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Travel Tips Part 1
July 14, 2009

Couple more weeks until I touch down to the first destination: Chicago! But before I leave on a jet plane, there’s a good amount of things left I have to do. Here are a few tips that might come in handy if you’re planning a long trip of your own: • If you’ve got a Capital One credit card, use it on your trip! Capital One is one of the few credit cards that doesn’t charge a foreign fee when you use it. JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and US Bank are among the ones with higher foreign transaction fees. Saving 1-3% per transaction really adds up and takes away from other critical transactions, such as more beer. • Some banks will not charge fees at certain ATMs you use across the world. These banks are in what’s called the Global ATM Alliance. For example, if you have a Bank of America debit card, you can use it at any Barclays ATM in the UK or Deutsche24 bank in Germany without being incurred extra fees. However, it’s a good idea to call your bank or credit card companies and have them put a note on your account that you’ll be abroad for a length of time so blocks or holds don’t occur awhile you’re on vacation. • If you’re visiting a place that has excellent public transportation, consider getting a multi-day ride card rather than paying the fare each time. It’s much cheaper and an excellent way to be among the locals (may or may not be a good thing). London has the Oyster card that you can reload for its Underground; Tokyo has the Suica card that is interchangeable with other railways. Nothing sucks more than rummaging for cash to buy a fare card as the train you were supposed to be on departs the platform. • Be familiar with general hospitality and common phrases. Good ones to know are “how much”, “thank you”, and “beer”. • Here’s a health travel tip from author Daniel Pink. He has a series of great travel tips since his profession requires him to travel quite a bit. Enjoy! Got your own tips? Share them with me in the comments!