travel tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8106/all en-US 25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-4181367-small.jpg" alt="traveler" title="traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody has their own travel style, along with preferred systems and tricks to make it easier, quicker, safer, and more enjoyable. But don't just ask me: I've asked the hardcore travel community to share their own travel secrets. Here are the 25 best secrets of these frequent travelers around the world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less">Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Research and Booking</h2> <p>Here are some tips for booking cheaply and expediently, as well as taking the pain out of researching your travel arrangements.</p> <h3>1. Clear Your Cookies</h3> <p>Sofie Couwenbergh of <a href="http://www.wonderfulwanderings.com/">Wonderful Wanderings</a> is keen to the tricks of sneaky booking sites, who store cookies on your computer. &quot;Booking websites 'remember' what you came looking for, so when you come back to look at that hotel room/rental car/flight a second time, they'll often show you higher prices to urge you to book quickly. That's why I always search booking sites in an incognito browser window.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Use Trip Advisor</h3> <p>Sofie also swears by <a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.803241&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1">Trip Advisor</a> to get travel advice from locals. &quot;They'll often be able to give you information you won't find in guide books.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Outsource the Legwork</h3> <p>Lea Woodward has lived and traveled around the world for years. If researching transport and accommodation is too time consuming, she says: outsource it! &quot;The travel hackers over at <a href="http://www.flightfox.com/">Flightfox</a> take the legwork out of finding the cheapest/best flight options and can save you masses of time, and I use <a href="https://www.fancyhands.com/">Fancy Hands</a> to do all my initial travel research.&quot; (If you're new to outsourcing, here is how Lea started: <a href="http://www.leawoodward.com/20-tasks-control-freaks-can-outsource/">20 Tasks Control Freaks Can Outsource</a>)</p> <h3>4. Join the Cartel</h3> <p>The Travel Hacking Cartel, that is! Take the pain out of searching for frequent flyer mile deals by subscribing to a service that sends you timely alerts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free?ref=seealso">Travel Hacking Cartel: Fly Around the World for Almost Free</a>)</p> <h3>5. Look to Trover for Ideas</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete Heck of <a href="http://www.hecktictravels.com/">Hecktic Travels</a> get their inspiration from <a href="http://www.trover.com/">Trover</a>. &quot;It has oodles of juicy photography and off-the-beaten-path &quot;discoveries&quot; that we would never have found otherwise. It's fun to also share our tips there too!&quot;</p> <h3>6. Check Out Skyscanner for Options</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete also like to know all their options with <a href="http://www.skyscanner.com/">Skyscanner</a>. &quot;We just plug in our current location with &quot;Anywhere&quot; as our destination and see what comes up! Sometimes, it decides our next trip for us based on the cheapest flight.&quot;</p> <h3>7. Bid on Hotels</h3> <p>Matthew Bailey of <a href="http://www.livelimitless.net/">Live Limitless</a> knows that sometimes, you just need some hotel luxury. &quot;When visiting major cities and feeling the need to splurge, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10370045">Priceline</a> has always worked for half price 4-star hotels. Just use the &quot;Name Your Own Price&quot; function, bid low, and have fun waiting to see what hotel you won!&quot;</p> <h3>8. Track Airfare</h3> <p>Use tools like Yapta and Fare Compare to track the price of your airfare and snap it up at the right time. You might even be eligible for a refund if the price drops after you buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy?ref=seealso">How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare Even After You Buy</a>)</p> <h3>9. Strike While the Iron is Hot</h3> <p>Cailin O'Neil of <a href="http://www.travelyourself.ca/">Travel Yourself</a> says don't ponder that deal for too long. &quot;When you find a too good to be true deal book it right away. It probably won't get cheaper, and the cheap price probably won't last long.&quot;</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/travsec-160512113-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Saving Money on Tours and Accommodation</h2> <p>Once you arrive, there's still money to be spent. Here are some ways to stem the flow.</p> <h3>1o. Free Local Guides</h3> <p>Janice Waugh of <a href="http://solotravelerblog.com/">Solo Traveler</a> uses the <a href="http://www.globalgreeternetwork.info/">Global Greeter Network</a> to find free local guides. &quot;In Paris I enjoyed a three hour tour with a local and then, to my surprise, was invited to her home for lunch.</p> <h3>11. House Sitting</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete Heck use house sitting as a mainstay for their full-time travel lifestyle. &quot;Not only have we saved thousands upon thousands of dollars by living rent-free, we also get to have a completely different and unique experience wherever we are visiting.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso">10 Tips for Landing the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h2>Packing Secrets</h2> <p>Packing is a hot topic in the travel community! When you live out of your luggage, you need to have a system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso">15 Packing Secrets from a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <h3>12. Choose Synthetic</h3> <p><a href="http://www.matt-gibson.org/">Matt Gibson</a> swears by synthetics. &quot;Pack clothing made of synthetic materials. They tend to pack smaller, wrinkle less, dry faster, and repel stains better than cotton.&quot;</p> <h3>13. Go Carry-On</h3> <p>The weight of your luggage is directly proportionate to misery while you travel. Traveling with carry-on luggage only is liberating, and don't tell me it isn't possible: I now travel full-time with carry-on only. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list?ref=seealso">Make Flying Easy: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing List</a>)</p> <h3>14. Packing Cubes</h3> <p>Alexandra Jimenez of <a href="http://www.travelfashiongirl.com/">Travel Fashion Girl</a> also roams the world full time with carry-on luggage only, attributing her success to packing cubes (as do many of the travelers interviewed here). &quot;They help compress my clothing, maximize minimal space, and organize my bag.&quot;</p> <h3>15. Roll It Up</h3> <p>Cailin O'Neil also travels with carry-on only. Her secret: rolling. &quot;Roll everything up to save space, and also, take only half of what you think you need.&quot;</p> <h3>16. Stuff Shoes</h3> <p>Sofie Couwenbergh (like many frequent travelers interviewed here) stuffs her shoes with socks. &quot;It'll save you some space and your shoes won't lose their shape when they're stuffed into your bag.&quot;</p> <h3>17. Reusable Packing List</h3> <p>Worried you're missing something? Sofie doesn't; &quot;Create a list with all the things you need to pack for every trip (toothbrush, medicine, money) and save it on your computer. You can just print it out or go over it for every trip. You'll never forget something again.&quot;</p> <h3>18. Bring a Head Lamp</h3> <p>Matthew Bailey swears by his head lamp. &quot;I can't count the amount of times it has come in handy, both in the wild outdoors and inside.&quot;</p> <h3>19. Coordinate Everything</h3> <p>This is especially important if you're traveling with carry-on only. Everything must match! Choose two to three complimentary colours (including shoes); you'll have significantly more outfit combinations, ability to layer in varying temperatures, and you'll always look like a star.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/travsec-466699017-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Tricks While You're on the Move</h2> <p>Although we all love travel, few of us like the actual traveling part of it, which can be fraught with delays and annoyances. Here's how frequent travelers navigate them.</p> <h3>20. Be Ready for Security Checks</h3> <p>Cailin O'Neil is always ready to clear security quickly. &quot;Have your liquids easily reachable if not already in your hand. Have your boarding card and ID in your hand, and have your laptop out as well.&quot; She also suggests easily removable shoes and skipping the belt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=seealso">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a>)</p> <h3>21. Call the Hotel to Reserve</h3> <p>Unless the hotel offers a screaming deal online, frequent travelers know to call to make a booking, and that rates are negotiable. Even if you're standing around the corner at the last-minute, you'll get a better deal if you phone rather than walk in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel?ref=seealso">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</a>)</p> <h3>22. Be Smartphone Savvy</h3> <p>Most of the frequent travelers interviewed here extolled the virtues of their smartphone, wondering how they survived before. Jeannie Mark of <a href="http://www.nomadicchick.com/">Nomadic Chick</a> says she can't live without hers. &quot;I use it for emailing, social media, communication (texting, calling), typing notes, directions, an alarm, a clock, recording voice notes, translator &mdash; everything short of using it for eating. I love my laptop, but my phone is the bomb.&quot;</p> <h2>Staying Safe and Healthy</h2> <p>Travel is hard on the body, and taxing on the brain. Here are some secrets to hedge against theft, illness, and travel fatigue.</p> <h3>23. USB Stick Trick</h3> <p>This is my (not quite patented) travel safety secret; I store an encrypted database on a USB stick containing all my passwords, pictures of my ID, phone numbers to call in case of loss or theft of bank/credit cards, my insurance policy, and more. I keep the USB stick, along with a small amount of cash and an extra credit card, stashed in a little pocket worn underneath my clothing. That way if I'm robbed of absolutely everything, I can still get to my consulate and have recourse. (See also: <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/07/financial-travel-tip-38-total-travel-protection-with-the-usb-stick-trick/">Total Travel Protection With the USB Stick Trick</a>)</p> <h3>24. Fend Off &quot;Delhi Belly&quot; With Probiotics</h3> <p>You want to enjoy the local cuisine, but it may come at a cost. Lea Woodward always takes probiotics when she travels. &quot;80% of your immune system is in your gut, so keeping your digestive system healthy is a great way to keep your immune system strong.&quot; (See her other tips: <a href="http://locationindependent.com/how-to-stay-healthy-when-you-travel/">How to Stay Healthy When You Travel</a>)</p> <h3>25. Go Slow</h3> <p>Like me, Dalene and Pete Heck are fans of slow travel. &quot;Trying to race around the world to knock sights off a bucket-list is draining, expensive, and doesn't let you really experience a country. Slow travel is so much more rewarding!&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-amazing-affordable-vacations-travel-slowly?ref=seealso">For Amazing, Affordable Vacations, Travel Slowly</a>)</p> <p><em>What's your travel secret? Spill it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel frequent flyers travel secrets travel tips Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:36:36 +0000 Nora Dunn 1127329 at http://www.wisebread.com Truly Offbeat Budget Travel Tips http://www.wisebread.com/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-resources.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s the new year and you want to get your travel on, only your wallet isn&rsquo;t working for you. You&rsquo;re scrimping and saving, even though you&rsquo;re unsure about where or even how you can travel during your vacation. It&rsquo;s time to veer off the traditional travel trails and into a more localized experience &ndash; even if you journey to a destination far from home.</p> <p>There are tons of ways to save money and experience a new culture &ndash;sometimes for free &ndash; by exploring the local terrain, be it an urban, bucolic, or rugged outdoors location. And the best way to find out where the real deals are is to ask the locals &ndash; they know where the good (and cheap) stuff is.</p> <p>Here are some local digs that offer sweet information about where to stay and what to do while you&rsquo;re there.</p> <p><strong>Hostels: </strong>Not just a place to crash. The front desk at any hostel offers a plethora of local information, from where to find the best pubs to where to check out local dance performances. For instance, a whirl through San Francisco found me hanging at the San Francisco Fisherman&rsquo;s Wharf hostel in Fort Mason right near Golden Gate Park. Not only did the front desk hand me a detailed map off all of the local public transportation routes, but they also told me where the nearest parks, cafes, and libraries were. In fact, they gave me enough information to occupy me for days and for a relatively small amount of money. Plus, hostel staff members are usually very friendly and informative. Just ask them about what you&rsquo;re looking for and they&rsquo;ll tell you. Don&rsquo;t forget to check the bulletin boards for local events. </p> <p><strong>Yahoo Groups: </strong>A virtual hangout spot teeming with people who know about your destination. With a regional directory of groups, you can surf on through here and find out what&rsquo;s happening in different spots around the world. Want to know about things to do in Botswana or how to find romance in Germany? There&rsquo;s a group for it somewhere in there.&nbsp; Join up and start asking questions.</p> <p><strong>Local papers: </strong>Not the big city kind; the ultra-local neighborhood papers will serve you better here. The last time I hit a big American city and needed the low down on what to do, I grabbed a few papers from the stands on the streets. The hyper-local ones provide the best details on local restaurants, museums, and parks. As an added bonus, you get a feel for what the place is like and how much time you want to spend there. </p> <p><strong>Local libraries: </strong>More than a research facilities or places to pick up the latest fiction for free, these are information powerhouses on the local front. In fact, a few years ago, I rolled on out to Bali and kicked it in Ubud for a few weeks. While I was there, I was getting too frustrated with my inability to speak Indonesian. I headed on down to the local library where I not only found a cool Indonesian language instructor (for about $6 an hour, a top-rate bargain), but I also picked up info on the latest events, classes and treks in the area. While I was there, I met a few local expats who now called Bali home and they turned out to be the best information sources around. </p> <p><strong>Local bookstores: </strong>Yet more information powerhouses. These gems can give you access to books in your own language as well as the language of the country you&rsquo;re in. You can also check out the local bulletin boards for information on events and activities in the immediate area. And the owners are used to answering lots of questions, so ask them what activities they suggest doing while you&rsquo;re in the area. </p> <p><strong>Local sports shops: </strong>If you haven&rsquo;t already booked an adventure trip or if find yourself with some free time and the urge to get out into nature, local sports stores can be a great place to start. Call around if you can. Or show up and see if you can talk to the people in the store. Want to go on a bike tour around the area? The people at the local bike shop not only have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bike-on-great-deals-on-all-things-bicycle">the gear you need</a>, but they probably know where the best rides are and what you can see along the way. Remember, mostly sports enthusiasts work in sports shops. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-sports-gear-for-less">They know the things you need to know</a>. And if they don&rsquo;t know, they can tell you who does. </p> <p><strong>Your university alumni association: </strong>Your university usually has a directory of alumni, some of whom might be traveling or living in another country. Why not ping a former friend or classmate and find out what they&rsquo;re up to? They might have ideas on what you can do, as well as contacts in your destination area. </p> <p><strong>Other travelers: </strong>Then there&rsquo;s the tried and true, just hanging around experience that drums up some the best times you&rsquo;ll have while you&rsquo;re traveling. Hang out around sports shops, museums, cafes, the beach. Anywhere you like to be. You&rsquo;ll soon find yourself chatting with other locals and travelers &ndash; and finding out the local tips and tricks that no guidebook can truly offer.</p> <p>So start asking around. You never know what you&rsquo;ll find out and what kinds of truly free or amazingly budget-friendly things you can find to do by taking a grassroots, local approach to travel. And you might make some cool new friends in the process.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel">The 7 Rules of Budget Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-a-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-to-answer-your-questions">Ask a Budget Travel Expert: Beth Whitman Here To Answer Your Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i">The Costa Rica Heist (Remix) A case for T.I.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-five-economy-based-board-games-that-make-you-think">Top 5 Economy Based Board Games that Make You Think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Art and Leisure budget travel travel tips traveling Sun, 03 Jan 2010 14:00:11 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 4396 at http://www.wisebread.com The Costa Rica Heist (Remix) A case for T.I. http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/CostaRica396.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="139" height="78" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="article-body"> <p><strong>Diss-Claimer.</strong> (Yes, Dis with another &quot;S.&quot; And as for those who actually followed the first time, I apologize LOL:)</p> <p> (<em>Back by popular demand for the great grammarians who frequent this site: This is the Re-Mix!)</em> </p> <p>It could start with &quot;you never think it can happen to you,&quot; or &quot;just when you thought it was safe.&quot; But why go out that way or for that matter come in that way, it&#39;s as cliche as an American tourist getting yapped for his belongings on a trip to foreign country.</p> <p><em>(I didn&#39;t think it would happen to me.)</em></p> <p>Rewind. (<em>That means go back, to a particular point in this story.</em>)</p> <p>A red-headed graduate student who couldn&#39;t be more American if she was Betsy Ross&#39; daughter&#39;s daughter&#39;s daughter&#39;s daughter, was sitting there talking to me. More aptly talking at me, more specifically, not shutting up. &quot;Uh-huh, yeah, damn that&#39;s messed up,&quot; is all this blogger could manage to retort.  </p> <p>(<em>I&#39;m &quot;this blogger,&quot; by the way.</em>)</p> <p>She talked about her work in psychology and feigned embarrasment went I pointed out that she had on flip-flops that said &quot;Harvard,&quot; and a key chain necklace that said, guess what, &quot;Harvard.&quot; Oh yeah and someone had, the night before, broke into the Hostel at which I just arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica. They took her passport. And there she was, talking my head off, killing time on her way to Vietnam via South Dakota. </p> <p>I said to myself &quot;that&#39;s pretty crazy.&quot; When I say crazy, I mean the passport being stolen story as well, but the girl, certainly. I&#39;m glad nothing remotely resembling that is going to happen to me, I&#39;m a globtrotter, a world traveler a...</p> <p>(<em>I empathized with the zany Harvard girl&#39;s anecdote but felt impervious to theft of any kind.</em>)</p> <p>Fast-Forward. (<em>That means jump ahead to the next day</em>)</p> <p>The lame conference on Commodities and Chinese relations with Latin American governments and the state-owned mines they own is sadly at an end.</p> <p>(<em>I was actually in Costa Rica on business, before I tacked on a vacation jaunt at the end of the trip.</em>) </p> <p>Now I&#39;m headed to Jaco Beach on one of the most beautiful Fridays in recent memory. I am enjoying a ride to the Pacific Coast of this lovely, quaint, currency 500/1 - completely-backed-by-American-military-country. The bus to Jaco pulls up for boarding and people rush to put their luggage in the hull of the monstorous municpal bus that looks more like a tour bus. </p> <p>Ahh, no way I&#39;m putting my bags down there, sheeeeeeeeet, not me. Savvy yank that guy is right? So what do I do? I get on, speak a little Spanish, I&#39;m in my zone, I&#39;m getting ready for four straight days of God-knows-what-tropica-lfun and what do I do? I pull out my digital camera like a dummy tourist from middle America. You know, the quintessential one who asks, &quot;do they serve tacos in Costa Rica?&quot; Yeah that kind.</p> <p>(<em>I thought I was being careful and travel savvy but alas, my activities as a giddy oblivious tourist would do my belongings in.</em>) </p> <p>I start taking self portraits as the bus pulls off, feeling my self, fun for pennies on the dollar, oh yeah. My black samsonite leather computer bag is on the top shelf above where I&#39;m sitting, phone, laptop, all the power cords and a DVD from blockbuster enclosed. I might as well have been a Harvard girl.</p> <p>Fast-Forward. (<em>That means we&#39;re skipping ahead about an hour or so.)</em></p> <p>We&#39;re only 20 clicks (<em>That&#39;s 20 kilometers for those not familiar with the metric system or U.S. Army and Marine lingo.)</em> from Jaco Beach, just 20 clicks from wireless, phoneless freedom via the wireless connection on a month-old Dell fresh off the assembly line that I would hope to utilize in the sea-side condo I was headed to. </p> <p>But, while I was looking out the window musing at the greenest hills I&#39;ve ever seen in my life and the mango trees with ripe, juicy products hanging like sweaty jugs - of fruit juice you pervs - it must have jumped off, something slick, James Bondish. I&#39;m talking Michael Jackson smooth criminal. I should have known what was up 45 minutes into the trip when I couldn&#39;t see the strap from my bag anymore, but it didn&#39;t register.</p> <p>(<em>Whilst I admired the scenery, the thief or theives were very methodical and moved with stealth as they lifted, snatched or removed my bag from the top shelf. Yes I said &quot;Whilst.&quot;)</em></p> <p>We stop, I look up on the shelf. Panic. Awwww they got me. First step, anger, broken, cuss-laden Spanish, black English; a real estate agent from South Carolina with the same &quot;damn that&#39;s messed up,&quot; look on his face that I had for the Harvard girl the night before.</p> <p>(<em>The American real estate agent, who was also on the bus, emphathized with my story but was glad it wasn&#39;t him.)</em></p> <p>Gone. (<em>My stuff, in case it&#39;s unclear, was no longer there.)</em></p> <p>Come to find out five collegues had the same hubris and put their stuff below in the belly of the Bus beast. Yes, Gone. </p> <p>(<em>Five people I was at the conference with, three American, two European, placed their belongings on the bottom of the bus before boarding and had all of their belongings subsequently taken.)</em></p> <p>And suddenly I didn&#39;t feel so bad. I, after all still had my passport, credit cards and a whole lot of Colones on my person and a pre-paid condo waiting on me. Some of those people were stuck where they stood with nothing anyone could do but loan them 500 colones to call the embassy and then their folks.</p> <p>(<em>At least four of the above-mentioned &quot;colleagues,&quot; had every last possession taken from them</em>.)</p> <p>Yep, the beach, healed those wounds quick. (<em>I pouted for a minute but then realized I was at a world-class beach with blue-green water and black sand.)</em></p> <p>Fast Forward. (Presumbably to the point of this friggin post, right?) (<em>That means I&#39;m jumping ahead to the sentence below.)</em></p> <p>GET TRAVEL INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p> <p>When I return home and reality strikes, I will be out $750 bucks in supplies and will have bought the &quot;Great Debaters&quot; from Blockbuster, when I could have just gotten beyond my imperialist arrogance and copped $54 for two weeks of travel insurance from any of the companies on the commercials we hate on tv or any one of these sites:</p> <p>(<em>I should have gotten travel insurance. And there is lots of useful information on these hypertext markup language links, that take you, the readers, to things called Web Sites.)</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.worldnomads.com/">http://www.worldnomads.com/</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.insuremytrip.com/">http://www.insuremytrip.com/</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/travel-insurance.cgi">http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/travel-insurance.cgi</a></p> <p>Here&#39;s also a bit from my Wisebread sistren on <a href="/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">parameters on TI</a>  that I neglected to mention due to the dearth of exactitude in my rant/narrative/testimonial.</p> <p>(<em>Fellow blogger Nora Dunn has a comprehensive post on the different ways and means of procuring travel insurance.)</em></p> <p>It&#39;s a lesson for me, an expensive lesson, but a lesson. I do plan on going back to Costa Rica. I loved it but next time I&#39;m springing for some TI and not the Rapper T.I. either, even though I hear he has lots and lots of guns. </p> <p>(<em>Okay, some of you just aren&#39;t going to get that last sentence. I&#39;m going back to Costa Rica at some point though.)</em></p> <p>Because despite reading numerous travel guides and Wikipedia entries about Costa Rica being the number one destination for passport theives, I put my stuff on the top rack of a public bus to a beach bum paradise. Perhaps, I should be reading <em>your </em>blog. </p> <p>Sheesh. (<em>What a difficult time I had explaining that my stuff was stolen and that I wish I had bought travel insurance.)</em></p> <p>Hasta La Vista. (<em>I&#39;m fluent in Spanish, Hasta La Vista means until next time, or see you later. I never meant to say Pura Vida, but hey I had a great time so, Pura Vida it is.)</em></p> <p>I&#39;m having fun with you folks but seriously, get travel insurance when you go on trips longer than two weeks. It can&#39;t hurt.</p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/revive-old-toys-for-extra-christmas-savings-and-sanity">Revive Old Toys for Extra Christmas Savings (and Sanity)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune">Last minute tips for quick and easy homemade Holiday cards. .</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unauthorized-video-game-hack-may-net-consumers-up-to-35-0">Unauthorized Video Game Hack May Net Consumers Up to $35</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Consumer Affairs Art and Leisure Costa Rica Passport travel insurance travel tips vacation Wed, 04 Jun 2008 18:36:15 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 2147 at http://www.wisebread.com