Travel Survival Tips

Travel Survival Tips

Traveling for business or pleasure for the most part is great experience. Travel does have its disadvantages, especially when you forget to bring some essential item. Being prepared is the secret to the travel game. Having both worked and lived abroad, I have had to travel in many different environments. There are certain items that I always want to have with me on a business trip because of their usefulness. Most of the items are surprisingly inexpensive. Here is the Travel Survival list that I have compiled of items that I take with me when I travel for business.

13 Essential Items to Pack for Your Business Trip

1. White Hand Towel

A basic white 16″ x 27″ hand towel. The saving grace to this towel is its compact size. Not too big, not too small. It is big enough to shower with even for a big guy like me. Hey, it is not the “Ritz-Carlton” of towels, but it is big enough to get the job done. If you have to wash it, it washes easily in the sink in your room. If you have to use a commercial laundry, It takes up less space and it also dries quicker. That will save you money in the end. At 2 Euro to wash a very small load in France, it adds up. I have used it to shine my shoes, rolled-up as a pillow, and even a dust cloth. It can also be used to clean up a variety of spills. Make sure that it is white so it can be bleached. Most of the time I simply wash it with Zote (See #2) Best of all, you know where this towel has been. Less than $5

2. Zote Mexican Laundry Soap

I prefer Zote Brand – Choose the pink one, it has a great citronella scent and it just works. Zote gets out stains that would never come out with anything else. When you spill on your favorite tie; Zote to the rescue. It will even remove old stains that have been on clothing for sometime. It also has fabric softeners built in. So when your luggage doesn’t arrive, you can rewash your outfit with Zote and you are on your way! Purchase Zote at any Latino Supermarket. It is a great product and it smells so good. Less than $1.

3. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castile 18 in 1 Peppermint Hemp Soap

The most unique and refreshing soap you will ever use. Dr. Bronner’s website explains that the soap is “A combination of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils, together with pure essential oils, creates a unique soap that cleans effectively without being aggressive and produces a velvety-lather that leaves the skin silky-smooth and refreshed.” it is a little pricey, but well worth it. The soap is ultra concentrated so you should dilute it. A bottle will last you much longer than you think. The awesome peppermint oil in the soap helps wake you up during your morning shower. It is also good to use as a refreshing face wash. I love this product. It is also interesting to read the bottle. Dr. Bronner brought the soap to the United States in 1948; his family has been making soap for 5 generations. All-One! 2 ounce bottle $3

4. Dial “Gold” Antibacterial Soap

Dial makes the best antibacterial soap on the market. Lets face it, hotel rooms can have a lot of germs. Don’t bother with liquid soap; the bar soap has more of the active ingredient in it than the liquid soap. Forget the little soap in the box that they provide for you. Use Dial to wash your hands, the counter, tables, and you! This will help keep you from bringing home the souvenir of sickness. $3 for a 3 pack.

5. Swiss Army Knife

Make sure to check this item if you are traveling by airplane. TSA will not permit a knife on a plane (Duh!) I am 1/2 Swiss. I have been using Swiss Army Knives since I was a kid. They are reliable and useful in so many ways. They are also easy to slip in your pocket and can serve as a weapon for your defense. My favorite model is the “Spartan”. It sports 2 blades, a can and bottle opener, screwdrivers, corkscrew and leather awl. $28

6. Leatherman Multi-tool

The main purpose for the leatherman is the needle-nose pliers. I tend to use my Swiss Army Knife more than my Leatherman. However, I have forgotten to pack it on occasion when I really could have used the pliers. You can unstick a zipper, tighten a bolt, etc. A great tool to have on hand everyday. $30

7. Glad White Plastic Quick-Tie Kitchen Garbage bags – 13 Gallon

These bags are good for dirty clothes, shoes or whatever you don’t want to touch your clean stuff. They work great as barf-bags for those of you doing some international travel. They are also good for taking out the trash! $7 for 80 Bags.

8. Plastic Zip Tie Cables

These can withstand 40 pounds of pressure. I always throw in a couple of zip ties. just in case. You can use zip ties to repair almost anything; a luggage strap, shoes, luggage lock, etc. Less than $7 for a pack of 20.

9. “The Bullet” Fisher Space Pen

Developed by Paul Fisher. This pressurized pen was first used by NASA on the Apollo 7 Space flight in 1968. Without the invention of the Space Pen, astronauts would still be writing in pencil! The bullet pen is my favorite. It fits in your pocket, and it always works. It even writes under water. Once you try one, you will be hooked. Made in the USA in Boulder City, Nevada. $25

10. Moleskine Notebook

I first came across a Moleskine Notebook while living in Europe. I love the simple concept of a banded hard-bound notebook that you can carry with you everywhere. Simple, black, rounded corners, with a pocket in the back. They now come in several different sizes, styles, and colors. I still prefer black. It is always on my person along with my Fisher Space Pen (See #9). $12

11. Zippo Lighter

It always pays to have a way to light your path or start a fire. One of the first lessons you learn as a Boy Scout is how to light a fire. Always be prepared. I bought my first Zippo when I was 18 years old. It has been a great tool to have. You probably have to check this one with your luggage as well. $25

12. Sewing Kit

Make sure to have a sewing kit with you when you travel. If you need a needle and thread or a button, this item is worth its weight in gold. $5

13. Duct Tape

This one is a no-brainer. A must have for on the go repairs. A million and one uses come to mind for Duct Tape. You can even make a nice tie or wallet if you get bored. A roll is very nice to have if you need it.

 

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Internet Marketing For Travel Agents

Technology is the one constant change in our lives, it continues to evolve and advance like nothing else on earth. With the internet becoming so prominent in our personal and business lives we need to update and keep pace with change. This article deals with internet marketing for travel agents and how it can be beneficial to them.

Internet marketing is quite simply defined as the marketing of products and services through the internet. It may also be referred to as online marketing or e-marketing. Choosing to use internet marketing for travel agents is really a decision that individual companies need to make. However, this is one of the most powerful mediums of advertising and reaching the largest audience possible.

Travel agents are an institution that has acted as an intermediary between the airline and the consumer. Sometimes wholesale travel companies may be involved in the relationship. The internet has brought with it a huge set of challenges, opportunities and benefits for the travel industry. One of the most serious threats faced by travel Professionals from the internet is the opportunity for airline companies to target consumers directly to sell their services.

In order to counteract the threat from reduced business due to the internet, travel agents need to use internet marketing to its full potential to target customers and bring in business. In business you can either join the crowd, striving to stand out or fold up your tent and slip away!

Internet marketing benefits for travel agents includes:

Modern technology has made it possible for people to access information with a few simple clicks of the mouse. This has done away with the need to physically go looking for information and travel agents need to be aware that a strong presence on the internet puts them in front of the customer like nothing else can.

Accessibility of information continues to increase daily as more people get connected to the internet. It is one of the best ways of reaching such a large target audience. In terms of cost, internet marketing for travel agents is a very inexpensive way to advertise to millions of people, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The hope shopping market is constantly growing, giving consumers’ easier access to products and information.

Travel Professionals can use their websites for lead generation; if every visitor to the site is requested to leave their contact details before exiting the site, the list of leads will grow on a daily basis.

Another distinct benefit of internet marketing is the fact that it allows travel agents to instantly monitor campaigns and evaluate results. You don’t have to wait to se the results of your campaign to decide whether your advertising strategy is working or not; further, you can implement changes without any delays. Internet marketing for travel agents is really the best way to reach out and capture the consumer’s attention. At the basic level you need a very well designed and attractive site filled with useful information.

 

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School Travel

If you are a student traveling on a plane, train or a bus there are various things which you need to take into consideration if you really want to enjoy and have a smooth journey. To begin with, your luggage should be very light to carry and if possible pack all your belongings in one bag or suit case. This will be easier for you to carry and help you save on costs for hiring somebody to assist you. Carrying a lot of luggage is inconvenient and you could easily misplace a bag or suit case containing very important documents. It is important to carry documents such as passport, visa, driving license and other documents in a small hand bag which will be in your hands at all times. Photo copies of all your documents should be kept in a separate bag to help in case of theft or misplacement.

The length of your trip should determine the number of clothes you are going to carry. Whichever the case do not overload yourself instead, try to rotate your clothes. Pack colored blouses and shirts that will match your trousers and skirts. By doing this, you will be smart look good and also fool the other passengers into thinking you carried more clothes than you actually did. Sometimes, it is important to include clothes which will serve in all-weather conditions for instance a polypropylene shirt which is light and warm. It is good to pack a pair of slippers which you will use in the bathroom or wear as you wait for your shoes to dry.

Students should also remember to pack enough toiletries when traveling. This includes toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, combs, shampoo and make-up. Condoms of good quality are also very important for safe sex. Neck belt or money belt worn underneath your clothes is ideal to keep your money and other documents such as passport and airline tickets. It is important to sign your passport and always make sure that you have filled all the necessary emergency information on your passport. Make sure you have a valid passport and visa to avoid deportation and wastage of money just because of minor errors which could have probably taken less time to be rectified.

It is important to check whether your medical insurance policy applies overseas with the help of your medical insurance company. If it does not it is your responsibility to look for another alternative. In addition every country or region has its own laws and as a foreigner, you should abide to those laws to avoid problems with the authorities. To ensure a safe and easy travel ensure that you have registered with the state department who will provide you with assistance in the case of an emergency.

 

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How to Save Money on Rental Cars

Nowadays, consumers are savvy about finding the best deals on air tickets and hotels. This is mainly due to the abundance of travel websites which enable consumers like us to compare deals from different airlines and hotels easily. However, there is one travel need that is often neglected — rental cars. Many travelers often assume that the prices of car rentals are about the same but in fact, the prices from different rental car companies vary greatly.

Renting a car to drive around while you are traveling makes it easier. However, it is not cheap. Thus it pays to shop around to find the best deals for car rentals. Here are some tips you may want to use to save money when you are renting a car during your travels…

– Compare the prices from several different sources

Many people make the same mistake when they are checking for the prices. They assume that if they find the best discount deals on air tickets and hotels at the same site, they can also get the best deals for rental cars. This is not true. Very often, these travel websites do not provide great rates for rental cars. Still, it is good to visit the major rental car companies’ websites to check out what they are offering before you make your rental car booking.

– Get the smallest class of car which meets your requirements

Don’t get a big car like a SUV. The most economical choice is to get a car that is just big enough to accommodate you, your passengers and the luggage that you bring along. Unless you are bringing a lot of stuff with you and your big family, renting a SUV fee will be expensive and it needs more gas.

– Look at the rental costs carefully

Take the time to read about the costs to be incurred and the terms and conditions carefully before making a reservation. Try to avoid any additional costs if possible. You should consider not renting a car at the airport because extra fees are normally tacked on and you can avoid them if you rent offsite.

– Need to find out whether your auto insurance also covers any vehicles you rent

This is relatively important because if your auto insurance offers the same collision coverage you have on your own car, you save money from paying extra insurance from the rental company. If your insurance does not have, you may want to check whether your credit card companies provide insurance on cars rented using their cards. Do you homework first before getting the insurance from the rental company.

– Check whether paying advance will entitle a bigger discount

Quite a number of car companies offer a good discount when you pay in advance. Again, do read the fine print before paying in advance. Some rental car companies will charge you for any changes you make later.

When you look for rental car deals, you should make all effort in finding good deals like you are doing for air tickets and hotels. By doing so, you actually save money which you can use for shopping trips during your vacation instead.

 

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How to Locate a Dependable Travel Agent

Whether you are researching a trip on your own or not, here are tips for finding a travel agent to help you plan a trip that is right for you and who can help you with all the confusing information found online. You may be travelling on business, on a family vacation, on a religious commitment, or to host a special event like a marriage, anniversary or a family reunion on a cruise ship or an all-inclusive! Don’t forget fundraisers on a cruise ship.

Location is Key

Travel agents are consultants who are around to help people like you accomplish various travel plans. To locate a reliable travel consultant for your trip, try exploring one of these options:

1. Visit the local Chamber of Commerce or visit their website to review the accredited list of travel professionals.

2. Search through the Yellow Pages to shortlist local travel agents and their contact information.

3. Talk to neighbors or friends to accumulate some recommendations, but these are not always reliable.

After short-listing a few travel agents in your area through your initial research and local contacts, take a note pad and jot down the start and end dates of your travelling schedule, the departure and arrival locations and the intermediate destinations, transportation preferences if any, available budget, and special requirements like wheelchair accessible entry and exit points. Also determine what type of activities you would like to do on your trip. All this information will help the travel agent help you chose the best product to make your trip memorable and a success. Do some research on your own, but let the travel agent help you decide whether the information you find is really the best for you. There is so much information out there.

Have a Vacation without Stress

When you finally meet your travel agent, you can use your list of requirements along with the checklist provided below to avoid disappointments:

1. Keep your conversation with your travel agent focused on your list items but keep an open mind to listen to suggestions of the travel agent to enhance your trip.

2. When you are discussing your travelling plans, available options, and expense details, avoid falling into the trap of buying services you do not need.

3. When making travel plans, always ensure you have a “Plan B” to address mishaps such as seats without reservations, missing connections, lost baggage, absence of travelling date on tickets, and more terrible possibilities.

4. You should also discuss in detail the travel agent’s resources to handle last-minute changes like trip cancellations, date modifications, or itinerary changes.

5. Discuss with the travel agent products like travel insurance to help protect your travel costs along with medical protection. Travel insurance covers more than just those items listed in numbers 3 and 4 above. Travel insurance also covers you medically should the need arise. Some insurance plans do not cover you when you travel outside of the United States. Make sure you check with your insurance company to see if you are covered.

6. If possible, use a credit or debit card to pay for all the expenses, to ensure that all your expenses are accurately tracked, monitored, and auditable in case of a future dispute.

If you are fortunate enough to locate a reliable travel agent, then you can easily expect timely and courteous services while planning, preparing, and executing your travel plans on a suitable budget and schedule.

 

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Top 4 Travel Packing Tips

Packing bags play a significant role in the outcome of trips especially if you do not travel very often. Tips on travel packing have never been as valuable as it is now. With the baggage fees on rise, traveling light is the best way to go now. Now the question is how to cram all the essentials in one bag? The following tips on traveling will help to decide on the ways to pack like a pro.

1. Make a Checklist of All the Items to Carry

This list will include everything from clothes, shoes and toiletries to paperwork like guidebooks, maps, reading materials and hotel, as well as rental car details. This list will also help to pack the things back while returning home since all the items you have are in this list. Do not neglect any item. Some of the commonly forgotten items include toothpaste/toothbrush, sunglasses, socks, sunscreen, hat and deodorant. Consider the weather as well as activities you will be taking part in before listing the items.

2. Plan the Outfits Well In Advance to Avoid Over- Packing

By knowing what the weather will be like, being precise is possible. If not, it is better to carry versatile items like light jackets and cardigans that go with multiple tops. Some three-quarter sleeve shirts are also better to carry. This will help to adapt to changing conditions. Layering is a great idea as this does not just helps to deal with changing weather but can also help to disguise if you are using the same item repeatedly. Make sure that all the items you are carrying goes with several other pieces. This will help creating an array of mix and match pieces. Always remember to pack an extra empty bag. You can use this bag to carry the dirty items. This will keep from mingling the dirty clothes with the fresh ones.

3. Downsize All the Things

Carry the smallest available size if you have to carry your ointment, gel or cream. There are many hotels that give soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and toothbrushes free of charge. Even if they do not offer, you can get them from the adjoining areas. So, if you have to carry them, carry the smallest size available.

4. Place All the Heavy Items at the Bottom of Bags

Struggling with rolling luggage that flips and twists continually will be a trouble. While packing luggage, check all the items thoroughly. Be thorough as no one loves to go through the bag all again to find whether all the things are there.

Always remember that trips are for having fun and not to stress self. So, start packing well in advance to avoid a rush later.

Rajib KR Saha is a passionate writer and globe trotter.He has been to different parts of the world and has various write ups on Myanmar travel as well as multiple other destinations.

 

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Tips On Making Rental Car

Car rental has definitely come a long way from its humble beginnings. Car rental used to be a privilege that not a lot of people could make use of since they either didn’t think they needed it or couldn’t afford it. Nowadays, rental car hire is simple and easy, and it is more affordable than the past and wider range of quality cars are available.

There are many reasons that one would want to rent a car. For example, one might want to travel around a new city on your own, driving yourself around and exploring at your own pace. This would be a great reason to rent a car for a few days to a week, since it is easy and you will be able to drive yourself around.

Another good reason to rent a car is for you to move from one location to another. You can rent a large truck so that you can move your furniture and worldly belongings to a new place. This way, you can make moving easier and cheaper without the help of a moving company. You can also rent a smaller truck if you want to go shopping for furniture or if you plan to move a few things.

If you want to make a special night even more interesting, you can choose to rent an expensive car that is luxurious. This way, you will make the night even more interesting and more memorable for everyone that rides in the car and sees you in it.

Paul Easton is a writer working in marketing for Crown Rentals. Crown is a leader in quality rental cars and offers highly competitive rates for Car Hire Auckland Locations and Cheap Car Rental for those looking for the best deal on rental cars in Auckland, Queenstown and the rest of New Zealand. Check out the “Best Deal Guarantee” and Free Hotel and Airport Drop off

 

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Professional Travel Agent

Travel Agents have been helping travelers plan their vacations and trips for decades. The brick and mortar agencies are still going strong and many times beating the prices of online competition.

Now that almost every home in America has a computer and internet access, many people are trying to do it all by themselves when planning a vacation thinking they’ll get the best deal. For an international trip, the typical person will spend many, many valuable hours online doing research and making reservations if they do it alone. Why not just go to a Travel Agent? Contacting a knowledgeable individual can save you time and money. That’s what they are for.

Here are some of the many benefits of using a Professional Travel Agent.

Your time is valuable. Instead of spending your precious time searching the internet, going from website to website, comparing prices, itineraries, hotels and destinations, you can make just one call and have a Travel Agent do all the planning.

Service. There is something to be said for good, old-fashioned, person to person service. This is an attribute you will not experience with an online booking engine. Travel Agents are happy to help you with your travel arrangements including inception of ideas and thorough planning. Plus they are available for the duration of your trip, upon your arrival home and for all future travel. The personalized service you receive provides peace-of-mind whether you purchase an air ticket or an entire travel package. A travel agent is ready to answer any and all questions.

Knowledge. Travel Agents have the most up-to-date information about specials, promotions and rates. Because they are the professionals in the industry, they are notified first of all current special rates and promotions stemming from airlines to tour companies to hotel deals. Many agencies who have weathered years of ups and downs in the travel industry have also built excellent relationships along the way. More times than not, they can provide better rates than what can be found online due to wholesale status and working with airline consolidators.

Specialized. More and more Travel Agents are becoming specialized in a specific geographic region or type of travel through study and hands on travel experience. This means that if you are traveling to Australia, for example, and want assistance from someone who really knows the country by the best places to visit, climate, exchange rates, cuisine, clothing to pack and the inside scoop to the best deals, utilizing a Travel Agent is a great resource. They often have personal travel experience and the experience of all their clients who have booked their trips with them. Plus the accumulative travel knowledge of their fellow agents giving you real information about how a hotel may suit your needs or a great tour guide that would jive with your travel style. It’s specialty information only a real, live human can provide when you are booking your trip.

One-Stop Shopping. With a Travel Agent you can book all your reservations and services in one place. Travel Agents can book everything from airfare to car rentals, to tours and show tickets. This also means you only have to give your personal information, like credit card details to one business.

Someone to call in case of an emergency. If you should have some type of a glitch or emergency while abroad, trying to get through to an actual person at an airline or online agency can be practically impossible and completely time consuming. It can be reassuring knowing that you have someone you can call in case of an emergency.

Unique Travel Itineraries. Travel Agents can help put together a trip and itinerary based on your interests. Tell a Travel Agent what you like to do during vacation, how active you want to be and your budget, and she will give you suggestions based on that information. This usually results in a more enjoyable vacation developed just for you instead of following an itinerary suggested by a friend or family. Just because your friend enjoyed a specific tour doesn’t necessarily mean that you will.

First Hand Hotel Information. Most Travel Agents have up-to-date information on hotels that are under construction or being refurbished. You do not want to arrive at your hotel, only to find that the reason why you got such a great deal is because they are in the middle of construction on the pool.

To book your international vacation of a lifetime, contact a Travel Agent today, or visit us on the web.

Dale has been in the travel industry for over 30 years. He opened The Travel Team in 1978 in Seattle. He enjoys fishing, traveling and trying to keep ahead of all the changes in the industry.

 

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Tips to Get Rental Car Discounts

Getting a discount on your car rental is now almost a standard in today’s world of online deals and coupons. You don’t have to look far or do much research to find great deals on your next rental.If you have an upcoming vacation planned soon and you plan on using a rental car, you can begin checking your options online in advance to try to obtain discounts. Discounts for rental cars are offered on a regular basis, and the discounts are generally easy to obtain if you know where to look for them. Online price comparisons are one of the best things to do in order to get a discount on your next rental car. Checking all the major rental car company sites and comparing their best prices is a good place to start. Many companies will offer price matches against other companies and this can give consumers a great way to get the best deal possible.

Several rental car companies will offer discounts if the customer books the rental vehicle online. Online discounts are becoming more and more popular with rental car agencies and this makes it easier for consumers to save money as well as time and inconvenience. It will take little time and research but it is worth it. Rental car companies, as well as other major service and rental companies, can afford to offer coupons and discounts when consumers make a reservation or purchase online because this method of transaction saves the company money on employee payroll and overhead. More and more companies are able to cut down on actual store locations by utilizing the retail and service options that are available on the Internet to businesses. There are also price aggregators out there that bring all the best prices to one place and pot them online.

As well as price matches and online discounts, coupons are also easy to come by for the most part when it comes to trying to get a rental car at the lowest possible rate. Coupons for rental cars are available at online travel sites, in national magazines, through community newspapers, and through related traveling companies. If you book a hotel stay, the hotel may offer a coupon for your next car rental. When you book a car rental, the company may offer you a coupon to be used for your next hotel stay. Non-competing companies will often network together to try to support one another’s businesses while also promoting their own company at the same time.

Through a little research, you will be able to discover many different ways you can find discounts on car rentals. Discounts are often offered through credit card companies to card holders. These discounts or credit card rewards can provide free insurance on your car rental or even free car rentals after you have purchased a certain dollar amount using your credit card. A little investigation can make a difference on how much you pay for your car rentals and other common traveling expenses.

Take your time and really spend some time online. The discounts you can get usually warrant some research and price comparison. Bookmark all the sites you find that you like and that offer good deals so the next time around you literally just point and click to better rental deals.

 

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How to Pack the Right Luggage

No matter if you like to take a giant wardrobe with you, or even if you’re a minimalist, this is one of the best travel packing tips I’ve received: Use compression bags. You know those cheesy TV infomercials with those bags that you can hook up a vacuum to and it sucks out all the air, and ‘magically’ shrinks sweaters to the size of a nickel? Well these are similar, but instead of using house hold appliances, you seal up the bag, then roll out the excess air through a one way valve. This really cuts down on the amount of room clothes take up!

When packing, don’t pack your bag to the brim! More likely than not, you’re going to be buying souvenirs of some sort. (I’m a T-shirt souvenir kinda guy.) You need to have room for them in your bag on the way back home. Try leaving at least a 1/4 to a 1/3 of your bag available for room to grow.

Consider trying to make everything fit into a carry-on size bag, and one “personal” carry-on item. Most airlines allow for a carry-on that measures 22″ by 16″, and at least one “personal carry-on” item (i.e., purse, or medium-sized day pack that can fit under airplane seat). It makes going through the airport MUCH easier, and you’re guaranteed that your bag is going to make it to your destination along with you.

A backpack is your best friend. With all of those flights, trains, and checking in and out of hotels you’re going to be doing, a backpack is going to make your life soooo much easier than hauling those clumsy wheeled bags! Personally, I prefer the travel packs that have a detachable day pack. This allows for you to have just ONE bag to worry about when you’re hopping on and off trains, walking to your hotel, taking cabs, etc. Osprey’s Farpoint series of packs are awesome! The Farpoint 55 is lightweight, with comfortable and ultra supportive straps, and fits within carry-on specifications. They have a lifetime, unlimited warranty, and they’re just all around great packs!!

For whatever luggage you’ve decided on, buy TSA approved luggage locks for them, and your day pack as well. If a would-be pick pocket sees that, chances are, they’ll move on to an easier target. Now don’t let that scare you. Most places you go aren’t going to be hives of scum and villainy, but there are always people who make their living by preying on unprepared tourists… Which is not going to be you!

 

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