Travel Tips

General Travel Tips:

  • Passports: Check to make sure all passports have more than 6 months left until expiration. If less than 6 months then you often aren’t allowed to enter many countries.
  • Visas: check to make sure you have all the appropriate visas for any county you are visiting. Some countries require no visas. Some require you get a visa ahead of time. Some let you get the visa at the border as you enter the country. Some give you an options to get ahead (shorter line upon entering the country) or get it upon entry.
  • Google Translate: It’s magic. Download it. When you need a print translation hit the camera button in Google translate and hold your phone over the words and it translates them on your screen. Or use their voice translation option. Amazing.
  • Google Maps: Download what you need so you don’t need data to access it.
  • Trip Advisor Maps: Download city maps prior to your trip and you can access all the information via your phone without using data. Awesome. Remember to delete after the trip to free up space on your phone.
  • TripIt or GoogleTravel: Download and then consolidate all your trip info into one place – hotels, flights, excursions etc.
  • Vaccinations: Check with a local travel medical center or your doctor to see if you are up to date on any/all shots that are needed.
  • Credit Card Usage: When traveling overseas be sure to use a card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. AmEx doesn’t charge fees, nor does Chase Sapphire and some others. Call your credit card companies to let them know you are traveling out of the country and tell them the dates you’ll be gone. This ensures that they won’t put a hold on your account when you’re gone if they suddenly see overseas unexpected charges. Also make sure your card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees as they add up.
  • Packing: Packing Cubes are terrific. They allow you to sort your items by type – just roll (don’t lay flat) all your shirts and pop in a cube. Same for other items. When you unpack you just take out your cubes and they are like little individual organized drawers – easy to dress out of and easy to pack.
  • Credit Card Chips: Many countries have chips on their credit cards. US cards are now putting these on newer cards. If you don’t have a chip it’s worth asking if you can get a card with one for easier overseas transactions (make sure to set up and know your pin).
  • Credit Card Fees: While calling the credit card companies to tell them you’ll be traveling, ask what their foreign transaction fees are. Some cards have no fees and some have big ones and it makes a big difference in your charges. Try to get one without fees!
  • ATM Cards: Check to see if your ATM card is part of a worldwide service that allows you to take money out in the country you are visiting. Easiest way to get foreign currency abroad. No more travelers checks :).
  • Cell phone Plans: Call your service provider and ask about plans for international phone and data usage. If you don’t have an international plan you can get slammed with HUGE bills!
  • Adaptors: Check online or at a local travel store to see what adaptors are used in the country you are visiting and make sure you have what you need for any charging needs. There are great all in one adaptors (a great one on to make it easy.
  • Kids Travel: Maybe invest in a multi plug for ear buds so they can all watch a movie at the same time. Good for plane rides, car rides, hotel rooms etc. And of course make sure to have lots of snacks with you at all times! Cranky kids make for cranky travel.
  • Money belts: Consider it depending on where you are going, what your preference is. Some cities are known for expert pick pockets…do a bit of research.