Article – Paul Gioffi Well Weathered Edition 7Michelle @ ISR2018-03-27T12:02:36-07:00
Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations
Monthly Travel Column by Paul W. Gioffi
Disclaimer: While travel can be exciting and rewarding there are unforeseen dangers that may arise. The Information presented in Paul’s articles is the author’s personal opinion and what may have worked for him yesterday may not work for someone else today or tomorrow. Therefore, you agree to use any and all information provided by the author at your own risk and agree that you will hold the author and ISR harmless in regard to any and all instances that may arise or result from use of this material.
Following, you’ll find travel tips number 20, 21, and 22 from Paul W. Gioffi. To read the introduction to this column which began in February of 2006 please see Edition 1. To access other previous editions please see the Index.
Entry 20: Unspoken Language
Money = The International Language. And I don’t mean that new-fangled invention called the credit card. Sure, there are times and places where the credit card will certainly be used but, by and large, there’s no substitute for notes and coins. I’ve heard that purposely impoverishing yourself and traveling with smaller funds helps you to appreciate things more along the way. This may be true in some respect but it should be blended with a degree of practicality. Synthesize your money supply with a bit of cunning and ingenuity so you can explore through your inventiveness while leaving some coinage for emergencies. Banks open late and close early, money machines are not always pervasive and have a tendency to break down or eat your card, and who knows where the next exchange counter is. If possible, have some of the local money ready before you arrive. Exchange what you’ll need, and keep extra (in small denominations) in a safe place for emergencies. Also keep an emergency stash of U.S. dollar bills as these are accepted almost everywhere. There’s no substitute for pure friendliness and creativity among your travels but it doesn’t hurt to have a small stash of money just in case.
Entry 21: Here’s to Your Health
How healthy are you? Check yourself, especially if your travels are taking you outside your home country. Visit the CDC (Center for Disease Control) web site and read an up-to-date healthy travel guide. Contact the tourist board of your destination city. Request information from adventure travel and assistance organizations such as IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers). Visit a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases and immunizations to see what you need. Take a first-aid kit and instruction manual, as well as your medicine and vitamins. Before you go, check out travel advisory warnings from your state department. Let a few trust-worthy people know your travel plans. Carry an I.D. and personal health information card, as well as a list of emergency telephone numbers. When you arrive, register with your consulate and know where the nearest emergency medical center is. In some areas of the world, your own sterile syringes may be in order should you find yourself in need of an injection. Also, know what foods and beverages to avoid. All the planning in the world will do you no good if you become sick and can’t treat it.
Entry 22: Copy – ypoC
Without wasting too much paper or upsetting too many environmentally conscious people, make some photocopies of your personal and travel documents. Divide them up and carry multiple copies in different locations. These include copies of your passport, birth certificate, travel visa(s), credit cards, airline and transportation tickets, and any other important documents and receipts. I was once pick-pocketed on a train platform in Antibes, France, and could only get someone at the police station to listen to me by presenting a crumpled up photocopy of my passport. The influx of foreigners to Beijing, China, has brought the Jing Cha (city police force) into the expatriate pubs on Friday nights in hopes of picking up a few illegals. If you happen to be without your documents, and are mistaken for one of these illegals, you may be spending the night in jail.
I hope you have enjoyed this month’s edition of Well-Weathered Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations. Check back next month for a new entry. Until then, safe travels. Contact me at Well_Weathered@yahoo.com