Dear Heloise:

I wanted to write in and share the following with your other readers: My husband and I planned a trip to Italy. We carefully made arrangements and thought that we had everything covered.

Well, imagine my surprise when we arrived and found that the credit card I brought with me wasn't accepted! I was devastated! I wasn't able to buy many of the things I had planned to, since I had planned on using the card instead of cash.

So, if you plan to travel overseas, be sure the credit card you take with you is accepted. We had a wonderful time, but I sure wish I had taken a different card with me. Thanks for letting me share!

B.B., San Antonio

Good point! It's also wise to check your credit limit before leaving so you won't be surprised that way, either. Many hotels and auto-rental agencies will put a "hold" on a certain dollar amount that they estimate you might spend.

Dear Heloise:

When reading, we love noting excellent wordings and favorite sentences, but we hate dog- earing pages. To note our passages and not dog-ear our pages, we keep a stack of sticky notes nearby when we open a book or magazine. That way, when we come upon an excellent sentence, we just stick a sticky note on the page, positioned so that the shade sticks above the pages.

That way, it's easy to hop to our favorite passages, while the pages stay fresh and our books continue to look good (and retain their resale value)!

Matthew and Carolee

Washington

Dear Heloise:

Like many husbands, I do not like to cook. So, ordering out is my way of dealing with dinner.

I was always calling information for the telephone number of the local pizza place, sub shop, Chinese restaurant, etc.

One day I had the idea of writing all those frequently used numbers on a barbecue apron that was hanging near the kitchen. From then on, all I do is pick up my "takeout phone book" and call.

Alex Schemetow

Cedar Grove, N.J. Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.(c)2003, King Features Syndicate