Five Basic Travel Tips & Reminders

The most basic -- yet most neglected -- travel advice ever

One: Read all your travel documents, especially the fine print. If your airline tickets are non-refundable, ask your travel agent to explain the procedures should you have to make a change in your travel plans. Check whether any additional cost will be involved. If you are traveling abroad, check whether your passport is valid. Apply for your passport and visa(s) as early as possible. Obtaining a passport during peak travel seasons can take several weeks.

Two: Pack everything of value in your carry-on luggage. This includes your travel documents, important business papers, prescription medication, spectacles and other expensive accessories. Though it may seem to be stating the obvious, if your luggage is lost, even temporarily, you could experience problems that could be easily prevented.

Three: Experienced business travelers advise that you “take twice as much money and half as many clothes as you think you’ll need.” These days, airlines are enforcing the “one piece of carry-on luggage” rule, particularly on full flights, so travel as light as possible. Carry enough money to see you through any emergencies. Although credit cards are widely accepted and ATM machines are quite common, it still makes sense to carry cash, especially if you’re traveling abroad.

Four: Keep a duplicate copy of your passport and travelers checks in a safe place. Obtaining replacements of these documents when you travel abroad is much easier when you can provide copies of originals.

Five: Retain all of your receipts for purchases of goods or services outside of the U.S. In many countries, a Value Added Tax is added to the purchase price of everything you buy. VAT is reimbursable when you return to the U.S. – this can be a substantial saving, as VAT can often be as high as 25 or 30 percent.

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