10 Essential Travel Tips
  • We recommend getting an inexpensive trip insurance that covers Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation, DAN or the equivalent, 99.9999% of the time this would be unnecessary ‘you would not us it’, that microscopic chance is worth the money though.
  • Inoculations – Check with your local Travel Medical Clinic to verify recommended shots for the countries you are traveling into.
  • Do not wear expensive looking clothes, ie gold watches, large rings, loud designer shirts, impractical shoes etc
  • Always make a local friend ASAP, they will be able to explain how things work, what to do and what not to do. ie cultural taboos, traditions, courtesies, tips, slang lingo etc.
  • There is only a select few reasons someone should ask to see your passport/documents, ie checking into a hotel, customs at the airport, checking in for your boarding pass at the airport, some currency exchange shops, creating a local bank account, drawing large amounts of cash from debit/credit cards at a local bank, or in a negative situation, a federal officer similar to the USA FBI or CIA, this is a situation you should never be in. ie smuggling of anything illegal.
  • As a rule of thumb, until you have become familiar with a specific area (after 2-3wks), do not got out alone after 11PM. There is generally no good reason to, you can always coordinate with a trusted local or fellow travelers instead.
  • Police in a very public place can be helpful in a pinch. Police outside of a very public place are generally corrupt and will intimidate you for $ if possible. Do not argue with them, it will make it worse. They have almost no control over the direction of their lives, so they demonstrate control via their uniform. It is not a attack against you personally, it’s a demonstration of general discontent. So just be submissive show respect and give them the silly 2-10 dollars or a cigarette/bottle of water, they will send you on your way. Make a friend out of them, they can be a quality ally later on.
  • Money, you could be mugged in, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Houston, Tokyo etc, this means you can be mugged in a third world country as well. (WHY) These people are as poor as poor gets, and unlike many western countries they are poor because of a lack of opportunities no because of disdain for the system.They don’t want or need to hurt you, they just want money. There are some simple ways to deal with this. Here are multiple methods.1) never carry more money on your person than is needed for the specific outing.2) If you must carry a larger amount of $ with you, split it up, carry a small amount in your front pocket ie ’20 euros/dollars’ carry the rest in a inconspicuous spot ie ‘ hidden pocket in jacket, inside shoes, belt pouch’ this way if someone implies a forceful situation you hand over what seems to be all your money.3) If you have more than one credit/debit card never carry more than one of them on your person, unless absolutely necessary. Leave the rest in different locations throughout your room, or with the hostel/hotel reception, along with passport, they almost always have a safe to put things in, just make them account for your belongings before you leave. This way if you loose your card you will always have a back up.

    4) When purchasing an item, if you have larger amounts of money with you don’t flash it in public, multiple eyes are always watching. Hence the prior recommendation, carry local money to the equal of 20 euros/dollars in front pocket, not a wallet.

    5) When discussing items that cost more than 100 euros in a very public place, do so in a discrete manner.

  • MALARIA/DENGUE -these 2 insect delivered illnesses account for more deaths worldwide than cancer or HIV-Aids. That being said its something I have never had in all my travels. Many local people get it in all 3rd world countries and some western travelers as well. There are many things to do that will help significantly to prevent this. 1) wear insect repellent with at least 33% deet, especially around your collar, shirt cuffs, and pant cuffs. If its not justifiable to go near stagnant water at sun up or sundown, then don’t. 2) make sure you are well hydrated and eating as healthy as possible. If your immune system is low due to bad diet, Diarrhea or a bug from untreated water you are much more likely to develop advanced symptoms from insect bite.
  • Travelers diarrhea – this is a very common annoyance within the first week of arriving in a new country. This can be very frustrating especially if you are on a tight timeline and budget. First of all I would suggest just allowing for a couple days to acclimate to the new environment. Don’t push yourself to be immersed until your body can deal with the new temperature, types of mosquitoes, types of ants, new bacteria, do not eat really foreign foods at least for 1-2 weeks. (always) make sure your water has been boiled or, came from a filter source that filters, viruses, bacteria, and particles, or bottled water (check the seal on the cap) in many countries local kids make money by refilling old water bottles with bad water, and then use a lighter or fire to reseal the caps. (you can see this if you are looking for it)
  • Lastly interact with the locals. Don’t just stand back and watch like you are at a zoo. You traveled 1000s of kilometers to experience a different way of life. So get in there. You will be more respected if you treat everyone you meet in a different country as an equal. Rather than poor or incapable. Karma travels in all forms.

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