June 2022

Top 10 Tips for Traveling Abroad

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Traveling abroad can be a stressful experience if it’s new to you, but working with a professional travel agent who specializes in this type of travel can save you headaches, money, and even assure your safety in places where you don’t speak the language or know the area. Following these tips will help you have a safe travel experience when traveling abroad and enjoy yourself without the stress that comes with a new experience in a new country.

Prepare for Your Trip Abroad

After your trip abroad is planned, the next step is to make sure you are prepared. If you forget a necessary item or don’t have the right documents, you might not be able to get past the airport, costing yourself a lot of money and sanity. (These essential carry-on items will help you get started with the right things on the plane.) Some documents you’ll need are:

  • Passports for everyone in the family (some countries require that your passport will be current for six months after your return to the U.S. so look into that before you go)
  • Visa, if required by the country
  • Prescription documentation and medical documents if you have specific health problems (this is just in case of emergency)
    • Name and address
    • Emergency contact information
    • Blood type
    • Medical history
    • Current medications and dosages
    • Drug allergies
    • Any prior hospitalizations
    • List of immunizations and dates
  • The name of your hotel in writing (a business card or flyer from the hotel is most helpful) in case you need directions
  • Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance from your travel agent
  • Personal injury and medical insurance that covers traveling abroad
  • Currency of the country where you are traveling (but exchange most of it overseas for lower exchange rates)
  • Major credit cards and ATM cards
  • Traveler’s checks
  • A map of the cities you are visiting
  • Make extra copies just in case!

Phone Usage Abroad

Traveling abroad can often be a phone nightmare if you don’t prepare for it upfront. So many people who don’t know any better go overseas and end up not being able to use their phone or paying hundreds of dollars in roaming charges without realizing it. Not being able to contact your family back home is unacceptable to most travelers, so make sure you get ahead of the phone situation before heading overseas.

  • Talk to your phone company about overseas rates or getting a phone specifically for traveling abroad
  • Ask for instructions on using public phones (and what type of coins or tokens you’ll need when you use it)
  • Check with your hotel to determine if they belong to Teleplan before dialing long distance and wasting the money

Tipping Overseas

Tipping is stressful even in a country in which you live, so when you travel abroad, you might not have any idea where to start. These tipping tips will help you stick with etiquette without offending anyone who has helped you.

  • Don’t really think about it. If they’ve performed a service, and you appreciate it, tip them.
  • Ask your travel agent or check online to see where tipping is customary, because many countries are actually against it.
  • Check if tips are included in the cost of any of your services.
  • Make sure you have coins and small bills so you are prepared to tip when desired.

Packing for Traveling Abroad

Packing for overseas travel is not much different from traveling domestically, but some points are very important for the long international journey.

  • Pack light.
  • Coordinate around one single color of clothes so you can bring fewer outfit options.
  • Dress for the weather (if you are going somewhere where the weather changes frequently, plan accordingly).
  • Use all luggage space (packing cubes are great for this)
  • Clearly label your baggage with name, address, and tour group to avoid lost luggage.
  • Leave fragile, valuable, and perishable items in your carry-on luggage.
  • Pack some of your traveling partner’s clothes in your bag and some of yours in theirs in case one of you loses luggage.

General International Travel Tips

Traveling internationally has some general tips that are similar to domestic travel. Arrange for the care of your home, ask neighbors to keep an eye on your home for safety, and maybe even consider leaving a key with a trusted neighbor in case of emergency. Make sure to confirm your airline reservations prior to leaving, arrive early for your flight (a minimum of two hours prior to takeoff), and leave an itinerary with friends and family so you can easily be reached or in case of emergency.

Pearl Travel: Travel Agents for Traveling Abroad

At Pearl Travel, we have a few specialities: cruises, family vacations, and traveling abroad. Because of this, we really know our stuff. We know the best hotels to stay, the safest places to visit, and the best destinations for you depending on your specific travel needs. Working with a travel agent can help make sure you have all your bases covered for traveling abroad, and it can save you a lot of money and time in the process.

Pearl Travel is pleased to offer unparalleled personal service via our dedicated team of travel advisors! We are able to share an amazing wealth of collective experience and expertise. The use of a personal travel advisor will be sure to enhance your travel experience – we specialize in all forms of travel from all inclusive resorts that are laid out for ease to custom travel that allows for the most unique of adventures. Contact Pearl Travel today or learn more.

Barb MazzolaTop 10 Tips for Traveling Abroad
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10 Carry-on Luggage Essentials

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Planning for a trip has many, many steps, starting with deciding where to go, how you’ll get there, and where you’ll stay. But an important part of planning any good trip is making sure you have all the essentials you need when you’re packing—and that they are able to be brought on carry-on luggage. Knowing what to bring in your carry-on will help make the trip into the airport more efficient and much more comfortable for you.

Type of Carry-On Luggage

Getting a carry-on-sized suitcase is a great idea (sizes vary by airline, so check into that or consult your travel agent before purchasing a bag), but an even better option for you might be to put all your carry-on essentials into a backpack. It’s great to just throw it on your back in the airport and while traveling, so it’s multi-purpose, and it’s less to have to carry. 

Packing light and using a solid list will help you fit everything in one backpack to avoid checking more luggage (or any luggage if possible) to make you more comfortable and waste much less time. Most planes will allow a backpack or carry-on bag plus a personal item like a purse, computer bag, diaper bag, or smaller backpack, so once you check details on your specific airline, you can determine if you have a little extra space.

What is Not Allowed in Carry-On Bags?

Before you can consider what you should pack, you should know what you can’t pack in a carry-on bag. Certain items are not allowed in carry-on bags because of safety. These unallowed carry-on items include:

  • Liquids, gels, and pastes over 3.4 ounces
  • Guns and ammunition (this includes BB guns and cap guns)
  • Stun guns
  • Tasers
  • Sharp objects like knives, axes, and razor blades
  • Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof
  • Self-defense items like pepper spray
  • Butane, propane, and fuel
  • Baseball bats, skis, and bowling pins
  • Tools over 7 inches long
  • Bleach, spray paint, other chemicals that are similar

Other items may also not be allowed that are more specific to your type of trip. If you’re wondering if a specific item is allowed in your carry-on luggage, the TSA provides a full list for your review.

Essential Carry-On Items

Once you have checked to ensure that you aren’t bringing any forbidden items onto the plane in a carry-on bag, which will end up being a real security nightmare and costing you more time than you would like to spend at the airport, you can start packing your carry-on luggage with allowed items. 

If you can pack light and include all your packing into a carry-on bag, that’s ideal for saving time (and sanity). However, that isn’t always possible depending on how long your trip is and where you’re going. This advice will be for packing light and including everything into a carry-on bag, but your luggage may overflow into a checked bag as well, and these are still essentials.

What items are essential for carry-on luggage?

1. Personal Necessities

The absolute must-haves are your passport, ID, wallet, and any medications you need to take. Pack these first, because if you forget them, it’s not a quick trip to the drug store to replace them. Remember allergy medications and other daily over-the-counter medication as well that will affect your comfort level on the trip because in many places you can just run out and grab some at the store, but not everywhere. Prioritize these above all other packing. This may also include your travel itinerary and hotel and flight confirmations. Do not forget these. You’ll be in a bad position if you do.

2. Choose the Right Type of Bags

Your main bag will obviously be the biggest of them all to make sure all the others fit inside, so it should be durable and spacious enough that you can dig in and find what you’re looking for easily. Some of them even come with built-in batteries to charge your devices. Make sure you also have a laundry bag for dirty clothes, a laptop or camera bag, a daypack or fanny pack for taking around on your adventures with you, and smaller bags for toiletries. Make sure your priority items are most accessible, and everything else can be underneath those.

3. Packing Cubes

This is one not everyone considers, but they are absolutely wonderful. They help you fit even more into your luggage and organize everything cleanly and efficiently. Make sure you get ones that are light and various sizes for separating clothes and undergarments. They should also compress well and may even have a separate dirty clothes compartment.

4. Electronics, Batteries, and Adapters

Make sure even if you are checking luggage that you aren’t putting anything in there that you can’t afford to lose. Any electronics, such as tablets, laptops, cell phones, e-readers, etc., that are expensive should absolutely be carried with you at all times. This includes external batteries for charging and adapters that you may need to make sure your electronics can function properly. Having everything with you will make the flight easier too if you get bored.

5. Airplane Comfort Items

Anything that you need to be comfortable on the airplane, like a neck pillow, travel blanket, eye mask, reading materials, glasses, medical kit, and anything else that will make you more comfortable on a long flight. This might include anti-nausea medication or sleep supplements, depending on how long the flight is.

Pearl Travel Knows About Airline Carry-On Luggage Rules

When it comes to determining what your guidelines are for your specific airline, Pearl Travel will know exactly what you can and can’t bring, how big your carry-on luggage needs to be, and we even have additional tips on how to make the flight more comfortable and efficient for you and your family, no matter where you’re going.

Pearl Travel is pleased to offer unparalleled personal service via our dedicated team of travel advisors! We are able to share an amazing wealth of collective experience and expertise. The use of a personal travel advisor will be sure to enhance your travel experience – we specialize in all forms of travel from all inclusive resorts that are laid out for ease to custom travel that allows for the most unique of adventures. Contact Pearl Travel today or learn more.

Barb Mazzola10 Carry-on Luggage Essentials
read more