(they call me Alliteration Tim)
1. If you can spare the money…check your bag. I have found that there is less hassle in the airports if you keep to just your small personal bag, and not have to lug around a larger one, even if it has wheels.
2. ALWAYS carry TUMS, or some other type of antacid relief, whether you are exploring new areas, or just in the airport. Heartburn can ruin a trip easily, so be prepared.
3. Carry some small, dry foods. I like CLIFF bars. If you are camping or in the wilderness, research local wildlife, or read signs to determine if food is or isn’t a good idea. If you are in a city, on a tour, or in an airport, dry food can save you money, and give you a little boost.
4. Go to the bathroom before you board the plan, especially if you eat before your flight. Force it out if you have too.
5. Invest in a credit card that has zero foreign transaction fees. Kara and I use CHASE Sapphire, and I believe all cards in that line, like Reserve, also have the option. You’ll save plenty of cash on those transaction fees.
6. Call your banker / credit company before hand and advise you are traveling out of the country. Be specific in the dates you will be in each country, when you leave, when you return, etc.
7. Look into the water situation in the place you are traveling before you go. Is tap water safe? Should you go bottled? Something to think about to prep, either in the airport before you head to your destination, or before you go out on your trips.
8. Like any big city, town, area, etc, avoid sketchy parts of town, or non well lit areas. It’s bad enough in your home country where you at least speak the language, but being mugged on someone else’s turf has trouble all over it…especially if you are carrying passports, credit cards, and your phone. You cannot lose these items.
9. If you’re going out of the country, give your family, or your emergency contact, photocopies of your passport. If you do lose your passport, hopefully your contact can get the information over to authorities in whatever country you are in. Never hurts, just in case…
10. If you’re like me, you like to sample local beer, wine, drinks, etc. I would recommend to keep any heavy drinking in the safety of your own hotel/hostel (if you are going to go heavy). Being very inebriated in an unknown place can make you a target for crimes, so be responsible.
11. For long flights (or even short flights), keep an extra pair of underwear close by. Same goes for mouth wash, deodorant, toothpaste/brush.
12. While you may be a tourist exploring a new place, remember that other people have lives there and have places to go. Don’t stand and stop in the middle of a busy walkway. Move to the side, let others go by. If you are traveling to a place that travel on the opposite side of the road…look right first, then left, then RIGHT again. I nearly killed us first thing out of Glasgow’s Enterprise lot because I looked left first when entering a roadway. Remember to travel on the correct side of the road in the place you are going.
13. Have fun! But remember, you are a guest in someone else’s home. Adapt and adjust to different laws, regulations, and sometimes cultures.