Today’s post is inspired by this blog post.
Below are some recommendations on what to keep in mind when you travel.
1. Remember to carry enough cash
I am a big fan of using credit cards to get the most value out of my spending, but often times, we run into places that do not take debit or credit cards. Furthermore, most Canadian credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, so be careful with that. Look for the Chase Canada credit cards without transaction fees.
I would like to share my personal strategy. I will use the United States as my example. When I travel to the U.S., I generally use cash. The reason is because the Canadian dollar has been quite weak against the US dollar. Right now, $1 Canadian only gives us 91 cents American. If we add another 2.5% foreign transaction fee onto our credit cards, we are getting less than 90 cents per $1 Canadian when using our credit cards. I exchanged a lot of Canadian dollars into American when the Canadian dollar was actually stronger than the American one and left the money in my US bank account. That way, when I travel to the US, I can use my US cash to pay for things if the Canadian dollar continues to be weak. If the Canadian dollar is stronger than the American one, then I am more than happy to use my credit card for purchases.
2. Keep track of your belongings
When we travel, there are so many different things that we have to keep track of that we do not normally keep track of when we walk around our home town. Since we do not have a habit of keeping track of so many items, it is easy to forget things.
3. Pack the liquid items tightly
I usually use a Ziploc bag to keep any liquid items in my luggage, that way, even if they burst; it stays in the Ziploc bag.
4. Wear comfortable footwear
We may not all have jobs that require us to do a lot of standing and walking around. But when we go on a trip, chances are, we are going to do more walking than usual. So we might not always remember to change our footwear to something more comfortable.
5. Missing out
I remember watching the sun go down in Hawaii and I wanted to catch it on video camera, only to realize that I missed watching it in person and ended up watching it from my video camera instead.
It is easy to get caught up with using a camera or video camera to catch a special moment, but that also means less time enjoying the moment. This one is really going to depend on what you value. Do you value the real life experience more? Or catching it on tape or picture?
6. Remember your chargers
Forgetting a phone or camera charger can really put a dent on a trip. Of course you can still purchase the charger on the trip.
7. Packing accordingly
When we landed in Hawaii, our luggage did not make the trip with us, we had to wait about 36 hours before getting our luggage. This means we had to keep wearing whatever was on us. Luckily I had a few extra items on my carry-on.
Some people will argue not to over pack. But when you get stranded somewhere, you are going to wish you over packed. I am actually the type of person who is fine with over packing, but this factor is really going to come from your own personal experience to determine what works best for you.
Either way, if you want to make it simple, do not check in a luggage unless you need to. Otherwise, I would say, split your clothes between your carry-on and luggage just in case.