone wants, and alternate items, too, in case the original is not available. My kids know to set reasonable expectations for gift-receiving.

I research everything I can on the internet to learn about the items my family is asking for, to read reviews and to lock in the best prices.

Now, before Thanksgiving, can be a good time to purchase -- supplies should be plentiful; if the item goes down in price after the holiday, the retailer should match the price -- ask.

I look for free or reduced-price shipping; this is becoming more in demand. -- Rochelle E., Bakersfield, Calif.

Check with your favorite store’s manager, who might have a scoop for you! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: On the subject of tipping hotel/cruise maids who clean our rooms: If possible, we try to find the one who cleaned the room to make sure that person gets the money we leave behind. -- Claudette S., via email

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