Minneapolis IT support company CEO Dan Moshe recently traveled to Athens, Greece, and learned a few things along the way. Here, check out what he would do if he had the chance to do it all again, anywhere in the world.
1. Use Airbnb.com for Lodging
Dan found the ease of booking through the vacation rentals site to be a big plus, and the places he stayed were “pretty great!” With rentals in 34,000 cities and 192 countries, airbnb is likely to serve your vacation destination.
2. Take Photos Easily with Google Glass
If you need a reason to justify the hefty price tag for a Google Glass purchase, consider how simple it’ll make taking photos while traveling! “Taking a photo just by winking is really handy,” says Dan. You can enjoy your experience hands-free and preserve your cell phone battery by not using your phone for photos.
3. Bring a Battery Pack
Which brings Dan to one of his few regrets on the trip. “I wish I’d brought a battery pack,” he laments. A cell phone battery dies quickly while roaming, and your phone will probably be dead at the end of the day. A battery pack is $60-70, allowing you to charge your cell phone up to 4 times on the go.
4. Swap Out Your SIM Card
After painstakingly researching the best rates for text, voice, and data plans while roaming, Dan discovered T-mobile was his best option. At 20 cents per minute for calls, it was significantly cheaper than any other carrier. He found he could have unlimited text and data for $50 per month with no contract. All Dan had to do was take a T-mobile SIM card and put it in his Verizon phone. Yes, he needed a new temporary phone number, but on the bright side he got fewer calls while on his vacation!
5. Check Your Power Converter
“Not all power converters are created equal,” warns Dan. His Radio Shack converter had only one outlet that wasn’t compatible everywhere. Meanwhile, a $25 converter from Target had 8 different outlets and never left Dan in a lurch.
6. Cut Out the Noise
7. Cut Out the Currency Exchange
A decent exchange rate, safer than carrying too much cash, and convenient on the go: simply using ATMs for cash got Dan’s vote.
8. Get Global Entry
Skip the lines at US Customs upon re-entry to the United States with a Global Entry card. “Every time I travel it seems to come in handy,” says Dan. The card will grant you access to the TSA Pre-check line, where you don’t have to take off your belt or shoes for domestic flights. An interview, fingerprinting, and $100 application fee gets you on your way to saving you about half an hour every time you re-enter US borders.
9. Make Friends Internationally
Forget exchanging email addresses: Facebook is the method of choice for staying in contact online. Have it set up and ready to go, and learn to say, “Friend me!” in another language.
10. Find a Common Language
Speaking of language, Google Translate can be the missing link in a failure to communicate while overseas. Dan was having trouble explaining the concept of an “entrepreneurial peer group” to his tour guide. A few clicks on his phone got him the words he needed – and the tour guide got it too!