August 2010 travel tips
1. Bring your own menus
I carry bilingual takeout menus when I’m traveling to countries like China, Korea and Vietnam. Then, when I’m at a restaurant with no menu (or one I can’t read), I give mine to the waiter so he can point to dishes they can prepare. Remember to pack a few extras, as the restaurants often like to keep a copy.
Becky Stewart, Washington, D.C.
2. Ship snacks ahead
Before our trip to Disney World, we shipped ahead a box of juices and snacks. When we arrived at our time-share with tired and whiny children, the package was waiting, and we were able to change their moods with the goodies. The supplies lasted all week, and we ended up saving quite a bit of money by not purchasing the items at the local stores with their inflated prices.
Anne Stockmal, Sarasota, Fla.
3. Ask about departure taxes
Before exchanging all your foreign currency at the airport, find out if there’s a departure tax. At the Bangkok airport, we were very upset—as were the other travelers around us—to find we had to go pay a fee before being allowed to go to our gate. Unfortunately, by this point everyone had cashed in their baht, so the options were conveniently located ATM, a credit
card, or an exchange booth with notably poor rates. When we described this incident to friends, they told us of a similar experience when trying to leave the Dominican Republic.
Amy Tackett, West Grove, Pa.
4. Take a bus tour
Many big cities around the world have tourist buses that run circuits of the most popular sites. Spending a day on one us a great way to get the lay of the land in an unfamiliar place. It’s much cheaper than riding in a cab, takes less time than walking, and gives you a better view of the city than the subway.
Amanda Tillman, Baltimore, Md.
5. Share your travel stories online
By starting a blog for each trip, you can keep your friends and family and the world updated on your adventures. All you need is an Internet café to add entries and photos while you’re on the road.
Allen Uhl, Seattle, Wash.
Got a travel tip to share? Leave it as a comment below…
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