June 24, 2016 – Friday

Thankful for a beautiful day! Today I’m excited to come and share our preparation for upcoming international trip. Aside from the excitement that we are experiencing then and now, we also thought of things we needed to prepare in order for us to have a smooth travel experience. The things we did first are listed below, hope it will help you or someone you know:

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Greece, Santorini

🌍 Checked making sure we had the right vaccination. Any prescription that needed to be refilled.

🌎 Bring copies of our passport. Just in case our passport gets stolen or lost, just to make sure that we can still get back into the country. Leave a copy of our passport to my sister (someone you trust at home) just in case. For extra backup, I made an electronic copy sent to my email. I registered with our embassy.

🌎 In regards to money, there are different suggestions by friends and blogs that I have read. Write down all the suggestions. Then make sure to check up the monetary conversion before we go.

🌍 Called our bank to let them know that we are going overseas. Sometimes banks thinks that fraud may be occurring if transactions are suddenly happening in France when you’re from California and they will turn off your card as a security measure.

🌍 The other thing to check, make sure credit card will work in the country we’re visiting. Read some of the blogs and it was mentioned that European banks have switched almost completely to the more secure chip-and-PIN technology, and fewer businesses abroad are accepting the outdated magnetic-strip cards. Just keep a note of that. 

🌍 The conversion centers in the airport or around the city tend to be rip-offs. Planning to withdraw money at the airport ATM get charged as what the bank fees charged and the conversion will be exact. Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards, especially important places like trains or buses.

🌍 Check the country’s entrance/exit fees. Some countries require travelers to pay in order to enter or leave the country. These fees are not included in the price of your airline ticket and can range from $25 to $200 per person.

🌍 Buy tickets now for places you know you want to visit or see. By buying in advance you’ll be able to skip more lines, and find more deals targeted towards you. Like in our case, we bought Paris Pass that includes attraction at the best price.

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Museum Passes

🌍 Download apps before you travel. Such as Rick Steve’s audio for museums which he caters for European travel destination. Avoid downloading charges from your wireless carrier and get your apps before you leave. Consider taking screenshots of maps in key areas, so you can refer to them without using data charges.

🌍 Research events going on while you’re there. This will help you make sure that you’re not missing events going on in the city, fun things like festivals and ceremonies.

🌍 Be sure to research a few national dishes to try. You don’t want to leave the country without experiencing what the local speciality.

🌍 Bring a charger adapter. Countries have different-sized plugs and voltage.

🌍 Activate your phone’s global capabilities. There’s usually a charge for doing this, but it is much less than the roaming charges you’ll get if you don’t.

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Travel Sum

🌍 Download Travelzoo app. The Travelzoo app can help you find great deals in a variety of countries and has options from local deals to transportation options. Skiplagged for the best airfare and seatguru for the best seat for your flight. The worst thing for a trip is having to purchase for a seat that does not have the comforts you’re looking for such as reclining or no place to place your bag in front of you.

🌍 Make sure to pack extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag if you have your things checked-in. Don’t be one of those travelers decked out in “J’adore Paris” apparel because the airline lost your luggage and you have nothing else to wear.

🌍 To check a bag or not to check bag. Each airline has its own set of guidelines as to how many bags can be checked or carried on for free. Make sure to look up what your airline’s rules are to avoid any incremental fees.

🌎Bring snacks. Traveling abroad is fun, but eating in a foreign country can sometimes become a task. Bring small snacks that will tide you over until you find that perfect restaurant or food cart.

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TSA approved snacks

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