10 Travel Tips You’ve Never Heard Before

Small Girl on Tablet, Never Heard Of These 10 Travel Tips

This girl could be watching you drop knowledge about Egypt while you’re standing in front of the Pyramids

1. Connect with a teacher or youth group where you live and arrange to send one or two-minute video recordings of your travels for their children and teens. Many are meeting on Zoom. Imagine them seeing you in Tulum or Bali, giving them a shout out, sharing cultural knowledge and encouraging them to be travelers. If you can time it right, Zoom live.

2. Go to the $1 store, and buy Match cars and Barbie or baby dolls (they come in all colors) to give to children you meet on your travels. Best to only offer the gift if parents are there to okay it.

3. Buy an instant camera and offer to take photos of local people you meet for them to have. Depending upon where you are, it could be a truly unique gift.

4. Find out if the country you’re traveling to has a health app or website with regular updates on Covid numbers, protocols, protections and restrictions. It might be an app of the country’s health ministry or one developed by the tourism bureau. Belize has one that visitors are mandated to download before arrival.

5. Designate a text buddy back home, preferably a night owl depending on time zone. If you’re going out alone or sight seeing for the day, and especially if you’re a woman traveling alone, text the friend when you leave the hotel. Ahead of time, agree that if you don’t text back at an appointed time, she’s to start phoning the hotel, contacting authorities. Set an alarm on your phone or call your own room and leave a voicemail as a reminder to text her when you get back to the hotel.

6. Locate kinship groups when you travel abroad. Before her trips, a friend googles “African Americans in Tokyo” or “African Americans in Bogota.” Usually, she’ll find a blogger or an expat willing to have coffee and give her the lay of the land. Once, she hung out in a club with members of “The African American Friendship Association of Tokyo.” Another time, a group of black expats in Mazatlan took her for karaoke and invited her over to watch an NFL game.

7. Before a trip with a companion, pack half your clothes in your own suitcase and half in your travel mate’s. Have your companion do the same, packing half in yours and half in his or her own. That way, if an airline loses either of your bags, you’ll both have clothes to wear.

8. Ask flight attendants for restaurant recommendations. Of all the people who know the best places to eat, it would be the folks who’ve been to that city a zillion times. But wait until mid-flight and after the meal service, when they’re not busy with passengers.

9. Tip your housekeeping maids the first day, and remember that they’re someone’s mother, sister, father or brother. Include a note of encouragement (have someone translate it into the local language): I truly appreciate your work, and I hope you have a great day.” Yes, you’ll probably get better service for your stay. But more importantly, you’re telling people who are rarely thought about, “I see you.”

10. Make a big show of being angry when getting money at an ATM. Cuss, rip up the receipt, stomp your foot. You’re signaling that you weren’t able to get money, even though you did, and indicating that you’re nobody’s pushover, especially if you’re a woman. Why try to accost someone who looks like they’d punch an ATM?

Bet you Never Heard Of These 10 Travel Tips.

ATM Traveler

Traveler at an ATM; credit Roberto Lund

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