Saturday, February 6, 2016

What's That Mean?

You're in a restaurant where nothing looks remotely familiar on the menu. That's because you know some of the language spoken in that country...but not all. How are you going to know what to order?

I've found an app to help with that. It's called Google Translate and it's free.

You can either write, speak, or hold your phone over the word in question. Put in the language you want it translated to, and you find out what that word means.

If you type in the word in English and ask it to translate to another language, it shows that word printed out. Hit the little microphone button and it speaks it for you.

Handy app to have on your phone.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throw Your Money Away? No Way...

You know those tiny expenses, like pesky ATM fees or foreign transaction fees?

Do you pay them and pay them? When you get home and look at your bank statement are you surprised how they added up?

Any more there are plenty of banks and credit cards that do not charge a foreign transaction fee or charge to use your credit card oversees. If you need to use an ATM to get cash, try to use it as infrequently as possible to avoid adding fees on top of fees.

When you're accessing an ATM, check to see who is watching you. If you're traveling with someone, ask them to stand behind you and watch others nearby. No sense letting someone take your money once you retrieve it from the ATM.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Your Connecting Flight Just Left the Gate

Has this ever happened to you? Your initial flight was delayed for some reason. Your connection was tight to begin with. You just missed your connecting flight. Your luggage was checked all the way through to your final destination.

What do you do?

Head to your airline's ticket counter for assistance in getting booked on the next flight...or another one. If you're headed somewhere that has only one or two flights a day, your luggage will definitely arrive before you do. If that's the case, ask the airline to hold your luggage until you arrive.

This would have been a good time to pack a change of clothes in your carry on bag...just saying.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Help! I'm Sick While Traveling

What happens if you get sick or injured while traveling? What happens if you don't speak or read the language?

If you do have an illness that could flair up, it would be a good idea to check where the hospitals are in the city where you will be. Traveling outside of the US? Look at the US Embassy of the country where you'll be visiting. Their website will usually have a list of physicians and hospitals.

Traveling domestically? Contact your insurance company for a list of in-network hospitals and physicians at your destination.

Make sure you have this information with you:

Your physician's office number
Your insurance contact number
The US Embassy contact number and website
Contact information for someone at home
Any prescriptions for medicines you regularly take
Ample supply of regular medications

If you're staying in a remote area, pack a first-aid kit.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Do You Know Where You're Staying?

Have you ever been asked the address of where you will be staying? Maybe a customs agent asked or you needed to list it on some official form before you get through customs.

If you are staying in one hotel or one vacation rental, keep that address somewhere you can access it easily. If you're moving around from hotel to hotel or from city to city, at least keep the address of the first place where you will be handy.

Might as well start your trip off with no stress.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Got a Pen?

Do you put at least two pens in your purse, backpack, or carry on bag?

When traveling somewhere other than the US, you'll need to fill out forms. Sometimes on the plane...sometimes standing in line...sometimes just one in your traveling family...sometimes everyone in your traveling family.

If you've remembered to put a couple of pens in your purse or carry on, good for you. If you've remembered the pens, but put them away or at the bottom of a bag...good luck finding them.

It makes life and traveling easier if you have them within reach.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Pack Your Carry-On Bag

What do you have in your carry-on bag?

Here are a few essentials when traveling by plane, where the air is dry, you don't know what snacks you'll have, and you have no idea if that crying baby is going to sit right behind you.

A healthy snack, like almonds, always come in handy and don't take up much room.

Hydrating moisturizer for your skin keeps hands from feeling dried out and itchy.

Ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones...because you just never know.

Saline nasal drops or spray...especially if you want to keep from drying out your nose.

Bottled water. You can always bring an empty bottle through security and fill it at a fountain before you board.