Travel Tips

We all learn a lot as we travel and good travelers share tips to help others. Many of the things I figured out or learned from others can easily apply to “regular life” as well.
So what you find here is a range of tips:
• best practices while showering
• learning from other people’s theft experiences
• tips on dealing with uncomfortable situations
• language tips or dealing with language barriers
• maybe some photo tips…

We’ll see what I think of to share here with you as time goes by.


More packing tips: space-saving travel substitutes 3

It can be difficult to leave luxuries behind. Fortunately, in some cases, you don’t have to. There are often alternates to those nice things.

I’ve already written about how many things a sarong can do.

Here are some more of my substitutes. My goal is to take up very little space and weight.

Don’t worry: I am not going to tell you to cut a neck and arm holes in a plastic garbage bag to make a rain coat.


Thoughts on travel hacking

…disappointed that she was in China and her friend didn’t want to experience it …couldn’t care less. Then I realized! She wasn’t with “travelers. She was with “travel hackers.”

It’s one thing to take advantage of a great New Card offer and get $50,000 bonus miles — giving you a free flight from say, the USA to Europe. It’s not easy to save for a vacation and we all need vacations. And a new card now and then is legitimate. But go on that vacation and enjoy the place you’d selected! Travel overland while you’re there and see the place. Take a train or bus and talk to the locals! Experience the place! Savor the locale, the people, the foods, the languages, the experiences.


Advice in moving to a new town

Recently, a young man posted a query on LinkedIn, seeking advice on relocating for a job — his first job out of college/university.

This part of his query called to me for two reasons. First, because as a traveler I am always walking into new locations and situations. Also because I’d also relocated with less than 24 hour notice, in order to take my own first job in broadcasting.

Curious about my advice? I’ve posted it here.


0-100 in Hebrew — by age

It’s always important to learn at least basic numbers for countries you visit. Here’s the most fun you’ll have being introduced to the numbers 1 to 100 in Hebrew! And even if you don’t want to learn Hebrew, it’s a great video. It took Tom Ross and It took Maya Cohen three journeys to Israel to make this video. 101 people, one from every age between 0 – 100.

Counting 1 to 100 in Hebrew - by age

Identify your belongings in a unique way 1

I bought 3D Slick paint that works on fabric. My intention was to use it on my backpack. But as I started to practice using this paint, decided to give my equipment a nicer looking identification than just my name written in permanent marker

I love that I have a unique identification method. Plus, it’s fun to take an artistic break once in a while.


Pack a sleep mask — my choice is Nidra mask

When you travel, you don’t get to control the darkness in your room. There’s always that gap in the curtains or a room is pretty but not pretty dark.

So I did sought out the best possible mask and best value for the money. My choice is the Nidra Deep Rest mask. Light-blocking, but lightweight. (You know I love that!) MOLDED so it lets me sleep in darkness but be able to open my eyes fully. And best yet, it doesn’t create eyebrow wonkiness.


Cooking on the road: inexpensive meat becomes a great cut

As you travel you may crave a soft steak but you need to watch your budget. (Or, due to language, not order the desired cut from the local butcher.) I have not tried this trick, but apparently there is an easy and very inexpensive way to soften that tough cut of meat, making it a much nicer and more edible experience.

This episode of Cooking with Jack Show can help you out with that. Any steak, some kosher salt and some time…


Travel with children: Custom coloring activity idea

As friends talk about the issues of traveling with children, I am reminded of the travel kit I made for a four/five-year-old child because he and his dad were heading onto a very long airplane flight.

Rather than just giving him some coloring books, paper, and crayons, knowing he’d soon be asking “what should I draw” or “may I have more paper,” I created play scenes for him — my own take-off on coloring and Colorforms®-like scene play.


Theft by taxi driver in Panama City, Panama – Lic Plate 588431 1

As with all stories of theft, I post this story to help good travelers remain safe as they get to know the world. I strongly believe that if more people in the world knew more other peoples of the world, they’re would be more trade and less war. I want people to travel safely and give themselves the opportunity to get to know local people wherever they go. This story of robbery relates the theft of two clean, honest, well-presented European travelers by the driver of an official (or official-looking) Panama City taxi (lic plate 588431). Both are good sized people, in shape, not overweight, not tiny or weak looking.


Thefts by USA, TSA

On Monday, December 10, 2012, TravelMole.com reported about a TSA agent leving JFK International Airport with iPads he stole from passenger luggage. The story is “TSA agent caught red-handed with stolen iPads.” Regarding action against the employee, the story says: Transportation Security Administration spokesman David Castelveter told ABC News that the TSA has “taken the steps to begin processing [Henry] for termination.” “TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” said Castelveter in a statement. What I do not understand is why the TSA does not have a simple rule: You steal, you lose your job! Granted, the USA is a country where we stupidly are not permitted to say something negative if asked to give a job reference, so a second rule is needed: You steal, you lose your job and the theft becomes a criminal record! It is […]


Eye glass repair in San Salvador & Panamá City!

Maybe it is the extreme heat, but the plastic cording must stretch causing the lens to fall out. This is not something I can pop back in and be done with. That is, I’d put the lens back into place, but the lens falls out again.

This happened to me twice. First, in San Salvador at the beginning of September and again in Panama City on December 22 when the glasses are almost exactly a year old. (I believe each lens has now fallen out.)

Luckily in both cities, I have found that there is amazing reciprocity amongst the eyeglass stores. In each city, the first optician shop I walked into repaired my frames free of charge! Each time, with just a few words and a fast look at the situation, the plastic band has been fully replaced.


Travel packing tip for everyone!

Deb’s Travel Tip: Do something to customize your luggage, suitcase, or backpack and your day bag or day pack in a major way. Backpackers, especially: Get yourself to a fabric store and cut the fabric and sew unique patches onto your pack on all sides. Buy flags of favorite countries and sew them on. Less effective, but maybe helpful would be to get handing dongles and put them on your pull tabs. This can work for soft luggage as well. Hard luggage users: Get some stickers and put them on all sides of your luggage so something is visible from all views. Just make your luggage or bags or backpacks unique!


Elaborate theft scam on a bus

Here’s a theft that every backpacker or bus-taking traveler should know about. This robbery took place on a bus in South America. However, the location is moot; this theft could easily happen anywhere. The items stolen could have been anything as well. As my friend describes: A gang of three or four persons were involved. It happend on the bus at night and they worked as a team to distract me. They even played acting roles, fake bus employees, passangers. They had the routine down. It was a switch-a-rooo trick. They switched his daypack for a stand-in pack. I post this because the more scams for theft that every backpacker knows about, the less chances such a theft, such a con, such a robbery, will happen to you. If you read about this robbery, con, theft, scam here, please tell your traveling friends. Get the word out that this kind […]


A traveler’s language challenges

Tonight’s plan was for me and two friends to hear a woman from Argentina perform at the bar in the Crowne Plaza two short blocks from where I am staying. I’d walked over there this afternoon to learn the times and even find out that her performance coincided with the last half hour of happy hour so we’d enjoy two-for-one draft beer in the warm evening’s air. I was happy that I’d gone over there and inquired in Spanish, gotten the information, and relayed it to my two local friends. However, we arrived to find she is not performing tonight. One of my friends’ response to me: “So your Spanish is not so good.” (Not meant in a bad way.) Really, I didn’t understand what I’d done wrong. I am certainly not fluent in Spanish. I lack many, many words. But I knew how to ask about a female singer […]