Helpful tips while traveling
- Remember that you lose a day when you travel to Europe from the States. You will arrive a day later than you leave due to the change of time zones.
- MAKE PHOTOCOPIES OF EVERYTHING!!!!
- All important documents should be photocopied and the copies should be kept in separate places. This includes: passport, credit cards (front and back), driver’s license, traveler’s checks serial numbers, traveler’s insurance, and airline tickets. Make more than one copy and leave one set at home.
- When traveling be sure to have at least two forms of identification with you at all times, one with a photo ID.
- Losing luggage is a rite of passage that at some point we all must go through. By traveling to Italy you may encounter this problem sooner than you think! Always pack a change of clothes in your carry on bag, or the items you think you could not do without for a night, possibly a few days. This PARTICULARLY includes items such as prescription medicine. Always pack your valuables such as jewelry and camera equipment in your carry-on.
- Make sure that your carry-on luggage is “airline friendly”.This means no scissors or cutting implements of any kind, no metal nail files, and no Swiss Army knife!
- Put your name, address, and phone number (both home and Florence) where it can be found easily both on the inside and outside of each suitcase.
- If your bag has been lost report it to the airline and leave the name and number of the school where it can be delivered upon arrival. IMPORTANT: If you have chosen to lock your bag, leave your luggage key or lock combination for customs or else the bag will not be delivered and you will have to return to the airport to pick it up.
- Make sure that all your travel documents are in an accessible place throughout the trip, as you will need to show them frequently.
- If you can’t comfortably carry your bag across the room, it is too heavy.
- Sleep on the airplane; you will be significantly more refreshed when you arrive.
- Read all of the information that we have sent out to you (and a couple of travel guides too) and you will be prepared for just about any situation as soon as you arrive.
It is difficult to dial 800 and 877 numbers in the States from Italy. It is a good idea to have regular phone numbers with local area codes with you for any important calls.
Before You Go-What to Bring
- Safety begins when you pack. To avoid being a target, dress conservatively. Don’t wear expensive looking jewelry. A flashy wardrobe or one that is too casual can mark you as a tourist. As much as possible, avoid the appearance of affluence.
- Always try to travel light. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
- Carry the minimum amount of valuables necessary for your trip and plan a place or places to conceal them. Your passport, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe. When you have to carry them on your person, you may wish to conceal them in several places rather than putting them all in one wallet or pouch. Avoid handbags, fanny packs, and outside pockets that are easy targets for thieves. Inside pockets and a sturdy shoulder bag with the strap worn across your chest are somewhat safer. One of the safest places to carry valuables is in a pouch or money belt worn under your clothing.
- If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair. Bring them and any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage.
- To avoid problems when passing through customs, keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country first.
- Bring travelers checks and one or two major credit cards instead of cash.
- Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport information page to make replacement of your passport easier in the event it is lost or stolen.
- Put your name, address, and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity or nationality.
- Consider getting a telephone calling card. It is a convenient way of keeping in touch. If you have one, verify that you can use it from your overseas location(s). Access numbers to U.S. operators are published in many international newspapers. Find out your access number before you go.
What to Leave Behind
Don’t bring anything you would hate to lose. Leave at home:
- valuable or expensive-looking jewelry,
- irreplaceable family objects,
- all unnecessary credit cards,
- Social Security card, library cards, unneeded credit cards, and similar items you may routinely carry in your wallet.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home in case they need to contact you in an emergency.