Monday, August 3, 2009

Travel Checklist and Travel Tips

The following is from which contains helpful tips regarding travel andhow to have a safe and enjoyable trip or vacation by planning ahead and reducing your stress.

A successful and pleasant business trip or vacation depends on adequate preparation. Learn how to organize your air travel, hotel reservations, car rentals, visas, passports, and immunizations.

Preparing for a trip or vacation
Traveling broadens our perspective of the world in which we live. Going to foreign countries provides exposure to different cultures, different food, and different languages. Many countries encourage international tourism as a way of boosting their local or national economies, but there are some countries and cultures which view foreigners with suspicion and do not particularly care for strangers in their land. Even in some popular "civilized" travel destinations it is easy to become a victim of thiefs and criminals who will take your luggage, assault you to steal your jewelry and valuables, or cheat you in the price of taxi fares or other services. Your best protection is to be alert, book your tours through trustworthy agencies, and never travel alone to an unfamiliar destination. Make sure that you know the traditions of the land where you want to travel before you start your trip.

Travel arrangements
Scheduling your trip involves careful planning. Travel agents can help you to organize some of your preparations. First of all, take care of your travel documents. Some countries require only passports, but others require passports and visas. Do not wait until the last minute to obtain your passport because this may require several weeks. To get the best deals for your transportation and hotel accommodations, you will need to make your reservations well in advance of your travel. The best bargains can be obtained during the off-season when demand has diminished. Airlines that provide food service can accommodate special dietary requirements if you give them at least 24 hours advance notice.

Along with your passports and visas, you may need to take along vaccination certificates, and prescriptions for any special medicines that you need. Before embarking on a trip, check to make sure that you are allowed to travel with your medicines. Some medicines sold over the counter in the United States may be considered illegal in other countries and vice versa. There is nothing more unpleasant than starting a vacation on the wrong foot by having to explain to the customs authorities why you are carrying so many "drugs".

As a result of terrorist activities, airports have increased their security inspections before allowing passengers to board. Get to the airport with plenty of time to manage the check-in congestion. Also, don't exceed the container size limits of carry-on liquids, gels, and aerosols, otherwise, your toiletries will be confiscated. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce (84 milliliters) or smaller containers, and they must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.

Travel Checklist

The following checklist can help you to prepare for your trip.

Trip Preparation

- Visas
- Passports - Check the expiration date two months before your trip
- Vaccinations
- Hotel reservations, take along confirmation numbers
- Travel reservations, take along airplane tickets
- Travel insurance to cover the duration of your trip
- Driver's license, registration, insurance cards (leave unnecessary cards at home)
- Money or foreign currency (cash, traveler's checks, credit cards)
- Carry some emergency cash in a neck wallet or a thin sock attached with a safety pin to the inside of your underwear. (See note below for hints about keeping your cash safe.)
- Car keys, house key. (leave unnecessary keys at home)
- Stop the newspaper and mail. A pile of newspapers or a stuffed mailbox tells thieves that you are not at home. You may come back from your trip to an empty apartment or house.
- Turn down thermostat at home
- Arrange for someone to water your plants and take care of your pets.
- Don't forget to leave the keys and itinerary.
- Do not pack your travel documents or money in a suitcase that may get lost. Take your important documents and money in a wallet or purse that you can access at all times.
- Make sure that your luggage has a tag with your name, address, and telephone number.
- Tie a colorful ribbon or attach distinctive stickers to your luggage so that you can identify it easily, and other travelers will not take it by mistake at a busy terminal.

Checklist for Packing Personal Items
- shirts, blouses, pants, dresses, hats, coats, sweaters
- rain protection - travel umbrella or raincoat
- underwear, socks
- toiletries, cosmetics, shaving needs, deodorant, shampoo
dental floss, toothbrush, nail clippers, nail file
contact lens preparations
- camera, batteries, recharger, voltage converter, small flashlight, travel alarm -clock, hair drier
- swimming suit, beach towels, sun block cream
- slippers
- sleeping bag, backpack
- Cell phone
- A printed list of emergency phone numbers or address book may be handy if your cell phone batteries die or you lose the phone.

First Aid
- aspirin or analgesic
- decongestant or cold/sinus medication
- antiseptic spray
- mosquito repellent, anti-itch cream
- anti-diarrheal
- special medications

- food supplements
- vitamins
- canned food, can opener

For international travel, do not take fruits and non-sterile foods such as dried sausages because they can spoil and are usually confiscated by customs.

Car Trip
- Check tire air pressure, including spare
- Tools for changing a tire
- Check oil and gas level
- Flashlight
- Maps
- Sun block, sunglasses (This is important on a long trip when the sun may be shining on your arms and face for a long time).
- Trash bags, moist towels, napkins
- Insulated bag for cold drinks and fruits
- Take water for drinking, for the radiator, or windshield washer.
- Soft drinks may be OK for you, but they cannot be used for the car.
- Granola bars or other emergency food (You may be stuck in traffic for a long time when you least expect it).
- Cellular telephone

Camping or Beach Vacation
- Dry snacks (granola bars, nuts, trail mix, jerky) and bottled drinks
- Ice chest
- beach umbrella, folding chairs, beach towels
- sunblock, sunglasses, wide-brim hat
- Swimming suits
- Life vests, inflatable flotation devices
- Sports equipment (baseball, bats, beach ball, surfboard)
- Sleeping bag, air mattress
- Tent, stakes, ropes, hammer, shovel
- Portable stove, pots, pans
- Lantern, kerosene, batteries
- Emergency signaling equipment (cell phones, radio, mirrors)
- Maps, compass, Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Survival Gear (knife, ax, waterproof matches, saw, fish hooks, fishing line)
- Water purification tablets
- Insect repellent, snake-bite kit, first aid kit
- Backpacks
- Hiking boots, jeans, long sleeve shirts, coat
Before a hike, spray insect repellent on your shoes, socks, and pant cuffs to discourage ticks and insects from crawling up your legs
- Hunting equipment (rod and reel, guns, ammunition, bows, arrows)
Make sure that you have proper permits for guns and licenses for fishing and hunting.
- You may need a tape measure and a spring scale to make sure that your catches are of legal size. Use guns safely!

Watch your Cash!
When traveling, stay aware of your surroundings to avoid being a victim of pickpockets. Do not travel with more than two credit cards, and notify the card companies that you will be traveling so that they will not put a hold on the cards when they start seeing charges from unfamiliar places. If you don't have access to a hotel safe, use a money belt or neck wallet under your shirt to hold your passport, travel tickets, and extra cash. Only carry in your wallet what you will be using for the day. If you run out of money in your wallet, go into a bathroom, and lock the door to retrieve extra money from your money belt. In crowded places, it is better to carry your wallet in a front pant pocket rather than in a back pocket that can be picked more easily.

Sometimes thieves work in teams. One of them distracts you or pushes you, while another one picks your pocket. One time, when I was traveling in Spain, a woman asking for charity pushed a baby against my torso while with her other hand she was trying to unzip the belt pouch that I was wearing around my stomach.


For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 (866.WIN.1.NOW)
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

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