- Always put your money and credit cards in your front pockets. So often pickpocketers reach for open purses and back pockets.
- Avoid jetlag by adjusting to the time zone you are going to. This means if you arrive at 8am in a country – don’t go to sleep, but immediately partake in a fresh new day.
- Never exchange money at your hotel. Their rates are generally exorbitant as they assume you are too lazy to venture outside the hotel.
- Avoid seats in bulk head rows on planes– they are generally located near the bathrooms and baby stations – unless of course, you don’t mind the constant chatter on the bathroom line and enjoy hearing babies cry all night.
- Drink plenty of water while on the plane. It keeps you energized, refreshed, and helps prevent dry skin on long flights.
- When packing – roll your clothes instead of folding. It saves time and space. Your clothes will not be wrinkled.
- Stuff socks and underwear into your shoes. It saves on space.
- When hiring a local guide consider the recommendations of the local tourism office. Also, if you are renting your own car make sure the guide is not driving your car for insurance purposes. If they crash you’re still responsible – not them.
- Always make a copy of your passport and put it in a separate location – in case it is lost or stolen at least you can take the copy to the local embassy.
- Always keep your passport on you. This is the best way to ensure it will not be lost or stolen.
- Plan ahead. If you want to visit certain historic sites, monuments or museums find out which days they are closed – never assume they are open.
- Want to avoid an elbow or knee war with the person sitting next to you? You know the ones that always invade your space….Nicely ask them at the beginning of the flight (as you suspect trouble is brewing) to be kind enough to stay in their space because you have a horrible cold or skin rash and you don’t want to give it to them. Works every time!
- Pack a wireless travel charger – ideal for all electronics and including headphones and mobile devices.
- If a shady looking stranger asks you if you would like your picture taken never lend them your phone or camera as chances are you will never see it again as they run off.
- If you are planning to drive for the bulk of your trip bring your own GPS as back up.
- If you are planning to drive throughout your trip, always keep change for the tolls. Your domestic credit card will not work at the toll booths if traveling internationally. With the popularity of chip cards this should change.
- If you’re going to India or some other third or fourth world country – bring your own roll of toilet paper. Do not assume the stops or restaurants you make along the way will have TP plus they use highly chemicalized colors which often cause severe skin irritation.
- Do not leave your suitcases in the rental car. Thieves are savvy and know who is a tourist by the rental plates.
- Always bring your version of a first aid kit – bandages, aspirin, and pain relievers.
- Never walk into the airplane’s bathroom without shoes on and please for God’s sake, roll up your pants or skirt. No need to be drenched in cooties. You’d be surprised how many people do not follow this tip.
- When traveling to another country, please don’t be a loser by going to a local McDonald’s or Burger King. There are many wonderful inexpensive cafes and food stations that offer local cuisine.
- Always bring tissues and handy wipes – there are germs and slobs everywhere.
- Bring snacks – trail mix, nuts, kind bars – small items that will keep you going for the adventure ahead.
- Pack zip-lock bags in an array of sizes – they will always come in handy!
- In tropical or very rural areas, please check your bed, your toilet, and shower before stepping in or on. You never know what creature can be lurking ranging from centipedes and red ants to scorpions to other unpleasant critters. Same thing applies to when you are walking especially if you are wearing flip flops or sandals.
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