5 Tips When Traveling Internationally

I am by no means an expert, but these are some tips we apply when traveling internationally. I hope you find them as helpful as we did.

1. Be a SMART traveler. Before we left for Europe, my siblings advised me on enrolling in STEP. STEP stands for Smart Travel Enrollment Program. It allows the US Embassy of that country to know you are there. A terrorist attack happened just 2 days in our London trip (2 miles away from us!). We received an e-mail about the attacks stating where to locate the nearest US Embassy and how to contact them. It was a scary situation, but knowing what was going on helped us determine on how to go about our day. Just a few days later, we flew to Paris and there was a terrorist attack upon our arrival (1 mile away from our Airbnb!). We received a similar notification with US Embassy information. You can sign up here. It’s free!

2. Hide cash. A robbery can happen anywhere, even in your own city. We like to keep our cash separate. Just in case we get robbed, we don’t want all our cash to be gone in an instant with no way to get back to our hotel or call for help. Hubs usually wears a money belt and a waist belt that you put under your clothes. Click //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01N4FWUQ1&asins=B01N4FWUQ1&linkId=07ceba473b432ca14821f712d14a8191&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here to buy the money belt he used. Click //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00WTHJ3S2&asins=B00WTHJ3S2&linkId=7309eaf2cbfe785db76ec96dedbb40d6&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here to buy the waist belt he used. I used a RFID money clip that can be tucked in and a RFID backpack. RFID stands for radio-frequency identification, which blocks material protecting against unwanted scans- meaning someone just can’t stand behind you and get all your credit card information without even touching you (pretty crazy, right?!). Click //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01EAFRBLQ&asins=B01EAFRBLQ&linkId=602b31d4c885e4210db54efb20da7d50&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here for a similar RDID backpack I used. Click //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01LXSY4FK&asins=B01LXSY4FK&linkId=4b1b1063734de9299a308aec1d5126da&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here for the RFID money clip I used.

3. Tattoo your kiddo. We were traveling with our very active 15 month old and we were afraid we might lose her! My sister suggested to get a temporary tattoo or ID band for her just in case we lose her. We got both. The temporary tattoo uses a special marker that is designed to last 2 weeks. You write your info on it, and pray a good samaritan contacts you if you do lose your kiddo! Click //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00O7WU5OS&asins=B00O7WU5OS&linkId=08ac9ccb1adc973b2bec3e4e7faa2ae1&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here for the tattoo. The ID band is also waterproof, and it says “If I’m lost: please look inside” in English, Spanish and French. When opened, it has all your information written on it. You can put on a new one when you switch locations or hotels. Click //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsabbys-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B004TADO3W&asins=B004TADO3W&linkId=6322942ebd72dd31dd67b8baaa2997bb&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here for the ID band. Also, I bought a leash backpacks so she couldn’t stray far at the Louvre, but we never used it. She mainly stayed by us in the crowded places or sitting in her stroller.

4. Check your credit card. We checked our credit card for possible international fees, travel benefits and travel insurance. We have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and we absolutely love it for the travel benefits. Reasons why we love it: There are no international fees, we get extra points when we book our travel with it, we have travel insurance when we booked our flights with it (but there are criteria for cancellations & a possible terrorist attack isn’t one of them- we checked!). I highly recommend calling your credit card company to ask about these benefits and to notify them you will be traveling. Also, let your bank know you will be traveling, as well, so they don’t cut you off and get yourself in a bind.

5. Be aware of your surroundings. This seems like a no-brainer, but especially when traveling with your kiddo! Sometimes it’s a sweet old lady complimenting your child that pulls one over on you. In Paris, there were several groups that would try to get you to sign a piece of paper- they would literally surround you. After you sign the paper, they would ask demand money from you. I read this prior so we both were aware to just firmly tell them “NO” from the get-go. We never had a problem with them, but did witness some tourist get trapped into giving money. This one lady flat out refused to give them money and a group of them surrounded her and her family on a bridge, shouting for money. Thank goodness a man yelled for “Police” and they scattered. We were also very cautious in not walking with a large crowd, but not by ourselves either. With the recent attacks in London being a vehicle striking a crowd, we were extra vigilant on the bridges. On their bridges, it’s a very short step from road to sidewalk- very easy for a car to come over. Click here to check out the video that helped us be more aware.

My husband’s motto is “Keep your head on a swivel”- we said that throughout our trip. But he is right, we have to keep our eyes and ears open. We never know when something will happen, but I hope these few tips will help keep you safe.

 

 

If you have any tips to add, please leave a comment 🙂

Safe travels,

mrsabbys

2 thoughts on “5 Tips When Traveling Internationally

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