It’s safe to say that having the privilege to work with all of your travelers over the past 20+ years has taught the On Call staff a thing or two about travel. That’s why this month we reached out to our team of dedicated assistance and travel risk management experts for their best advice on staying safe, healthy (and sane!) when they travel…but take note: we raised the bar and only asked for their best tricks of the trade. So if you and your travelers are looking for some practical travel advice to refer to time and time again, read our wicked good travel tip round-up from the On Call staff. Bon Voyage!
1. Traveling with older children or teens? Put them in charge of documenting your trip via blogging or journaling. This responsibility will help keep them engaged in your travel and away from video games and social media (talk to their school prior to travel – they may even get extra credit!).
–Kristin T., Director of Operations
2. Some U.S. banks allow for better exchange rates when converting U.S. currency to foreign currency. Always check with your bank before traveling as this can help you save lots of money and may be much cheaper than converting to local currency when you arrive at your destination.
– Chrissy V., Training and Quality Manager
3. When I travel, I typically turn off my cellular data connection and use an app called Whatsapp. Most features on this app are completely free. It allows you to text/send photos/make calls all by using Wi-Fi, but can also work with basic cellular data services. You can also text/call internationally without incurring any charges.
– Kai M., Assistance Coordinator
4. Always notify your bank before you leave so you can use your cards while traveling–otherwise they will think it is fraud if you use your card in, say, the middle of Ohio and you live in New Hampshire!
– Destiny M., Administrative Assistant
5. My travel tip is something I learned from a former On Call colleague who was very well traveled. He taught me to buy shoe inserts and stick them into the pair of shoes that I would be using most of the time during my trip, then stash some emergency cash underneath them. This way, if I lost my wallet/someone stole my belongings/hotel staff went through my luggage, etc., there would always be an emergency fund that would be untouched for me to use.
– Vanessa A., Client Services Coordinator
6. Super glue is something I always keep in my first aid kit. I’m not generally planning on putting a bleeding wound back together (you could, but it’s not exactly sanitary!), but it’s great for getting a couple extra miles out of your shoes or fixing a tear on your backpack.
– Scott B., Watch Officer
7. Don’t forget to pack that floss! Not only will your teeth be cleaner, but you can use it instead of thread to repair clothes and accessories. Plus, your gear will have a minty fresh aroma.
– Scott B. and Garrett K., Watch Officers
8. If you buy any wooden carvings or trinkets, they could harbor bug larva. This can cause problems at home. Keep them in a plastic bag during transit and toss them in the freezer for a few days to kill off any passengers.
–Garrett K., Watch Officer
9. When flying overnight and getting to your destination in the morning, force yourself to stay up until normal bedtime hours. This will help reduce jetlag the next day. And if for some reason you can’t fall asleep, a hot shower or over-the-counter Melatonin helps.
– Trish H., Rescue Nurse
10. The best prevention against “clots” or DVT (a serious medical condition) is to stand, walk and change position during flight. Remaining sedentary is the biggest offender.
– Genevieve H., International Nurse Case Manager
11. Email a copy of your passport, driver’s license and travel plans to an email account you can access from anywhere in case your wallet is stolen. It will also help you with getting a replacement. You can also email credit cards, phone numbers and cancellation numbers. Everything should be in encrypted PDF files.
– Linda G., CFO
12. An important travel tip to me would be to have a good travel bag, both a carry-on and also when sight-seeing. For the carry on, always put an extra outfit in there just in case your baggage is lost, and also include anything you can’t live without for 24 hours (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.).
– Beth M., Accounting Clerk
13. When walking through a city alone at night, I’ll find a couple or a group of women and walk about ten feet behind them (join the pack!); and I always carry a purse with a zipper, vs. one that is open and easily accessible.
– Kelly C., Regional Sales Director
14. When you’re done using WiFi, don’t forget to disconnect your device from the network. Leaving it connected just leaves more time for potential hackers to gain access. For this same reason, another good habit to get into is asking your device to “forget” places outside your home network so you’re not automatically logged in next time you’re within range.
– Larry Moore, VP of IT
15. Never travel without travel assistance and insurance!
–Sheli B., Director of HR