We scoured the web for the best travel resources for women. Here’s what we found.
Be sure to alert your bank and credit cards of your travel plans. You don’t want them to red flag your card because they don’t expect a foreign charge. Also find out what their foreign transaction fee will be. The easiest and usually least expensive way to get foreign currency is through a local ATM at your destination. Do not use Traveler’s Checks since they are difficult to cash.
Europe uses Chip and Pin technology for their credit cards. The United States normally does not. You won’t have any problems using your credit card as long as you can hand it to a live person. You may run into issues if you try to use it in a machine such as a gas pump, a ticket machine or an automated toll booth.
Try AroundMe App to find all sorts of local businesses like banks, supermarkets, bars, movies and lots more.
A good tool to keep on budget while you are traveling is the TrailWallet App.
Know how much your $$ are worth with XE Currency Converter. Also available as an App.
Many cities have free walking tours where you name your own price or sometimes even only the price of a tip. Take advantage of them. First of all, a little history and background on a new city will add depth to your travel experience. Secondly, you will meet locals that have a love for their city and are happy to share their tips and secrets.
Not Free, but certainly worth it – if you want to see major sights in major cities get a “Skip the Line” pass from one of the larger tour companies. You’ll probably still stand in a shorter line, but it can save you an hour or two. Wouldn’t you rather be relaxing at a sidewalk cafe instead of still waiting in that long hot line?
Some cities have a Time Out publication that will give you comprehensive current events.
These companies are like calling for a ride from a local friend. You use an App to request your ride and make payments. Be aware however that these companies may be facing legal battles from traditional taxi companies as competition. Check before you travel to see if they are available in your destination city. We will keep members updated on the status of these companies.
Go Car is a fun way to self tour. It’s a GPS guided 2-seater talking car that lets you explore at your own pace. Only available in a few cities. Check if your destination is one of them.
Find your best seat with Seat Guru.
You don’t need to pay for first/business class seats or be elite status to take advantage of some of the airline perks. Lounges are an oasis of comfort and quiet in a busy airport. You can relax and rest or get some office work done before your flight. Free snacks and beverages and sometimes even meals and a bar are included in your entrance. Some have showers to refresh after a long flight. A select few even have complimentary spas. Most have day passes if you aren’t traveling first class. Use the App Lounge Buddy to find all the details for your airport.
To find airport terminal maps and listing of available amenities use Gate Guru. If you are traveling a very long route with a long connection along the way, you may want to nap at your layover airport. A few have sleep pods for hourly rent. Some airports have gyms or a spa. Some give tours or have museums, which may be a unique way to pass the time during a long layover. Finding free WiFi is another amenity that almost everyone needs.
Flights can be cool, loud, and have very dry air. Remember to pack in your carry on a light blanket or shawl for extra cover, lotion and lip balm, and either ear plugs or ear buds to listen to music. You can bring your own food and drink on board if you want more than the slim snacks offered. *You still must comply with TSA rules about liquids, so plan accordingly.*
Stretching during a long flight will save you sore muscles or swollen feet and legs. Try the App Airplane Yoga from iTunes, or this CNN Travel article http://travel.cnn.com/sydney/visit/plane-yoga-18-exercises-healthy-flying-910157 for ideas of easy stretches.
Take a business card from your hotel on your first trip out. If you have a hard time finding your way back you will have the address and phone number. You can also take a photo of the nearest intersection street signs to help you find your way back. I personally always use this trick to find my way back to parking garages.
Keep a copy important documents in a safe and separate place. You could take a photo of them, but for security reasons please don’t email them to yourself. You should have copies of your identification (if you are traveling internationally you definitely need a copy of your passport), your credit cards with the customer service phone number and your flight information.
Never carry all of your money together. Invest in a good travel money pouch to conceal your valuables. An inexpensive option is to cut a slit in a padded bra to carry a credit card and/or driver’s license.
Europe is generally a safe place, safer that most US large cities. The biggest crime you might encounter is pick-pockets or a money scam. Here are some of the most prevalent current scams:
- A group of children full of activity and noise gather around you, possibly bumping into you and distracting you, while someone picks your pocket.
- Someone flying by on a moped slices the bottom of your backpack and steals its contents. This also happens with someone walking behind you. Many times you don’t realize it until you stop to get something out of your bag.
- The found ring. In a busy tourist area, someone walking near you will bend over and pick up a ring. They will turn to you for a conversation about it (you are a friendly American after all, right?). They remark on how expensive it is, and then offer it to you for a fraction of the value. They tell you they need the money and you could help them out. Please do not let them give you the ring or be fooled. A firm “no thank-you” should take care of the problem and they will move on.
- Taxis will often overcharge. Agree on a price before entering the car.
- Most of the time locals are very helpful. If you find one that offers their assistance finding a location, or a better sight to see and tries to lead you away, especially if you did not ask for their help – beware. At some point they usually demand payment for their ‘help’.
One of the most effective ways to stay safe is to ACT CONFIDENT and STAY AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. If there is a distraction or disruption of any kind, your first instinct should be to guard your valuables.
Packing can be a challenge for any traveler. Find comprehensive ideas and lists specially designed for the female traveler at these two websites.
Her Packing List – Brooke has put together extensive packing lists for every destination imaginable. She has a great section called Learn from Our Mistakes. I also like the advice in One Little Thing.
Travel Fashion Girl – Offers specific lists by destination and travel style. She also includes tips like where to find your health and beauty products while traveling and advice on the best travel shoes. If you are a woman and traveling, you owe it to yourself to browse through this website.
Please visit these websites for valuable advice.
Journey Woman – If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you just aren’t looking hard enough. Evelyn covers every aspect of women’s travel.
My Itchy Travel Feet – Wonderful Boomer travel advice.
Solo Traveler – The best advice for all things solo travel.
Chasing the Donkey – SJ is an expat living in Croatia. Her blog will inspire you and give you invaluable tips about the area.
*******Pink Carry On is not affiliated with any companies listed above. Our aim is to give you the best information available. We are not responsible for the content of these websites, nor any agreement you may enter into with these companies.*******