Before you leave on a trip (no matter how long you'll be away), list the complete contents in your luggage (that's everything... including make-up, books and medications). Carry a photo of your suitcase as well as a description of it (i.e. make, type, etc.). Should your bag be
lost or stolen, you'll have everything you need with you in order to expedite a claim.
Here's another important tip I've learnt from my well-traveled and well-heeled buddies/ colleagues over the years - and that is to ALWAYS roll your clothes when packing.... and you'd never have to worry about ironing again when you reach your destination.
How do the clothes stay rolled up?
Here's another trick I've picked up: Just cut off the legs of old panty hose. Put your hand inside one of the cut-off legs, grab that rolled up
t-shirt and pull it through. And, Voila! My things stay rolled up like assorted sausages....
Basically, this is my important rule of thumb: DO also try and plan your wardrobe in such a way that you'll have no problem mixing and
matching your outfits and it should be able to see you through from day to night. So in this instance, that little black dress WILL come in VERY handy for the night events AND in the day time too! :-))
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Ladies, DON'T forget to transfer all your toner, cleanser, night cream et al into small plastic containers - to save luggage space.
If you're staying with a friend... life gets easier, of course. Just use your friend's toiletries! But make sure you replenish what you've used up. We don't want our best friends to become your arch enemies, do we? :-D
Photo Equipment: Keep in mind that long-term travel can do some serious damage to a camera. Losing it in airline luggage land... or just plain theft are also concerns. So you may want to purchase an older or used camera.
Online auctions such as eBay or Eggheadare are good places to find these.
Some mail order houses also offer very competitive prices.
Phew... hope I haven't confused you?
Miscellaneous: DON'T forget to bring along your ATM card and.... an open mind.
Remember, if your ATM card is linked to international networks like 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange' etc, you can withdraw money from any ATM machines in the world. What's more, you'd even benefit from the low interbank exchange rates being given to you vis-a-vis if you were to change it at your local money-changer. I have survived on this method for ALL my trips abroad and so far, no ATM machines have failed me. Yes, even in the remotest villages in Africa. :-)) If you haven't tried this method, I challenge you to do so today. And be pleasantly surprised at how much you can save at the end of the day using this method (thanks to the low interbank exchange rates offered to YOU, the customer). I kid you not!
'The fastest way to travel is to be there already.' - Terry Pratchett
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