Affordable Travel Guide to Travelers' Information

The Practical “Stuff” You Need to Travel Well

Travelers' Information

Have you ever picked up a travel guidebook to help you prepare for a trip? They contain the practical information as opposed to the dreamy stuff of magazines and picture books. Well, welcome to Affordable Travel’s Travel Guide! Here is where you will find the lowdown on things you need to know to make your travel safe, efficient, cost-effective and sensible. By reading the tips in our Travel Guide, you will arm yourself for the expected and the unexpected. When you’re traveling, no surprise is a good surprise.

We have gathered information from international resources and compiled it here for your ease of use, plus we have articles of interest to help you plan thoroughly and effectively. Getting to places, getting around when you’re there, travel documentation, money exchange matters, health concerns, and more. You’ll be able to assemble your vacation or business trip using the reliable data that we provide; we’ll include, among many other pertinent topics:

  • how to stay fit on a long airline flight
  • tips on water and hydration
  • foods that are safe to eat
  • vaccines and other medications
  • insects and dangerous animals
  • dealing with unruly plane passengers
  • coping with heat or cold
  • unsafe places to avoid
  • how to live like the locals
  • what to do in an emergency
  • barrier-free access
  • electricity (volts and cycles)
  • mail accessibility and postage
  • accepted methods of payment
  • retail and other taxes
  • telephones (access and area codes)
  • smoking policies
  • preparing for and managing jet lag
  • public holidays
  • languages
  • lost and found
  • how to pack (and pack light)
  • what to have in your carry-on baggage
  • what items you should never take with you
  • how to travel with your pet
  • days of business closure for holidays

If you don’t find what you need, just pop us a quick e-mail and ask! We promise to answer. Odds are that the info you need will be also needed by other members of Affordable Travel; sharing is good! Here is a breakdown of what you’ll find in our Travel Guide pages:

  • Travel Tips. Savvy travelers know. The best places to stay and eat, the scenic routes, the safest place to sit on the airplane, the best time of day to fly, the way to handle European train travel, the medications you might need to prevent catching a disease in foreign lands, and travel info A to Z. Our travel-wise writers and editors have been all over the world, from luxury hotels in major cities, to rowboats on dangerous rivers. We’ve collected the best of their tips, and tapped their positive and negative experiences, to ensure your vacation or business trip is as perfect as possible, even in adverse circumstances. And we have sourced vital information directly from the places where you might go.
  • Immunizations & Medical Matters. What shots do you need for a trip to Africa? What destinations might be dangerous for disease, such as Hepatitis or AIDS? How can you guard against “Montezuma’s Revenge”? How should you properly store and you’re your regular prescription medications in a foreign country? And what places have wheelchair accessibility laws?
  • Foreign Languages. Do you always have to learn French before going to France? It depends where in France you are going. Most global hotels have staff that speak English, but a small B&B in Provence might not have anyone in-house that speaks your mother tongue. We’ll investigate how much of a foreign language you need to get by, and which guides or language courses are the best for a quick study on Italian, Spanish, German, and a host of other languages. Mais oui! Si! Ya!
  • Time Zones. Not only will you find a highly useful chart for time zones of the world, we’ll have articles on how to handle time zone changes and what effect they have on your circadian rhythm (body clock). We’ll teach you how to ramp up for a time zone change when you travel, and how to ease out of it before you arrive home. Sleep is pivotal to good health and proper brain function, so learn how to work with, not against, times zones when you travel.
  • Passport Information. We’ll assist you with the information you need so that your travel documents are in order before you leave home to travel. Passports are the main means of entry into other countries, but some require additional paperwork, such as visas, or other “proof of” items. We will also tell you how to obtain these documents and what to do if you happen to lose them while you’re away.
  • Tourist Office Locations. Every major city and most small towns, plus popular tourist attractions, have at the very least a travel information kiosk, if not a full-blown travel bureau. We’ll tell you where these important information sources are located and help you plan your trip by accessing on-line tourist bureaus around the globe.
  • Embassy List. It’s the place we all hope we never have to visit, unless it’s an educational guided tour, but it helps to know where the embassy of your country is situated in the place that you will be traveling to; that adds a level of comfort to your trip. We have a list of international embassies and their locations, plus some thoughts and ideas on accessing the right people in the embassy, and getting help if you find yourself in a situation that needs resolution. Learn what embassies do and why they are stationed all over the world.
  • Currency. Discover what cash is accepted in what places, and what other payment methods are accepted. Even though you may thrive on credit cards, adding up your points and bundling all your costs into one neat payment, you are still going to need cash when you travel. Are American dollars accepted everywhere? Is it best to trade in USD or to ensure you have some local currency? Where can you get obscure local currencies? What will you have to pay for using cash and not credit or debit cards? And the current news on using travelers’ checks. We’ll give you the data you need, plus tips on shopping and bartering; plus you’ll learn the relative values of currencies. Travel finance 101!
  • Travel Insurance. Those little dispensers in airports that look a lot like automated teller machines are a stark reminder that you are getting on an airplane with no travel insurance; does it matter? What are your odds? Will your regular life or health insurance cover you when you’re out of the country? Get the answers to these questions, and learn about the different types of travel insurance, what the premiums cost and what the payouts offer. We’ll also fill you in on what to be cautious about in travel insurance, including the limitations of some policies and how some companies make it hard to collect on claims. Plus we’ll help you decide if travel insurance is right for you and the particular trip you are taking.
  • Travel Rewards. They come from credit cards, store loyalty programs, and frequency of flying; travel rewards are a great way to take free trips, and we’ll help you decide what is the best way to collect points, perhaps merge them, and the smartest way to spend them on travel. Free flights? Free car rentals? Free hotel rooms? The choices are almost endless. Should you save them quickly and spend them as fast, or keep accumulating them for that trip of a lifetime later on? Many people, even the most experienced travelers, don’t really know what their travel rewards points can get for them, or great ways to get extra points. It’s about planning and becoming a serious collector if you want all the benefits of free travel from travel rewards.
  • Weather. These days, one thing is for sure: the weather predictions will be wrong to some degree. Weather may be “typical” or extreme, but we’ll keep you up to date on weather prognostications, and fill you in on the common weather for the time of year and the place where you are traveling. Sometimes, weather is based on myth. For example, where we operate Affordable Travel, in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada, people always sympathize about our “bad winters”. Not true. The average temperature in Nova Scotia is the warmest in Canada. Certain parts of the Cape Breton highlands are colder, but overall our winter temperatures hover around O°C/32°F and our summers are in the low 20s (mid-70sF). Very comfortable. We have distinct seasons, but not the extremes of some other parts of Canada. It is widely believed that British Columbia is the warmest place in the country, but vast northern B.C. is one of the coldest spots, dropping the province’s average temperature significantly. We are surrounded by ocean, which moderates our weather. So stick with Affordable Travel for all the news on travel weather, from trends to predictions, and severe weather warnings, plus crucial tide times.
  • Safety and Security. The world is either a more dangerous place than it used to be, or extensive media coverage of everything has opened our eyes to it. Either way, it’s best to know what you’re up against when you travel, and how to ensure your vacation is not marred by trouble or tragedy. We’ll tell you about places that have been issued international travel advisories and are considered unsafe to visit, and we’ll provide terrific tips on security at the beach, in restaurants, in your hotel room, and while just walking abut new places. Find out what to do if problems do occur and how to deal with police and emergency services in the place you plan to visit.
  • Travel Agency. While a lot of travel bookings are made on the internet these days, there is still an advantage in using a travel agency, especially if you are planning a multi-faceted trip or a vacation that involves several different countries. It used to be that the airlines paid a percentage of bookings to travel agents, but now that most people book direct, that’s no longer the case. So, you may have to pay the travel agency a small fee, but it’s worthwhile, especially if you are new to travel, need expert advice, or what the experience that only a well-traveled travel agent can provide. Here, you will find information about travel agents and agencies, and how to make the most of the fee you pay them to do your homework.

As we expand our website, we’ll add many more useful and practical information and tips to this section of Affordable Travel. The Travel Guide is meant to be the place you go when you’ve found your dream vacation or honeymoon, destination, or beach. Or when the business conference is set and you’re ready to go. This is the part that ensures the shine stays on the dream. In effect, our Travel Guide is your personal advisor, your go-to reference for all the day-to-day information to ensure your trip goes smoothly, safely and is memorable for all the right reasons!

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Getting You There and Back in One Piece
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