Bring your Travel Insurance Documents. (If Applicable)
Medication ~ (Keep in your carry-on bag) Do not pack medication in your checked luggage, just in case you need it.
You will need to convert money to foreign currency. You can order them through your bank or exchange at the airport. Bring plenty of small bills, cash for shopping, tipping etc.
ATM’s will give you money in that country’s currency. Ensure you know your credit card PIN to get cash.
Tipping in Europe: Tips are included, however, it is always at your discretion and appreciated to leave a small something for Driver, tour operator and servers. It’s not a percentage you calculate in Europe, just what you feel is that extra little thank you. 3 to 5 Euros a good example for a Driver etc.
Tipping on Cruises: Gratuities are expected to be about $10 – $12 dollars per day.
Tipping in China: Restaurants: No
Hotel Staff: A small token of gratitude (like American coin or candy)
Taxi Drivers: Allow them to keep the small change by rounding off to nearest whole amount.
Tour Operators: The only exception is that you will be expected to tip your independent guide and driver at the end of a tour.
Contact your bank for international credit card use, call each card issuer of the cards you will be using while abroad
Contact your cell phone provider for international calls to make sure no extra cost for texting, data roaming.
Or download Whatsapp, Viber or Skype on your phone for texting over Wifi. Prior to leaving please have a means of communicating from abroad with family in states and your travel agent.
Airport Security: Tips on getting through security quickly. Wear shoes you can slip on an off easily. Clear liquids up to 3 oz are allowed in carry on but must be placed in clear bag and taken out of your carry on prior to entering security. Cell phones should be placed in your purse or carry on bag and please have nothing in your pockets. Laptops, tablets, iPads must be charged and taken out of bags and placed in security bin by themselves. No metal nail files or anything that can be construed as a sharp object or weapon.
International flights: Most airlines require check-in 3 hours prior to departure. Please make sure you arrive at the airport on time to avoid any boarding issues.
Baggage weight: Most airlines allow bags up to 50 LBS (23 Kilos) for international flights. Please check your individual carrier website for exact requirements. If your suitcase is overweight you will incur a fee. Any bag over 70lbs (32 Kilos) can be refused even for a fee.
Try to travel light and avoid oversized / overweight suitcases. Most airlines will charge more for these bags. Most Trains in Europe do not have room for oversized bags even in small luggage area. Also keep in mind taxi’s (Smaller vehicles in Europe) and renting a car, most will only fit 3 suitcases and 1 carry on with 3 to 4 passengers.
Safety: Please register your trip with the US State Department so they know where you will be in case of an emergency.
Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid large condensed crowds. Purchase train, tour tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting in long lines. If at all possible,
Have private transfers to and from airports and rail stations.
Check the visa requirements for all countries you will be visiting
The Mobile Passport app speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at 1 cruise port and 21 airports. https://mobilepassport.us
Download a cell phone maps app bundled point-of-interest data, for all the places we will be visiting.
The currency converter app from Oanda is a useful app to install that doesn’t require an internet connection to use. Also XE Currency is another great app to have.
Heading somewhere where you don’t speak the language? Use Google Translate
Things to bring (Optional)
Personal first aid kit (Benadryl, Neosporin, Tums or Pepto, Pain relievers etc.)
Avoid wearing flashy jewelry & flashing big bills
SPF or Suntan Oil.
Avoid wearing anything that will identify you as an American (American sports teams, cities, colleges, etc)
Travel Tips #3 ~ Airport Information/Checklist
Be sure to check your required Airport “arrival” times for Check-In 24hrs in advance for any changes.
Check the Do’s & Don’ts at security check points for your airline and luggage/carry on allowance.
Be prepared for filling out Immigration and/or Customs forms on your flight (bring a pen and have your passport & airline ticket in reach).
After landing, immigrations/customs and you have received your luggage be sure to have your transfer documents handy. If taking a taxi please proceed to airport area marked Taxis.
Travel Tip #4 ~ Hotel Info.
Upon arrival at your lodging be sure to have your itinerary/confirmation handy.
Check-In: 4pm ~ in most cases, if your room is not ready when you arrive they will hold your luggage and give you access to the resort until your room is ready.
Ask front desk at check in for local area map or subway map so you know how to get from point A to point B easily.
Check-In Policy: Most hotels require a credit card or cash deposit upon check-in for incidentals; this will place a hold on the required funds.
Check-Out Policy: 11am ~ There can be an additional fee if you checkout beyond 12:00 pm unless you reserved a late checkout in advance.
Be sure to Use the safe in your room for passport & valuables, or better yet leave valuables at home.
Advisories: If leaving the resort / hotel alone please let someone know your plans; if possible plan excursions with licensed tour operators
(Usually in the lobby area of the hotel). And take up any issues and get names when booking your excursions while you’re there it makes resolving problems easier.