The biggest event is that I am now a Grandpa with the arrival of Atticus Wyatt Beckham at 4:39 PM on May 17th after Jessica had a 32 1/2 hour labor. He weighs in at 9 lbs 2 oz. and is 21". Jessica and Joshua are tired but very happy and relieved. We visited them today just before I head off to Moscow on Sunday. I am so happy for them, and I will enjoy getting to know him when I return in August. Just think, my pack weighs less than Atticus.
I just got my Lufthansa boarding passes from SEA to Frankfurt and then on to Moscow. I have an aisle seat on the long flight to Frankfurt and a window seat going from Frankfurt to Moscow.
Gary Steiger runs the Frequent Flyer Miles website which has lots of tips and provides updated information on changes to all of the frequent flyer programs.
Rick Ingersoll runs the Frugal Travel Guy website which also has lots of travel tips on how to maximize your travel experience using a whole variety of programs.
- accident and sickness medical expenses $10,000
- baggage and personal effects $1,000
- baggage delay $150
- emergency evacuation $100,000
- travel medical assistance included
- trip cancellation $1,500
- trip interruption $1,500
- 24/7 travel assistance included
When you use your credit card for travel purchases, there are a number of benefits you may qualify for including collision coverage for car rentals, trip delays and/or cancellation, up to accidental death benefits, etc.
You can see how the travel insurance provides me with monetary benefits in case of injuries or illnesses.
Here are some additional measures I have taken to avoid illnesses or lessen the impact of illnesses or injuries.
I have immunizations for the following: yellow fever, polio, meningitis, typhoid, tetnus, flu, and shingles.
I carry the following medicines and first aid: Cipro, neosporin, aspirin, ibuprofen, sudafed, imodium, bandaids, needle, and handiwipes.
I use a steripen--UV light--to purify all water I drink.
I carry about $200 in US dollars, mostly in $20s with $10 of one dollar bills that I use only in emergency situations when ATM machines are not available.
My major source of local currency is to use ATM machines which are increasingly found in most large cities. Sometimes I find out that one type of bank ATM doesn't work so I find another one that does. It is essential that you do not lose your ATM card.
However, if you lose your card or the ATM machine swallows it as happened to me in Malaysia, you can still get cash advances from your credit cards, but with a very high fee. I carry the Chase Sapphire Visa and AMEX Delta Gold credit cards, and both of these have no foreign transaction fee. However, local merchants often times charge up to 3% for the priviledge of using credit cards. With AMEX I can get up to a $4,000 cash advance and with Chase it is a $6,400 cash advance.
Travelers checks are now fairly obsolete because you pay a service fee for the checks, generally have to go inside the banks, wait in the queues, and then get possibly more local currency than you need for your remaining stay in that country.
Although I am still cutting out sections of some of my travel guides for the major cities I am staying at, I am increasingly relying on downloading the Lonely Planet Guides to my mini iPad. I have also downloaded sections of the Seat61 guides for train travel in Russia, China, Vietnam, and Thailand.
My mini iPad has just the wi fi feature which I can use to access all other types travel information whenever I find a wi fi hot spot. I can make hostel or hotel reservations using my wi fi. I do not use a cell phone, nor do I use my mini iPad to navigate my way around town, however, many travelers find this mapping feature very useful.