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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 January 14, 2019

                            7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

                            7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

                            From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

                            What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

                            1. Take the scenic route.

                            Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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                            Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

                            2. Distract yourself.

                            No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

                            3. Listen to music or podcasts.

                            There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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                            4. Bring a friend.

                            Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

                            Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

                            5. Accessorize.

                            There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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                            For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

                            6. Compete.

                            A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

                            7. Relax.

                            The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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                            With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

                            Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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