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5 Travel Tips for Your Next International Trip

Travel Fail - my bed at the ticketing area of JFK, after a canceled flight out of Newark.  Until you have to, don't leave the comforts of the "gated community" that is past security at any airport.

As I was preparing for my next trip to India, I combed through my saved travel hacks on Pinterest. Follow my Did It board to see which hacks I used on this trip. And in the meantime, here are a few of my favorite tips imparted to me by expert travelers, and a few that I have “discovered” along the way.

  • Currency withdrawals: Anybody who knew me in India knew my covetous behavior surrounding 10 rupee bills.  Not unique to India, small bills can be hard to come by. And not possessing small bills can get you a step closer to being overcharged or not completing your transaction at all. Somewhere along the way in India, a friend shared the wisdom of getting the ATM to spit out some small bills by withdrawing 9,900 rupees instead of 10,000. Miraculous things happen.
  • AC dorm rooms all to yourself: I cannot attest to the success of this in many places, but I have found that when, during a cooler season I pay a few extra dollars per night for an AC dorm room, I get that room all to myself.
  • Travel belt: This wouldn’t be a Linen Feast blog post without the shameless promotion of one of my goodies. I designed these belts all by my little, and I wear mine all over the place, with pants, dresses, sometimes I just wear the belt. No, I don’t do that. Yet.
  • Festival Sherpa: A few years ago when I was in Rajasthan with my family, there was a huge sign at the Mehrangarh Fort indicating that a flamenco and Rajasthani music festival had just taken place. Two years later, as I hunted for this festival, I stumbled upon Festival Sherpa, the go-to resource for festivals all over the world. This article led me to the RIFF Festival in Jodhpur, a truly magical Rajasthani experience.
  • Return ticket through _______: If you like to leave things slightly open but have a need to buy a round trip ticket, make your return ticket through a city where you might want to hop off.  One stopover in a great city + some frequent flier miles could be all you need for hacking some air travel flexibility. On my last trip to India, when I called to change my return ticket (to make some stops in Europe), I was told that it would be cheaper for me to purchase a new, one way ticket than to pay the change fees and the fare difference. The agent suggested instead that I take the first leg of my original itinerary, and then skip the second flight, and sort it out on my own from there. Total cost: $200 + 15,000 miles to visit friends in Denmark, Portugal, and Spain.

If you try any of these or if you have any of your own, please share in the comments section!

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