Friday, September 9, 2022

Things To Think About When Traveling.


No matter how often or how infrequently you travel, problems always arise.  The problem might be as simple as your flight being delayed a bit to something more serious like your flight being totally cancelled and you can't get out for several days. Some problems can be solved others cannot.  I'll be discussing both types of problems because we don't think about them but they do happen.

One problem that comes up is getting lost.  Some folks have a lousy sense of direction like my mother.  No matter how great a sense of direction you have, you are probably going to get lost at least once in your life. One of the easiest solutions is to download Google Maps so you can access it offline.  This means if you can get help if you are not sure where you are.  I had a paper map with me today as I explored Madrid because the hotel gave me one to show me where to go get a SIM card for my phone.  I used it to make sure I got there and later on I used it to make sure I was heading in the right direction.

Of course, there is always the issue of delayed, cancelled, or is unreliable.  This is a hurdle all of us face at one time or another and it is harder if you end up in a place where you do not speak the language or are quite rusty.  The best way to take care of this if you are in a city, is to know about the different ways of getting around from taxi, to bus, to the metro depending on where you are.  This way is a bus is delayed, you can switch over to to the metro or vice versa.  As far as airlines, depending on where you are, you might have to look at a train or bus should your flight be cancelled and you cannot get rebooked for several days.  

If you forget something important like your meds, CPAP machine, etc, there may not be a lot you can do depending on where you are.  If you are in the states, you can make a call to your house and have someone FEDEX it or Ship it USPS overnight but if you are overseas, that is much harder.  This is why it is important to have a list and check it twice, thrice, or more.  I pack my meds several days ahead of time, keeping only the ones I will take over the next couple of days out.  I have a set of chargers for home and a set for traveling that is left in my suitcase all the time.  This includes several very portable ones I can use all over the world.  If it is something you cannot pack till the last minute, make sure you leave a note on your mirror, your luggage, and on the steering wheel to remind yourself to take these. If you forget things like shampoos, etc, those are easy to pick up on your travels. 

When you travel overseas, many countries allow you to use your credit card for everything but in others, it may not work so one has to figure out how to exchange currencies.  There used to be a website I could order on line, pay $9.99 and it would be sent to me but due to the pandemic, they closed.  So you can exchange it at the airport before you leave or after you arrive.  Some places allow you to use your charge card to get monies while others only deal in cash.  When I arrived in Spain, information at the airport told me to do it in town because the rates are better.  Although there are lots of places, I found one that didn't charge a commission and it worked well.  On the other hand, if you have a bank, you might check to see if they have a way you can get foreign currency through them.  

This is important to think about because some countries operate more in cash then they do with credit cards and some places will charge an extra fee if you use a credit card from another country some don't. It is something that helps to know ahead of time.  In Fiji, they charged a 3% fee anytime I used a credit card but I don't see that here in Spain.  

There are more that I will look at another time.  These are mostly for international travel because I am doing a lot of it right now.  Let me now what you think, I'd love to hear from you.  Have a great day.

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