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Traveling overseas is Fun and Exciting! International traveling is adventurous and exhilarating. The writer, Cecilia Foy and her husband, Howard Foy have traveled to Iran, Panama, Ecuador, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Holland, England, Scotland, Austria, Spain, China, Thailand and France. They look forward to visiting many more countries. On their list of countries to travel are Bulgaria, Columbia and Cambodia.
Here are a few travel tips.

Contact the State Department before your arrival and register your travel plans and emergency contact. Make sure your passport has a current emergency contact logged in it, as well.

Make copies of your passport and keep the original in your hotel safe. Carry your Visa, copy of passport and photo id. If you lose your passport, it can be time consuming and costly to get the replacement. Scan your passport and email it to yourself. That way you can access from any computer with internet.

Once in country, carry as small a bag as possible. Most of us Westerners like to carry big bags for all our “necessities”. When you are in a foreign country, these big bags make you a target. Learn to wear clothes that have pockets and put your credit card, Visa, copy of your passport and ID in your pocket. If you must carry a bag, put it between you and your travel partner.

Reach out to your hotel concierge for reservations, tickets, interpreters and taxis. Yes, you may be sent to businesses that the concierge gets a referral fee on, but if you spend a few minutes telling them what experience you are looking for, a concierge can make a big difference in your day. If you tip them after the first booking, they will strive to satisfy you.

Another important advantage of using the concierge, is it provides a record of where you are. If an emergency happens, finding you will be easier. You have registered your hotel with the State Dept and you are using the hotel’s concierge.

Carry some cash. Leave most in the hotel safe. Having small bills will go a long way. You may need to tip someone to watch your rental car, give to a beggar or buy something from a small business with cash. In many countries, people live off $10 a day or less.

Check with your cell phone carrier before leaving. Many times service is not good. Even if your cell phone company says you have coverage, it may be shoddy. Be prepared to buy a prepaid card. Most cell phones sold in other countries use GSM (not CDMA) technology.

Keep your jewelry, expensive shoes, cameras and big bags put away. $200 shoes and nice jewelry will make you an easy target. Not that you will have your shoes or jewelry ripped off you, but likely you will be watched and if you make a mistake, rest assured someone will be near to take advantage of you.

Absolutely call all your banks and credit card companies and tell them where you are going. It’s no fun having your cards frozen and you have to find your way to a local bank and have money wire transferred. Best to call your medical insurance company.

Remember, you represent your country. Respect the country you are visiting. They don’t have the same freedoms you experience in the USA. Many countries have the saying, “shoot first, ask questions later.”

International traveling is adventurous and exhilarating. The writer, Cecilia Foy and her husband, Howard Foy have traveled to Iran, Panama, Ecuador, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Holland, England, Scotland, Austria, Spain, China, Thailand and France. They look forward to visiting many more countries. On their list of countries to travel are Bulgaria, Columbia and Cambodia.

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