Dear Heloise: Given the cost for checked bags and problems with carry-ons, when my wife flew, we boxed up everything she'd need, from clothes to toothbrush, and mailed it about two weeks before she would get there.

She took a handbag that had her driver's license, a credit card, cellphone and some cash. Going through security was easy, and not checking a suitcase made things even easier. When she arrived, she did not have to wait around for her luggage, or worry that it missed the plane.

When it was time to come home, she simply mailed everything back.

Timothy R., Owasso, Okla.

Timothy R.: This is great if you are meeting family with gifts to give. Traveling light is a good idea. Who doesn’t want to lighten the load?

Dear Heloise: I'm amazed at cashiers and checkers sneezing and coughing into their hands while I'm in the checkout line. Twice in two weeks, I have backed out and moved to another register.

This is something that should be addressed in a store meeting. I see others raising their arms and covering their mouths with their forearms.

Michael V., Cypress, Calif.

Dear Heloise: I keep alcohol prep pads on hand for cleaning eyeglasses, phone and computer screens, and remote controls. They are cheap — a box of 100 is only a few dollars.

After buying screen- and lens-cleaner wipes, I found that rubbing alcohol was the main ingredient. I clean my laptop screen and keyboard, phone and remote with one square! I keep a few in my bag.

Allyse T., via email

Readers: Check with the manufacturers to be sure this is okay for your items.

Dear Heloise: I freeze filtered water in plastic cola bottles. When frozen, I put them in the refrigerator. We drink much more water now, and when I go out for the day, I take a frozen bottle and drink it as it thaws.

For trips, we place some frozen water bottles in a cooler. I take frozen water bottles in an insulated bag to place cold groceries in until I can get home.

T.B.D., Tupelo, Miss.

Dear Heloise: I have a big beef about all the excessive packaging, from a product filling only one-third of the package (wastes lots of shelf space) to cardboard or plastic packaging that makes it impossible to remove the product. Aargh!

I never buy a product because I like the packaging. I buy a product because I like the product. Sometimes it takes longer to get the product out of the package than it takes to install what is in it (e.g., new doorknobs and door locks, or batteries).

Bob H., via email

Dear Heloise: We save our crumbs from pretzel and potato chip bags, crackers, nonsweet cereal, etc., and mix them in a container.

These make fabulous, tasty coatings for fish and chicken. We never get the same mix twice!

Nancy in The Villages, Fla.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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