Now that you’re in full “anticipation mode” for your travels, be sure to think ahead of what you might need while you’re away and what might need to be happening (or not happening) at home. Here are a few tips we often recommend to our clients when they’re traveling:
- Dial up your anticipation by starting the journey months before your trip. Find a local restaurant or grocery store in your area with culinary influences from the places you’ll be visiting. Search Netflix or Amazon for movies and books by local authors. Create a music playlist on Pandora or Spotify. This will make those daily commutes much more enjoyable.
- Get TSA Pre-check or Global Entry to breeze through security lines at domestic airports and upon entry back into the United States. The fee per person is well worth it and certain credit cards will refund the fee if charged to them.
- Learn common phrases of the local language. Try Duolingo, a free app that offers courses in languages from Spanish to Vietnamese right on your phone or computer.
- Purchase an adapter/converter – Depending on where your travels are taking you, there may be a need for an adapter and even a voltage converter if you hope to use electronic devices. If you travel abroad a lot, consider a universal adapter that works in many different countries. (Some countries in Africa require a special adaptor you may want to consider.) Check the devices you will be taking with you to know whether a converter will be necessary.
- Share your itinerary with a family member or friend – Be sure someone back home knows where you’re heading and key phone numbers along the way in case of emergency.
- Photocopy or snap a picture of key items – It’s good to have a photo copy (or photograph) of your passport and credit cards in case they are lost or stolen. Be sure to include the backside of your cards so you have the necessary phone numbers in case you have trouble with your cards or they are lost/stolen.
- Photocopy or snap a picture of your prescriptions – Same as above applies to prescriptions. This is particularly important if the medications are not in their original packaging.
- Stop your mail – If you don’t have someone at the house picking up your mail regularly, putting a “hold” on your mail is a great alternative. Visit USPS.com and enter the dates you’ll be gone and when you want service to be resumed.
- Download useful travel apps – There are many free travel apps that provide local maps, weather forecasts, currency exchange rates and more. Check out this link for some of the top apps that might be helpful while you travel.
- Call your cell phone company – If you hope to use your cell phone while you’re traveling abroad, be sure to call your carrier to learn more about what your current plan covers and/or what is needed to add. If you decide not to add on an international package, be sure to turn your roaming settings off (charges add up quickly!).
- Check the weather – A day or two before you depart, be sure to check the weather in each of your destinations in case you need to alter your packing list.
- Purchase local currency – We often advise our clients to use their credit cards as much as possible when traveling rather than carry a lot of cash (especially if there are no foreign exchange fees). However, it’s wise to forecast how much money you’ll need for tips, local markets and other places credit cards aren’t accepted. Our designers can help with this task. The best exchange rates tend to be found at ATM machines at the airport or local banks.
- Call your credit card company – Be sure to alert your credit card company if you plan to use their card while traveling. This will reduce the concern of fraud and limit the problems with accessing and using the card.
- Pack an empty tote in your suitcase – one that can fit easily under the airplane seat in front of you. It’s common to leave a new destination with more items than when you arrived.
- Practice patience. Travel is amazing, but can often test travelers when there are things such as weather delays or mechanical issues outside of your control. Stay informed, bring a good book, and go with the flow.
Do you have other great tips you like to do before you travel? Let us know and we’ll share in an upcoming newsletter. Email us at LindaB@PiqueTravel.com.