Travel Info Page
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Here are some helpful tips for travelers
around the world!
Table of Contents
- In developing and third world countries it is
often wise to avoid raw vegetables, salads, unpeeled fruit, raw
shellfish such as clams, cream, ice-cream and ice cubes and even
undercooked or cold fold, which can be contaminated. Fresh Cooked
foods are often safer.
- Try to avoid swimming, bathing and wading in
freshwater streams and marshes etc... as they often contain microbes
and other microbes that can make you sick. It pays to check with
authorities that there is nothing dangerous in the water as well.
- See your doctor and check with a Travel Health
advisory such as the Centers for Disease Control or World Health
Organization to see what shots you need for the country you visit and
when. Remember to do the same for children who are traveling with you.
- Wash your hands as often as possible
- Bring insect repellant & sunscreen - some
insects carry diseases such as malaria. Mosquitoes generally bite from
dusk to dawn, but some are daytime biters. When outside, try to wear
light colored clothing and long pants and sleeves.
- Make sure that the medication you bring is
clearly labeled in its original bottle.
- It's always a good precaution to have a full
check-up prior to departure, including a dental check. A visit to the
optician for an eye test or a change of glasses is also advisable
- Check if it is ok to drink the water - try soft
drinks or bottles water (make sure that it is not a fake). Avoid ice
and ice cream in suspect areas
- Don't leave home without a recent dental
checkup, as you won't want to be going to see a dentist while you are
away, especially in the third world
- Try to acclimatize yourself slowly to changes
in heat, environment and altitude
- Avoid sharing water and glasses as you never
know what he/she has
- always wear something on your feat as you might
catch diseases such as ringworm and athletes foot.
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- Don't open your hotel door to just anyone, even
if they say they are security - call down to front desk to check their
- Think about putting your money and passport
etc.. in a money belt or shoulder belt
- Be very careful in subways, busses and other
crowded places where pickpockets prowl
- Know the neighborhoods in which you travel.
Learn the locations of possible "safe areas" - fire & police stations,
hospitals, and restaurants or stores that are open late
- Beware of hotels which don't have adequate fire
protection and prevention such as sprinklers, fire escapes etc...
- Don't let yourself be distracted. Criminals
often work in pairs as one person will get your attention while the
other steals your wallet, purse or shopping bag
- Try to sit in the middle cars where there are
other passengers. Do not sit in an empty train car alone
- Make your car look local by removing the rental
company decals and putting a local newspaper in the back
- Try to dress conservatively when you go abroad.
You do not want to appear too affluent or "touristy" as both looks
- Use the hotel room safe for your valuables, but
avoid bringing valuables with you when traveling if possible
- Avoid parking lots that glitter with broken
glass and get advice from your hotel on where to park
- Try doing a general security check of your
hotel and room when you arrive -- such as checking to make sure
windows are locked, see if there is a dead bolt on the door and make
sure rooms that are connected to your room are locked
- Don't tell strangers where you are staying
- Women traveling alone are most vulnerable -
keep an eye out for suspicious activities, take a room off the main
floor and bolt the door
- Try to learn the sexual customs of the country
you are traveling to - this may help avoid misunderstandings and
- Be aware of the local dress code, especially in
- If you are harassed or bothered, appeal to
local women for assistance or maybe ask "What would your mother say if
she knew you had done that?"
- Wear a ring on your wedding finger, even if you
are alone and/or unmarried. This sometimes helps
- If someone asks if you are alone, say that your
husband or boyfriend will be right back
- Have your key ready when you get near your
- Use cabs at night instead of walking if
- Don't hang onto that purse if someone grabs it
- is it really worth your life?
- Avoid traveling alone
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry
- Trust your senses, if it looks dangerous, it
probably is. Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Arrange for your travel insurance at least a
month before leaving if possible.
- If you are covered at work, examine your plan
booklet and call the insurance company to make sure you know what you
are covered for. Most plans do not cover you abroad &/or do not cover
- In the event of a claim, especially if at a
hospital, have someone immediately call the insurance provider/company
to pre-certify the claim. This is important because you will want to
make sure that treatment is covered and you want to avoid any
penalties which some travel plans have for non pre-certification.
- make sure you bring your travel insurance card
and/or travel insurance confirmation with you on your travels.
- For the Single and Multi-Trip Travel plans, All
Hospitalizations, Emergency Evacuations, Emergency Reunions, Trip
Cancellation, and Repatriation of Remains must be Pre-certified.
Simply call, or have your Physician call, insurance provider and/or
administrator with all information relative to your claim. Be sure to
have your ID number available. If you do not Pre-certify, some
company's medical expenses will be reduced by 50%, and all other
expenses will be forfeited
- Make sure the insurer has a toll free line or
collect number that you can call in the event of a claim.
- The larger the deductible, the lower the
- Be careful about buying your travel insurance
from a cruise line, airline or other travel company that may go out of
business, and you travel insurance may not be honored.
- Remember that the insurance generally only
covers emergencies. So if you broker your arm before leaving and it
needs treatment, it probably won't be covered
- As obvious as it sounds, pay your premium!
Coverage will not take affect if you forget to pay your premium
- Make sure you tell someone you are traveling
with and/or a friend or relative at home you have travel insurance.
Make sure that they have the policy number and insurance company
- Make sure that travel insurance company is able
to pay claims directly to hospitals
- Most plans do not cover pre-existing medical
conditions - make sure you read the plan terms and conditions
- Get an
- Double check that you brought your tickets,
passport and money with you before you leave home
- Make a list of things to bring
- Confirm your transportation, especially airline
departure times as they can change without notice
- Request a seat assignment and special meals
- Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before
- Bring some currency of the country you are
- Avoid exchanging money at airports and train
stations as they rarely have great rates. Try a bank
- Put a lock on your luggage as you may get
something stolen or someone may smuggle contraband in your luggage
- Never lose sight of your luggage, even at
- Travel lightly
- Do you have enough money for departure taxes?
- Drink lots of fluids on the plane as the air is
dry and you may get dehydrated, which affects your immune system
- Avoid drinking alcohol and coffee while on the
plane, as these drinks make you thirsty
- Fasten those seat belts in airplanes and in
- Avoid excessive alcohol on the airplane as you
will want to have your wits when you arrive and alcohol lowers your
immune system and can make you dehydrated
Excellent map site - free maps from anywhere in world
- Make sure you bring your prescription receipts
with your prescriptions so you can avoid potential problems with
- Bring along a copy of your bill for expensive
items such as jewelry and cameras so you can prove to customs that you
purchased the items in your home country
- Get a pamphlet or check your county's customs
rules before you purchase that expensive watch or ring
- If you are bringing something valuable, bring
proof of purchase with you to clearly prove that you bought it before
you left on your trip.
- Always be polite and respectful
- Make sure you don't forget to say thank you
- Check your bill or menu to see if it already
includes service because you don't want to tip twice
- Try to travel lightly - this can't be said
- A bag with the dimensions 9" x 22" x 14" will
fit under most airplane seats. Check with your airline!
- Rather than take a huge supply of toiletries,
bring just enough to get started. You can find anything you need in
- Bring Travel detergent, usually in a tube -
this will mean you won't have to take as much
- In the third world, try to avoid "cheap" hotels
- Do not tell people you meet on the street what
hotel you are staying at
- Your hotel's concierge can be a valuable
resource, so make sure you give him/her a tip
- Make sure you check expiry on credit cards
before you leave on your trip
- Also check if credit card limit will be high
enough for those fancy hotels
- Photocopy front and back of all credit cards,
debit cards and travelers checks and leave a copy in a safe place at
home and with a trusted relative who you can call in the event your
wallet is stolen or lost so that the cards can be cancelled
- Memorize those Debit Card Pin #s
- Research local currency rates
- Plan a daily budget for incidentals
- Banks often have the best exchange rates. Be
wary of currency exchange booths at the airport and rail station as
their rates are often sub-standard.
- Buy some travelers checks & "don't leave home
- Bring a credit card from at least 2 different
card companies because one store or hotel may only take VISA or
- Try spending more than just a few days in one
city & possibly use it as your base for short day-trips to the
- Try to take advantage of "shoulder" seasons,
which are brief periods 2-4 weeks just before and after peak season.
It may be worth it because they deliver moderate savings with
generally good weather conditions. Thus, these offerings often sell
- For summer travel, consider someplace in the
southern hemisphere, where it's winter
- Try to avoid peak periods of travel when
- Before you travel to your destination, check
out the local events - such as Wimbelton in London, Mardi Gras in New
Orleans or Carnevale in Venice
- Europeans and many other countries measure
temperatures in degrees Celsius. Zero degrees Celsius equals 32
degrees Fahrenheit (C x 9/5 + 32 = F). Even easier and nearly as
accurate, double the Celsius temperature and add 30.
A memory aid: 28xC =82xF (very hot).
Here are some links to site with important
information about health, environmental and political conditions that
could be encountered on your next international trip.
Center for Disease Control
US State Department Travel Warnings
Terrorism and Travel Warnings
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