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We’ve been at this for a while now. We’d like to share a few of the lessons we learned along the way:

1. Always buy the travel insurance.

We’ve written on this before, so I think that says it all.

2. Electronics, medications go in the carry on.

3. Keep your cash, valuables, and important papers on you for the plane ride.

4. Divide your cash and credit cards.

Keep some, give some to your spouse, leave some in the room safe.

5. Copy important documents.

(passport, itinerary, health information, emergency contacts, travel insurance documents…) Leave a copy home with your emergency contact, carry a copy with you. When you get to your room leave your actual passport in the safe and carry a copy.

6. Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans.

7. Check about coverage with your cell phone service provider.

8. Stay Hydrated on the plane.

9. Pack Less

Lug less weight and leave some room for those souvenirs.

10. Plan, but don’t overschedule.

Leave time to be spontaneous or relax at a sidewalk café to soak in the beauty and culture around you.

11. Take the address & phone number of your hotel with you. Take pics of street signs and landmarks.

They come in handy if you get lost.

12. Get Lost.

Get out of your comfort zone, be brave, explore.

13. Take lots of pics,

and don’t forget the spare camera battery.

14. Have local guides.

You won’t know what you’re looking at if you don’t.

15. Be flexible, be patient, keep an open mind.

Cultures are very different when it comes to, pace, politeness, personal space etc. You’re in their home and embrace the differences.

16. Meet the Locals.

Our very best travel experiences are dining with the locals and learning about “life over there”.

17. Know the exchange rate.

Use an app like XE on your phone to know what those boots in Portugal really cost.

18. Use your credit card when you can.

Some places won’t allow small charges, but it’s a good way to get a fair exchange. Make sure you credit card does not have foreign transaction fees.

19. Take cell phone pictures of the outside and the contents of your suitcase.

We've seen the airlines lose one or two along the way.

20. Take notes.

Your going to want them when you pull out those pictures and try to reminisce about your amazing trip.

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