Travelling..any advice?

  1. In April 2007, I will be going to Philippines & Japan for 6 weeks and was looking for some advice from anyone in regards to travelling, things to see/do, be aware of, etc...

    It has been 22 years since I've been overseas and not quite sure to expect. I keep making lists of everything, but I'm not sure what I'm forgetting. I will be going with the parents and within a week I get back, I will be moving into my new house with the BF -- so I'm feeling a little anxiety about everything!

    The only thing I've have really done on that list is get my passport.

    I need advice on things like:
    1. Do I need any type of shots before I travel?
    2. Types of currency/cheques/cards to use?
    3. Will I be needing to buy different chargers/plug-ins for my electronics?
    4. What to expect when I get to destination airport.
    5. Things I should & should NOT bring.
    6. Things I should do before leaving.
    7. Buying airline tickets -- online, ok?
    8. Travel insurance / Security
    9. Will customs charge me for any of my shopping?
    10. Any other advice?
    Thanks so much in advance!
     
  2. It would be wise to find those things that have all the different outlet plugins, and I'm pretty sure you could find this at Radio Shack or something.
    That's if your going to bring a laptop or ipod mayber. If you don't plan on bringing any electronics I don't see the point of it.

    For airlines what to bring and what not to, I would google or check the airlines websites for more info. I know when I was flying domestic there were pretty strict rules especially what country youre flying from so thats a great start to see what is and isn't okay.

    Buying tickets through a reputable source from online has always worked for me. I just print out my receipt and take it to the airport with me. I haven't had to pull the receipt out once but I bring it jsut in case.

    As far as the other questions I'm not to sure but I know other people will help you with that.

    One last piece of advice...have lots of fun. I hope you enjoy yourself and have loads of fun!!!
     
  3. always make at least one copy of your passport. place on in your suitcase/carry on or a place you won't lose it. that way if you lose the one you are carrying in your purse you have an extra copy. you should leave a copy with a family member as well or someone who could fax it to you if you need them to.

    bring a blankie and pillow or the plane! there's nothing better than having your own non yucky plane stuff for a long flight!
     
  4. Do I need any type of shots before I travel? Yes, see your dr. and they'll look at your past records and decide whether you need any boosters or immunizations based on where you are travelling to. When I went to Hong Kong I had to get a couple of shots.
    Types of currency/cheques/cards to use? I brought Travellers Checks but also used CC/Debit since they usually give good exchange rates. If you're planning to use your cards alert the companies ahead of time so that they don't close your account for weird over seas purchases. You may also want to check whether there is a charge by your bank for withdrawls at ATMs ouside of your banking area.
    Will I be needing to buy different chargers/plug-ins for my electronics? YES!! There are those universal ones that you can find in travel sections of department stores
    What to expect when I get to destination airport. Know about how much bad fair should cost to your hotel (call your hotel to ask). Taxi drivers are known to take advantage of tourists.
    Things I should & should NOT bring. I wouldn't pack anything that has great value.
    Things I should do before leaving. You may want to have your mail held at the Post Office or arrange for someone to pick it up. You can also choose our seats online prior to departure.
    Buying airline tickets -- online, ok? I always do!
    Travel insurance / Security
    Will customs charge me for any of my shopping? Yes, there's a certain amt. you can bring in. If you claim anything above you'll have to pay. If you get caught sneaking things in you'll pay a fine.
    Any other advice? I usually buy those Let's Go or other travel guides for tips on where to shop, eat, etc.

    There's actually a lot more advice I could give you, PM me if you need more.

    Have fun!
     
  5. 1. Do I need any type of shots before I travel? - Philipines - yes, Japan - No, but check with your doctor. Some shots need to be administered a few months before hand

    2. Types of currency/cheques/cards to use? Not sure about Philipines, but Japan is really safe so you can carry a big wad of Yen and not worry about it. DH and I were carrying nearly AUD $4000 worth of Yen with us everyday. Japan is a cash society (unless u go to high end dept stores etc)

    3. Will I be needing to buy different chargers/plug-ins for my electronics? Take the essentials (ie ipod and elec razor for BF). Check if your hotel has hairdryers. Some upscale hotels carry their own adaptors and you just have to ask concierge. Check with your hotel website. otherwise, i bought a worldwide adaptor in-flight for AUD$35 (approx US$28) You'd probably get a specific region adaptors for 2/3 of that price, so u might need to shop around for worldwide adaptors - It saves u from buying more if you travel to other countries

    4. What to expect when I get to destination airport. Work out the transport from the Airport to the Hotel. In japan, theres the Limo Bus service which are coaches that take you to the major hotels in Tokyo. Check Google and search for the airport website. it pays to read up on duty free shopping and/or claiming your tax back.

    5.Things I should & should NOT bring. Check with each airline and country. Rule of Thumb, no plant or liquids.. hehe. Don;t take valuables or jewellery. I didn;t wear my wedding or engagement rings on my holiday, nor did i take designer items

    7. Things I should do before leaving. redirect mail or get someone to pick it up everyday, leave the lights on and pay all bills before going (u don;t want them to cut off your gas by the time you get back from holidays)

    8. Buying airline tickets -- online, ok? Yep, make sure its reputable site, either from airline directly or like Zuji or something similar

    9.Travel insurance / Security Insurance is a MUST especially hospital cover. You never know if you get hit with food poisoning..


    10. Will customs charge me for any of my shopping?
    Its a luck game. If they stop you, then yes, but it depends on what you declare the total value of your purchases are. I'm not sure what the US Customs limit is, maybe someone else here will help

    11.Any other advice? Take lots of pictures. Don't buy stuff that you won;t use. my friend taught me to buy a magnet from each place. you have a souvenier to remember it by, and its cheap and its small to carry, but it's effective. Also, photocopy your passports and licenses and give to a relative. If they get lost, they can fax it to the embassy and it will speed things up.

    Also, invest in a money wallet (its like a flat bum bag) which can be concealed under your clothing to hold passports and excess money. Don;t take a backpack as it can be easily pick pocketed, especially if your on a bus or rail (as its moving etc, you can;t feel someone opening the back zipper)
     
  6. Also, try and plan a rough itinerary of the places you want to visit.

    You don;t need to stick to it, but you can map out where you want to go and what you want to see
     
  7. Thank you so much everyone for your reponses! I was only 8 years old when I travelled overseas, so this seems all new to me even though I have travelled a lot between US/Canada.

    Please keep them coming as they are very handy and greatly appreciated -- I'm writing them all down in my "trip book". Hopefully any one else travelling will find it handy!

    Anyone know the better reputable online airline ticket websites? Would like to get open ticket flight home, but the websites don't give up that option. Is iy more to have "open ticket" than set date on the return portion of your airline ticket? TIA
     
  8. Other sites that are reliable are Orbitz, cheaptickets, expedia, and directly through the airlines websites.

    I think open ended tickets are more expensive. I plugged in a ticket from where I live to Manila on United.com and it was only $200 more expensive though for a coach fare, which $200 isn't horrible to have that flexibility. I don't know how that works though. Sometimes you buy a ticket that is refundable but still have to pay an additional fee to change it once you decide to... might be most worth while to figure the dates out as best as you can ahead of time or calling the airline to find the details.

    Btw, there are no required vaccinations for where you're visiting. But I'd still tell your Dr that you're going. I went to Hong Kong over thanksgiving and while nothing was required, I decided to get the Hepatitis vaccine they recommend for travelers. But you need to at least get the first shot a few weeks before you travel, there are two shots for that vaccine that you'll need. If you check Centers for Disease Control and Prevention you can find the recommended vaccines for places.

    Most hotels will have converters available for guests, when I was out in HK they actually did not require any converters because they had the appropriate outlets for our laptop already built into the desk. We were at two different hotels there and both had that. And the hotel had a hair dryer so I didn't need to travel with one. If you're staying with family or friends, probably best to go prepared with the converters you'll need.
     
    1. Do I need any type of shots before I travel? i'm also from asia, and never shots anything when i go to other asian countries.
    2. Types of currency/cheques/cards to use? us dollars will be okay, u can find money changer in a lot of places, also in the airport
    3. Will I be needing to buy different chargers/plug-ins for my electronics? yes
    4. What to expect when I get to destination airport. take taxi, it's safer.
    5. Things I should & should NOT bring. bring anything you want as long as they're legal and not wet foods.
    6. Things I should do before leaving. leave the number of your hotels to your family. and the flight numbers
    7. Buying airline tickets -- online, ok? ok
    8. Travel insurance / Security get the travel insurance for more convenience
    9. Will customs charge me for any of my shopping? not sure
     
  9. Thanks to everyone for your advice! Greatly Appreciated.
    This trip is coming way too soon! I still have so much to do! I'm thinking 1 month in the Philippines might not be enough with all the places I want to go!

    Oh yeah, I'm planning on getting a digi cam or camcorder. I thinking about something like the Sony 30GB camcorder or the 60 GB one. Anyone own these? Or know of any good camcorders out here? Would love your input on this too!

    TIA:smile:
     
  10. No constructive advice to give since the last time I travelled was in 1995.

    Hope you'll have a great trip!
     
  11. Have a great time!!!! :yahoo:
     
  12. Philippines
    1. Do I need any type of shots before I travel? - NO, its very safe here in the Philippines FYI :smile: free from birds flu
    2. Types of currency/cheques/cards to use? - there's alot of money changer and banks here...
    3. Will I be needing to buy different chargers/plug-ins for my electronics? -there's always an adapter/transformer :smile:
    4. What to expect when I get to destination airport. - manila airport isnt that big compare w/ LA airport, so dont expect too much lolzz
    5. Things I should & should NOT bring. - anything you want, its very safe here...
    6. Things I should do before leaving. - try to write down the places you want to go, so you would not miss any...
    7. Buying airline tickets -- online, ok? - very ok..
    8. Travel insurance / Security -
    9. Will customs charge me for any of my shopping? - it depends, esp. if you have a multiple of things..
    10. Any other advice?
    hmm if your going here in the phils., my advice, go from north to south, east to west :smile:*** places to go -- just pm me hehehehe :smile: 1 month is not enough lolz..
     
  13. Hi - I travel for work to both the Philippines and Japan and you're gonna have a great time!!!

    The other posters have given awesome advice and I just have a few things to add:

    First, language. It is really helpful (and respectful, IMO) to learn some useful words and phrases in the local language, if you're not fluent already. Terms like hello, goodbye, thank you, toilet, shopping, hotel, taxi, etc. are really helpful! The more the better. Also, in Tokyo, ensure your hotel concierge writes your destination for you to give to a taxi driver. Most hotels also have cards with the hotel name and address in Japanese for non-speakers to take with them to give to a taxi driver for your RETURN trip to the hotel.

    I've found in the Philippines (Metro Manila) most taxi drivers know English.

    Next, food. Don't be afraid to try out local foods!!! It will please your hosts (if you are with any local residents) and you might find new favorites!! I can't tell you how many times I've been with other expats who wrinkle their noses at local food. OMG, it's not gonna kill you, just taste it!!! The local residents smile politely but I get a sense they're kinda offended.

    Since sometimes it might be hard to find a snack if you're hungry, I also bring a bunch of nutrition bars, like Balance bars, for a quick snack if I need it.

    Next, medications. Of course you'll need anything you take regularly (get a prescription from your dr. just in case you need to get a prescription filled while you are away). Don't forget the basics, too - like Advil, Tums/Pepto Bismol tablets, vitamins, etc. But don't panic if you need anything - drug stores are easy to find!

    Next, bring an openness to other countries and cultures!!! One of my biggest pet peeves when I travel internationally is overhearing others from outside the country compare the local culture/customes to those in their home countries. "Gosh it's so WEIRD the people here eat soup for breakfast! At home we'd never do that" ARRRGGHH!!:noggin: People, you're not in ______ now!!!

    Lastly, if you're coming from the US, here's the link to the US Customs and Border Protection website about what you can bring back into the US.
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Travel

    Good luck and have a GREAT trip!!!!!:smile:
     
  14. Thanks so mmuch for all the advice!
    I hope others will find this thread as helpful as I have. Keep them coming!