Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Travel Tips: Being Prepared

If you are traveling out of the country here is a list of 10 things you should carry with you at all times to keep yourself safe and comfortable. The fact of the matter is that things can and do happen when you travel and you’ve spent a lot of money so where these items will not necessarily safeguard your entire trip they can make transitions easier and will be useful in the event of an emergency. Every single one of these issues have presented themselves to either myself, friends or family members. There are many situations that are avoidable when traveling so it is essential that you do not expect that you are invincible. Plan for the worst and pray for the best.

1.      100 Dollars Cash
*100 dollars is the perfect amount of cash to carry with you on your daily outings, it’s enough for cabs, food, water, a phone call and it is an amount of money that is easy to part with if lost or stolen. Mind you this is an extra 100 dollars, this does not include the price of tickets, souvenirs, or meals at restaurants-for these you must plan accordingly. This money is for emergencies/necessities and should not be kept in your wallet.
2.      Identification
*Generally this would be your drivers’ license. You never know when you’re going to need it and as grim as this sounds it could also be used to identify you. Make a copy before you leave to be left at your hotel with your belongings.
3.      Passport
*Depending on which country you are in you may be required to carry your passport with you at all times, if you are in a place where it is not mandatory and do not feel comfortable carrying on your person, you should at least carry a photo copy of the passport with you.
4.      Currency Converter
* 1,5,10,20,50,75.100 write down these numbers and exchange equivalents to use as a quick reference. Laminate it and keep it in your wallet. It will make your life easier.
5.      Metric system converter
* Since most countries in the world use the metric system and most Americans are not familiar with this form of measurement, it would behoove you to carry a small card with some conversions on it. Whether you’re walking, driving or riding a bike it is always good to know how far away a destination is.
6.      Hotel information
*Either keep your hotel’s business card with you or write down yourself the hotel name, phone number and address- write it down in English and the native alphabet-when you’re traveling it’s easy to become overwhelmed with everything else around you and this is certainly not the information you want to forget.
7.      Credit Card
*Carry just one credit card with you-I would recommend one with no more than a two thousand dollar balance. You want to be prepared but also be realistic about being able to pay it off if you spend too much or if it is stolen. Be sure to write down the credit card info and keep it in a safe place back at the hotel with your stuff in the event it is lost or stolen and you need to cancel it.
8.      Phone
* It is worth it to either purchase or upgrade to a phone with an international plan, they are less expensive than you might think and if there is any sort of emergency you can easily get in touch with family (or police- God forbid-do not forget to program the number for the police in that country into your phone as soon as you arrive)
9.      Bottle of water
* Unless you are very use to travel or have an incredibly strong stomach, for no reason should you drink water that is not bottled when visiting another country. No matter how urbanized the country may be the fact is that every country has different standards for clean water that your body is not acclimated to. The last thing you want to happen on your trip is to become ill and unable to enjoy your vacation.
10.  American Embassy Information
* It may seem overkill, but it is essential to have the address and phone number on the American Embassy with you. Do not rely on the internet to find such information, the area of travel may not have service and things are not as easily accessible in other countries as they are in the U.S. You would need such information if your passport was lost or stolen, if a political war broke out during your trip or many other terrible possibilities you could only imagine but that do happen.

1 comment:

  1. Also never put on your landing card under occupation "unemployed". You could end up detained for a few hours or sent home. Just sayin. :)


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