Important Documents Every Traveler Should Carry

Even with careful planning, emergencies can occur while traveling. Whom would you call if you became ill on a trip? What do you do if you are the victim of a crime? Where would you go if you lost your passport?Before you begin your journey, be sure to have the following documents and make extra copies! Start a traveling file and keep copies of all your important documents in it at home. Take copies of the policies you’re bringing with you and place them in your carry-on or money belt.Insurance DocumentsHealth Insurance: Keep a copy of your insurance policy, contact phone numbers, and policy numbers. Make notes on what is covered while you are away from home.Travelers Insurance: If you use travelers insurance, keep copies of policies for quick reference. These policies can include trip interruption or cancellation insurance, travel life insurance, baggage replacement, and travel medical coverage.Credit Card Insurance Coverage: Many credit cards will provide travel insurance for a variety of situations such as lost luggage, lost or broken items, and even life and medical coverage if your trip is paid using the card. Know what your credit card covers while traveling, and keep a copy of the policy.

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Passport If you are a frequent international traveler, keep your passport up-to-date in case of last minute trips. Some countries require that your U.S. passport be valid at least six months or longer beyond the dates of your trip. It can take several weeks to receive or renew a passport. Make two copies of your passport, keep one for your travel file, and take one with you while traveling. A copy of your passport will help agents to replace it if your passport is lost or stolen.Credit Card Numbers and ContactsWrite down the card numbers, expiration date, and contact phone numbers of all credit cards and phone cards, and travelers check replacement numbers. Make two copies, one for your travel file and one to take with you. Inform your credit card company that you will be using your card to make purchases in a foreign country. Many credit card companies have security controls that will invalidate your credit card if the card shows “out-of-pattern” buying such as foreign purchases. Having the credit card company putting a hold on your credit card can be embarrassing and time consuming to straighten out.Emergency Contact NamesYou should have a list of names and phone numbers of family and/or friends that can be contacted in case of an emergency. Make at least 3 copies and carry one on your person, one for your home file and one for your carry-on.Medical RecordsMake sure your health insurance covers you in foreign countries. If you have a specific health condition, have your doctor make a copy of the condition and possible treatment to carry with you in case of emergencies. Make an extra copy and carry this on you in case you become incapable of taking care of yourself.Health ConsiderationsHave a list with the name and phone number of your doctor in case of emergencies.If you require medication, take enough extra in case of extended stays or loss of baggage and pack your prescriptions and medications in your carry-on luggage. Your medication may be considered illegal in foreign countries so check with the embassy website of the country you will be visiting for listings of medications that you may need to take. Location of U.S. Embassy or ConsulateBefore you leave the U.S. write down the address and phone number of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

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Registering at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate makes your presence and whereabouts known in case of an emergency. During a disaster overseas, American consular officers can assist in evacuation if necessary. But they cannot assist you if they do not know where you are. A country where there are no U.S. officials, you should register at the U.S. embassy or consulate in an adjacent country and leave an itinerary.Information on your welfare or whereabouts may not be released to friends or family at home without your written consent. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States.The American Citizens Services has offices set up at U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the world to assist Americans abroad in emergency situations, including arrests, death cases, financial or medical emergencies, and welfare and whereabouts inquiries.Most of us will never deal with major emergencies while traveling; but, when an emergency occurs, it can be critical to be prepared.

Travelling Teddy Bears

Have you ever seen a furry teddy sitting on a plinth in Trafalgar square? Or perhaps a small teddy bear posing for a photo in front of the rocks at stone Henge? Or even some small paw prints in the snow near the Mermaid in Copenhagen? If so, chances are you have seen a travelling bear!Travelling bears are small teddy bears who travel the world in search of adventure and famous landmarks. They usually travel with a human friend who places them in front of well known monumnents and takes photos which can then be uploaded to facebook, a blog or the bear’s own website.

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Not every bear is cut out for this life – they need to be very brave little bears and should also be small enough to comfortably fit in a bag. They should easily be washed too as the travelling life can be dusty.There are a number of themes in this category, including educational travelling bears who belong to classrooms and travelling bears who are sent from person to person so they can experience as much of the world as possible.In fact you have probably already unknowingly heard of a travelling bear. Paddington bear is a very famous example as he arrived in London all the way from Peru (having travelled on a ship to get there) and sat in a busy London station with only a suitcase and some Wellington boots with a note around his neck asking anyone who found him to look after him. He was picked up by a family and his adventures after this are legendary. This is exactly the kind of spirit that is needed for a particular Teddy to become a successful travelling bear. Other famous travelling bears could be argued to be Rupert the Bear, who, although does not travel the world much, does travel into magical lands and has amazing adventures that are documented in many comic books and even a TV series.

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Bear Grylls does not count. Although he does indeed travel the world and in fact goes to places that many other bears would find it hard to survive, in spite of his misleading name he is not really a bear at all but is in fact a man who has taken a bear name. So although yes, he is a bear who travels he is not a travelling teddy bear and fails to make the cut.

Why Do We Choose to Travel?

Trains, buses and airplanes have been in recent years overcrowded with youngsters having a backpack or cabin luggage and determined expression. What are they searching for? What is their aim and destination? It’s time to explore the reasons for this international exodus.You cannot say that old people don’t travel. I dare say, however, that the aims of students and young people in general differ considerably from old groups. Maybe students want to flee over the borders by the new individuality gained by our early adolescence or our personality formed after the wild period of adolescence. Maybe it is the perpetual denunciation of our parents about everything they couldn’t do when they were our age. Maybe it is the feeling of necessity to escape and free ourselves from everything at once, maybe we just need to find something to attach ourselves to. Or the thing that makes us go is just the incredibly cheap flight fare for the journey… anywhere. Where are students after all try to save each penny.Holiday adventuresThe young people who actually plan their travel at least a little usually go for discovering and adventure. Places teeming with life and people tempt students, but also on the other hand, by deserted landscape of untouched nature. While discovering new places and enjoying wild traveling life there is nothing better than a group of friends with whom you may share every crazy detail you can notice or the silliest ideas you may have on the way. Nevertheless, if you don’t have a group of 5 best friends around, you will do just fine with just one or even with your girl/boyfriend. Despite of all the freedom and relax claims of people who actually do travel alone, to me it’s the saddest thing ever. Be honest and don’t fool yourself… You just need someone to watch your stuff while you’re in restroom or to take picture of you leaning to the Eiffel tower in the air.

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International studiesIf we overlook holiday journeys seeking fun and exploring, the next strong incentive for escaping our country’s boundaries are studies. Well… studies. I’ m not sure about other parts of the world, but today in Europe the Erasmus program is enjoying such a popularity! I’m sincerely afraid, that the amount of money for this purpose originating in EU funds will be soon higher than all the bailouts for all indebted European economies altogether. To find a partner faculty, to apply, to get a scholarship, to get your suitcase packed and go conquer the world? How cool is that? Moreover, besides the general awareness made by the idea of international work on beer or similar competitions, you can really profit from these exchange programs in terms of getting valuable knowledge in courses that wouldn’t be available in your university. Not mentioning the fact you can finally improve the label of your language skills saying “Fluent.” Your CV can never get any better, can’t it?Working experienceWhen the student starts to feel the approaching end of his life (studies), it’s a right time to start balancing. He/She often comes to conclusion that the studied theory or the diploma itself may not impress the HR professional as much as expected. So, what could hit him or her? Experience, maybe. But one cannot find them anywhere below the college desk. To get it it’s essential to consider taking part in internship, training or short-term work programs. And that is also a good opportunity to spend another couple of months abroad, especially, when you find your country boring. The students search for internship related to their field of study or they choose from possibilities in the destination country of their preference. The work and travel programs in Asia are very popular lately. You can become a language teacher or the hotel receptionist very easily that way. The farm jobs in Australia and professional internship in multinationals in America are the most wanted as well. The large part of these short-term migrating hard workers are the brave Au Pairs that don’t intend to fight crocodiles or yellow fever, nevertheless, they struggle more annoying screaming brats of busy irresponsible parents. But all the troubles and inconveniences are worth it in the end. After all, they’ll see the world and get paid for that.Life missionTo go abroad for long time or for a lifetime is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions of your life. From my point of view one feels kind of life mission and might lack the right place to realize it. The prospect of successful carrier is what calls us to foreign country, or it is the environment that would inspire you and support you professionally. I can imagine the appeal for atomic physicist coming from CERN, Switzerland. We expect the same excitement from fashion design student, avant-garde Italy attracts him, or from an archaeologist longing for the South American excavations. If the student’s field of study is more traditional ( I’m trying to avoid the term mainstream), he often sets off in the direction “Higher salary.” If the idea of material security drives us beyond the borders, we usually have strong attachment to our homeland and those who we leave there. It is actually possible that we might come back one day. This is at least what they, who kiss us goodbye on our way for riches, think. The next reason for you to leave for good can also be love. You know how it works, to fall in love on summer holidays is so easy, especially, when you then get the feeling of being a romantic hero, who suffers because of never-to-be love. However, the transport cost is dropping constantly despite the rising prices of the petrol, so the story doesn’t really have to end in a tragic way as in a novel. It’s pretty normal, the world is full of multicultural families, bilingual children and grandparents travelling to visit their beloved grandchildren once a year. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, not every from such love stories has a happy ending. Not that I would want to prevent anyone from following his love, go for it!

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Our dreamsIn my opinion, the youth really don’t have to think that much about travelling. We travel, because we want to. We can list logically the reasons we think why we want to travel. Everyone has some dreams. Dreams, visions and goals, and we try to reach them unconsciously. We live in the age when to try to seek luck somewhere else is nothing weird. All of us dream about the famous American dream in particular, or just to find a work in the USA, enjoy all the attractions of the country and culture and maybe stay for the rest of your life might be a good scheme to follow in whatever country you prefer. And it doesn’t matter if it is the love of your life or the very new astronomical observatory what brings you there. Let’s travel from whatever reason to whatever place. And if you are too lazy, try to imagine yourself in the age of your parents, sitting in the sofa with suffering expression, repeating to your children again and again: “If only I was your age once more… ” Just imagine. Then shrug, grab your camera and go.

Traveler’s Life Insurance

Travel life insurance is part of a complete traveler’s insurance package, which is something that you should have if you are going on a journey out of the country. You may lose your luggage, you may get stranded, you may lose your traveler’s cheques, you might need emergency medical services, and while we never want to think about this we could meet our death on a journey and should have our loved ones protected in case of such a tragedy.Travel life insurance is basically accidental death insurance that you can take out on yourself or your loved ones. You might already have this if you have a life insurance plan in place already, so check your policy first. You can get travel life insurance through an insurance broker or, sometimes, through your credit card company.But there are other important services to consider for your travel insurance package, too, besides just travel life insurance.

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First off there is trip cancellation insurance. You should buy this if your journey or vacation is going to cost you a few thousand dollars or more and you are mostly paying for things in advance. This insurance will reimburse you if the airline or cruiseline goes out of business or has to cancel the planned trip due to geopolitical upheaval or weather or some other reason. You’ll also be protected if you need to suddenly cancel due to a death in the family or illness, or for some other unforeseen catastrophe that will be spelled out in your policy. Trip cancellation insurance is superior to trip cancellation waivers by a long shot, but in return you have to pay much more (and it’s well worth it). You want to figure on paying anywhere from $5 to $7 per $100 of travel expenses in premiums. So if your travel will cost you $5000 your trip cancellation insurance will cost you $250 to $350.Personal effects insurance will cover you against theft, damage, or loss of luggage or other insured valuables like jewelry. You could possibly have this in your P&C insurance already such as your homeowner’s policy, but you should check. You may also be sufficiently insured by your airline, cruiseline, etc, so check to see how much they cover you for first, too. Otherwise, you can purchase a one-year renewable term-type policy that will cost you roughly $50 per $1000 of coverage (annually).Emergency medical assistance insurance is extremely important and can save you, well, an arm and a leg financially in the event of an unforeseen accident or sickness. First, check to see if you have this provision in your existing health insurance. And make sure you can get first-rate medical care under the provisions you pay for; it might be scary to try to get major medical treatment in some parts of Central America, for instance, and you’ll want to be covered for the cost of being transported to a better place.

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Lost Baggage, Medical, Dental, Emergency Evacuation, 24 Hour Traveler Assistance, Baggage Delay, Travel Delay, and Collision or Damage coverage (in case you’ll be renting a car) are all types of traveler insurance coverages that you will want to consider.So, while many people just take travel life insurance and other travel insurance coverage for granted or don’t even consider it, it’s very important to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your belongings against the unforeseen when you are traveling out of the country.

Automobile Emergency Kit, Winter Travel Life Saver or Waste of Money?

Most of us have experienced a flat tire, engine trouble, dead battery, or maybe even an accident. As untimely, and troublesome as these events can be, they are usually manageable. Can you image trying to deal with one of these events in the frigid cold of winter? Can you and your family deal with or even survive without an Automobile Emergency Kit in one of these situations? Have you ever considered how long it would be before help would arrive?An Automobile Emergency Kit is recommended by the Colorado Department of Transportation, and many others, to ensure you are prepared for the unexpected, especially during winter travel. According to a study by Daniel Eisenberg, PhD and Kenneth E. Warner, PhD, the number of winter automobile accidents in the U.S. during an average year is 1.5 million. This does not account for maintenance issues in winter, just accidents. So with these numbers in mind and if you travel frequently, it is likely that at some point in time you will have maintenance issues or be one of those statistics. In the worst case scenario, you could be stranded in the middle of nowhere in the dead of winter. How would you stay warm? What would you eat and drink? How would you see or signal for help? You may just suffer minor injuries, discomfort, or exposure to the elements for a short time before help arrives. But if you are without an Automobile Emergency Kit, this situation could be life threatening, especially if you get stranded in an unexpected or fast moving storm. It could be 24-36 hours before someone can help you. With an adequate Automobile Emergency Kit you could be self-supportive in these extreme conditions, until help can arrive.

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You may be asking what should I have in an Automobile Emergency Kit? According to most northern state authorities, it is recommended that you have a minimum of a 24 hour supply of drinking water, some blankets or sleeping bags, first aid kit, flash light or glow sticks. To round out a more complete Winter travel Automobile Emergency Kit you should add some food rations, waterproof matches, Swiss army knife, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, waterproof ponchos, reflective triangle, duct tape, and a help sign or distress banner. One last thing to consider for your Automobile Emergency Kit is a container. A heavy duty backpack is recommended, which makes for easy storage, plus extra room for some emergency clothing.

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An Automobile Emergency Kit can save your life if you plan ahead. You buy car, health, home, and life insurance, so why are you not getting survival insurance? It costs far less than the others! So get prepared for winter travel now. Purchase, or assemble an Automobile Emergency Kit, and ensure you have the supplies for you and your family to survive till help can arrive!