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2123 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 16, 2012 12:46 AM by evan_m RSS
New Member 7 posts since
Jan 25, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 25, 2012 8:40 PM

New to foreign travel, should I be concerned?

My family and I decided to adventure to South America, and we are concerned about advance measures to take, precautions, currency exchange, traveler cheques, etc. Any experience that any traveler can share?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2012 8:56 PM (in response to bac.bay)
    Re: New to foreign travel, should I be concerned?

    Hi Bac:


    No worries, traveling to foreign countries require the same precaution as traveling to a big city in the USA.


    Use the typical measures you would here.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2012 9:03 PM (in response to bac.bay)
    Re: New to foreign travel, should I be concerned?

    Hi BAC:


    Here are a few recommendations to avoid overpaying and staying safe:

    1. Ensure your passport has validity of at least six months after arriving.
    2. Always check the visa requirements, most countries no longer require advance visa but a visa tax at the arriving airport, ranging from $5 to $20 per person, except Brazil and Chile who tax Americans with the same visa cost as the US Embassy charges their citizens, or about $100, all others pay $5.
    3. Check vaccination requirements and bring a copy of your vaccination record, the only strange required vaccine I have seen as required in some countries is Yellow Fever, others are fairly standard.
    4. Forget about travelers cheques, take your credit card, all major hotels, restaurants and tourist places take them, and for small expenses such as taxi, tips, etc. Cash your first $100 at the airport and then go to an ATM to get cash as you need them. The ATM fee is typically 3% which is cheaper than 10% at Currency Exchange houses in the USA and Europe.
    5. If you really want to save money in currency exchange, you will have to take cash and go to a local bank during business hours (M-F before 3pm in many countries) and get the best exchange rate. Take your passport as you will need identification.
    6. Notify your credit card company that you will be travelling to country XYZ so they do not reject your charges and you won’t have a way to pay the bill.
    7. Take more than one credit card on the trip, but only carry one with you, leave the other at the hotel, in case you lose the first card, you can continue with the second card.
    8. Scan all your important documents in color:
      1. Passport
      2. Visas
      3. Front and back of your credit cards
    9. Transfer your scanned documents into a file (Say Power Point), save it as PDF with a strong password and send it to your Gmail or Hotmail account. In case you are robbed or lose all your documents, you will be able to get a copy to call the credit card company or go to the embassy with identification.


    You will have a wonderful experience, and I am sure your family will cherish this vacation forever.

        • Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 25, 2012 9:27 PM (in response to bac.bay)
          Re: New to foreign travel, should I be concerned?

          For Personal Security


          1. Always carry cash in a separate location (such as in your shoes under your socks) for emergency, I do this in very crowded places such as Time Square in New York or Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, in case I am robbed, I can at least pay the taxi to the hotel.
          2. Lock your valuables, extra credit cards and passport in the safe of your hotel room.
          3. Never leave your luggage unattended and at the airport, always hold your carry on with your hand, not next to your chair.
          4. Print on a small piece of paper the hotel information (address & phone) to show the taxi drivers and give it to each member of your family, also provide them with local telephone numbers in case anyone gets lost.
          5. Arrive at the foreign airport 2 to 3 hours before travel time, as customs and security is typically slow.
          6. When we travel to a country we do not speak the language and is very different (say polish, Japanese, etc) my wife writes down food items in the local language to show the waiter (say chicken, beef, pasta, etc) so we are not surprised with something we didn’t know was edible.
  • New Member 3 posts since
    Mar 27, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 11:59 AM (in response to bac.bay)
    Re: New to foreign travel, should I be concerned?

    A quick added tip if you haven't already gone and if you get this... use your ATM card at the airport to withdraw a little money. This gives a "trace" to your bank and lets them know that you are indeed overseas.

  • New Member 6 posts since
    Oct 15, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 16, 2012 12:46 AM (in response to bac.bay)
    Re: New to foreign travel, should I be concerned?

    Do not drink the water while you are in Africa. This includes ice in drinks, and raw foods that have been washed in water. Always keep a plentiful supply of bottled water wherever you go to stay safe and healthy while you are in Africa.


    Eastern Cape Safari

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