Dear Heloise: As a flight attendant with a major airline, I advise everyone to pack light. Air travel is convenient, safe and fairly easy, but it can be expensive. Fares keep going up, as well as fees for excess weight in your luggage, so please tell your readers to pack only what they know they need on a trip. You can buy anything else you forgot or need when you get to your destination. This will save you money and an argument with the ticket agent when your bag is weighed.

Molly D. in Atlanta

Dear Heloise: I know that when most people travel they want to have enough money to enjoy the trip, but there is one investment they shouldn't overlook: travel insurance. Perhaps nothing bad has ever happened to you before, but that doesn't mean it won't or can't happen. If you travel out of the country, you can't depend on other countries covering your expenses if you need emergency medical treatment, a cast on a leg or to be airlifted to a hospital.

Credit cards offer insurance on many items you buy, but they don't always cover medical expenses, canceled flights or a long list of other travel-related expenses. They usually don't cover nonrefundable tickets or help you if you are robbed. So get that travel insurance before you go on your next trip.

Renee G., Eugene, Ore.

Dear Heloise: The following are some hints I have used around the house:

* If you're removing fiberglass insulation, put your arm through long plastic bags like those you find on newspapers. Cut holes for your fingers, then slip on gloves to protect your hands. The plastic bags help keep the fiberglass off your forearms and shirt sleeves.

* Use your water tooth cleaner as a mini jet washer to clean the dishwasher filter, jewelry, etc.

* Save the paint stir stick when you paint a wall. You can use it to help select other colors for things like curtains, sofas and chairs.

* Always paint the molding in a room first. It's easier to cut in the larger flat surfaces adjacent to them than to paint the molding after a wall is painted.

Phil Nester, Smithsburg, Md.

Dear Heloise: I read your column in The (Fort Dodge, Iowa) Messenger every day. I have a question about hot-air hand dryers.

My friends think that the dryers spread many germs, so some of them do not wash their hands. I now carry a paper towel in my back pocket to use after washing my hands.

Tony H., Rockwell City, Iowa

Tony H.: Most hand dryers have a filter that’s supposed to be removed and cleaned. There has been some research done, and it has been found that hot-air dryers do spread germs!

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