Twelve Trivial Travel Tips

The multi-useful miracle baking soda.In no particular order of importance, here are twelve random travel tips for you to consider:

Don’t leave a tip in New Zealand – it’s often taken as an insult if you do.

Take your own toilet tissue with you to foreign bathrooms, where it can be otherwise scarce, expensive, or too coarse for your comfort. It never hurts to grab a few extra paper napkins from Starbucks or McDonalds to keep in your back pocket.

Haggling is often the rule outside the US. Never pay “asking” price without trying for a reduction.

The Dewey Decimal System is not used in libraries world-wide, so anticipate much browsing time in some countries.

In Italy, bars are required by law to give free water to whomever asks.

An International driver’s licence is often recognized when your local license is not, so it’s a wise move to get one.

The emergency phone number in the US and Canada is 9-1-1. Across the European Union and for all GSM phones, the emergency number is 1-1-2. This also applies in Britain and Ireland, as well as their own 9-9-9. Some Caribbean islands also use 9-9-9. The Australian number is 0-0-0. In parts of East Asia, the number is 1-1-9. The number in New Zealand is 1-1-1, but if you dial 9-1-1, it will be forwarded to the 1-1-1 exchange.

Do you have an allergy or medical condition to consider at international eateries? Visit to create and print free Allergy Warning cards to present to waiters.

Trade is as easy as spending cash in many countries. Your sunglasses, shoes, T-shirt, aspirin, CDs, deck of Atlantic City souvenier playing cards, and basically anything that could be wanted, needed, or resold can be used as money.

Open a PayPal account and leave some money in it before traveling. In case of emergency, you can withdraw funds in local currency or pay bills directly.

Be prepared to convert more than just your power source. You may need audio or video conversion, car battery to AC, or telephone adaptors. Try a site like for helpful suggestions.

Take along a box of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Sprinkle on sheets to keep cooler and dryer, in shoes and clothes to deodorize, as well as under your arms. It relieves minor itching from insect bites, poison ivy and bacterial infection, and kills small insects. Baking soda is an effective antacid, fabric softener, tooth paste, drain de-greaser, and dish stain remover. It can also purify contact lenses, prevent flatuencce, and extinguish fires.

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