With a big road trip ahead of you, there are so many things to do. Stop the mail. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your house. Pack your bags. Take kitty to the boarder. And so on.
If you will be traveling with your family, multiply the tasks by the number of children you have. Include your spouse too. In this case you are a woman and you will be traveling alone. The following are sensible travel tips that should be taken before and while you are away, especially when traveling abroad.
1. Visit the US State Department website.
You are not required to register with the state department when traveling abroad, but it can be a good idea to do so. If an emergency happens, you will get notified. Also, if a travel warning suddenly crops up, you are kept in the loop.
2. Wear comfortable shoes.
Heels and other dress shoes may look nice, but they can be uncomfortable. Moreover, you will begin to experience foot pain if your shoes are not broken in before you leave for your trip. Select your shoes with an emphasis on comfort, not style.
3. Bring a universal adapter with you.
Plugging in devices can be a challenge when you are abroad. A universal adapter can ensure that your connection is a sure one. Know what electric currency is standard where you are traveling and pack accordingly.
4. Pack a flashlight.
A flashlight may come in handy if power suddenly goes out. It can also be useful if you must go out at night, although traveling in the dark does require taking extreme caution.
5. Understand local dress codes.
Pack your bags to reflect local dress customs and temperatures. You may feel free to wear certain clothing stateside, but your selection may be considered inappropriate in some countries.
6. Bring safety devices with you.
A coach’s whistle can alert help in the event that you are accosted. If you are traveling in a relatively unsafe area, pick up pepper spray too. You will not be able to bring the spray with you if you fly, but you will have it for the duration of your trip abroad.
7. First floor is best.
Your hotel room should be as close to ground floor as possible or at least accessible to an elevator. Know your escape route in case a fire breaks out, practicing your stairwell escape before settling down in your room.
8. Never hail a cab.
Cab service can vary around the world. Your best bet is to book a taxi instead of hailing one. That way, you will get one that is trusted and secure. The hotel front desk can recommend a company.
9. Keep your valuables with you.
When traveling on public transportation, always keep your valuables with you. Never stow your pocketbook or brief case under your seat and away from your view.
10. Bring safety pins and duct tape.
A rip or a tear can be held together with safety pins. Duct tape can handle what a safety pin cannot hold together.
11. Send yourself an email.
Send yourself an email and send a copy to a friend with a message that includes your itinerary and other vital information. Attach photos of your passport, credit cards and other important documentation. If you lose a document you can access the Internet while away to pull up your copy.
12. Contact your bank.
Notify your bank and credit card providers that you will be traveling. Give your destination information and travel dates to ensure that your accounts are not frozen while you are away. Otherwise, creditors may freeze your account thinking that your information is being stolen.
13. Understand the exchange rate.
Is it 1.5 Euros for 1 US dollar or is it the other way around? Foreign currency exchange can be confusing, but it does not have to leave you mystified. Find out what the exchange rates are and only exchange currency at trusted facilities such as with banks or at your hotel.
14. Be prepared to negotiate.
It is common practice in markets the world over to negotiate the price for just about anything. Be polite and do not be pushy — you can save some money through careful negotiation.
Traveling abroad can be fun whether you are going solo, taking your spouse or traveling with your family. If you look vulnerable, you may become a target for thieves or other criminal element. Trust that inner voice if you realize that danger is nearby.
See Also — The Secret Life of a Global Vagabond