Business Opinion

Consumer Diary: Travel Tips and Pot Sales

Air Tamer. Courtesy photo

Consumer columnist and West Hartford resident Harlan Levy has more than 20 years of experience writing stories about everyday experiences that anyone could encounter.

Harlan Levy. Courtesy photo

By Harlan Levy

Travel tips

I’m amazed at how much traveling we do – almost every weekend my wife and I drive to either Manhattan or Lancaster, PA, to visit our children and their families, although it’s mostly to babysit our grandchildren and give the parents some relief. We also drive to the Berkshires for plays and short non-children getaways, and this weekend we’re driving to visit old friends in Rhinebeck in upstate New York. Then, in early November we’ll drive to Washington D.C. for six days to visit some more old friends – with two toddlers.

All this traveling! Oy! Just as the dreaded resurgence of Covid threatens! So we always wear our masks whenever we go inside a store, a market, a theater, etc. One thing we don’t want to do is give Covid to our kids, their kids, or our friends’ kids.

Masks aren’t that comfortable, but recently I found makers of cheap 3D flexible silicone or rubber face mask brackets/spacers that I wear for more breathing room, comfortably keeping my masks away from my face and avoiding fogging up my glasses, available on Amazon (BOTN, 10 black silicone brackets, $13.98 and Leezaule 6 multi-colored soft rubber brackets, $9.99). Check them out. Avoid other brands’ hard plastic brackets.

These flexible 3D soft silicone or rubber face mask brackets keep the mask away from your face for easier breathing. Courtesy photo

Here’s another healthy item that our daughter’s mother-in-law showed us when she visited Manhattan recently. She lives in Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia, so she’s a frequent flier and always wears her small portable A320 AirTamer air purifier ($189.99) around her neck as well as her mask when flying and in airports. I never saw one before and commended her for this bright idea.

Air purifiers remove contaminants from the air via a circulating fan which pulls in the air around you, then pushes it through a filter where all the pollutants are trapped before the clean air is pushed back out. But all air purifiers aren’t designed the same way. Prices vary by brand. The AirTamer A302 is $79.99, $150 for the rechargeable A310, others as cheap as $38.99.

When you arrive at your hotel, here’s a tip, especially if you’re going to Paris, currently going crazy over a scourge of bedbugs found in hotels, the Metro subway, etc.: Keep your luggage in the bathtub, because bedbugs can’t climb smooth surfaces.

Legal pot sales: Big business

Do you partake of recreational weed, pot, marijuana … or do you know anyone who does? Whether you approve or not, apparently there are a lot who do.The state Department of Consumer Protection announced preliminary data last week showing that sales for adult-use cannabis and medical marijuana totaled more than $25 million from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, 2023 – $14.3 million for 376,035 products for adult use, almost $11 million for 284,116 products of medical weed. Usable cannabis, or flower, made up 52%of sales; vapes were 30%. Edibles were 11%. The average price for medical marijuana was $38.21. It was $38.37 for adult use products.

Adult-use sales began Jan. 10, 2023. You can buy up to 1/4 ounce of raw flower, edibles, or the equivalent per transaction and up to five ounces per month of medical weed.

Now you know.

West Hartford resident Harlan Levy has been a consumer columnist for more than 20 years. He concentrates on revealing notable personal experiences and everyday consumer situations that either he or his wife encounter — sometimes ridiculous, outrageous, or downright laughable. But all relate to most readers’ common predicaments, including damaged goods and unresponsive sellers, unwanted automatic renewals, and various deceptive, insidious scams. He offers analysis, warnings, and practical solutions and advice.

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