Your Travel Questions Answered!

Any basic advice for 1st time international traveler?

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Pack Light (take half as many things as you think you need and twice as much money—visit a travel packing site to create the perfect packing list for starters! e.g.,, packing pro for your iphone, the universal packing list at or
  2. Don’t dress like an ugly American. Be respectful of the country you are visiting and consider dressing in culturally appropriate manner.
  3. Carry a currency converter, ear plugs, small gifts to give away and a flashlight. They have proven to be invaluable on my trips.
  4. Learn the basics of the language of the country you are visiting. Consider bringing a mini-letter of introduction in the language of the place(s) you are traveling.
  5. Consider travel insurance.
  6. Keep yourself hydrated when flying. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight . Don’t drink alcohol during your flight – it dehydrates you. If you have a long flight consider taking a mild sedative so you can sleep on route. Carry noise canceling headphones and variety of music to dull out the noise.
  7. Join a home/hospitality exchange club so you don’t have to incur hotel costs.
  8. Consider carrying an international cell phone or adding global feature to your regular cellphone that is if you have at least a tri-band feature. Get a local sim card for each country you visit so your local calls will be charged as local.
  9. Always carry the hotel’s card with you when you leave your room or address/phone of house you are staying. Also, never leave your hotel room without a map of the area, $20 of local currency, your health insurance card, your passport number memorized and a pen.
  10. Flying tips: Best times of the day to travel, 6&7am, best days of the week to travel-Saturday and Tuesday, best months to travel-September, try to fly non-stop because that reduces the chances of losing your luggage and consider using airports near major cities.
  11. YOUR FIRST DIGITAL PHOTO BEFORE YOU TRAVEL CAN BE VERY HELPFUL — writes Susan from Calgary, Canada — Many women travelers carry a digital camera these days. I suggest you take a photo of your luggage and/or backpack before you leave the house. This way, a copy is already in your camera. Then, if your luggage gets lost you can immediately show the lost luggage staff exactly what the missing pieces looks like.

More tips from my book “Go Girl” I found that it was cheaper and easier to use debit cards than carrying traveler’s check. You also get a better exchange rate and a lower transaction fee. page 342 When planning your travel wardrobe restrict your color scheme to two colors and bundle your clothes instead of fold them. page 344

Consider using a ticket broker or consolidator to find the affordable plane tickets, particularly if you plan a multi stop trip. page 338 Make copies of your credit cards, passport, birth certificate and tickets and keep them in a separate location from the originals. page 340

If you are traveling to the southern hemisphere, contact your local health department’s immunization division two months before your departure to get information about required medications for each country you plan to visit. page 341

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