I have not traveled abroad in quite some time, and I thought I did all the researched that I needed to do, but apparently I had not, and I had a few me mishaps along the way. So now without further adieu I would like to share a few travel tips I learned so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
1) When going down the stairs with your luggage, carry it—don’t let it drop down step by step. I did this as I was leaving the house and when I got the third step, one of the wheels broke off and took the plastic boarder along with it. More or less ripping one corner open. I had not even left for the air port yet. I had to drag my luggage while carrying an overnight bag on the train then through Jamaica Queens and on to the air shuttle. Luckily I was able to buy a new suitcase at the air port. This was not fun. And I mentioned my mishap to a couple of people who saw me struggling and they both respond that the same thing had happened to them. So apparently it is common. Don’t let his happen to you. Lift your luggage when going up and down stairs and steep curbs.
call your bank and inform them that you will be out of the country and the dates you will be traveling. Otherwise they will suspend your card thinking the activity is fraud
2) As we know electrical systems are different abroad then the U.S. So to that end I went out and bought U.S. to Southern Europe adaptors thinking I was set. I was not. First I tried to plug in my curling iron in the bathroom outlet…nothing. Hmmm. The I tried a heating pad at the same outlet…noting. I thought it must be the outlet and then tried the heating pad in another outlet. And as soon as I flipped the on switch there was a loud boom, a flash of white light and the distinct smell of smoke. Then I noticed the TV and gone off. OK, that can’t be good. Turns out the voltage is also higher in Europe then the U.S, so you also need a converter in addition to an adaptor. Hmm good to know. And I found this out when I texted Josephina of Josephina Collection who was also in Paris for PFW, she informed me she burned out her hot rollers making the same mistake. Luckily the wiring in the hotel was fine, it just tripped the circuit breaker. But my heating pad is toast. So if you plan on bringing multiple electrical devices abroad make sure to also purchase a converter.
3) No one mentions this: but call your bank and inform them that you will be out of the country and the dates you will be traveling. Otherwise they will suspend your card thinking the activity is fraud. I learned this the hard way.
4) And finally—pay attention. One afternoon I stepped in to a Starbucks to use the restroom, the wifi and to get a quick bite. Well when I reached in to my bag and unzipped my wallet— no ATM card. I knew it could not have been stolen as I still had my wallet and it had been zipped shut. I started to freak, but calmed myself and thought when did I last use the card? It was the night before at the Monoprix where I stopped to buy some dinner. I got back on the Metro and went back to the Monoprix and…yes they had my card. I had left it there. Whew! So pay extra attention when traveling and always, always double check you have your ATM card after every transaction.