If ever there was a year when people were nervous about international travel, 2017 is it. Between the President’s controversial travel ban and heightened violence in Europe and elsewhere, missionaries and others who need to travel outside the US have to be smart travelers this summer. Here are some top tips from experts, with links to many more.
Earlier this year Travel & Leisure published a list of two dozen “Travel Hacks that Will Save You Time and Money in 2017.” Among them:
Sign up for airline alerts. Carriers like Jetblue will send flash sale emails. And “websites like Airfarewatchdog are great for finding top-notch flight prices, thanks to flight-tracker alerts that notify you when prices drop.”
Ship your packages beforehand. “To avoid having a longer wait time at airport security and using precious storage space for gifts, ship your luggage out before flying.”
Use the right cards.”Traveling internationally? You need credit and debit cards that don't charge foreign transaction fees.” The article lists several. We think if they’d known about the ECCU Visa Gold Everyday Cashback Credit Card, they’d have mentioned it too.
The Expert Vagabond published another helpful article, “My 30 Best Travel Tips After 6 Years Traveling The World.” It includes extremely practical ones, like “Patience Is Important,” “Pack a Scarf,” and “Laugh at yourself.” Then there’s “Back Up Everything”:
“Keep both digital and physical copies of your passport, visas, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, serial numbers, and important phone numbers ready to go in case of an emergency.”
Another wise tip is “Keep Good Notes.” The author writes:
“If you ever want to write about your travels, these details are handy. These days I use an incredible note-taking app called Evernote, which I use as my 2nd brain. So useful for all kinds of applications — from planning trips to journaling about them later.”
Two other experts you’ll want to check with before traveling are Rick Steves and the US State Department. Steves’ website provides travel tips in 11 categories, including “Money” and “Theft & Scams,” one of which is “Bank Card Precautions for Travelers.” The State Department website includes a handy “Traveler’s Checklist.”
What’s the best tip from all these experts. We’re going with the Expert Vagabond’s #17: Don’t Be Afraid: “The world is not nearly as dangerous as the media makes it out to be. Keep an eye out for sketchy situations but don’t let that be the focus of your whole trip. Use common sense and you’ll be ok. Most people are friendly, trustworthy, generous, and willing to help you out.”