Here is a tip: if you want to make your fellow friends, relatives, and passengers unhappy the one thing that will hold up everything is the person who is rooting through their bags for their sea pass card and excursion tickets.
Ladies, those bottomless wonders we call purses, handbags, and pocketbooks. Do you need three pairs of glasses, your grandchildren’s picture, a keychain with enough keys to unlock every house in your community?
Oh yes, don’t forget your car keys, your airline tickets, and of course, every piece of paper that you have received since you boarded the cruise ship. You know that you will need that old brochure from the last port of call, the flyer for the art show, and yes, the endless free port of call gift coupons.
Oh, don’t forget to take the ten-page shore excursion bråochure with you along with every excursion ticket you bought to include the stubs. Now, they are handy to have. Don’t forget to bring your Medicare card, Petco card, and COSTO card. Maybe you might want to pick up 50 lbs. of dog food for FeFe. Amongst all this, you have buried your sea pass identification card. Now you had a lanyard to hang your sea pass card. Furthermore, now that’s buried along with your daily excursion ticket.
When you are traveling, you must show that you are confident; know what you are doing at all times. A sign of weakness will draw the wrong type of people to you. No savvy traveler will lug around a traditional purse on board ship. What this says to everyone else is that you carry your valuables with you, and you are an easy mark.
Unfortunately, the people who carry huge purses also take large sums of cash and bring all their valuables and everything else. This is what a safe is for on the ship.
I have been on at least 50 cruises, if not more, and have never had anything stolen on board ship. I am not saying that it does not happen as you are in a floating city, in some cases, thousands of people.
19 ways to make your holiday safe, comfortable, have value, and be unique.
1. Take 100 one-dollar bills for tips, drinks, and potty money. Please keep it in the safe and only take out a few dollars each day for shore excursions, not all countries will accept American dollars, so do get local currency and understand the exchange rate.
2. Leave your cards in the safe. Have a prepaid charge card of say $500.00 that you use for purchases. Stolen or lost, you are only out $500.00. (Check out your travel insurance on what to do.)
3. Jewelry whether it is costume or real leave it in the safe on-board ship.
4. Cameras and other electronics keep in a pouch and only take it out to use it.
5. Always be aware of your surroundings- texting and talking on an iPhone; you are asking for trouble.
6. Be careful of who or what you take a picture of know the law and expect to pay a fee.
7. Countries or islands that you may think as safe may not be. Some destinations have had significant floods, hurricanes, and other devastation, which has led to poverty in some areas.
8. Do not go off on your own unless you have recently researched the area and know where it is safe to go.
9. Check the ship’s time; you do not want to be stranded in a foreign port.
10. Dress appropriately for the destination you are visiting- be aware of their culture and customs. Do not assume—especially ladies.
11. Do not wear any religious jewelry or shirts even if you have bought them in that country. The Pope’s picture on a t-shirt is not appropriate. In fact, T-shirts with any print or images should not be worn in some countries.
12. Ladies in some countries traveling alone, you can be harassed.
13. Clean out your purse, take a copy of your passport, your sea pass card, copy of your ship’s newsletter on it you will have emergency numbers to call if needed. Carry a copy of your insurance. Know what to do in an emergency.
14. Beware if you decide to ride a camel or tuk-tuk that you could have to pay to return to the bus. It is best to stay with others when taking local transportation or asked the concierge at your hotel to arrange a limo, Uber, or Taxi. Take the hotel’s business card with you; this will get you back to your hotel if the language is a barrier.
15. Do not except anything for free or allow anyone to put anything on your body. Ignore them and keep walking.
16. Be careful about being taken to a gift shop where you are forced to buy something.
17. Buying fake purses, etc. in some countries, you could be fined or jailed.
18. Common in Europe, a traveler, will be walking down the street and feel something plop on their shoulder — often times a fast-food condiment. Then, a friendly stranger approaches and begins to wipe off the offending mess while stealing your wallet.
19. Before you take any medicine with you, find out what the laws are, or you could end up in jail or a huge fine. You are not in the US; what is legal here may not be in another country. You would be surprised at what is illegal in some countries. You cannot take decongestants into Japan, for example. Winnie the Pooh and blue jeans are not welcome in some regions of China.
Rules and regulations change; do not assume always check the current laws.The way to be safe while traveling is to plan ahead, understand your insurance policy, and know what to do in an emergency. Take time to understand local culture and customs. Learn a few words in their language.
As a widow and senior, I have traveled to all seven continents, and never have I had anything stolen, although, as you know, I did end up with a husband who was hospitalized in a third world country. That was a learning experience. This is WHY I became a specialist in special needs and disabilities and have been selected to be a trip designer with TRIPADVISORs/RECO.
There are two types of travelers: Seasoned, savvy travelers are well-traveled and confident and project an image that they can take care of themselves. They have taken the time to explore and plan, and they will enjoy local life customs and food. If you are reading this, you are a savvy traveler. Novice travelers (tourists) are afraid, weak, have no idea where they are. They usually have several bags and cameras dangling on their arm, which makes them easy targets. You are saying, “Come and get it!” You will most likely find them in tourist areas and eating at tourist restaurants surrounded by tourists. (I was a tourist for years and missed out on so much!)
Today, as a Travel Advisor, I leverage my industry clout to find you value, upgrades, extras, and work tirelessly to protect you from scams and disappointments. I help if troubles arise. Most of all, I make sure that you never waste a penny on a trip that you do not love. After all, it is not much of a bargain if you don’t enjoy it!
There are beautiful and safe emerging destinations to be discovered. 2021-2022 is a great time to travel with planning; you can have a vacation that will exceed all your expectations. (Take it from me a widow and a mother of a murdered child, you may wake up and find that all you have are memories.)
Make your life a glorious adventure that brings you sliding in sideways with champagne in one hand and chocolate in the other, shouting, “Wow! What a Ride!” ~ Sara