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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Absolute VERY last minute travel tip

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Absolute VERY last minute travel tip

Being in the military somehow baptizes you into the life of a world traveler.  You pick up some tips along the way, especially after you misstep here and there along the way.  The learning curve can be steep initially.  I've posted before about travel Travel Category is full of them....but if you are short on time or want to know the most important last minute travel tips, here goes...

How about some last minute random thoughts before you head out the door?

I can't stand to "destroy" a book...just photocopy the pages you will need and take those along.  I've turned a rubberbin at home into my travel library.  Each destination has its own labeled gallon ziploc bag filled with brochures, tourist maps, great informative articles and of course my photocopied guidebook pages....all in the bin by geographic region (please don't roll your eyes at me, I know).  Your local library is full of travel need to buy!  Start building your own resources now (I also frequently loan them out).

Separate your money..have your partner carry some too...don't carry it all with you.  Hide some in your sock, bra or waistband in addition to that...not all in your wallet...I keep most of my money "under wraps" so to speak.  I have this thing I also wear around my neck that can be hidden under a layer of clothes.

Call your credit card company ahead of time and let them know you will be out of the country.  I've seen people's credit cards get denied...and then they wondered card fraud departments can be extra vigilant these days.  I recently didn't take my own advice thinking my credit card companies are used to me charging stuff all over the world....well, even I got flagged by making a large laptop purchase in the US.....guess that didn't follow my pattern and thankfully, the store let me call the company where I loudly announced that it was just a misunderstanding and a routine fraud alert!

Take a photo of what is in your suitcase...if it gets lost with the airline, they always want to know what's in there...pretty much exactly what's in may help with your claim too and get you maximum dollars back.  Don't put valuables in there..but you already know that.  Even something as inconspicuous as a computer external drive you got for Christmas and already copied all your files to...should not go in there  I won't tell you who made that mistake, but it wasn't me or my was quickly corrected of course before the suitcase got out of sight!

Write that one last checklist.  You know, the one that says passport, tickets, did you turn off the water to the washer, lock the backdoor....that kind of thing....keep it fairly short and last minute and look at it right before you head out the door.

What are some of your last minute travel tips?



Anonymous susanna said...

Living in the states, I usually don't have to turn to these 'extreme' travel preparations. I still like to send my luggage ahead of time with FEDEX which costs me about the same amount as if I'd take it with me on the plane.
However this way I can simply walk off the plane, while my 'luggage' is waiting for me.

January 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

I had completely forgotten that you still have to pay for checked baggage in the US! Do you get your luggage delivered to the hotel or person you are visiting or do you pick it up somewhere at the airport? I'm guessing if your bag gets lost, you get more from FEDEX than you would from the airline?

January 11, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger tavasemissions said...

This isn't really a last minute tip, but a tip in general.

If travelling with small children, go to the TSA website and print the guidelines for travelling with liquids and children. This has saved me numerous times of having to dump bottles of milk and water or opening unopened containers of baby food. It amazes me how many agents aren't aware of these guidelines.

January 11, 2011 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Regarding kiddos... Something I do while traveling with my 6yr old daughter, is take a pic of her before we head out. That way I have a pic of exactly what she looks like/what she's wearing that day. Also, I make a little 'I'm lost, please call' card in English and, in my case, Italian with her name, my name and all my phone numbers, etc. That way if we get separated, I have her 'trained' to hand that card to an adult and fingers crossed, I'll get a call. Just thought I'd pass that along... :)

January 11, 2011 at 7:30 PM  

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