7 Tips for Easy International Travel

The following was submitted by a listener to Home Gadget Geeks after listening to HGG418. These are excerpts from a much longer list (which I will include in longer post later) based on his own international (and domestic) travel experience. Big thanks to Jim Shoemaker for this contribution to the blog.


                    If you want to actually really and restfully sleep on an overnight flight you will probably need to be in a lie-flat business class seat. If that is not possible, accept that all other experiences will pale by comparison.

Electronic Entertainment

    • Be sure to load all audio guides (e.g. Rick Steve’s) and test them at home before you leave
    • Take Bluetooth headphones along to listen to the guides


    • Understand clearly the fees that you will incur for using your chosen credit card / ATM card
    • Make sure you know your ATM PIN for any cards before you go
    • Never take all your credit cards out of the country
    • Never take a debit card out of the country
    • Exchanging cash for major foreign currency will cost pretty much the same at any airport. If you forget to do it at your point of departure don’t worry about it, do it when you arrive.
    • Many cash conversions are cheaper if you exceed some base amount (e.g. $500), if you are probably going to exchange that much anyway during the trip ask about it
    • Always make credit card purchases in the LOCAL currency, never US$
    • Only take $100 bills to exchange because they have the broadest acceptance


    • Pack light. Exert yourself.
    • Plan to dress in layers
    • Use a minimalist wallet that blocks RFID, leave at home anything that doesn’t fit
    • Test at home anything you plan to wash in a hotel sink during your trip

Photos and Data

    • Know ahead of time how you will back-up photos (videos, data, etc.) during the trip so you don’t lose everything if your phone is lost, stolen, confiscated, ruined, etc.
    • I take two iPhone Flash Drive 64GB USB 3.0 with Charging Support, on major trips: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LLOZF6M.



    • Mainly don’t so stupid stuff
    • Consider leaving all real valuables at home (good watch, wedding ring, jewelry)
    • Don’t take a laptop unless absolutely required, use a tablet instead or even just a phone
    • Use a travel vest or a body pouch
    • My favorite body pouch: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WTHIZT0

Toiletries and Medicines

    • Sleep aids can help a lot with dealing with time-zone changes.
    • My favorite sleep aid: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B012W8WXP2
    • Take at least a two day supply of Imodium and chewable Pepto-Bismol tablets (or generic equivalent). 
    • Take at least 4 Propel electrolyte pouches (Walmart, $1.98 for a 10 pack)


Thanks again to Jim Shoemaker for this contribution to my travel!