To celebrate the arrival of summer we're sharing our key travel advice to keep both you and your wallet safe:
You are not invincible. Approach travel with extreme caution. Even reluctant-to-leave travelers, once launched, develop super-women complexes. Not to get all metaphysical, but something about suspending who they are in normal time and space seems to translate into sublimely stupid decision making. Whether it's buying Louboutins because you're in Paris, jewelry you'd never buy at home, looking the wrong way when crossing the street in London, or obliviously wandering into bad neighborhoods, a gal needs to keep her wits about her.
Just because you're on vacation, most people living and working where you're visiting are not on vacation. They're leading their normal lives. One great reason to travel is to learn that the world over, people are people. They may wear different clothes, eat different food, speak different languages, and look different from you, but they run the gamut from good to bad, kind to mean, honest to thieving.
- Traveler beware: you are a target. The out-of-state license plate parked in Austin, the fanny pack, the look of dumbstruck awe on your face at Notre Dame ... be smart. No wandering behind giant maps. No slack jaws. Put your bags in the trunk and assume the urban b*tch's "I live here" look.
In the event of disaster and you lose everything, have no funds, no means of getting to funds, and can't find the American Embassy because you don't speak the language and are too disheveled to use your feminine charm to garner help from a gallant stranger (which you should never do anyway), here's your plan: find the biggest and most expensive hotel in the center of the town or area you are staying. Even though you're not a guest, chances are the manager will get in touch with the embassy and even help you contact your credit card company.
Adapted from the travel section of our book B*tches on a Budget.
Bitches on a Budget is an NAL/Penguin release.