Nothing is as annoying as the taxes you have to pay while traveling internationally. In earlier years, you had to queue outside small kiosks situated in the airport to pay for the taxes, and then you would be required to retain the ticket as proof that you have paid for the taxes. Nowadays, the process is a lot simpler as the taxes are added to the total price of your airfare. This happens in all countries apart from a few that carry on with the kiosk tradition.These taxes termed as departure or entry taxes, are in essence a method used by countries around the world to take advantage of travelers so as to gain profits from travelers. Since most countries now include the taxes in the fare, most travelers tend to forget about the taxes when it comes to traveling to countries where taxes are still paid in kiosks.Airport departure fees vary in amount. They range from just a small amount of the local currency to costs as high as over $100 USD. This is the case for North American and Australian travelers traveling to Argentina, as they have to pay for the “reciprocity fee,” which is a form of tax that is equivalent to the fee that Argentine citizens have to pay to acquire a visa to their country.Therefore, American travelers traveling to Argentina or Chile have to pay $131. This is equal to the price that any Argentine or Chile traveler has to pay, so as to acquire a visa to the United States. To be sure if the country that you are traveling uses departure taxes or not, you have to verify online for any country specific information on airport fees. Travel Nation has also made a compilation of a practical list of all the countries that require you to pay airport taxes in person. However, you should always be ready for any changes on the amounts and the tax prices in general.It is therefore advisable to consult with the US Department of State Country Specific Information so that you can acquire sheets giving you the latest information about all the departure taxes. In addition, it helps to check with each airline for what type of travel tax fees they apply. For example, Southwest Airlines, which flies domestically in the United States advertises that they have no hidden charges. However, in most cases the taxes are not exempt because they are considered a charge from the government, not the airlines. Either way, travel taxes must be taken into consideration when planning a vacation that involves air travel.
Traveling alone can be scary and liberating at the same time. After all, you don’t want to hold yourself back if your spouse or partner doesn’t want to travel. You don’t want to hold yourself back if your friends don’t want to travel. If you appear confident when you travel, you won’t have a problem. Many people travel alone and so can you. All you have to do is decide that you want to travel alone and go for it.How to Appear Confident While Travelling AloneHold your head up high! If you walk with your head down, you won’t appear to have confidence when you travel alone. Walk down the street with your head held high and own your power! Stand up straight and square your shoulders. Act like a traveler and not a tourist!Look people in the eye. Make eye contact with people. Mind where you are because some cultures believe looking people in the eyes is rude. However, you don’t want to look away from people. Looking people in the eye will make you appear confident while travelling alone. It says, “I’m aware of my surroundings.” You want to look people in the eye and not turn away from them, especially if you’re a foreigner in a foreign land.Act like you know the area. If it’s your first time traveling alone, act like a ‘seasoned’ traveler. Walk into stores and restaurants as if you’ve been there before. Relax and enjoy your travels.Speak to people. Don’t be afraid to speak to people and ask them to point you in the right direction if you’re lost. Most importantly, don’t ‘freak out’ if you are lost. Act nonchalant and know that you’ll find your way. Also, speaking to locals is a great way to find out about the latest restaurants and night life. Areas change all of the time, and the locals will know what’s happening in the area.Read about your destination(s) before you leave. You don’t have to know everything about your destinations but it’s important to know the basics, especially when it comes to history. There are some countries that have more tragic histories than others. It’s important to know about these histories so you don’t say something that could potentially start a heated discussion. Of course, you can’t be responsible for peoples’ reactions but it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re travelling alone.You can appear confident while travelling alone. The key is to decide to be confident. Traveling alone can be scary but it can be freeing. Once you travel alone, you won’t stop traveling. There’s no reason for you to sit within your ‘four’ walls because you’re too scared to travel alone. Start traveling throughout your own state/country by yourself until you feel truly confident to travel internationally by yourself. Be bold and have the confidence to travel alone. In actuality, you’re never truly alone, it just seems that way. Happy travels!
The idea of traveling to exotic places alone conjures up images of the lonely woman bent over her evening meal with three empty chairs around the table. A long “Ohhh! How sad!” usually follows. Thankfully, reality is much different than this dismal image. A woman traveling alone has the advantage of planning her days of museum-hopping and bazaar-shopping without the need to compromise for a visit to the newly-constructed sports arena. She can talk to shop owners without looking over her shoulder at the entrance to see if her companion is still nearby. With a little planning, she can have the trip-of-a-lifetime, all the while feeling sorry for the people in groups who are as miserable as they think she is.When planning to travel alone, safety is a priority. Whether tripping domestically or internationally, there are precautions that should be followed. For example, when you encounter a hotel clerk who says your room number aloud as he hands you the key, you should go to that room and immediately call the front desk. Ask for a different room. Don’t unpack. Don’t have a glass of water. Just call and ask for a new room. You should inform the manager that you’re changing rooms because your old room number is not confidential. If you must stay in a less-than-secure hotel, you should ask for a room on the top floor (or, at least not at street level). Verify that there’s a telephone in the room and that it works. Always get a room with dead-bolt locks and keep your room secure at all times. It’s best not to travel with heirlooms or expensive jewelry but if you forgot or your aunt just gave you a gift that you have to carry with you through the trip, always ask to put it in the hotel safe. Always get a signed receipt from the hotel clerk. And never wear the jewelry when you’re going sightseeing or bar-hopping.Keeping your passport safe is actually pretty easy. Don’t put it in your purse or an outside pocket. Travel stores carry small pouches that are worn inside your clothing and are closed with Velcro. Invest in one of these cool pouches and keep both your passport and any transportation tickets (such as a rail pass) tucked neatly inside. The same goes for travelers’ checks. Never keep your checks and your receipts in the same place; keep the receipts in your main suitcase and take out only the checks you’ll need for the day. These day-checks should be kept in a secure “inside-the-clothing” pouch.If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll have lots of different kinds of currency. Clerks in foreign countries love to give coins as change to Americans. It’s easier for them and it’s more difficult for you to exchange. If you don’t catch onto them, you’ll find yourself weighed down by the heavy jingle-jangle of change and you’ll need a massage before you leave that cute ancient ruin. Learn the values of currency for the country you’re visiting, and always ask for your change in paper money. Before deciding to leave the country, take out a couple of small bills for your scrapbook and exchange the rest into the currency for the next country instead of American dollars. Your rate of exchange will be better and you won’t pay an exchange fee twice.As you venture into single-life travel, know that you’re one of the lucky few who can actually make this choice. It’s too much fun to chat-it-up with people along the way, learn about their family heritage and become one of their favorite visitors. You’ll find life-long friends as you step aboard foreign trains or have a cocktail in the plush lounge of an urban boutique hotel. Have fun with it…and travel safe.