Welcome to my travel vlog “Anywhere Once”. On this blog, I will share travel tips and information that I have acquired over my 20 plus years of traveling. The following five tips are the basic tips to get you started and prepare you for your first international excursion. So, without further ado, let us begin.
1. Don’t drink the water!
For the most part, no matter where you are in the world, do not drink the tap water. Mexico is close to home and many Americans relax and let their guard’s down. I have heard many stories of individuals traveling to Mexico and within a few days, they are having stomach problems that severely interrupt their trips. You should only drink bottled water anywhere outside of the U.S. If you want ice, the ice at your hotel, resort, or nice restaurants should be filtered and safe for consumption. Please, do not use the ice from street vendors, only drink bottled water and check the safety seal.
Also, use caution with freshly cut fruit slices sold by street vendors. Why? Well, the fruit is most likely washed with tap water and is equivalent to drinking the water. Purchase your fruit whole and uncut and then clean and peel it yourself. If you forget tip one, please see tip number 2.
2. Pack a Mini First Aid Kit
I always travel with a mini First Aid Kit. First Aid Kits can come in handy in the event that you accidentally drink contaminated water or you have any other minor medical hiccup. In my First Aid Kit, I try to pack the basic essentials such as anti-diarrhea medication, electrolytes drops, Benadryl, cold medicine, Band-Aids, a poncho, and ibuprofen or Tylenol.
I have taken so many solo trips that I am accustomed to only depending on myself. The anti-diarrhea and the electrolytes are really important for a solo traveler because if you get food poisoning or a stomach virus you can stabilize yourself until you can seek proper medical attention.
3. Your Money
Do not forget to call your bank and notify them that of your international travel plans. Having access to your money is crucial for a successful vacation. If you forget, your bank may deactivate your credit cards at the point of sale. It is also a good idea to have multiple cards. Sometimes, there are credit card server problems and a card just will not work.
Use the currency exchanges at the airport as a last resort. Their fees are normally higher. It is easier to purchase your foreign currency at your American bank two weeks prior to your trip’s departure. While you are communicating with your bank, also inquire about their “sister” or partner banks. Many American banks have “sister” banks in foreign countries. If you contact them prior to leaving the U.S., your bank will provide the list to you. Using the partner banks ATMs will be equivalent to using your banks atm. This way you will avoid service fees. But be aware, many banks will still charge a conversion fee. Just ask for clarification.
4. Your Cellphone
Check with your mobile carrier before your trip to ensure they provide international coverage. Not all U.S. carriers offer this service. If international plans are available, make arrangements with your provider, prior to travel in order to use your phone. If your mobile provider does not provide international coverage, you can use the application WHATSAPP. WhatsApp is an app that allows you to make calls and send messages for free via Wi-Fi. The cost of WHATSAPP is only $.99.
5. Travel Safety-
Watch your belongings at all times. I recommend either carrying a crossbody bag or a backpack for security reasons. Purses can be easily snatched. Separating your cash is also a good plan. Do not carry all of your cash in one location. You can place some cash in your bag and carry extra in your money belt worn under your garments. You can also place your passport here. The money belt is a little harder for pickpockets to access.
You should also make a copy of your passport. Leave one copy with a responsible friend or family member back in the states, email yourself a copy, and carry the third copy with you along with your duplicate travel documents. You will need these copies if your passport is lost or stolen.
And last, but not least, register with the Embassy before your trip. The United States State Department has made it really simple. Just visit the website below and follow the instructions.
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Happy travels… Tani 😊