travel disasters

Travel advice with key travel tips that can help keep your vacation on track

TRAVEL TIPS

Travel advice is everywhere on the Net but just knowing these essential travel tips can help you eliminate many of those travel demons. 

Getting travel advice is easy. Google the term and you will get list after list of advice. Some of it is great advice, some of it is just fluff.

I have taken the ones I think are most useful and, with my own experiences and learning curve, have compiled what i think are the most useful travel tips.

The joy of traveling can quickly become an expensive nightmare if you don’t do your homework.

Recently a friend of mine had some serious issues because she did not know that her passport was not considered valid when she went to Israel.

Even though she had 4 months left before her passport officially expired, this was not enough for the Israeli officials.

Her thought process was that she was going to Israel for two weeks and there would not be a problem. Obviously there was. Her trip was ruined.

Starting with the basics, here is some travel advice that can help you to easily avoid a cumulative travel disaster and worry.

It may seem like a no-brainer but how many problems begin with documentation – wrong visas, wrong information, expiring passports and alien custom requirements?

                 Travel Tip #1 ***Some of the most important travel advice many would wish they had received*** 

get your documentation in orderPROTECT YOURSELF FROM DOCUMENTATION ISSUES. In the event your passport is close to expiry over the next six months and you plan to travel abroad, check out the passport rules of the country you’re going to-some countries need to have your passport to be valid for three to 6 months past the date one enters the country.

The Phillipines, Indonesia, Israel the Philippines, and Israel, as an example, all mandate a six-month period of validity, beginning from the day you enter the country. For information about passport requirements, call the country’s consulate directly.

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#Use digital storage to keep copies of important documents

Store all your important documents

safe storage
  • Documentation is one of the easiest things to misplace, lose or have mugged off your person. If this happens in a foreign country, you can run into some uncomfortable situations. Emergency numbers are all well and good – ever tried to use them? Not a guarantee to connect with a human or at all
  • We live in the digital age – take advantage of it – Digitally scan all your documentation at home and then simply email them to a secure Web-based account. Compress the scans with a product such as 7 Zip file manger (free) or purchase  a zip program such as WinZip $30 +-), then e-mail yourself compact versions in a secure format. These will then be available to you anywhere in the world – as long as you can get access to the internet. It’ll save you a world of hurt to properly prepare for any eventuality.
  • Another option is to use the Cloud. Dropbox or similar is ideal for locating downloaded info. You just need to know your user name and password. Problem solved.
  • Keep your passport safe by leaving it in the hotel. You should not need it going out. Some change bureaus may request it but an id card should be sufficient if asked.
  • Always research your destination thoroughly – make sure you know all the local customs and requirements.
  • Be sure to take inoculations and things such as malaria tablets at the correct pre-vacation time.
  • For solo travel, particularly women, have a friend/partner be able to track you on Google maps in real time. It is easy – just set it up as follows: On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app  and sign in. People with this link can see your location for as long as you choose
  • Be very wary of Free Public WIFI. It’s great, it’s convenient but logging into sensitive accounts, I personally would avoid. Load up on all your travel tech – the map apps, translators and any digital paraphernalia you may want.
  • Let your Bank and Credit Card Company know of your travel intentions. It’s amazing to me how banks can become your #1 nemesis when traveling. Suddenly they put a hold on your account from further transactions and you end up having to make calls back to the bank at ungodly hours in your time zone to a usually less than helpful bank employee who then has you sitting on line, at international call rates, while she or he try and understand your problem
  • Beat jet lag with hydration, get some sunlight as soon as possible and take a long hot shower at the hotel right away
  • If traveling with a partner or friend, mix up some of your essential luggage. If you have a missing bag, at least you’ll have some key clothing in the other persons luggage…assuming their baggage arrived
  • Travel insurance is essential – it may look expensive to add to your travel costs, but trust me, the peace of mind and the relief when things go wrong could be priceless
  • Go with analogue when recording essential numbers, passwords, hotel addresses and the like. A hard-copy backup will help you when that battery is flat, cell phone is missing or some other horror reason why your digital stuff is useless.
  • Take a photo of your bags as they’re being checked in. If they don’t arrive on the other side, the airline rep will have a photo instead of you trying to describe them.
  • Make sure to save all your receipts so you get to claim tax back in foreign countries visited
  • Buy a sarong – whether you’re a man or woman. Light and cool, this sheet of material will have multi-purposes from head scarf to just using to carry, cover or anything else you may think it useful for.

10 Ingenious travel tips and hacks

travel tips to note

I have to admit that I am fast becoming one of those ‘hack’ addicts. I love anything that makes my life simpler. Some travel advice here may seem like a no-brainer but without checklists and reminders, it is easy to fall prey to situations that were totally avoidable.

Fortunately there are people out there who come up with the most ingenious ideas to assist in almost anything in life.  If you really want to amuse yourself and kill some time being amazed, just type in camping hacks or travel hacks and see what people have come up with as ingenious methods to make almost anything easier.

1. Always pack a pillowcase with you. That means the case, not the pillow. If you are in need of some time to rest your head, you can stuff it with clothing and voila – pillow. Also useful if you don’t trust the hygiene of the place you’re staying at.

2. Remember to buy food at supermarkets. You can get inexpensive prepared food that will be way cheaper than most things you buy at vendors or fast food joints

3. Have a few pens handy in reachable places. It’s a real plus when you are at airports having to fill out forms and without a pen.

4. A great travel tip I heard if for those of you who are obsessive about hygiene. One of the things I am touchy about is my toothbrush. I really like it to be sterile and using a clothes peg to create a stand is ingenious. No more laying it on the sink basin if you do not have a mug or glass handy.

5. Get free WiFi wherever and whenever you can. Foursquare offers millions of passwords worldwide from other contributor travelers. Whilst not all will be updated, it can be a real help.

6.Too many cables to pack? Use an old glasses or sunglasses case – perfect storage for cables. Another cool way for the ladies to store jewelry is to use a pillbox how to pack cables

7. Remember that most TV’s now have a USB port. If you do not have a charger with you or it is broken, just plug in your cell phone cable into the back of the TV USB port and recharge
 

8.  This one has to rate as some of the best travel advice you can get – Travel as light as you can. Nothing can dampen a vacation experience more than excessive luggage. Trains and buses can be a real pain with too much luggage to carry and airport checked luggage costs from low cost airlines will dilute any savings you may have scored from the cheap flight. The suggestion is that you set out everything you want to take with you on the bed and then remove roughly a third and put it back in the cupboard. You will thank yourself a thousand times for doing so when on your travels.

9. Roll your clothes to save space and wrinkles. Also, have a dryer sheet in the suitcase to keep things smelling fresh

10. Looking for a really cheap flight to someplace? Go to Skyscanner and just type in everywhere and that will give you some of the cheapest flights available. Very cool if you are spontaneous and just flexible to go anyplace that won’t cost your a fortune.

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Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.

Documentation

Europe

All of the countries of the Schengen Agreement – 25 European countries, which is most but not all of them – require only three months’ validity after exiting the country. 

Note that the United Kingdom is not on this list; in the U.K.’s case, any valid passport is accepted with no minimums enforced. *(subject to Brexit changes)

Policies among the European nations not in the Schengen Area vary quite a bit. schengen visa

Asia

The six-month validity requirement is quite common on the Asian continent. Among other countries, Burma (Myanmar), China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia require six months’ validity from the date of entry. India requires at least six months’ validity from the date a traveler applies for an Indian visa. 

Russia requires six months validity from the date of exit, and is known to be very strict about such matters. Middle Eastern nations vary in policy – Saudi Arabia is one that requires six-month validity.

Israel is technically an exception to the rule; however, the U.S. State Department notes that “although a passport valid for six months from the date of entering Israel is not required by the Government of Israel, airlines routinely require this and may prevent boarding if a traveler does not have at least six months validity on their passport.”

The Americas

Canada and Mexico do not enforce the six-month rule. Belize and Honduras are the Central American countries that have consistently required six months of validity, and Nicaragua’s policies may all but require it depending on the length and nature of your stay.

A number of South American countries also enforce the six-month rule, including Argentina, Paraguay and Ecuador, which also includes the Galapagos Islands.

Be aware that things can change super-fast in global politics. What worked yesterday might not work today. Be sure to check with all the relevant authorities regarding the requirements of your intended destinations border control.

travel tip symbol#Eat the local food

eat the local food travel tip

20 great pieces of travel advice

  1. ALWAYS research very thoroughly the place(s) you intend to go to.
    The cost of all flights, visas, inoculations, data expenses, transport etc is definitely something to be factored into your budget. Hidden expenses like these are easy to overlook.
  2. Check on the customs of a country. In my own experiences and that of fellow travelers, it pays to be very familiar with ALL the customs of a country and its people. What a westerner would think was acceptable behavior might be deemed extremely rude by the inhabitants of the country you are visiting. Aside from being rude, you could find yourself in legal problems if your innocent remark or gesture is considered unlawful.
  3. If you are a member of the LGBTQ community, it is imperative that you research carefully on the attitudes and laws of the country you are going to.
  4. Keep in mind that your credit card may not be accepted where you are going and that cash withdrawal machines can be scarce or nonexistent. Traveler’s checks are also not always honored.
  5. Be sure to carry cash. In Africa, the USD is a useful currency to travel with. In Europe, it is the Euro.
  6. Expect the unexpected. Travel anyplace will present issues and challenges. It is part of the experience.
  7. Be flexible both psychologically and financially.
  8. Always have a Plan B
  9. Make sure that you have adequate insurances and a reasonable slush fund to travel with.
  10. Pack less stuff then you think you’ll need. Just make sure you have a scarf and earplugs – essential!
  11. Backup everything on your tablet/laptop/mobile. There is nothing more excruciating then to have something break, get lost or stolen with all your contacts, photo’s notes and valuable info. Make a habit of backing up all the time
  12. Embrace the differences. Try not to judge and keep an open mind. Welcome the change because that’s why we travel…to learn.
  13. Have a designated go-to contact at home who can bail you out if you need help
  14. Eat the local food and try and make friends with the locals.
  15. Be cautious but not fearful
  16. Take an Extra Camera Battery and take LOTS of photos.
  17. If you’re going to be seeing lots of different places, a great tip is to take a photo of a city name someplace, on a wall, sign or building. Do this as your first photograph in every destination. This means that every new place you visit will be filed (in a sense) and when you look back on the 100’s of photo’s you’ll be easily able to identify the place it was as all the photos will be book ended.
  18. Learn some key phrases to use for the native language in the destination you are visiting.
  19. Pay attention to weather seasons. That low cost deal on the hotel and flight may have a good reason behind it.
  20. And finally, a priceless piece of travel advice : HAVE FUN! World Travel is a privilege and a gift. Make the most of it
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