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Travellers Tips

Don’t Be A Target of Crime

Avoid wearing conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of cash or credit cards. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers

 

Don’t Leave Home Without Help (Travel Insurance)
Be sure you have 24/7 access to emergency assistance services. The majority of Travel

Guard’s travel insurance plans include 24-hour, worldwide emergency assistance services. Keep the assistance hotline number with you at all times to reach trained travel counselors that can help you in almost any emergency situation. Rebooking hotels and flights, coordinating emergency medical evacuations are just a few of the services available with most Travel Guard plans.

 

Don’t Miss Your Flight

Arrive at the Airport three hours prior to departure. Travelers must check in at the ticket counter with photo identification and, depending on the destination, a passport.

 

Don’t be a foreign tourist target.
Educate Yourself

Educate yourself regarding immigration practices, health conditions, political disturbances, currency and entry regulations as well as crime and security information for the countries to which you’ll be traveling. For a list of countries and access to this type of information click here. Ensure Safe Travels Abroad.

 

Know Your Embassy
Know the location and contact information
Renew Your Passport

Renew your passport six to nine months before it expires. Most countries will not grant you entry if your passport is due to expire in the coming months. To find out more about passport requirements click here.

 

Advance Seat Assignment
Are Your Immunizations Up-to-Date?

Be sure to consult travel medicine experts before engaging in international travel! Immunizations and prescriptions for preventative medications can help to ensure a healthy trip.

 

Make sure that you find out about the wet and dry seasons, or other possible weather conditions that may affect your holiday. If you are using a travel agent then make sure that you ask about this, even though they should tell you.
Ask your agent, or other sources to find out whether the hotel or even the destination has any work going on. Again the agent should tell you, however he/she may have over looked the hotel that is being built right next door.
If you are travelling to an area that may be considered a ‘hot zone’ (possibly dangerous) then check with your insurance company to verify whether you will be covered in case something goes wrong. If they do not, and you still want to travel, then find one that will.
If your itinerary may change, ensure that there are absolutely no charges if you do change the dates or times of flights. Ask your agent to fully explain the restrictions that may appear, on your ticket, to ensure that they meet with your needs.
If you are flying with one of the alliances, such as Star or One World. Just verify with your agent what plane is going to be used. They should tell you, but it is surprising how often you will see people complaining that they expected to be on a Singapore Airline plane, not the Lufthansa one that they find themselves on. This is the result of the code share agreements that the airlines are using.
If money is valuable and if you are buying a plane ticket on a certain airline and have been told that due to these code sharing agreements you will actually be flying on another airline. Then call around or check if you can buy any cheaper tickets on the actual airline that you will be flying. Believe it or not code share does not mean price share and you may be able to find much cheaper.
It is recommended to buy your holiday using a credit card. This gives you the comfort of official records, and also additional insurance that comes with the card.
At the Hotel:
A few tips to avoid your valued possessions taking a walk:
If the hotel has an in-room safe use it and keep all your valuables.
If the safe is electronic, wipe the touch keys down before operating it with a damp cloth, and then dry it before entering your secret code. Try to do this every time you use the safe.
Never leave valuables in soft/material bags with pockets even if they are padlocked.
Never get drunk and invite a stranger to your room. This seems funny, indeed, but better safe than sorry.
Arriving:
Keep a small amount of local currency, easily accessible in a pocket
Travel Research: What type of research should I do before I travel?
Do some research; learn as much as you can about your destination.
Check to see what type of weather the area has so you can plan accordingly.
Check with the U.S. State Department concerning safety warnings for U.S. tourists at your destination.
Find out if you will need a passport to enter the country. Make sure your passport is up to date and valid. Some countries will not let you in if your passport will expire within six months of your return home, extend it, if you are close to expiration.
Find out if you will need any visas to enter the country.
Check to see what other type of paperwork and documentation you will need to travel.
Find out what type of diseases are common to the area you’ll be visiting and take actions to prevent your exposure to those diseases.
Find out what types of vaccinations you will need to enter the country, there may also be medications you’ll need to take before, during and even after your trip.
Find out what type of electrical outlets the country uses, you may need a special converter or adapter to use your electrical appliances.
Check your own medical coverage to see what type of coverage you’ll have when away from home. Consider purchasing trip insurance.
Do some research about the costs of local items so you can set your budget. Don’t forget to budget for taxes and tipping, many governments charge high taxes for travel related services.
Check the financial section of your newspaper, they usually post exchange rates and checking in advance can give you an idea of how much you’ll need to budget.
Do some research with U.S. Customs to find out what you can take with you and what you may bring back.
Build some basic language skills in the local language.
Check the dates of local major holidays, since services may be limited on those dates.
If you plan on driving, investigate the local road conditions, laws and other driving requirements.
Most of the world uses the metric system, so try to become familiar with this system. 1 kilometer = .62 miles so 100 kilometers per hour = 62 miles per hour.
How to pack:
Garment Bags

Garment bags can be exceptionally nice for short business trips. Most airplanes have little compartments with a bar that you can hang them on. Be advised, however, that those compartments fill up pretty quickly, and you may have to jam it into an overhead bin, wrinkling your suits and dresses.

 

Wheeled Luggage

If you must take heavy items (like, for example, six computer manuals and a replacement power supply), seriously consider some sort of wheeled contraption. One can purchase carts that can fold up and go inside the suitcase or suitcases that have wheels and a handle built in.

Suitcases with stiff, center-mounted racks are much more manageable than suitcases with “leashes”. The leashed suitcases have a tendency to wobble, tip, get stuck, fall over, etc. The leash is always too short for your height, so you end up walking hunched over anyways. Leashed luggage is exceptionally ill-suited for those lovely, picturesque cobbled streets that your charming little pensioner with no elevator is on.

A good, hard-sided suitcase with a rack can be a bit pricey. However, consider that this is much, much, MUCH cheaper than back surgery.

 

Cheap Luggage

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you should remember that it is not mandatory to purchase a special valise for carry-on items. A few sturdy garbage bags can work just fine.

 

You can also put things in boxes.

Be sure to wrap them extremely securely with glass reinforced tape, and recognize that they will get very rough handling. Furthermore, the airlines will not take responsibility for damaging anything in a cardboard box. You take your chances.

 

Duffle Bags

For long-term, low-end travels (e.g. the Grand Eurail Tour of Europe), my personal luggage of choice is an old, beat up, blue nylon duffle bag. It is large enough to take a week’s worth of clothes (if I am not too fussy) and small enough that I can’t fill it fuller than I can easily carry. It fits in the overhead compartment and it weighs practically nothing.

 

A Few Tips for Travel while Pregnant

Stiff and swollen feet, ankles, and legs are a problem for many passengers on long trips, and especially so for pregnant women. These tips should help you to cope with the problem.


Wear maternity support hose. You should put on stockings before you get out of bed and keep them on all day. Lie on your back as you pull them on. This will ensure that you start the day right.
Keep hydrated. Avoid coffee, tea, and pop. Instead, drink water or juice.
Wear comfortable shoes that have expandable gussets or Velcro-type closures that you can easily loosen.
Get up and take a short walk down the aisle about once every half hour. This is easiest on a plane if you prebook an aisle seat.
Elevate your feet whenever possible.
Every few minutes, lift each leg off the floor as you sit and rotate your foot at the ankle in both directions; then point your toes forward and back a few times. The pumping action will help to keep blood and fluids from pooling in your legs.
If you plan to take a plane trip while pregnant, discuss it with your doctor first. Barring any problems or complications, your doctor will probably let you go – except in the very early stages (when miscarriages are more likely to occur) or in the later stages (when you may be more likely to go into labor). Most airlines have regulations regarding how late into a pregnancy you may travel. Check before you fly to avoid disappointment.
It is probably not a good idea to travel anywhere that requires prior immunization. Avoiding the introduction or ingestion of foreign substances during pregnancy (including alcohol and nicotine)
Try to book a seat with comfort in mind:

A seat near the bathroom will facilitate more frequent bladder emptying. An aisle seat will make it easier to get up for quick walks (and trips to the washroom) Bulkhead seats have the most legroom. First class seats will be most comfortable – if you can afford the expenditure.

 

Medical Certification is Important

Don’t forget to get a medical certificate from your doctor before travelling, confirming that it is ok for you to travel at this stage.

 

Pass the Time in Tranquility

To kill time during a long trip, take your walkman or iPod with soothing music, chanting, prayers, or some nice baby development books. These will give you and your unborn baby immense happiness and peace.

 

Pay Attention to Nutrition

Always carry your own food while travelling. Home prepared food is best for the frequent nutrition required at this stage. Avoid packing junk food or anything purchased readymade from the market. Try carrying fresh fruits and juice tins or tetra packs, as they are easy to carry and nutritious.