Travel Tips

Adding Data to a Local SIM Card in Latin America

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Some of you travelers who are on a budget or are staying in a country for a long while might choose to use an unlocked smart phone and a local SM card for the most economical phone/text/data plan.  What do you do when your card runs out of minutes or data?


You need a refill or recharge.  Depending on the country, sometimes that involves logging on to your account and adding money.  In other places, you can buy extra minutes/data in the form of a scratch off lottery card.  You buy the card, call the number on it, and then enter the scratch off code.  You are all set.


If you are traveling in a larger city, you will usually find a phone store where you can do this easily.  Smaller towns may not have a phone store.  What do you do there?


Look for a corner store or a small grocery with the sign displaying the word “recargas” or “recarga aqui.”   It means “refills” or “recharges.”  That’s what you call the extra phone data in Latin America.


A store with a sign like this will hook you up.


Baggage Claim

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In this post, Ed talks about some of the dangers present in the baggage claim area of a third world airport.  He’s right.  Lots of shady characters hang out there.  Be careful.


Baggage Claim


Two more tips:

1- Keep you baggage claim tickets.  In third world countries there are often security guards who compare the tags on your luggage with the tickets as you exit the baggage claim area.  Not having the claim ticket will cause a big hassle.


2- As soon as you clear baggage claim, rip off the luggage tags and throw them away.  You don’t want scam artists working the airport to know your name or the flight you were on.


In some countries, criminals will casually survey the luggage tags, and then google the names.  If they find someone who is wealthy or has a prominent position in a large company, they will follow that person and “arrange” transportation for them in the taxi queue.  That transportation will be taking them straight into a robbery or kidnapping.



Female Travel Safety Tips

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This is quality safety advice for solo female travelers.  Male travelers would benefit by following most of these rules as well.


31 Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers from the Experts


Travel Photographs

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I caution in my book about taking photographs of government officials or police when traveling.


Here are a couple of real-life examples of how travelers got themselves into trouble with their cameras in foreign countries.


What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Difficult Travel

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My long time friend Dr. Rand Blimes created a travel blog to document his family’s year-long adventures while traveling through Asia.


Rand is an engaging writer and if you like travel, you’ll enjoy his stories. This article is one of his best pieces of work.


Why We Travel to Difficult Places

Additional Step to Leave Cancun Starting Today

Additional Step to Leave Cancun Starting Today 683 576 Greg Ellifritz

Starting today, any travelers visiting the Mexican state of Q. Roo (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tuluum) have to pay an $11 departure tax before leaving.  This tax IS NOT included in your plane ticket like most other taxes.

You can either pay the tax online or at an airport kiosk.  See the article below for more details.


Visitors To Cancun Must Pay New Tourist Tax Starting April 1

Everything is an Adventure

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I’m outside the USA (generally in some third world place most would consider hell) about six weeks a year.

The screwed up travel situations that I’ve encountered could fill books. How do I stay sane?

The same as this guy: “the real secret is that I treat my life as an adventure.”


Stress Free Travel: How to Avoid Travel Mistakes

Passport Photos

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A very cheap option for getting some extra passport photos.


I keep a few extra photos taped to the inside back cover of my passport. You never know when you might want to go on an unplanned adventure and will need a photo or two to get your visa at a land border crossing.


Passport Photos Are Expensive, But They Don’t Have to Be

Cultural Differences

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Fluent in Three Months is the best language learning site on the web.


Benny makes it a project to move to a different country every few months and learn the language as quickly as possible.


He’s listed some interesting cultural customs from each of the countries where he has lived. If you are interested in travel or foreign culture, check this article out.


The 23 strangest habits you’ll pick up after living in 23 different countries

Safe Hotel Rooms

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