Contributed by Gino Venditti. He is the current Vice President of Operations for MTS, a company that sells and does service on commercial kitchens.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of lessons regarding traveling. Whether traveling for fun or for business, these tips will help you get the most out of your time and make the trip less stressful.
- Use your camera for directions. Take a picture of the intersection near where you are staying so you can show a cab exactly where you want to go if you get lost.
- If you like to walk around, take a hand held GPS. Spend the money and download the street maps for the region you’re visiting. You can find hotels, restaurants and tourist sites to visit, as well as other places of interest by merely typing them into the GPS.
- If you don’t travel overseas often, call your credit card company before you leave and tell them when and where you’ll be going. There’s nothing worse than finishing a very expensive dinner with a potential client, only to find out that the credit card company has turned off your card because they think your identity has been stolen.
- Know where your credit card will and will not work. For example, I learned the hard way that my Discover card was not accepted outside of the United States.
- Know what the currency conversions are. There is nothing worse than discovering you bought a gift that you believed cost $45, but actually cost $450.
- At all times, be aware of areas where pick-pocketing is common. A little common sense goes a long way.
- I enjoy haggling for items, but knowing where it’s appropriate and not appropriate is important. One time I received 40 percent off the original asking price for a gift because I negotiated the cost and offered to pay with US dollars. By simply following the haggling process, I saved a lot of money.
- If you pay in the local currency, it will save you money. Most credit card companies understand that we use the credit card to minimize the amount of cash we carry. With this in mind, they work to get the best currency conversion rates for themselves, and then for you. On top of that, they will add about a three-percent fee just so you can see your currency on the receipt. For most menial purchases, it does not make a huge difference. For large purchases, however, ask the cashier to ring the receipt in the local currency.
- My last tip is more from leisure travel than business. Always plan a down day. It gives you a break from the constant traveling, and you can actually enjoy yourself by doing nothing.
These tips will not only save you time and money, but they will keep your trip worry-free.