Friday, November 5, 2010

Lakwatcha 2

Travel Tips when going abroad.

There are very general and common sense guidelines that one needs to know when you are travelling abroad, or even locally.

The past 10 years have brought huge changes in how we travel. Security is the main reason, but following closely to it is economics. There are certain things that we need to remember before you decide to go on that backpacking trip, that business trip or that emergency trip on a plane or even a train or a cruise.

Things to have -

No matter what happens, bring a jacket. Obviously, if your general destination is Las Vegas in the summer, a thinner jacket is needed. Here's why the jacket/windbreaker is essential:

Buildings and some vehicles are cold. Buses and airports become notoriously cold, especially in the summer. They naturally would crank that A/C up to max. After a few hours inside, your body would have acclimated and you suddenly would feel cold.

You'll never know when you're going to catch a cold and then suddenly you need a jacket.
Are you attending a seminar or a conference? Bring one, you WILL need it.
And for my favorite reason. Airport security checkpoints - I normally don't my loose change,
wallet, cellphone, money clip, cash, pens and passport in my pant pocket. I keep them in the jcaket
when I'm in the airport. My reason is, when it's time to pass through those machines, I can just easily take off
my jacket and everything I would have needed to remove from my pants is in there.
Efficiency is key. Once you've landed and reached your destination. Distribute your wallet,
cellphone etc. amongst your other pockets. (Note. Do not use this technique if you have a habit of leaving
your jackets in random places)

Bring and carry copies of your legal documents. Passports, ID's, VISA's etc. When going around town, carry
only the copies of those and keep the original in your bag. The only time you will need to show it, is
if a security official with a badge in a building like an airport asks for it. Other than that, show copies.

Also, always keep copies of these documents safely in a zip lock bag in all your luggage.

Bring a notebook (preferably a pocket sized moleskin). You will need also a pen. In that book write:
all your flight and transfer details
your telephone number
your itinerary
in case of emergency information
your home country's embassy or consulate information
words and phrases you might pick up along the way
hotel details
and many more things that you will, for sure, you dont want to keep in a device that runs out
of batteries.

Comfortable shoes. Yes. Fashion comes after function when travelling. Always. Now, some people might
find this crazy because they've been told to travel in fashion - my point is, when you're not coming home
to your own house later today, consider fashion after function. And besides, you can always be fashionable
and still have function before it.

Here are a few other items that you must always have with you before you go out into the world.

- Flashlight (LED is preferred, the smaller the better)
- Pen (Pencil preferred)
- Sunglasses (always, no matter where you are going)
- Needle and thread kit (you will love yourself for having this when you find yourself needing it)
- Any variant of dizziness pills, antihistamines, pain killer (not too much or else you'll be in trouble)
- a light good book
- zip lock bags
- poncho
- multi took kit (avoid the ones with large knives)
- snack bars
- bottled water (always purchase one after security at the airport - remember those guys who
got stuck on the plane)

These are items on top of the common sense and general things that you want to carry with you like
extra underwear and socks, a travel pillow (optional), camera(s) etc.

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Travelling abroad is always supposed to be fun but it doesn't have to always be a hassle. When you're
prepared, you are less stressed. Always employ a checklist and start one weeks in advance of a trip.
When you walk into a building, always be aware of the orientation of the building (NEWS-North, East, West, South)
Always look for the nearest exit. Find the closest restrooms. Try to pack light and pack prepared.

You don't have to overdo your preparation. 99% of the time, it will be uneventful.