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Bazaars

Today we tackled the bazaars. The Grand Bazaar was really good. Bigger than I expected and certainly a lot to look at. We browsed around and made a purchase although we were offered many more. After a coffee stop we continued indirectly unintentionally

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Traveling to strange locations and being in places you know nothing about can be very exciting. I have some memories I’m very fond of that include running early in the morning beside the Danube river in Budapest, enjoying a juicy steak with late night drinks in Uruguay, and checking out the temples of Angkor Wat.

In some cases, when traveling on business I was only able to see the things that were visible from the window of my hotel room because there just wasn’t any time left in between meetings and other business activities.

For every type of trip, there are proven steps that can be taken to make the journey better. Here are some my top tips when traveling abroad.

Grab A Business Card From The Hotel

One of the very first things you should do when checking into your hotel is to get one of their business cards. Having it means that if you ever get lost you will have the address and the phone number of the hotel with you at all times. Whether or not people in the areas speak your language you’ll be able to show them and taxi drivers the card and they will better be able to help you.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Be Aware Of The 6-Month Rule For Passports and in date Visas

Although the US will allow you to travel on your passport right up to its expiration date, this is not true in all countries. Many will deny entry if you have an expiration date that is less than 6 months. According to immigrationsolutions.sg they do this on the off chance that you get stuck in that country longer than you planned and the 6-month rule helps make sure that your passport is valid during the entire stay. A good rule of thumb is to renew it no later than 9 months before its expiration.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Credit Cards

It is common to find that you’ll get the best exchange rates when using a credit card. It is necessary, however, to make sure that your card doesn’t add-on a transaction fee for foreign purchases as these can sometimes be as much as 3%. The Platinum American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card are a couple of examples of credit cards that don’t have this ridiculous fee. It’s also recommended that you don’t have the hotel or a restaurant change the local money to US dollars first because it’s almost always a bad deal.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Getting Cash

In the US it’s extremely common to get cash from the ATM but when abroad or anytime you’re out of your bank’s network you can accumulate fees every time you use an ATM. At airports, the ATM will be within the bank’s network but using it to take a large amount of cash is never recommended when traveling.  Many also find that when they have a lot of cash that they convert into local currency that they end up with too much foreign currency when their trip is over. Fidelity and Charles Schwab have checking accounts that have no requirements for a minimum balance and they reimburse you for any ATM fees you’re charged even when abroad.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Prevent Unnecessary Fraud Alerts

If your credit card company is unaware that you will be traveling internationally, then any use of your credit card while doing so could trigger a fraud alert. To prevent this you should contact your credit card companies and let them know where you’ll be traveling and on what dates. You should also remember to inform them of countries where you’re changing flights as you may have need for using your card there as well.

Credit Card Chips

Many credit cards in Europe will commonly have a chip rather than magnetic strips like are used in the US. Many places abroad can still swipe your credit card using the strip but there are some places that are not able to. The chip is much more secure but America has not yet taken to having these types of credit cards. You will find that some gas stations, ticket machines for trains, and other machines that allow you to make purchases without the help of a person will often reject US-based cards because it can’t recognize the strip. Currently, it’s still difficult to get this type of card in the US but some cards are coming out with a system that can work.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Check Travel Alerts

It’s smart to check government warnings when traveling to make sure there are no alerts in areas you’ll be going to. You may also want to print out information on the address and contact number of the local Embassy.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Image by U.S. Embassy Pakistan via Flickr

Medicine

As a precaution, you should usually carry things such as earplugs and eye mask in case your hotel room is not as convenient for sleeping as you would like. You might also want to take over the counter pain medications such as Advil and other medicine like Tums as these brands of medicine are not always available in other countries. Many countries you will travel to will certainly have drug stores and they might have something similar but if for example it’s late at night and you’re in Germany it might be difficult trying to get the pharmacist to understand you have diarrhea and that can all be avoided simply by carrying some of these basic over the counter medications with you.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Consider Foreign Airlines

Anytime you’re wanting to travel abroad on a budget you should strongly consider looking at Airlines owned by overseas companies. When searching for ticket prices you’ll want to use the foreign-based website as sometimes the US-based website will show a considerably higher price. When I was booking a flight from the southern region of Italy to the northern region on Alitalia I found that the US site was charging double. I couldn’t read Italian but Google Chrome was able to translate it well enough that I could understand the Italian based website and was able to enjoy the savings.

Avoid International Data Roaming

Always remember to set your cell phone so that you avoid data roaming internationally. If you’re a business traveler who travels often you may well have an international calling plan and data plan. But those who travel less frequently usually will not. Transmitting data overseas is usually the largest cost. I have experienced situations where I’m in an area but the information was being transmitted from a tower in another country and when I received the alert I needed to shut everything down until I was in a different area.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Google Maps

If you’re one of those who is always using Google Maps to get everywhere, you need to be aware that if you don’t have a data plan for overseas that it could really rack up charges. Instead, try to use the hotel provided Wi-Fi and pre-plan your routes for getting around for that day. If you take a screenshot of the map you can look at that and use your zoom in feature to help you follow the directions. Even if it’s not ideal it’s a solid workaround.

Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips

Reduce Unwanted Local Currency

One way I accomplished this was by figuring out how much I need on the last night and then I put all the rest of the foreign currency I have aside. When I check out of the hotel I apply all the excess local currency to my current bill and only then pay the remaining amount with a credit card that does not charge me a fee for foreign transactions.

The post Get The Best Experience With Your Travels Abroad By Using These Top Tips appeared first on YourAmazingPlaces.com.

i just cannot catch it

FunnyCatSite

Staying in a Lighthouse – Wake up with the views and the sounds of the sea.

There is something magical and mysterious about lighthouses, but have you ever considered sleeping in one? Well, if you have, we have luckily run through five amazing hotels that will allow you to appreciate the sea at its best – from the tree topped cliff sides of Italy to the choppy sea edges of Norway.

Faro Capo Spartivento, Sardinia, Italy

Built in 1854 and home to the lighthouse keepers up until 1980, the lighthouse of Capo Spartivento is the first lighthouse in Italy to be converted into a guesthouse. The Italian Navy priced the conversion as a fine example of military architectural restoration. It features a panoramic terrace, infinity pool and some of the most amazing sea views. Its interior consists of an iron spiral staircase and a central library, meaning this will be a very special stay. If you manage to tear yourself away from the quirky opulence, it is the perfect spot to explore the Domus de Maria area which has splendid beaches and mystical woods.

Staying in a Lighthouse – Wake up with the views and the sounds of the sea.

Saybrook Point Inn, Marina and Spa, Connecticut, USA

Located in the picturesque sea town of Old Saybrook, the Saybrook Point Inn is the perfect place for a restful break. Their lighthouse suite is located on the main dock and offers unobstructed views of the Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River. The suite boasts 900 square feet and contains a living room, dining area and a kitchenette.

Staying in a Lighthouse – Wake up with the views and the sounds of the sea.

Hotel Brosundet, Ålesund, Norway

Located in the heart of historic Alesund, the hotel was originally a seafront fish storage and treatment warehouse. After a terrible fire in 1904 the whole town had to be re-built, so the hotel features the distinctive Art Nouveau style that Alesund’s village is now famous for. It is a beautiful design gem where the rustic history is combined with modern facilities. If you are around during one of the Western Norway’s stormy spells, you will find that the waves hit high up the firewall, but it probably won’t seem so bad from the comfort of your luxurious bed…

Staying in a Lighthouse – Wake up with the views and the sounds of the sea.

Hotel Bellwether, Bellingham, Washington, USA

Located in Bellingham Bay, Hotel Bellwether is the perfect spot to explore the beautiful scenery of the North Cascades National Park. Their lighthouse suites are one of the most unique lodging experiences. A 900 square-foot waterfront retreat, this lighthouse replica features an observation level with 360-degree water views overlooking Mount Baker, the San Juan Islands, Squalicum Harbour, the city of Bellingham and Bellingham Bay.

Staying in a Lighthouse – Wake up with the views and the sounds of the sea.

Trump Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland

Built in the 19th century the Turnberry lighthouse switched off its lights in 2012 and since then has become an enchanting two-bedroom suite with captivating views across the ocean. Situated in one of the most desirable golf and spa destinations in Britain, this inspiring piece of restauration provides and unique setting for a distinctive stay in the western Scottish coast.

Staying in a Lighthouse – Wake up with the views and the sounds of the sea.

END NOTE: This selection is part of the Hotel Edit project by Expedia.

The post Staying in a Lighthouse – Wake up with the views and the sounds of the sea. appeared first on YourAmazingPlaces.com.

5 of the most transformative travel experiences

Travel is more than just checking off a bucket list or standing in front of famous sites. It’s about interacting with other cultures, learning about diverse ways of life and beliefs, and having opportunities you can’t get many other places. If not for those things, why would you ever leave your house? But there are […]

The post 5 of the most transformative travel experiences appeared first on A Luxury Travel Blog.

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