Smart Tips

Back 2 Basics

Let’s go BACK 2 BASICS!

When you travel, there are many things you have to take into consideration before and when you go somewhere. Even if you flown before, going to basics when you are preparing yourself for an international flight is KEY. This post is for all of you with little travel experience – this is not to say that experienced travelers could not find it useful as well.

1.Passport and ID ready

You can’t imagine how many times I’ve heard people saying that they noticed their passport was expired the same day they were supposed to fly or worst at the airport! Not funny at all….

Some international trips will require weeks or months of planning beforehand. So the first basic thing you need to do is check your passport expiration date, ID too if applies. Consider that some countries require passports to have at least six months of validity remaining.

Bring copies of your passport. If your passport gets stolen or lost you want to be sure that you can still get back into the country, or be able to prove your citizenship. Leave a copy of your passport. For extra backup, leave a copy of your passport at home or with someone you trust. Consider making an electronic copy you can store in your email account as well.

2.Do your homework

After you choose where to travel, expect things not to be like they are “back home” so do your homework. It’s basic to do some research about the country you’re visiting: Culture, manners, laws, food, traffic, language, standards, weather,currency…. This is something you always need to keep in mind, to avoid disappointment. Everything is on the internet nowadays.

3.Plan ahead

Some people get overwhelmed when it comes to plan a trip, some of us make power points of each day activities – Soooo me. It’s basic to plan your trip or at least have an idea of what you are going to do during the trip. There are so many applications that you can use to plan your trip.

Someone wisely once said…”It pays to plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” So do it, It helps you to get what you want, find the experiences you wish for, and can also save you money.

This is so important and people keep forgetting about this. If you’re traveling internationally check the coverage of your health insurance. If you are not going to be covered, be sure to buy the proper travel insurance if needed. If is not going to cover buy a proper travel insurance if needed. Also, check with your credit card issuer to confirm if they include travel insurance as a benefit. A lot of people doesn’t know this, I’ve saved quite a bit since I learned the value in this.

During your research check if vaccinations are required before travelling and of course always travel with your medications and prescriptions. If you are going to a 10 days trip, pack for 15 days, you never know!

4.Insurance

This is so important and people keep forgetting about this. If you’re traveling internationally check the coverage of your health insurance. If is not going to cover buy a proper travel insurance if needed. Also, check with your credit card issuer to confirm if they include travel insurance as a benefit. A lot of people doesn’t know this, I’ve saved quite a bit since I learned the value in this.

During your research check if vaccinations are required before travelling and of course always travel with your medications and prescriptions. If you are going to a 10 days trip, pack for 15 days, you never know!

5. Pack with a list.

What you need to pack depends on where you’re going and for how long. Most travelers have a tendency of bringing extra stuff and overweight luggage can be very expensive. Travel lightly can be approached – I’ll be sharing more tips at my post: http://www.blogbyjoa.com/2017/08/06/smartpacking/

Going back 2 basics, my advice is to make a list! Not two days before your trip, but weeks. There will always be things suddenly pop into your head that you will need to write down. Check with the airline, luggage allowance for personal items, carry-ons, and checked bags.

6. Be safe

Before you go:

  1. Call your bank or credit card provider to report your traveling.
  2. Always have local cash.Not every place takes credit cards. Especially important places like trains or buses.
  3. Register with your embassy in case of unexpected emergencies.
  4. Leave a copy of your itinerary to someone you trust, just in case of an emergency.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing to your flight.
  6. Check with your airport about car parking rules for international flights.
  7. Arrive at the airport two to three hours before your flight.
  8. Safety begins when you pack. To help avoid becoming a target, do not dress in a way that could mark you as an affluent tourist. Expensive-looking jewelry, for instance, can draw the wrong attention.

While traveling:

  1. Stay hydrated.Dehydration is a common problem on long flights, which can lead to exhaustion or irritability. Pack an empty bottle and fill it at a drinking fountain once you are through or buy one once airside.
  2. Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets.
  3. Try not to travel alone at night.
  4. Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
  5. Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments.
  6. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
  7. Avoid scam artists by being wary of strangers who approach you and offer to be your guide or sell you something at bargain prices.
  8. Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will jostle you; ask you for directions or the time; point to something spilled on your clothing or distract you by creating a disturbance.
  9. Beware of groups of vagrant children who could create a distraction to pick your pocket.
  10. Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.
  11. Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority.
  12. Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand.
  13. Learn a few phrases in the local language or have them handy in written form so that you can signal your need for police or medical help.
  14. Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  15. If you are confronted, don’t fight back — give up your valuables.

Put into practice these quick tips and you’ll be a safety pro in no time!

Until next one!

Muah!-Joa

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