Can I tell you one of the best things about my job?
I LOVE that I am connected to some amazing people in this industry! Don’t get me wrong, I am a total guidebook geek and I read travel blogs constantly, but there is nothing better than having a go-to reference for those pesky questions in life! Hopefully you already know that you can reach out to me anytime with your travel-related questions, but I wanted to be sure you had in your pocket the easy answers to my most-asked questions. I hope you find answers to your questions in this list, but if you don’t, shoot me an email or ask me on Facebook!
Quick & Easy Answers to YOUR Travel Questions
Do I need a passport? What about a visa? Any other documentation?
Yes. If you are leaving the U.S., you need a passport! Some countries require that your passport be valid for 3 or 6 months following travel, and they can even deny you entry! Yikes!! Every country has different visa requirements, and those can be found at travel.state.gov.
How and when do I change my money into foreign currency?
This answer is almost invariably the same: use an ATM once you are overseas. Notify your bank that you’ll be traveling and making withdrawals. Verify your pin and your daily limit (you can ask your bank to increase this), as well as what fees your bank will charge you. ATM transaction fees are still going to leave you better off than going elsewhere and getting a crumby exchange rate. While you are traveling, stick to ATM’s that are located in a bank, whenever possible. Withdraw the maximum amount for that day at one time whether you think you will use it or not (this will cut down on fees). Take an extra card in case yours gets demagnetized.
How do I keep in touch?
You can use your cell phone very affordably in a different country. If you will be in an area that has good access to Wi-Fi, plan on keeping your phone in “airplane mode” and enable Wi-Fi for phone calls, texting, email, etc. I use the Viber app to keep in touch with my clients while they are out of the country (at no charge to either of us), and it works like a charm. If you don’t want to be restricted to Wi-Fi, check with your carrier for an international data plan that fits your needs and activate it the day before you leave. Don’t forget to deactivate it when you return! These are relatively inexpensive—especially if you can stick to Wi-Fi for your voice calls.
Do I need to rent a car?
There is no fast and easy answer to this question unless I know where you are going. A good rule of thumb is this: if you are spending your time in a big city (or cities), you probably don’t need—and, in fact, shouldn’t get—a rental car. Public transportation, taxis, etc. should get you where you need to go for less money and far less hassle (if you’ve ever tried to park in Paris or Rome, you know what I’m talking about). If you’ll be exploring towns or countryside, you will want to rent a car. Another option for this throughout Europe is to hire a chauffeur. This is more economical than you might think, and the conveniences can’t be overstated!
Where do I find good local food and fun stuff to do?
TripAdvisor can help some, but you are so much better off researching some food and culture blogs written by people who’ve recently been to your destination. It isn’t as compiled, but you’ll get more reliable opinions. I scour the blogosphere, multiple guidebooks, e-books, websites, and social media to get amazing tips for my traveling clients and, of course, myself.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, all the time and every time. Buy it from a reputable source and read the fine print. You shouldn’t be booking your travel on those online booking engines, but if you do, beware of their crapola policies. I recommend a comprehensive policy such as the Travel Guard Gold plan (what Joe and I buy for our family) or the Classic plan from Allianz.
Is there anything to help with jet lag?
There are lots of ways to cope with jet lag, and with so many amazing places to visit in this world, I firmly believe in begging for it!! #JetlagPlease