Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Travel tips

What's a good tip?

Who do you tip? When?

The practice of tipping is meant as a form of thank-you for services rendered, or beforehand as a subtle bribe for special treatment. Tipping need not be considered mandatory or automatic. Too often, tips are taken for granted or expected regardless of the quality of service. Tipping should be done at your discretion and as a reward for good or superlative service.

Travel scams

You Don't Get Something for Nothing

Beware of travel companies that misrepresent information about the bookings and transportation costs. For example, a company that offers an unbelievably low airfare may make up the loss in another way such as overpriced hotel accommodations. In most cases, one should assume that "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Never give out your credit card number to a club or company with which you're unfamiliar or you do not even know.

Pre-travel preparations

When going away, make sure you cancel all newspapers, pay bills before you go, and ask somebody to clear your mail.

Several days before leaving, make up a checklist of everything you need to take. Start with morning things and mentally go through and write down everything you will need for a day. Don't forget things like a clock, camera, laundry soap, etc. You can keep this list and pull it up whenever you need it. Think about your luggage if your stay will be for longer time, for example EVS. Do not take everything, from all a little. Also be sure that the country you travel to has the same voltage system as yours. If not you'll need adapters for anything you plan to plug into the wall.

For your money: In case you have traveller check create a list of all your travellers' check numbers. Keep this entirely separate from the actual documents so that if they are lost/stolen you will have immediate reference to the correct information. If you have a credit card keep it separate from your ID or passport, do not take a lot of cash, you will always find a possibility to take other money.

What to do when airplanes lose something you need

Although airlines handle millions of suitcases every day without a mishap, the system isn't without its faults. Although the chances of having your bags misdirected or lost are small, if you travel a lot, sooner or later you may have to deal with this irksome situation.

For starters, don't panic. Most luggage is only delayed, not lost permanently. File a missing-luggage form--even if the airline agent insists that your bags will turn up on the next flight. Don't leave without a copy of the report and the airline's toll-free claims-department phone number.

Gift-giving dos and taboos

Gift giving, hard enough in a familiar culture, can be daunting when travelling. Keep in mind that in many cultures, a lavish gift will embarrass the recipient. Also remember that in many countries, the Internal Revenue Service will not allow you to deduct more than a special amount.

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It is also important to consider the local culture, as in many cases you are use to different traditions. The following tips should help you get your relationships off on the right foot while travelling.

While a bottle of wine would be a welcome gift in many countries, such a gift should be avoided in Muslim countries, which have strict religious prohibitions against alcohol.

Crystal, linen, and leather goods are all appreciated in Arab countries--just make sure the leather isn't pigskin!

Another thing to keep in mind in Muslim countries is that gifts should be presented with the right hand only--the left is considered unclean.

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