Traveling can have perks other than those you'd expect, particularly if you're staying in a suite, condo or house where you'll be cooking.
Grocery stores in various areas of the country carry not only different brands, but big brand names may have flavors of items that aren't available in our area, such as bacon-flavored Ritz crackers. Or, you may find completely different product lines from familiar big brand names.
Like here, many grocery chains require loyalty/rewards cards in order to receive sale prices and special offers.
You can take a few minutes to sign up for a free loyalty card, then tuck it away until your next trip to that area. Or, ask at the service desk whether cashiers have courtesy cards they can scan to give you the sale prices without applying for a card.
ShopKick users will have a pleasant surprise in certain areas because there may be many more stores offering Kicks points.
Some of the southern department stores offer walk-in kicks and Publix, a large grocery chain, offered 460 Kicks this week.
If you're traveling with pets, particularly dogs, you can Google to find hotels that are pet-friendly, but be sure to check their terms.
Some hotels, such as Red Roof Inns, do not charge extra for pets and do not require a deposit. Others require one or both, but some deposits are non-refundable.
Also check to see if each hotel chain has a loyalty card. You may receive special offers, discounts, free nights or small perks. And you can sign up for email specials.
For those going to warmer climates where mosquitoes, in particular, may be a problem, be sure to use an insect repellent with Deet.
Several of the major brands have a "dry" spray that's so much nicer than runny, oily sprays.
Off! brand Deep Woods dry spray has a fresh, non-chemical smelling spray I like because so many harsh-smelling types give me headaches, and they're messy to use.
Karen Silverman lives in Eldersburg and can be reached at email@example.com.