Hints from Heloise: Traveling during COVID

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Dear Readers: If you are flying out of the country, you may be required to show a negative COVID test before you board the aircraft. As life begins to return to normal and travel restrictions lift and folks are traveling more, some airlines are offering COVID tests.

There are several regulations in play with these tests, each airline’s protocol is a bit different and, even though you are COVID-negative, you still must wear a mask at all times.

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Your airport may offer testing as well; these tests are at the passenger’s expense. Contact your airline, medical professional or your airport’s website for more information. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’m so impatient! The rule for answering and responding to an email is to do it within 24 business hours.

With lots of us working from home these days, even answering a quick email on the weekend should not be a problem. I need to get my team on board! — Shelly T. in Texas

(c)2021 by King Features Syndicate Inc.


Dear Readers: Let’s start a series on an electronic funds transfer and everything related. First up: the electronic funds transfer itself.

An EFT occurs when you send or receive money without the aid of bank personnel — that is to say, electronically. It also can be called an electronic check. EFTs are usually faster, and they use less paper than a traditional financial transaction.

Wire transfers, getting paid by direct deposit, using your credit or debit card to pay for goods and services, and even retrieving money from the automated teller are all considered electronic funds transfers.

Fees typically do not apply, except perhaps at the ATM. Next week: the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, also known as Regulation E. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: How do I use my contactless credit card? — Brian B. in Texas

Brian, at checkout, look for the contactless symbol on the payment terminal at the checkout stand. It looks like a series of four closing parenthesis, growing larger from left to right.

All you have to do is tap your card on the reader. The system uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to read the information on your card. There’s no PIN to input; just grab your receipt and go.

There may be dollar amount limits for this method of payment. If your card is used without your permission, the bank is typically responsible for those charges. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: Here’s what bugs me: The 10 items or less line at the grocery store. Grammatically, it should read “10 items or fewer”! — Nitpicky in New Jersey

Nitpicky, ha-ha, yes! “Fewer” is used for things you can actually count; “less” is used for things you measure. Hopefully in the future we will see fewer grammatical mistakes; this will lessen our anxiety tremendously! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’ve found myself traveling in my car quite a bit this past year. If I need to pull over and take a quick nap, I thread my seatbelt through the door handle. This way, the car door (which is locked, of course) cannot be opened. — Dale B. in Florida

Dale, please park in a safe area that is well-lit, even if it precludes you from getting a nap. Never drive drowsy. — Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2021 by King Features Syndicate Inc.