Travel Tips

If you travel to strange places, the chances of encountering problems are greater than normal.  If you are well prepared for these situations, your trip will be much more pleasurable, fun, and adventurous.

Passports and Visas

Your passport is valuable, especially in third world countries.  Keep a photocopy for reference in a secured and easily accessible location in case yours is lost or stolen.  Note if your passport expires in 6 months, some countries may refuse you entry.  Some foreign immigration can spring a surprise on you and charge you for an entry or even an exit visa.

Consulates and local contacts

Before you go on a trip, locate and keep a record of addresses and phone numbers of consulates close to your destination.  Also, if you can establish a local contact or hire a travel guide, do so.

Medical Insurance

If possible, consider medical insurance coverage for overseas travel.

Maps and Phrase books

I’ve found these invaluable.  Also become familiar with phrases and words such as, ‘I’m lost, I need help, food’, water, bathroom, hotel, restaurant, etc.  I also travel with a compass.

Local holidays and business hours

Familiarize yourself with holidays and local customs.  You might travel for miles to get to a destination, only to find the place closed.  Observe local custom especially if there is religious significance involved.

Safety

Traveling in certain regions can be unsafe because of political unrest or crime.  Be careful and vigilant.  Always be friendly with the local law enforcement, and keep within the law.

Finances

Have access to ready cash, either hidden on your person or kept somewhere safe.  Look into bank transfers or other local access to cash in case of emergencies.

Contingency Plans

Transportation can be unreliable in certain parts of the world. Your driver, bus, or taxi may never show up. Learn local routes and have a backup plan.  I never imagined that my first horse riding experience would have been the result of a stranded trip.

15 Comments

15 thoughts on “Travel Tips

  1. Great tips – thank you!

  2. Thanks for the good tips.

  3. Immensely helpful tips! thanks for the share.

  4. Gus

    One might think that children will go through immigration faster, but that is not always the case. I’ve seen children getting the scrutiny at security check point. I guess the mindset was: children can be innocent carriers of illegal items.

  5. someone once told me it is cheaper to us an ATM in another country to convert cash to another currency thaen to pay the fees at a conversion booth at the air port. The fees of using an out-of-system ATM may be the only fee. Here is another tip for making it swiftly through customs…bring a sick child…http://ourlifein3d.com/?s=jamaica What are your thoughts on travel insurance?

    • It really depends on where you are going. I have used an ATM on occasions, but it is not my favorite mode of conversion. I bring US currency most times; I have used credit cards with good exchange rate (but find out before if there are foreign transaction fees!). I never convert $ at airports!
      Before you plan your trip, find out the going exchange rate. This is important..if you exchange in the U.S., you are buying foreign currency; if you are exchanging in the foreign country, you are selling U.S.D. I have found selling prices are more attractive. There are cambios (or even banks) in the country you visit that may offer good rates. It is always a good idea to have some a small amount of foreign currency in small bills on hand when you first arrive…to cover taxi, etc. Travel Insurance…most people I know who had travel insurance got burned. I think it only covers you if you are sick…but check the fine print thoroughly before you purchase. Some credit cards cover travel insurance too. About customs…it’s your demeanor that counts. Look honest, be polite, and smile a lot! Children are usually whisked through immigration faster, but not sure about Customs nowadays. Usually, there is a green light where you go straight through Customs, and a red light if you have things to declare. I usually head straight for the green.

  6. Thanks for the comment! Yes, it’s much better to have friends at places where you visit.

  7. I usually visit places I know,there are places I visited where I have very good friends.But your tips can be helpful.Thank you.

  8. Gus

    Timely Tips! Tell more about the horse riding experience:-)

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