10 Things You Should Always Do When Traveling Overseas

Suggestions for Stress-free Travel
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Suggestions for Stress-free Travel

1-Back Everything Up

One of the most important things for you to do first is to keep both digital and physical copies of your passport, visas, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, serial numbers, and important phone numbers ready to go in case of an emergency.

You may only see these places once in your lifetime. Remember them forever with plenty of photos. Don’t worry about looking like a “tourist”. Great photos are the ultimate souvenir. They don’t cost anything, they’re easy to share and they don’t take up space in your luggage. Just remember once you have your shot to get out from behind the lens and have fun.

Backup your files & photos on an external hard drive as well as online with software like Backblaze. It’s cloud storage that is low cost and easy to use.

Check it out at:

2. Pack Ear Plugs

This should actually be #1 on the list. Muffle the sounds of crying babies, the snoring man seated next to you, barking dogs, honking horns, the people in the next room, and more. They are truly a traveler’s best friend.

Find some at:

3. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

No one ever thinks they’ll get sick, injured, or robbed while traveling. But it happens. With travel insurance you don’t have to worry about huge hospital bills or stolen bags when and if it happens.

Check it out at:


  1. Pack Smart – Avoid the Hassel

What’s in your wallet? Are you going to need your library card when you’re 6,000

miles from your local branch? Before you leave, take the time to go through your wallet and take out everything except the necessities – a universal credit card and a backup, an identification card, an insurance card, etc. Not only will it help you travel lighter, but if your wallet does get lost or stolen, you’ll have far less to replace.

You might also consider a wallet dedicated specifically for travel. If you’re the type of person whose day-to-day wallet is packed with cards, the pockets may be stretched out when you minimize the contents for travel. By having a travel-only wallet, your cards will have snug pockets so they can’t slip out accidentally.


Overweight-luggage fees are usually as hefty the bags that incur them. Some airlines charge upwards of $200 for over-weight suitcases. But those charges are easily avoided if you pack a luggage scale and weigh your bag before arriving at the airport.

This light-weight scale from Travelon costs $10. At:

Other travel suggestion are using a hard-sided sunglasses case to organize phone cords and chargers, store cotton Q-Tipss and bobby pins in an empty pill bottle, use a shower cap to cover dirty shoes, place a cotton pad in compact makeup to prevent cracking, protect your razor blade with a binder clip and place a dryer sheet in shoes so they don’t stink up the rest of your suitcase.

As long as you stay within airlines’ bag-weight limits, you can stuff as much as physically possible into your suitcase. As well you should, since almost every carrier charges for checked bags and the more bags you check, the higher those fees climb.

One simple way to maximize suitcase space is to use a travel compression sac designed to save space by eliminating air surrounding the contents of the bag and doesn’t require use of a vacuum to suck out air. You just stuff the bag and roll to oust air inside.

Find them at:

  1. Surviving while on an Airplane

Once upon a time, airlines provided you with as many edible treats as your grandma. Now, many airlines sell marked-up snacks that you could buy in the store for a whole lot less. On some flights, they charge $5.29 for a bag of spiced nuts – you get the idea. So bring your own snacks (peeled apples or carrots, cream cheese filled celery, bagged candy, crackers, nuts) and save some money.

Whoever said “it’s the journey, not the destination” clearly never sat in the middle seat on an overcrowded flight. This is the perfect time to try out those ear plugs.

Fight back with these comfort items which make the coach-class experience a tiny bit more bearable.

Are you a book devotee?  The e-reader beats books to a pulp when it comes to travel. How else could one cart a virtual library of reading material along with them on a trip? Consider an Audiobook – lean back, close your eyes and just listen as your story unfolds…

Find it at:

Even if you’ve never played tennis or lacrosse, this one is a must. Once you hit a certain age, sitting anywhere for several hours at a time can lead to aches and pains. But sitting in coach class is especially conducive to getting a neck ache, tight shoulders, or stiff back. Buy a tennis or  lacrosse ball and carry it with you wherever you travel. When the aches and pains kick in, pinpoint the tender muscles and use the ball to massage the aches away. It really works!

  1. Cruise Disasters

According to the site Cruise Critic, “As at land-based resorts, laundry and dry-cleaning charges on a cruise can be steep (approximately $2.50 to $3.50 to wash a T-shirt, for instance).” Even if you’re planning to pack enough clothing to avoid using laundry services during your trip, an upturned glass of wine or a leaky bottle in your suitcase could make a mess of your plans.

Pack travel laundry detergent and stain remover to use in case of a spill emergency. We like the Tide Stain Stick Liquid Pens, which fits in a pocket or purse and, at less than 3.4 ounces, is carry-on compliant. We also recommend Travelon’s Laundry Soap Sheets; they’re not a liquid, so they’re okay to bring on a plane.

  1. Avoid The Burn

If you’re traveling to a place where sunscreen is compulsory, like a beach resort in Florida or California, any sunblock for sale in local shops will probably be expensive. And 3.4 ounces (the maximum bottle size the TSA permits in carry-on luggage) of Coppertone won’t likely be enough for a good week of heavy-duty sun rays. The cost effective solution is to order solid  sunscreen online, before your trip. Neutrogena and Coppertone both offer stick sunscreen, which is allowed on a plane in any amount since it’s not a liquid (and it will never leak all over your stuff.)

Find it at:

  1. Regarding your Cash

Even if you disregard all other advice about carrying money, take this tip to heart:

Keep the majority of your cash in the hotel’s safe. Most have one and safe guarding your money should be one of your priorities. Also, whenever possible, divvy up your travel cash and even credit cards into multiple safe spots. If you’ve got all your money in one place, it only takes one time for a thief to ruin your vacation.

Under-clothing storage accessories have come a long way since neck pouches and money belts came onto the scene. Though those classics are still in favor, newer options include bra stashes, as well as long johns, underwear, and undershirts with built-in pockets for safe storage. On-body storage accessories are particularly useful if you’re sleeping somewhere that doesn’t have a secure place for cash and other valuables. And if you think a fanny pack is a substitute for a money belt, realize it can actually make you more vulnerable since it marks you as a tourist.

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9. Treat Your Body Well

Travel can throw your body out of whack. When you’re moving from place to place it’s difficult to maintain a workout routine, and many of us slack off. Or we don’t sleep enough. Or we eat too many desserts – or Salt Water Taffies. You know the drill.

Remember to be kind to your body. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat healthily, use sunscreen, and exercise often. And, yes, skipping desserts too I guess.(But, never pass up Salt Water Taffy.)

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  1. Stay In Touch

Remember to call your family and friends from time to time. Maybe surprise them and go old-school by sending a postcard and maintain a strong connection with the people who matter.

Shop in the US for Your Trip

When shopping for your trip or anytime, be sure to give the merchant your US shipping address. Sign up for one at Pacxo and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that we will handle the rest for you. We will inspect each shipment, combine them in a cost effective way, and they will be at your doorstep, before you can say “Pacxo Delivers”.

Donna Bedrick is a SEO and content copywriter. A native Philadelphia PA suburbanite, her Blogs are a labor of love. She has written feature articles for national magazines and local newspapers. Under her pen-name, she has authored six full length suspense-thriller books.

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