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Archive for July, 2014

Travel Here are a few tips for those traveling abroad.  If you travel frequently, then you are probably already aware of all of them.  If you don’t and are often caught unawares, these may help.  

  1. Print, copy, scan, save

Print your itinerary, important names, addresses and passport numbers and frequent flyer numbers.  Don’t depend on your cellphone or laptop.  Several airports will ask for printed copies of itineraries for entry.  Store printouts in your carryon bag, not your check in baggage.  Checked in baggage can get delayed or lost. Scan and save your passports and critical documents in your cloud drive.  It is easier to get a new one if you have a copy.  

  1. Spare set of clothes, spectacles and essentials

Pack a spare set of clothes, some small dollar bills (dollars work everywhere), and other essentials like a spare set of spectacles in your carryon.  Checked in baggage could get delayed and lost.  Printed directions to your first meeting, hotel location, office essentials are good to have in your laptop bag.  That way you won’t look like what the cat brought in for your first business meeting and you will be on time and well prepared.  

  1. Cords, adapters and chargers

 Have an international travel adapter, cords and chargers that work well with it.  Problems always crop up e.g. some larger iPad chargers won’t plug into small adapter receptacles, better carry the small iPhone one.  Don’t expect an HDMI socket in all PCs or slide projectors.  Carry a VGA cable, it always works.  Carry a LAN cable for internet access at hotels.  The day that Wifi works well at all hotels and your laptop logs on to it easily will be the day when Jack Bauer really solves all the world’s problems.  

  1. Ziplocks, bags and organization

Carry some ziplock bags for bathroom essentials, adapters and cords and larger plastic bags for soiled clothes.  Otherwise you will be hideously wrapped in wires whenever you try taking out anything from your bag and very item will plan to purposely annoy you by getting lost in your bag’s farthest nooks and corners.  And your freshly ironed clothes will not get mixed with yesterday’s used ones.  

  1. Prepare sensibly for unexpected weather

Carry a cap and a light rain jacket even if you expect warm weather, unexpected rain during a walk can get annoying.  Prepare for arrival and departure weather conditions.  For instance, if you are traveling from US to India in March then prepare for a colder arrival when you get back into US at middle of the night and wait for your limo to arrive.  And wait, don’t depend on your check in baggage for these situations, these items need to be in your hand baggage.  Layered clothing and warm heads, hands and feet – all that your grandma taught you will help.  

  1. Plan for stuff back home, lawn, mail and more

If you maybe gone for more than a couple of weeks, then plan for things back home.  Plan for care of your lawn, cars, overflowing mailbox, overdue payments and bills and make other arrangements for your car pool duty.  Keep some spare cash for family, kids and instructions on how to contact you anytime.  Maybe you could also save some money by parking your utilities with your provider at a lower cost, like phone plans who offer to keep your service on hold at a lower cost.  

  1. Prepare to be safe, secure and healthy

Read up local laws, rules, safety warnings and be prepared.   Know what you can carry through customs and what you cannot.  Don’t assume anything at all.  Be cautious of your luggage and what’s in it.  Don’t leave any valuables in the cab/taxi.  Keep passport and visas on your person only.  Watch and ask before you venture for a walk at midnight.  Steer clear of suspicious food and contaminated water.  If it’s busy it’s safe, says Anthony Bourdain, the American traveling culinary guru about eating at restaurants while traveling.  Above all be prepared and be safe and healthy.    

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