WHAT TO BRING ALONG
Bring cash and keep it in a money belt when traveling
in foreign destinations. Convert it to local
currencies before you leave for a better exchange rate or convert it at
airports along the way.
Bring a charge card or bank card for
replenishing funds along the way.
Let your bank and charge card company know when you
will be away. Many companies block international transactions
unless they know you are abroad.
Change the PIN on your bank card
to 4 digits for travel in Europe, as many banking systems throughout the world do not accept
more than 4 digits.
Ensure the account you will withdraw from is under
"Chequing", as many machines don't recognize
Check your accommodation arrangements carefully,
as smaller establishments in Europe often don't accept anything but cash
for your room.
Safeguarding Your Possessions
Carry your day pack on your chest instead of your back
in highly congested areas. Turn the pack so the zippers are
against your chest. Don't feel awkward - it sends a clear
message to pick pockets that they won't be successful in approaching
Don't hang your bag over the back of a chair.
Secure the strap under your chair leg when sitting.
Use a money belt. See more below under the
For international travel, cell phones are problematic. You must
obtain a new SIM card for the country you are in, which may be
difficult. Also, not all SIM cards work in all cell phones. We
recommend the iPod Touch to keep in touch:
iPod Touch - the iPod Touch works on wireless internet. Free
wireless is becoming more and more common at coffee shops and
B&Bs. It's also frequently available for a fee at hotels.
In addition to its email and internet access, you can set up the SKYPE application and buy minutes to your home country.
You can call anyone in your home country for a few cents a minute and the
connection quality is reasonable. Even without the internet, you can
still have access to books, music, games, contacts and a calendar. Add a
noise canceling headphone for use while in transit.
iPad - bring along even more readability with an iPad. You can still make
SKYPE calls, plus you have the advantage of word processing, spreadsheets
and a larger reading surface better suited to more web sites than a mobile
device. The Camera Adapter allows you to back up your photos from an
SD card onto the iPad. There is a camera in later versions of the iPad,
but the device is an awkward size to hold up for photos. For the
best balance between size and functionality, the iPod Touch gets
our vote as a better alternative.
Battery Charging - there are inexpensive adapters available for Britain
and for Europe, so it's easy to use your portable devices in other
countries. Britain has a a three prong plug. The rest of
Europe and many other countries around the world use a two prong,
where both prongs are round. You can also purchase inexpensive, yet reliable camera
batteries and battery chargers from places such as eBay and Amazon.
Try to ensure you've got backup power with the least amount of wiring to
SD cards can provide substantial space for your pictures without the need
to save these to computer or disk. Try Dell for some low priced,
high GB cards.
Britain 3 Prong - left; European 2 Prong - right
Clothing - The secret to easy travel is packing lightly. You
will be amazed at how many weeks you can travel with nothing more than a
20 inch suit case and a small back pack. Make sure the suit case has
rollers. Put your liquids and small metallic souvenirs in a clear plastic
bag and stow this in the back pack, so you have easy access at airport
security. Carry your luggage with you on and off airplanes, trains,
hotels and cruise ships. You'll wonder why you ever used to check
Some space saving ideas:
Small bottles of shampoo, sun tan lotion and tooth
paste take up less space and don't cause problems at airport security
Pack the toiletries on top where you don't have to dig
them out each night. A separate see through container is easy to
hang in a bathroom and makes it easy to access the contents.
Buy quick dry clothing such as socks, undergarments,
pants and shirts from tilley.com Wash these in the evening with
hand soap and warm water. In the morning they will be dry and
ready to wear or pack. You can reduce the amount of clothing you
bring by more than 50%.
For cruises, a man can get by with one dress shirt,
one tie and a good pair of casual pants. Leave the suit at
home. For women, mix and match a couple tops and skirts for
formal situations. Leave that good dress at home.
For those with fair skin, buy a broad rimmed hat such
as those sold by tilley.com They aren't the most stylish, but
they protect the face and neck. Plus they fold away easily when
not needed, such as on flight days.
Make your clothing multi purpose. Pajamas, a
long sleeved T shirt and a nylon shell can help you survive freezing
temperatures in Chamonix and downpours in Rome. Mix and match
layers of clothing to the weather conditions and leave your heavy coat
Get a good quality walking shoe that will also work
for the formal night on a cruise. Avoiding the need for extra
shoes saves a tremendous amount of space. A good pair of SAS
walking shoes will still be comfortable and functional after wearing
them everyday for weeks of trekking.
Get a money belt for cash and documents. It may
be difficult to get used to, but this allows you to stop worrying
about pick pockets and move easily through the crowds. It's very
awkward in a foreign country to accuse a stranger of stealing.
It's a lot better situation to end up telling a story about someone
who reached into your pocket and found out it was empty. Leave the
wallet and the purse at home.
Locking Your Luggage
Don't lock bags at the airport check in.
Security staff do random inspections of bags after check in and will
open locks with lock cutters or tearing the bag if necessary to gain
entry. Twist ties to keep the zipper secure and no valuables in the suitcase is
our Take That Vacation recommendation. Visit the Transportation
for packing tips and suggestions on how to secure your baggae
during your next trip.