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Sunday, 22 July 2007

On Travel

You have vacation time on your hands and would dearly like a change of scenery. Even in the city you live in, you can take day trips to interesting places. If in San Francisco, you can drive to Monterey or check out the many vineyards in the outskirts of the city. You can take the MetroNorth in NY to go upstate and see more interesting sights. Or you can take Amtrak and go practically anywhere in the US. If you live in Europe and have a Schengen visa you can travel to all the other EU countries via Eurail. The train systems in Japan, Europe and Australia are even more sophisticated.

If you are going out of the country, review the checklist below to make sure you don’t have any unpleasant surprises.

1. Have a checklist of the following: Things to Bring (passport, tickets, money, medicine, hotel reservations, car reservations, guidebook, etc.) and Things to Do (unplug all electrical appliances, empty fridge, hide valuables or give to a trusted friend for safekeeping, make arrangements for pets and plants).

2. Reconfirm reservations. International flights usually ask you to reconfirm your flight 72 hours beforehand. Make sure you have the weight requirements of your luggage right. We recommend that you travel light. Have a printed copy of your hotel reservations.

3. Have backup documents. Aside from your passport, have another ID such as your license and your student ID (handy for discounts!). Photocopy ALL important documents so it’s easy to replace should these get lost or stolen. And always hand carry your important documents.

4. Leave an extra key to your home with a trusted friend. And entrust them with your itinerary complete with a list of important phone numbers (airline, flight details, hotel, friends you’ll be visiting or staying with, etc.) in case of emergencies. Make a printout for yourself that will fit in your wallet for accessibility.

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