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ThereArePlaces Travel Tips  are designed to  help you to have a more enjoyable trip.

Click the Travel Planning Guide article titles on the right to start  your exploration of the resources we have created to help you travel well. 

 
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Travel Tips for Better Vacations

Key Articles

New Restrictions on Traveling with Spare Batteries   In 2008 the U.S. Department of Transportation implemented new rules for traveling with extra (spare) lithium batteries.  See our article for all the details on traveling with spare batteries for you cell phones, camcorder, camera, laptop and other electronic devices.

Buy a local  phone card  Avoid scrambling for change to use with public telephones: buy a local phone card  for handy access to the European phone systems.

Buy and use a money belt  One of the best ways to safeguard your cash, credit cards, and travel documents is to stash them in a money belt.  We provide recommendations on what type of belt to look for, and practical ways to use them.

Calling the U.S. while traveling abroad  Most travelers call  home when traveling abroad.  We provide five recommendations for telephone services that can save you money or provide flexibility when calling the U.S.

Create a comprehensive itinerary  Gather all of your travel reservations into one, comprehensive document.  Doing so may save your bacon (or tofu, if you prefer) while on long vacations.  Find out "what to include and why" in our itinerary exposť.

Customs  Nope, we are not talking about the stuff you see on National Geographic or Discovery.  We examine the world of "clearing Customs, Duty, and Exemptions" as they relate to purchases made overseas.

Footloose and fancy free - How to travel light  If you plan to travel by car or train, consider carrying a minimum of luggage.  One modest sized suitcase can carry all of the clothes you need, increase your mobility, and decrease those aches and pains from lugging too much luggage.

Ins and outs of power converters  When you leave the U.S. you leave behind our power system, sockets, and plugs.  Yes, you would think that electrical power is something that should be standardized.  Maybe so, but during your travels, the only way your electronic devices will function is if you take a power converter and assorted plug adapters.  We provide an overview of power converters and make recommendations that will help make sense of an electrifying topic.  In addition, we provide a link to an article where we recount what happened when we accidentally forgot to take our own advice. Oh the shame!

Keep a stash of dollar or euros  When traveling abroad, keep  a small amount of cash in your pocket to deal with the little expenses that you will encounter while on the road.   Read our recommendations.

Low voltage electronics?  Recharging low-voltage electronic devices during a trip  could require a specialized low-voltage power converter.  Read our article to learn how to keep your low-voltage devices from conking out from lack of power.

So you thought you knew toilets?   Water closets, latrines, loos,  crappers, what's there to know?  Well, we think there are  a few things Americans should know about toilets abroad.

Start with the best  Touring is not a search and destroy mission.  Plan to experience the best of the best first and visit the rest of the best only if you have time.

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Good to know

Bring a washcloth  You may find hotels abroad that don't provide washcloths. Rough duty, huh?  We recommend a great solution.

Buy a sightseeing pass  Some tourist authorities offer discount passes that can be of significant benefit to travelers.  Many of these special deals must be purchased before you start to travel.  Read our article and learn the ins and outs of discount passes.

Be sure to confirm all travel reservations   Made your reservations?  Are you sure?  Read our brief note to add a little insurance.

How to keep those eyeglasses clean     When you are on vacation you will spend a lot of time reading maps, museum display notes, price tags, bills, and a host of documents with fine print.  It's hard to do dirty lenses.  Here are a couple of products that will make cleaning your glasses a snap.

Make a list of those important numbers  No, not your telephone numbers!  Your credit card, ATM, traveler check, passport, and other important numbers.  These identify you and your accounts and should be kept on a list and stored in your money belt, in case of emergency.  Find out what to record and why.

Take a phone to Europe?  Some U.S. based cell phones will work on European wireless networks.  Our article provides an overview of what you need to know, before you go.

Pack an extra pair of eyeglasses  Losing your glasses while on the road can be a disaster.  We provide some strategies for "insuring" that you have a low cost replacement for the remainder of your trip.

Take public transportation  In Europe, public transportation is more efficient and flexible than in the United States.  We explore the European world of mass transit and recommend several strategies for taking advantage of its low cost and convenience. In addition, we provide a link taking you to a second article that discusses the safe  use of public transportation.

Tips for fliers - the all-in-one guide  This article includes a brief list of hte common "gotchas" that may occur during air travel and recommendations on  how to avoid them.

Internet Cafes - Ins and  Outs  Internet Cafes  can be an economical way of using email abroad and are a good alternative to lugging a laptop around while you travel.  Read our expose to be prepared to use Internet Cafes  to your advantage.

Using your laptop abroad  Using laptop computers abroad may require the a power converter, plug adapters, and telephone jack adapters.  Read our article to find out what to take and how to use it.

 

May be of interest

Avoid bacterial infections - Keeping those hands clean   During vacations, you will mix with more people from more places than you do at home.  Do you know where all those hands have been?    Use  a hand sanitizer or hot water and soap to provide protection against bacterial infections.

Bring a Tone Dialer  During international travel, you might run into  telephone systems that do not work with automated long distance or voice mails systems.  A small device known as a tone dialer can help solve this problem, when you need to stay in touch.

Internet Cafe use  Internet Cafes are a low cost way of letting the folks at home know where you are and how you're doing.  They do not provide secure online access.  Read our recommendations for safe use.

Wear eyeglass cords To prevent loss or damage to your glasses   Losing or damaging your eyeglasses while on vacation can be a disaster for those of use who need them.  There are a number of eyeglass cord styles to meet your fashion needs.  Yeah they may look "dorky" but if you need your eyeglasses to see well, they are "cool dorky".

When on business, bring an extra power cord  If you will be traveling and relying on electronic devices to perform critical services, maybe you should consider bringing some "back-up".

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