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    Let Someone Else Plan Your Trip
    Most of us go the DIY route when booking our trips, but a travel agent can save you time and stress when you have a complex vacation planned, especially if traveling with a group or if you have health issues that need to be accommodated. You can also save a lot of money by using a travel agent if you’re planning an international trip.
     
    Buy a small backpack/suitcase
    By purchasing a small backpack, you will be forced to pack light and avoid carrying too much stuff. If you have a bigger bag, you’ll end up taking more than you need and then regret it.
     
    Take an extra bank card and credit card with you
    Disasters happen. It’s always good to have a backup in case you get robbed or lose a card. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere without access to your funds.
     
    Notify your bank of your travel plans
    In today's world, where your banks and credit card companies monitor your activity for fraudulent activity, you will want to make sure that you notify your bank and credit card company of where and when you will be traveling. This will avoid the inconvenience of having your cards temporarily frozen over suspicion of a lost or stolen card.
     
    Make sure to use no-fee bank cards
    Don’t give banks your hard-earned money. Keep that for yourself and spend it on your travels. Get a credit card and debit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or an ATM fee. Over the course of a long trip, the few dollars they take every time will really add up!
     
    Always visit the local tourism office
    They know about everything going on in town. They can point you to free activities, special events happening during your stay, and everything in between. They even offer discounts on attractions and transportation. It is their job to help you experience the destination better. It’s amazing how many travelers skip this when they are visiting somewhere but, as a savvy traveler, you know to use this resource! This is probably one of the most underused travel tips in the world.
     
    When you go out, take only what you need
    Limit the amount of cash and bank cards you carry with you, so if something does happen, you can easily recover. Never take more than one credit card or ATM card with you.
     
    Make extra copies of your passport and important documents
    Don’t forget to e-mail a copy to yourself too. You never know when you might need to have some sort of documentation with you and might not want to carry your original. Additionally, if your passport gets stolen having a copy will come in handy for your police report.
     
    Learn basic phrases in the native language of your destination
    The locals will appreciate it and it will make your interactions easier. You don’t need to master the language but learning a few things like “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you!”, “Where’s the bathroom?” will go a long way.
     
    Read up on your destination
    Read up on the destinations you are visiting. It will give you a deeper understanding of this place you’ve wanted to see for so long!
     
    Pack a flashlight
    It will help in the case of a power outage or other unforeseen circumstances.
     
    Carry a basic first-aid kit
    Accidents happen so be prepared. I take band-aids, antibacterial cream, and ointments for minor cuts and scrapes. You never know when you’re going to need it and some items are not always available in all locations.
     
    Try new food
    Be adventurous! If you put your guard up, you might miss out on some unusual and delicious local cuisine.
     
    Take pictures of your luggage and clothes
    If your bag gets lost, this will help identify it more easily and speed up the process of having your travel insurance reimburse you.
     
    Carry emergency cash
    Because emergencies happen. When you can't find an ATM and needed money.
     
    Wear good shoes
    You walk a lot when you travel. Don’t beat up your feet- they take you to amazing places.
     
    Take a jacket
    Nights get chilly.
     
    Get travel insurance
    Travel insurance is the most important thing you get that you never want to use. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be out thousands of dollars in bills. It will be there if you get robbed, flights get canceled, you get sick or injured, or have to be sent home. It’s comprehensive and, for just a few dollars a day, one of the best investments you can get for a trip.
     
    Always have an extra USB charger and converter
    Not all outlets are the same. Learn what electrical outlets are used in your destination and purchase ahead of time. If you wait to purchase upon arrival, you will pay more.
     
    Take lots of photos
    Lots and lots of photos. Nothing puts a smile on your face like a good memory. Photos often jog the memory and many a good story!
     
    Wear sunscreen
    No explanation needed!
     
    and my own personal favorite....
    Take baby powder to the beach
    Baby powder is magic! It will remove sticky sand from your hands and feet!!

    View the list of the top Travel Insurance Companies listed by Forbes Magazine
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