14 Jul Safe, not sorry—Top 5 Travel Safety Tips

[caption id="attachment_2232" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Safety when traveling is important! Always be aware of your surroundings.[/caption] Safety when traveling should be of utmost importance to all travelers—especially those of you who may be embarking on your first trip or study abroad in the near future. These basic safety tips will help ensure that you have the best time possible while traveling: Know your stuff—read up on where you’ll be traveling to. It is wise to familiarize yourself with the better and not so great areas of town, customs, festivals, food facts, and more. This way, you are less likely to catch yourself in a cultural “oops”—an embarrassment and sometimes big trouble. Write it down—arm yourself with a journal or notebook specifically for writing down addresses of where you’ll be staying, phone numbers, emails, restaurants, etc. It is important to physically write these things somewhere instead of just storing them in a phone or tablet—although having this information in two places is never a bad idea, either. Be aware of your surroundings—my high school health teacher always used to bark this at us during our self defense unit freshman year…and while I found it annoying and unnecessary then, it is so important! Always, always, always be aware of your surroundings. Often times, your intuition is a great sense of danger. This is key in keeping yourself safe on traffic jammed streets, in airports or train stations, and especially when traveling alone. Even if you’re trying to...

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01 Aug Did you pack your…? (5 Items You Shouldn’t Forget)

Take it from someone who has spent quite a bit of time traipsing about the world: you will always forget to pack SOMETHING. However, if you can avoid leaving the following items behind, your trip might go a little bit smoother. 5) Plastic Bag [caption id="attachment_954" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? No? Me neither.[/caption] http://img2-2.timeinc.net/toh/i/g/products/1009-plastic-bags/00-plastic-bags.jpg You probably have a dozen of these crammed in a closet right at this very moment. Though it may seem strange to bring one along on your international journey, the uses for a plastic bag are endless. Wrap it around your lotions and mini shampoo bottles to prevent spills. Use it to keep that wet swimsuit away from the rest of your dry clothing. Can’t remember which socks need washing? Segregate them to the bag. Unexpected downpour? This is the perfect way to protect your electronics! Take one along, you won’t regret it. 4) Pen & Paper [caption id="attachment_955" align="aligncenter" width="670"] Scribble, scribble, scribble.[/caption] http://www.truenorthquest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/pen-and-paper.jpeg It doesn’t matter if you take a nicely bound notebook or a few sheets of loose leaf, paper and a pen to write with are hugely useful. (Also, very old school) Does that helpful man giving you directions want to draw a map? No problem! Do you need a way to remember the name of the restaurant your hostel buddies recommended? Got it! No smartphone service overseas? Thank goodness you wrote your friend’s contact info down! And, should the urge to sketch...

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24 Jul Travel Safe, Travel Smart

[caption id="attachment_933" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Watch out world, here she comes![/caption] http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/woman-traveler.jpg Whether your trip is going to last 1 week or 1 year, a safe traveler is an informed traveler. Guidebooks and travel agencies are always good sources of information, but for the most up-to-date info, the following 5 websites are the best sources: 5) The Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/Features/StudyAbroad/ The CDC maintains a special section of its vast and informative website specifically for addressing the concerns and questions of study abroad students. With information on everything from country-specific vaccination requirements to how to assemble your own travel health kit, this is definitely one of the first sites you should consult in getting ready for your adventure. 4) Overseas Security Advisory Council: https://www.osac.gov/pages/home.aspx OSAC closely monitors all incidents involving American citizens overseas and is a very reliable source for current warnings or advisories regarding Americans abroad. Though some of their reports and surveys make for dense reading, they are very informative and will give you a good idea of what to look out for. 3) Federal Bureau of Investigation http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/counterintelligence/student-travel-brochure-pdf Though some of the tips might seem a bit overly-cautious to experienced travelers, that’s the FBI’s job! Their guide to traveling safely abroad is well organized and easy to read, it also offers a range of tips on everything from dressing appropriately to protecting your electronic devices from viruses and hacking. 2) Federal Aviation Administration http://www.faa.gov With all of the recent tragedies involving aircraft, the FAA has been even...

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