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Travels Tips & Tools
- Before leaving for your trip, try to get some prior information. This will help, to have a vague sense of where you should be going .
- Whenever possible, especially in certain countries take either the airport limousine, or a hotel pick up.
- Never take a taxi that seems just to be hanging around, offering its services when there is a taxi queue available.
- Try to keep your wallet and valuables safely secured in a handbag or in one of your hand luggage.
- Change some money into the local currency before you depart. This gives you one less thing to worry about, and will stop you from pulling a large amount of money out at the airport arrivals.
- Keep a small amount of this local currency, easily accessible in a pocket or something, and away from the majority of your well earned money. You will need sufficient for the ride into town, a tip (perhaps) and a little for unforeseen needs like toll ways or a bottle of water.
- If the hotel has an in room safe, use it and keep all your valuables in there.
- Never leave valuables in soft/material bags with pockets. This avoids any potential of somebody simply splitting a seam to a pocket with a knife and removing select contents.
- Coordinate your clothes around one or two basic colors. This cuts down on the number of shoes and accessories you have to bring.
- Take as few clothes as possible. One person suggested one week's worth of clothes.
- Wear and carry washable silk clothing whenever possible. It is as warm as and as cool as cotton. It dries overnight and 10-15 pieces take no more room than two pair jeans. There are some other manmade fabrics that travel as well if not better, but they cost quite a bit more.
- Never take jeans as they take so long to dry. If both the time and money for laundering are concerns, take lighter weight pants.
- Try to look as if you know where you are going, this may not be so easy if after all it is the first ever time in that country, but even still look confident as IF you know.
- Carrying maps around looking perplexed, and stopping to look at monuments or buildings, obviously shows that you are from out of town, and may attract the wrong type of attention.
- Do NOT pull large amounts of cash out of your pocket. This will catch attention, no matter what country you are in.
- Try to think about where you are going that day and carry sufficient cash for that and any unforeseen extras, plus a card. That should cover all you need and will limit any losses if anything did happen.
- Do NOT accept drinks from anybody that you have just met, especially if in dubious surroundings or do not know, they could be laced with any type of concoction.
- Check on your first day whether you need to reconfirm your next flight, if so do it then. Some airlines do not require this anymore but it is still worthwhile calling them so that they at least have your contact details, in case the flight is delayed or whatever.
- Do not carry your passport around, leave it in the safe in your hotel. A photocopy will suffice if local law states that you need to.
- Dress conservatively and try to blend in.
- If you haven’t left your valuables at home, leave them in your hotel’s safe.
- Don’t draw attention to yourself, avoid wearing flashy jewelry and don’t display large amounts of cash. Carry only enough cash to make it through the day and leave the rest in the hotel’s safe.
- Avoid traveling alone.
- Be careful about sharing your traveling plans with strangers.
- Stick to the main roads and avoid taking shortcuts down narrow alleys and/or poorly lit streets.
- Always be aware of what is going on around you.
- Only use taxis, tours and other transportation services with official markings. Only select transportation from official pickup points at transportation hubs.
- Never accept gifts or packages from unknown parties.
- Don’t accept items from locals to carry out of the country and deliver or mail to someone they know.
- Know the laws about exchanging money. Only use official exchange facilities since this is another area that can get you into trouble fast.