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Summer's Best Bets
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In addition to the right type of clothing, there’s a lot to think about when traveling the world. People, places and things may be different than you thought. Suddenly, finding a restroom or ATM may top your checklist. Use the 10 tips below to prepare yourself for travel adventure.

Departure Fees

Although airport departure taxes are often included in plane-ticket prices, some countries collect a tax/fee at the airport before allowing passengers to the gate or on the aircraft. Payment is often expected in local currency. Check with your airline and carry extra cash, just in case. Also visit Gate 1 Travel.

Finding Public Restrooms

Some countries have public restrooms on the streets that require a small fee, often in coins. You can also look for department stores and retail outlets like McDonald’s and Starbucks. Museums, visitor centers and transportation stations also offer public facilities, and you can always try a pub/bar or café.

Personal Space

Many foreign citizens have a smaller sense of personal space than Americans and Canadians. More concentrated populations and less space make for more intimate physical proximity in conversation, standing and sitting. Someone may ask to sit at your table in Europe, push up against you in a line in Asia or move in closer to speak with you in the Middle East.

Ask First, Speak Later

Although many residents of foreign countries speak English, don’t assume they do. Always ask before asking your question or starting your commentary in English. It’s a small gesture of humility and shows you have an understanding that the entire world doesn’t speak your language. To learn some key phrases, use our 30 Words Language Guides.

ATM Locations

When traveling abroad, you’ll often find the best exchange rates at ATMs. Visa cards operate on the PLUS network while MasterCards operate on the Cirrus/Maestro Network. Look on your network’s website for its ATM locator before departure.


It’s always a good idea to carry ID with you wherever your travel (try our handy Eagle Creek® Passage Wallet.) Make copies of your passport, visa and credit cards to leave at home and in your luggage, in case the originals get lost or stolen. It’s far easier to get replacements when you have documentation, numbers and photos.

Public Transportation

Public transportation options are often more readily available and user-friendly in countries outside the United States. Trains, subways, metros and buses make far more frequent stops in Europe and Asia, where transportation links are interconnected. It’s a great way to see a city or country and be part of the local fabric instead of just a tourist in a cab.


Although car travel is often more convenient, you’ll see a lot more when you walk. Some of the world’s most intriguing places are off the beaten road, tucked away in locations you’ll never see when riding by in a car. Pack a reliable pair of walking shoes to explore a place to its maximum potential. Find the perfect pair on our website.


The best guidebooks include background history, sight listings, cultural tips, maps and practical information for making the most of your time on the ground. Highly regarded resources such as the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, Insight Guides, Rick Steves’ Guides to Europe, Michelin Green Guides, Bradt, Baedeker’s, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet provide excellent information and make great in-flight reading.

Wake Up on Time

There’s nothing worse than missing a flight, train stop or meeting because you overslept. Although hotels usually provide clock radios and wake-up calls, they aren’t 100% reliable. Carry a battery-powered backup alarm clock (such as our Global Travel Alarm Clock) in case of power outages or human oversight.

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