Sep 24th 2009
With an international practice, I travel often. I’m always happy to discover tips and ideas that make traveling a little easier, so I hope you’ll enjoy some of my favorite findings. AIR TRAVEL One Bag: http://www.onebag.com Doug Dyment has tons of packing lists and info about how to travel light, things to be aware of, and where to find some of the supplies he recommends. This site intrigued me for a couple hours! It is rated by PC magazine as a Top 100 Can't Live Without site. Seat Guru: http://www.seatguru.com/ This wonderful site shows you what seats to pick and which to avoid—and why—plane by plane, for most airlines. It tells you where you'll have more/less legroom, where you might be disturbed by galley or lavatory noise, and where you can find seats with power outlets (and which type). A really great feature is the mobile device friendly page that loads fast so you can check when standing at the ticket counter as you're switching to a new flight. No Jet Lag: http://www.nojetlag.com/ If your itinerary involves crossing an ocean, you’ll probably want to give this homeopathic remedy a try. I’ve used it several times to/from Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and Australia. Good stuff! Get it for about $12 at REI, Whole Foods, Magellan’s or Drugstore.com among others. STAYING IN TOUCH Country Codes for international calling: http://www.countrycodes.com/ Skype: http://www.skype.com If you’re not using Skype yet, you are missing out on one of the best free tools out there for talking, video conferencing, and IM. You can communicate with anyone, anywhere—even conference with them—using your computer, for free. Plug in a nice portable webcam and you can all but kiss your kids goodnight. For a nominal rate, you can make calls from your computer to a phone line, too. There is also a terrific iphone app that you can use to make FREE Skype calls from wherever you have wifi access, anywhere in the world. OneSuite: http://www.onesuite.com This is a telephone access (global) plan that I have used for at least 10 years. Very reliable and very inexpensive—and they now offer VoIP like Skype, though I haven’t used that service through them. US to Malaysia, for instance, is 3.5 cents/minute. I just ran a 6-month project with a client in the UK with frequent, long calls and I spent less than $25 on calls over the entire 6 months. RANDOM OTHER STUFF IAN's Shoelace site: http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/knots.htm Okay, you're thinking that this has little to do with travel. But if you're planning to do lots of walking, I propose it is worthwhile. Did you know there is probably a better way to tie your shoes? If your laces untie often, check this out. Cultural Etiquette: Here is a great resource for cultural tips including do's, don'ts and even appropriate attire: http://www.cyborlink.com/besite/ (scroll down to view by country) Why is this important? Cultural understanding can be the difference between success or failure in a business dealing. As an American-- ...do you know which cultures consider it entirely inappropriate or rude for a man to stand with his hand in his pocket? (You might want to double-check your website photo if you do business with people in these cultures) ...do you know how to show proper respect, rather ceremoniously, in the exchange of business cards with a Japanese person? ...do you know which cultures frown upon women wearing slacks or crossing their legs? ...are you conscious of ensuring no one can see the bottoms of your shoes in Russian or Saudi Arabian cultures? Learn how and when to present a gift--and when not to, how to behave in public, tips as to how decisions are made, what to expect as far as eye contact and body language, and much more. And this other site (http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/business/culturaldifferences.htm) offers a handful of examples of multi-cultural business situations gone bad, and why.