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Here are more small articles all about traveling in general and cruising abord cruise ships!

Prepare a Travel File
 
Well before you plan to set off on your travels, you should prepare a travel file where you can assemble all the information that is relevant to the places you intend to visit.

Often when you start collecting information it will lead you to make alternative arrangements and quite possibly you might even decide to change your travel plans completely.

Travel is all about adventure and if you find you can get more adventure for your money by making some changes to your plans then you should consider doing that before you head off on holiday.

This is why it is a good idea to start collecting information well in advance of your holiday. It will give you the opportunity to talk to more people who have been to those regions and they can give you advice and recommendations from having been to where you are going.

Don't make plans on the advice of just one person as everyone has different expectations and because of that their opinion of a destination might be completely different from your own in similar circumstances.

If you find that several people are giving you the same information then it might be wise to take that advice into account and rather than waste valuable time and money holidaying at that particular place they might have other suggestions of where you should be traveling to.

Once you are sure of where you want to go you can start collecting more specific information about that area and this will help you to take in all the attractions without wasting time trying to locate them when you get to where you are going.

Search the internet for websites and forums where people are discussing similar travel plans and see what other people are saying. You might even be able to find people who are living in the area who can give you first hand local advice.

Good planning creates the best holiday and if there are any problems along the way you will be better prepared to cope with them.
 

Safe Money Handling While Traveling
 
 It is unwise to carry too much cash on you when traveling. Travelers' checks are a lot safer and you should only cash them when you need more cash.

You should have a safe place to carry your cash and your credit cards, and certainly not in the back pocket of your jeans.

This is just asking for trouble as there are professional pick pockets that will be able to relieve you of your money and you will be none the wiser until you try to buy something and find there isn't any money there.

You might need to buy yourself a secure money belt that you can wear around your waist and under your clothing to deter people from trying to steal from you.

Always lock your valuables in your hotel room safe or if there isn't one there ask at reception if they have a place where you can lock up your valuables.

If you plan your spending correctly you will use up your last available local cash before departing and that will save you from having to get it converted back into your own currency and possibly risk losing money on the exchange adjustment.

Credit cards are very handy to have with you on holiday but be aware that you will be paying a fee each time you use them and when you draw cash out of your account.

Always be safe when using your credit card by not letting anyone see your pin number or by using key logging to find out what your number was and the passwords to your accounts when you use public computers in internet cafes.

There are many people who make their income from this sort of illegal behavior.

Use up all your coins first when you are trying to spend your cash before leaving as many places won't exchange coins back into your own currency like they will with notes.

Unless you intend going back to the same holiday destination again you will be stuck with money that you can't use and that is effectively a holiday cost for you.



Quote: It is not down in any map; true places never are.
- Herman Melville

Proof of Purchase of Goods
 
Make a list of all the items that you are taking away with you so you will know if anything gets lost. If you have a list and the receipts for the items it will be a lot easier for you to make an insurance claim for any loss of items or damage that occurs.

When you buy anything of value during your travels make sure you keep receipts as you will need these for any insurance claims as proof of purchase.

You might also need to prove that you owned particular items before traveling, as apposed to those you purchased when you were away, for customs purposes and to save you from paying any duty or taxes on items you already owned.

If you can't show proof of purchase you could be asked to pay what is due or relinquish the item to cover the outstanding costs.

Having all the necessary documentation in order will make for a smoother trip with fewer delays at customs checkpoints.

If you do intend to purchase items while away you should have a good idea of what they are worth to buy in your home country and even over the Internet as the exchange rate fluctuations and the cost of duty can often make a purchase uneconomical when all the costs are added up.

If it is something that you don't intend to use while away on holiday you will also need to consider the inconvenience of carting it around with you and the chance of damage or loss that will be present during that time.

If you are traveling light or staying at hostels or camping then it can be a real problem carrying additional luggage around with you. If you are having a biking holiday that problem becomes even more inconvenient.

Once again planning and price comparisons can save you a lot of time and money, not to mention the effect it will have on the holiday experience.
 

Shopping for Others While on Holiday
 
 Make sure you know the value of the items you are buying before spending your money.

This applies to shopping at the stores in the areas you are holidaying and also in the duty free shops that you will find at the airports.

Often you will find that you can get better deals at your local stores and not have to lug your purchases around with you on holiday.

The big department stores are able to buy in bulk and sell for a smaller margin and that is often enough to make them the lowest priced option.

If you are in a foreign country you will also need to know what the current exchange rate is and apply that to the goods you are buying to see whether you are getting a bargain or not.

On top of that, you will have to add any duty that might be charged on those items when you get back home.

Another problem that many people face when traveling overseas, are the requests from other people to buy items for them duty free.

You go away on holiday for a break and it's unfair for people to expect that you should spend your time shopping for them so they can save money.

Your holiday is costing you money and you need to be making the most of that expenditure by doing what you want when away, rather than having the burden of other peoples' requests.

It might not bother you to do this shopping for others, however if it does, then you should tell those people that you have the quota that you are allowed to bring back already accounted for.

There are limits to what you are allowed to bring back into the country duty free, so they should understand this explanation.

Anything over the limit and they wouldn't be saving any money anyway.