7 International Travel Tips
7 International Travel Tips
Countless hours have been spent watching the Travel Channel. You have been to travel websites, such as Trip Advisor, searching for cheap hotels, cheap flights, travel deals, and travel packages. You may have purchased travel guides as well. It’s also possible that a travel advisor or travel agent was consulted to help you plan one of your most fabulous vacations. However, once you have prepared the travel and have your hotel, itinerary and airline tickets, a question will remain regarding traveling around the world. What might I forget to do before I travel abroad? Below are 7 International Travel Tips to help you with your travel journey.
With so much going on as we travel, it is possible to lose a passport while traveling. Here is a travel tip to help in case you are unfortunate enough to lose or have your passport stolen. Make a copy of everyone’s passport who will be traveling with you. Then, make enough copies for everyone in your party. This way, if someone no longer has their passport, all the vital information will be available from one of the travel companions.
2. Cell Phone
These days our cell phones are attached to our hip. We take them everywhere we go. So, it would make perfect sense that we take it along on our vacation as well. But before you travel, check your cell plan before you leave the country. Some carriers do not charge extra for certain countries. While other providers charge either by the day, the month and or the data used.
If your plan requires a new international plan, make sure to add it at least a day before you travel out of the country. Also, make sure to end the service at least several days after your return in case you are forced to remain in another country due to unforeseen reasons. Many carriers do require Roaming to be turned for the phone to work internationally. And whenever possible, use Wi-Fi to offset any cost while traveling.
3. CREDIT CARDS
We don’t leave home without our credit cards. And, they are an integral part of our travel plans. Without our trusty credit card making purchases would be more difficult. But not all credit cards are created equal. Some charge an international transaction fee while others do not. I always use one without such costs. In my opinion, there is no need to pay more for my purchases than the original price I agreed upon in the first place.
Once you have decided on which cards will be accompanying you on your vacation, make sure to call each card to discuss where you are traveling and the dates as well. This helps the credit card company, and you as well, should fraud occur.
Some cards require pin numbers to get cash while traveling. It’s a good idea to set up a pin just in case an emergency arises, and you require more cash than expected. Another travel tip is to make copies of the front and back of each card you are taking. This helps you have all of the pertinent information required to report your card either lost or stolen.
4. Airline Tickets and Hotel Information
These days, many of us use our cell phone to present our airline tickets when flying. Having access to e-tickets is truly amazing. That is unless one loses their cell phone. Then, it becomes problematic to not only to produce an airline ticket but also challenging to remember all of the flight information. In that case, a paper ticket is useful.
Here is a solution I use each time I fly. Make a photocopy of your ticket information as well as the airline tickets for everyone in your party. Everyone traveling with you should have a copy as well. This way, should one or more lose their tickets, someone has the required travel documents handy. Do the same with your hotel reservations. You never know when you may need this information
5. Travel Safety
Being safe while traveling should be a concern of everyone. Things can happen such as muggings and more. Here are some tips to help keep you safe while travelling.
Do not wear expensive jewelry while traveling. Aside from my wedding ring, I avoid all other jewelry to be on the safe side. You may become the target of a mugging if it appears that you have something of value to steal. The same goes for your cell phone. Do not take it out in public unless necessary.
Not long ago while traveling through South Africa, the wife and I stopped at a local flea market. While there, for some reason, one of our cell phones began to play music. As we worked to shut off the music, we got the attention of a few people who started to follow us through the market. We managed to get back to our car without incident. However, had the cell phone not made an appearance, we could have spent more time enjoying the market.
Another trick I have used that can save some issues during a pickpocket or mugging is a dummy wallet. I always carry one when traveling. What’s a dummy wallet you ask? It’s a wallet that does not hold your credit cards, money, and identification.
Instead, this wallet will house an expired credit card or an old one that you replaced. This dummy wallet also contains a small amount of local currency. This way, if a pickpocket sees where you place the wallet and are successful in the theft, they have not stolen anything of importance.
Also, there is the unfortunate situation of being mugged. By handing over the dummy wallet, you may save your real cash and documents. However, always use good judgment and be aware of your surroundings. Do not use these tips alone.
Before you travel to another country, make sure to check the Department of State Travel Advisory for safety information and additional tips
6. Don’t be a Rude Tourist
Sometimes not standing out as a tourist is not an easy task. However, being polite and courteous is essential and not that difficult to achieve. Start by learning some local words such as, please, thank you, and pardon me. Also, learn words that may be important to you such as “Where is the bathroom?” “Is there meat in this dish?” Keep in mind, some countries do not view chicken or fish as meat so you may have to learn those words as well.
Learn some of the customs, so you are aware of what to expect. For instance, while traveling in Trinidad, we had lunch at a wonderful restaurant. This place brought a basket of bread to the table. We did not eat all of the bread. However, we had a pleasant conversation with some locals who were dining that day as well. During this conversation, we shared our bread with our new found friends.
Once our meal was finished, and we were ready to check out, we found that there is a charge for each piece of bread consumed. So, here we thought the basket of bread was part of the entire meal. But instead, that was not the case.
Another trip, this time in Paris, we were ordering crepes from a street vendor. We tried desperately to place our order in French with little success. The vendor says “Don’t worry, I speak English. What can I get you?” We began to give our order as a rude tourist walked behind us and began shouting his order to the vendor, in English. The vendor said “One minute, please,” to the tourist who began stating his order even louder this time. That’s when the vendor turned to him and said “No English”. Had the tourist been more polite, it would have gone a long way.
7. Travel Packing Tips
Packing for a long trip can be a problem for some people. Many will overpack because they are not sure what they need. Whenever I travel, I do so with a travel backpack no matter how long my journey might be. I like to take as little as possible to make travel easier.
There are times that you might travel in an area where you might have to go in a jeepney, in a car with a small trunk, or even on a Tuk Tuk. Space is limited in all of these. By having less to travel with, the easier the travel will be.
I do spend times hiking while I travel so my shoes get dirty. There are also times that my shoes get wet due to the weather. To keep my clothing clean in my travel backpack, I place shower caps on each shoe. This prevents the shoe debris off of my other items while keeping the inside of the pack clean.
Another packing tip
Another packing tip I use when I travel is I will bring articles of clothing I am ready to discard. Instead of throwing them in the trash, I bring them with me throughout my travels. Once my trip is near its end, or an item is no longer needed, I find someone to donate these items to.
In many countries, the people you meet may be impoverished. Sharing these items serves serval purposes. First, you are helping someone in need. Second, the items will be reused and not end up in the landfill. Third, you now have extra room in your bag for items you have purchased on your trip.
Just recently, my wife and I traveled to South Africa. While there, we stayed at a tiny mom and pop facility. When we were about to check out, we gifted a few articles of clothing to the housekeeping staff.
The housekeepers were so excited about the gift. They cried, hugged us, and thank us more times than anyone ever had. This methodology made someone’s day special while creating much-needed souvenir space in our bags.