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5 Things You Should Do Before You Plan Your International Travel

5 Things You Should Do Before You Plan Your International Travel

Do you like traveling? Or are you the kind of person who has to travel frequently? If your answer is yes, then here are some safety tips that you should follow before you make your plans to travel abroad.

1. Familiarize Yourself

First of all, before making any plans for your international travel, try to familiarize yourself with the country that you intend to visit. How is the country that you plan to visit? Any kinds of political instability? How are the crime levels and terrorism threats? Would you be putting your safety at risk visiting such country? How bad is the language barrier? For instance, if you intend to visit China and don’t know anything about the Chinese language, you need to make sure you’re going to have at least one or two tour guides, as very few people speak English in China.

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Try to familiarize yourself also with any travel warnings that has been issued for the country you are planning to visit. For example, if you are touring in India by train, you can check your PNR status online so you’ll be able to know your travel information, journey details, stop points, or waiting list status.

2. Know Where Your Embassy Or Consulate Is

If you plan to leave for any international destination, you should also check where the location of your embassy is in the country that you’re visiting. It will always be in your best interest to be able to contact your embassy or consulate in case of any emergency – at least it will make things a lot easier and safer if you are able to determine where your embassy or consulate is.

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3. Check The Latest Exchange Rate

It is also very important to know about current exchange rates. Do not assume that US dollars can be used anywhere. Most of the people in foreign countries do not take US dollars, so it is always better to exchange currency right before you visit a destination. You can exchange currency also upon arrival at the airport, but don’t roam around trying to exchange dollars for local currency – you’ll then be attracting local thugs towards you.

4. Be Acquainted With The Locals And Their Culture

After you make sure currency is not going to be any problem, the next thing you need to know is about local laws and culture. You sure don’t want to land into trouble just because you didn’t know the culture. If you’re visiting Japan, the best practice to greet is by bowing and not giving your hand. It is very important to learn basic culture to get better acquainted in a foreign land. If you are going somewhere in Central America, learning a little bit of local language for general terms is also highly recommended especially if you plan to rent out in any Panama, Belize, or Costa Rica real estate or vacation houses and have a longer vacation.

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5. Secure Necessary Documents

Make sure you have all the required documents to travel a foreign country such as Passport, Visa, and any pertaining information or letters that are important to enter a country.

After everything is arranged, before you leave, make sure you have done the necessary precautions to secure your home, such as installing good locks in your entrance-ways and other proper home security products. It is highly recommended to give your trustworthy neighbors your contact information when abroad so that they can contact you in any case of emergency.

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Needless to say, while traveling, you need to be extremely vigilant and aware of your surroundings and your belongings. If a situation can be avoided, learn how to avoid rather than confront each and every situation and invite trouble. Remember, things do not always go as you plan, so it is always a good practice to remain silent and be safe, especially when you are traveling abroad. Instead of dealing with “unwanted” people directly, try to report to an authorized person immediately to tackle a situation.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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