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13 People To Notify Before You Travel Abroad

13 People To Notify Before You Travel Abroad

International travel has never been easier. Online information abounds, and it’s no longer a problem to stay connected to life back home while you’re across the border or across the pond. However, making the necessary arrangements before you go can be a daunting task, and minor details can often be overlooked.

You’ll still need to have a plan and make some phone calls before you go, to make the most of your vacation and ensure you don’t end up in a bind far from home. Here is a list of the 13 companies and people you should contact before traveling abroad in order to have a stress-free holiday and an uninterrupted, fabulous time!

1. Boss/Job

Office Desk Laptop - Better

    With most jobs, you’ll need to arrange time off of work with your boss or human resources department and provide plenty of notice. Depending on your industry, you may need to arrange for a temp in your absence or outline a working arrangement if you plan to maintain contact during your travels.

    2. Mail Delivery Service

    The Mailbox - Best

      If you’re traveling for several weeks or longer, it’s best to stop your mail in the interim. Avoid the lines at the post office and go online to the USPS website to take care of this quickly! The post office will simply hold your mail for you until you return.

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      3. Newspaper Company

      Newspaper Doorstep

        For extended travel, stopping a daily newspaper delivery is wise. Potential thieves see opportunity when newspapers pile up on your doorstep – a sure sign that you’re not home, making you an easy target for a burglary.

        4. Landlord

        Keys In A Row

          Letting your landlord know you’ll be away is helpful should there be an emergency like a fire or a pipe bursting. They’ll know to step in immediately and understand why they may not be able to reach you right away.

          5. Neighbor

          Houses

            Like notifying your landlord, it’s good to let a trusted neighbor know that you’ll be away should they notice anything out of the ordinary at your home, like a car parked in the driveway or lights on that shouldn’t be. You could also enlist your neighbor to water any plants while you’re gone as well; just remember to return the favor for them!

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            6. Credit Card Company

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              Notifying the credit card companies of the cards you plan to use abroad is a key phone call to make before your trip. Credit card companies automatically suspect fraud when there’s activity outside of your home country, and if they can’t get a hold of you right away to verify a transaction, they may freeze the card as a result – leaving you with limited resources to pay for food, transport, and incidentals.

              7. Bank/Debit Card Company

              Bank Cash

                This is another critical phone call or stop in to make. Alerting your bank so they are aware that you will be traveling will lessen the chance of any problems at the ATM machines or cash registers while you’re away from home.

                8. Cell Phone Carrier

                Texting In NYC

                  Signing up for an international plan could save you hundreds of dollars if you need to stay connected while abroad. Data, phone, and text plans are available with most cell phone carriers, and they can generally be implemented at any date and time. Just be sure to check if the plans are prorated: cutting a plan short could lead to overages and higher costs.

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                  9. Pet Sitter

                  SONY DSC

                    For your furry ones, be sure to make arrangements and a backup plan in case of an emergency. Provide the name of your local vet along with feeding and caring instructions for the sitter. Ensure you have plenty of food and treats as well, and leave behind a scented piece of clothing or a blanket to reassure your pet that you’re coming back soon!

                    10. Health Insurance Provider

                    Healthcare

                      Not all health insurance covers international travel. Determine what you need from your health insurance company before you travel and adjust your policy if needed, or obtain traveler’s insurance for your trip. Just call the number on the back of your health insurance card to inquire.

                      11. Friend/Relative

                      Friend CharNick

                        Let a trusted friend or relative know of your travel plans: all travel dates, specifically where you’re going, and where you’re staying. That way if you unexpectedly don’t come home when you were supposed to return, you have someone who’s already aware of the basic facts and can better provide assistance.

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                        12. Consulate/Embassy/State Department

                        US Flag Embassy

                          If you’re traveling to a country that has experienced unrest in recent months, it’s wise and in your best interest to inform the State Department and embassy of your plans, as well as provide the addresses for where you’ll be and how you can be reached. This way if something happens in the place you’re visiting, they can contact you quickly and get you to safety. Notifying these governmental agencies also helps if you lose your passport. Visit here to register under the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

                          13. High-Demand Tours Necessary to Book in Advance

                          Last Supper Full

                            Want to take in views of New York City and climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty’s Crown? You’ll need to book several weeks in advance for a Saturday afternoon. Dying to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper, in Milan, Italy? You’re potentially looking at a several-month wait for a prime weekend slot. Book tickets for high-demand events online before you go, and save yourself a long wait at the entrance, too.

                            Featured photo credit: Nora Eränpalo/Holiday Started via flic.kr

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                            Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                            • (1) Research
                            • (2) Deciding the topic
                            • (3) Creating the outline
                            • (4) Drafting the content
                            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                            • (6) Revision
                            • (7) etc.

                            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                            2. Change Your Environment

                            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                            6. Get a Buddy

                            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                            Reality check:

                            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                            More About Procrastination

                            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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