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Tips for Brighter Travels

By Tania Makalinao, Brighterlife.com.ph

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Traveling, while fun, can be very overwhelming and stressful (planning your wardrobe, making your checklist, deciding how many shoes or jackets to bring…the list goes on and is sure to cause several anxiety attacks!). Wouldn’t it be great if there was just a button we could push to make travel easier, simpler and safer?
We all have our bag of travel tips and tricks and I would like to share a few of mine. Some of them you probably all know, some are absurd and some are seemingly silly…but one day I guarantee you, they will re-emerge from deep within your consciousness to save your day. (I promise not to gloat when that day comes!)

1. SCAN THEN SEND.

Instead of just scanning copies of passports, visas, tickets, send it to your email account where it can be accessible anywhere (instead of just saving it in your laptops or iPads…and oh, photocopies simply would not suffice!)

While traveling in Scandinavia, a group of friends got mugged — their bags, luggage, laptops, wallets were all stolen! With their digital files gone, they had to make an overseas call so that copies of their travel documents can be faxed/emailed to their hotels!

2. ICE, ICE, BABY.

Put an ICE (In Case of Emergency) sticker – any plain label sticker will do- at the back of your mobile phone, listing the name and number of the person you want to be contacted in case of emergency. While most of us have our ICE contacts stored in our address books, our phones usually have passwords and cannot be accessed. Don’t forget to spell out In Case of Emergency, as people in some countries might not be aware of this.

{Note: Actually, this is a survival tip.}

3. THE EMBASSY ADDRESS.

I don’t mean the now-defunct hip bar at The Fort. I mean the address of the Philippine Embassy or Consul in the country where you are visiting. This will be handy just in case you lose your passport or it gets stolen. Even if you are able to retrieve copies of your travel docs from your email account (see item #1), you will need to get a temporary passport so you can travel back home.

4. LUGGAGE LABEL.

Do not put your home address on your luggage. It’s like advertising to potential thieves to go to your house while nobody’s home (or worse, while the kids are alone). Instead, just put your business card with your mobile number, especially if it’s a business trip. If it’s for leisure, your mobile should suffice.

#5: PAC-A-PARKA.

Ladies, get one of these. I find these parkas more practical than umbrellas since it leaves your hands free to carry or do other stuff. They fold up into a small little bag which can double as a pillow when you travel. I got mine from Topshop (but they also have it in Marks & Spencer) and they come in cool colors and prints! Cost of investment is about Php 2,500.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Peter Nguyen

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