Have you ever wondered if there is an easier way to deal with your luggage while traveling abroad? Or had the unhappy experience of delayed or lost luggage by an airline? You can certainly consider shipping your luggage to your destinations using shipping services like FedEx or DHL, but innovative companies such as Luggage Forward (and others) offer personalized shipping service from your home to your destination. This service comes with a price but may offset the worry of it being delayed or lost, and the stress of handling your own luggage through train stations and in and out of hotels before or after a cruise, for example.
Their services typically include tracking where your bag is at all times until it reaches its destination, re-routing it if your itinerary changes, and guaranteeing an on-time delivery, and in good condition. Call us for details to see if this may be a good choice for your next vacation.
A quick check of your passport may save you a lot of time and stress when getting ready to leave for your next trip abroad. Many countries now require that the passport expiration date be valid for at least six months beyond your return travel date so make sure yours is ready to go.
If you are like me, I have often suffered getting a cold after flying a long distance. The air dryness and lingering germs on surfaces are both factors. Try these helpful tips, courtesy of IndependentTraveler.com:
1. Stay well hydrated (drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine).
2. Keep your hands clean (wash with hot soapy water, if possible, or use alcohol wipes)
3. Use a saline nasal mist to keep mucous membranes moist.
4. Use a germ-killing mouthwash (helps moisten your throat as well).
5. Consider taking large does of Vitamin C before, during and shortly after your travel and don’t forget your vitamins.
Your smartphone may become your best friend on your next trip. Google recently announced a major update to their translate app that enables your phone’s camera to translate printed text, even without an Internet or data connection. This is currently available for six languages on Android and iOS versions, with plans to keep adding languages. There is also translation by speech once the foreign language is selected on your phone. Enjoy this demo, courtesy of the Huffington Post: Huffington Post Google Tech Interview
Obtaining local currency abroad as needed is preferable over departing the US with large amounts of cash and carrying it with you during your trip – not only for security reasons but also for cost savings as the exchange rate is typically a lot less through an ATM machine in the local country. ATM’S are widely available throughout Europe and in many other countries unless you are in a remote area. This will require using a debit card, which is convenient but be mindful that consumer fraud liability is different for debit cards than it is for credit cards as they are governed by different federal regulations. Most major US banks offer zero liability to the consumer if they are notified promptly but getting funds reimbursed to a checking account is a hassle while traveling and may not be as timely as you need. You may want to consider opening a separate checking account
designated for travel only so that your exposure is limited to the funds in that account. Bank policies vary so speak to your banker before your next trip.