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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 May 21, 2019

                            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                            Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                            Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                            Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                            1. Stress Eating

                            I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                            While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                            I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                            If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                            How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                            2. Nail Biting

                            Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                            People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                            Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                            For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                            3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                            We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                            Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                            Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                            4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                            Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                            While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                            Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                            Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                            5. Smoking

                            Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                            In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                            Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                            Smoking risks

                              6. Excessive Drinking

                              All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                              According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                              • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                              • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                              • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                              • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                              • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                              If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                              If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                              7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                              Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                              If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                              A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                              “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                              And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                              While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                              Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                              Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                              8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                              There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                              In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                              Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                              Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                              9. Watching Too Much TV

                              I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                              Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                              Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                              It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                              10. Being Late

                              Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                              Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                              Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                              11. Being in Bad Relationships

                              Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                              I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                              Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                              12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                              Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                              Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                              Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                              By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                              Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                              13. Focusing on the Negatives

                              In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                              Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                              Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                              And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                              The Bottom Line

                              So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                              Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                              Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                              Reference

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