Thursday, August 4, 2011

Traveling

LET ME SHARE A FEW TRAVEL TIPS.

● Advise your credit card company where you are traveling.

● Don't over pack! You might not be super practical like Rick Steves and his one carry-on bag, but be smart about what you bring. You probably only need 50% of what you first pack.

● Make photocopies of your airline and hotel itineraries. Place a copy on top of your clothes in your suitcase in case of lost luggage.

● Don't put your home address on your luggage tags. Use your business address.

● Save a little room for purchases and gifts.

● Put a holiday stop on your mail and newspapers.

A successful trip to Topeka or Tashkent takes good planning, communication, and even a little luck. Stuff can happen so you want to work on the details in advance. Marla and I are heading to Positano & Italy's Amalfi Coast for a Wesco Fabrics incentive trip. Basics for international travel:

● Buy foreign currency before your trip. Currency exchanges can be expensive at airports. I use Wells Fargo.

● ATM's are your best bet for currency abroad. You can bring U.S. currency to exchange in banks as well, but bills must be new in most Asian countries.

● Make photocopies of you passport. Carry a copy during the day and keep the original in the hotel safe. Know the location of the nearest U.S. Embassy if you need to replace your passport. I recommend that you do not keep your driver's license and you passport in the same place. This is especially important if you purse is stolen.

If you have a fairly new cell phone it is likely a GSM phone. Call your wireless provider about activating an "international plan." If you have a smart phone, remember to switch to "airplane mode" and wait till you find a "hotspot" to download emails or get online. Data roaming fees can really add up! Tell friends and family not to call unless it is an emergency! You will be charged for the call even if you don't answer them.

I have my own travel regimen on a plane.

● Sleeping pills for flights over 9 hours.

● Avoid alcohol. Hydrate like crazy!

● If you are flying coach bring eye mask and earplugs.

● Set your watch to time of your destination and try to get some sleep.

● Sync quicker on arrival by getting as much sun as possible.

"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of the living." And never forget, "all journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."

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