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Sarah & Adam — Minted

Sarah

and

Adam

Travel Tips

Important documents

Make 2 copies of your important travel documents, such as your passport. Leave one copy at home with a loved one and take a copy with you.

Should you have any trouble with lost or stolen documents, you will easily have access to backups. 

Packing & Labelling Your Luggage

It's a good idea to put an A4 piece of paper in your luggage with your name and home address on it. Should your luggage get lost in transit, baggage handling teams will ask for 3 distinctive items you packed, so your suitcase can be identified (in case your luggage tag has been pulled off in transit). If you have your name and address easily visible when opening your suitcase, it will save baggage handlers from riffling through your luggage.

Delayed or lost luggage

If your luggage is delayed, you are often able to claim an allowance from the airline you travelled with. Regardless of how quickly they promise to deliver it to you, you can ask for the daily allowance rate and claim process. The allowance can be used for goods that are in your luggage that you would use if it wasn't lost - e.g. toiletries and make up. The rate will be a certain amount per day until your luggage is delivered to you. E.g. $100 for the first 24 hours and an additional $75 for every day thereafter. The airline will generally give you a website where you can upload your receipts. You are able to get the delay allowance regardless of whether you are arriving at a foreign destination or your home country. In the event of a delay, even if you don't need the product in your suitcase, you may as well stock up on some supplies :) 

Damaged luggage

Take photos of your checked luggage prior to departure. When collecting your luggage from the carousel, inspect it for any damage. If damaged, take photos of the issue(s) with your phone as well as a video to show that you are still at the carousel. Go to your airline's desk (in the baggage area) to ask for and complete a “Baggage / Property Irregularity Report”. If the desk is unattended, take a photo so you can show this was the case when you contact the airline.

If there is no one at the desk, contact both the airline that checked your baggage and, if different, the last airline to handle your baggage. Your email should include your name, address, email, details of your travel (date, flight number), your bag tag number (paper sticker placed on luggage at the airport of departure), details of any goods inside your bag that were damaged, and the photos you took. You will generally be given the option to repair or replace the damaged goods. The choice is yours, and you have no obligation to use an airline repair service. 

Bank Travel Alerts

Set up travel alerts with your bank prior to your departure, advising them where you're going and when. This will prevent your bank from putting a freeze on your card for unusual activity. 

Credit Card Fees

Your regular credit or debit card may incur foreign transaction fees. If so, ask your bank if they can provide a travel card that does not incur foreign transaction fees, that you can load money onto.

If you have trouble getting one from your bank, look into getting a Wise Debit Card. It lets you spend anywhere in the world at the real exchange rate, with no transaction fees. https://wise.com/gb/borderless/card

Here is a Wise referral link - wise.com/invite/u/sarahc306


Exchanging Money

A lot of places accept credit cards or chipped debit cards, but it's always good to have local currency on you. Shop around at home for the best rates, such as with your local bank. Their fees will be lower than those offered at the airport.

Exchange rates on purchases

Some efpos and card machines will ask if you want to be charged in local or home currency. Always choose local currency. These live exchange services add +10% transaction fees vs. the live rate.

Tax / VAT Refund

Some purchases made in Europe are eligible for VAT (tax) refunds when you leave the country. You can get the refund for eligible purchases at your departing airport - make sure to leave extra time for this, as the refund line is sometimes long!

Purchase attraction tickets in advance!

A lot of tourist attractions have timed tickets that can be bought in advance. This will save you from waiting in long lines upon arrival.

Some attractions in Portugal require advanced ticket purchases. So check out attraction websites before you go!

Couverts / Appetizers

You will sometimes be offered 'couverts', which are brought to your table before you order a meal - typically bread, cheese, olives, and butter. These are not free. If you don’t want these added items, just tell the server, and they will take them away.

PASSPORT IN HOTEL SAFE

If you plan to leave your passport or valuables in a hotel safe, put one of the shoes you plan to wear when departing in there. People often forget to empty the safe, but you won't walk out with just one shoe!

Beware of scams

Tourists are targeted across Europe by scammers. Watch some YouTube videos prior to travelling so you know what to look out for. Simply search 'common tourist scams Europe'.

Here's an example - www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2lki9nLCs4

Taxis & Ubers

Do not accept rides from people offering them in airports - either Uber or Taxi. Go to the designated taxi rank to get a taxi. Only take Uber's that you have booked yourself through the app.