- Posted August 5, 2013 by
tagbilaran city, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips
To enjoy your stay, never convert.
- Jamescia, CNN iReport producer
So I make it sure I can travel locally or abroad if I have the time, health and wealth.
How I stay positive during my travel experience?
Planning. Check the website if the countries you are going to visit need visas. Do your research. Ask friends for latest news and advisories. I check CNN’s Travel and Lonely Planet for info such as costs, cultural trends and safety awareness. For airline tickets, I ask my friend, who owns a ticketing office, to monitor the ticket price. Having a friend working in a ticketing office is an advantage for affordable and low-cost airfare.
Packing. My mama always told me to make a list of things I need to pack. I travel light. I don’t bring unnecessary things. I check the airline website to know the size, number of baggage and weight requirements for check-in and handcarried baggage I can bring into the cabin free of charge. I have my own weighing scale at home to check if I don’t exceed or not. Most of the time, if the airline company allows me to carry two pieces of luggage, I bring the two pieces of luggage which the other one is almost empty. So, when I return home, the other luggage is full of chocolates and other souvenir items for my family and friends without paying the extra charge. (Remember, don’t forget to put your name, telephone number and address inside and outside each piece of luggage.)
It is also very important to print out a copy of your passport and visa and place it in your luggage and in your hand-carry. This will serve as a backup and will be useful in the event it is lost or stolen.
Pack any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage. Other countries don’t sell over the counter drugs. So, every time I travel, I have with me my paracetamol, anti-diarrhoea, anti-biotic and pain killer. Sometimes, I have with me liniment for body aches. To avoid problems when passing through customs, keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. As possible, bring copies of your prescriptions.
Bring cash but it is hassle-free to bring debit/credit cards.
Behave. At the airport, I have encountered a problem like cancellation of flight. Talk politely. For instance, while waiting for my flight to Poland at the Frankfurt International Airport in Germany, our flight was cancelled due to storm. Many of us were waiting for the announcement of our schedule. Other people argued with the airline desks, some of them were shouting because the airline girls didn’t give them their seat numbers. On my part, I politely asked the girl (of course, with a smile) for my seat number, and to my surprise, she asked for my ticket and gave me my seat number. Remember, smiles can do wonder!
Sights and sounds. Eat where the locals eat, go where the locals go. When I travelled to LA this February 2013, my bonding moments with friends in the US revolved around anything edible-- that there are plenty to eat and thank God for-- and you can’t feel the economy is down. Like music, food does bring people together. I’d learned from my past travels that to enjoy my stay, never convert! I stopped whining about how I have to shell out $2 for a bottle of cranberry juice or Hershey’s chocolate when I can get it here for a reasonable price in my country. Another thing, make sure to check your cash and your credit limit.
Ask and be grateful. In a place where people don’t speak English, you don’t have to assume you understand their language. I ask. But I make it sure I ask the right person like a police officer. For instance, I didn’t know how to ride a bus going to a place in Seoul, South Korea, so I ask a traffic enforcer for help and direction.
Safety first. If your guide will say it’s not safe to travel to a particular area, don’t go. Be wise about food allergies when visiting a foreign country in order to avoid dangerous liaisons. I have allergy on some seafoods, so every time I travel, I always ask the waiter of their menu. Better safe than sorry. Ask your guide or friend about safety on street and on road and transportation. Sometimes, It pays not to speak to strangers. When I was at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, USA, a man approached me. He said, “I’m not from here. I need money to go back.” I politely said, “I’m not from here also. I can accompany you to your Embassy to ask for help.” Then he left.
|This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure: 100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips|