Credit card and money safety when travelling

Credit cards are a good way to keep track of expenses abroad. They are generally safer than carrying around cash, but their potential spending power makes them a target for scammers and thieves. A few simple precautions can cut your risk and help you have a trouble-free holiday.

When your credit card goes missing or is stolen in your home country it’s a worrying time but you probably know what to do: report the theft straight away to the police then call your bank to cancel the card and order a new one. While you wait for the new card it is likely that you have access to an alternative source of money. But what if your card is lost or stolen on holiday or just before you travel?

Credit cards are a good way to keep track of expenses abroad. They are generally safer than carrying around cash, but their potential spending power makes them a target for scammers and thieves. A few simple precautions can cut your risk and help you have a trouble-free holiday.

I’ve always thought of my credit card as my life line to home. If all else fails I feel better with the knowledge that I could ‘charge’ my way out of a city or country. So like I am sure you do I treat this piece plastic with great care.
One of the most obvious methods I use to safe guard my credit card is limiting it’s use to those times when I absolutely need to use it. Otherwise, depending on the location I am traveling, I keep it tucked way in money belt where it is far less likely to get stolen. I don’t charge purchases to a business account sso I find more practical to simply use cash.

I also leave the thick heavy wallet at home. I don’t need to carry around every single bit of plastic I own. Instead I use a Jimi and carry the essentials. This approach has worked well for me. Lastly I safeguard my credit cards and wallet by keeping a small wad of cash in my pocket and at the ready at all times. I take out the cash to pay the receipt and not the wallet. It stays tucked away out of reach.

Raleigh Spitfire Hardcases

spitfire hard cases

Designed to withstand the rigours of travel, though with a case that looks this good you might not want leave it from your sight, the Raleigh Spitfire Cases can be used as luggage or as a briefcase. The spitfire finish takes its cue from the historic English spitfire airplane in World War II, it echoes the plane’s multi-riveted construction of interlocking aluminium panels, and is finished through a five-stage process that creates an impression of worn, distressed metal. An absolutely distinctive look that will last for many years.

Timothy Oulton Raleigh Spitfire Hardcases

The 3 Nagas Hotel in Luang Prabang

The 3 Nagas Boutique Hotel

Of all the locations I have visited across Asia the place in which I always want to return but never seem to have the opportunity is Luang Prabang. The last time I visited was a number of years ago and I remember the interesting and rich cultural heritage, the architecture, the monks walking at dawn, the temples and the surrounding countryside. What I enjoyed most was the slow pace in which life moved, fresh bread and Lao beer, and games of badminton with children in the countryside. When I visited tourism wasn’t quite what it was today and while I stayed in a guesthouse there were a number of excellent upscale properties. These days there are far more including the excellent The 3 Nagas pictured above.

Restored in 2003, The 3 Nagas is a beautiful blend of contemporary design and historical Lao architecture featuring exotic-wood floors, traditional “torchis” walls and clay tile roofs. Encompassing just 15 rooms and suites located in two separate houses, its comfortable, intimate design is accentuated with elegant touches and attention to the smallest of details.

The rooms are spacious, well appointed and replete wifi to keep you connected. The street views from your room should be a constant source of inspiration.

Reportedly, this boutique hotel has the best pizza in Luang Prabang.

The 3 Nagas Boutique Hotel

The 3 Nagas Boutique Hotel

The 3 Nagas Boutique Hotel

The 3 Nagas Boutique Hotel

How To Store Your Photos While Traveling


Last time I was on a trip I took five hundred and forty two photos over the course of two weeks. Some of the people writing this just looked at that number in total shock. The shutterbugs reading this just scoffed at how many shots I must have passed up to have such a low number. Avid travel photographers – or just travelers who like to snap some photos – know how fast these images can add up. Which might not seem like a big deal, but for the sake of organization, it can be a bit of a problem.

This is an issue myself and many people I know face every time they travel. Most of us will go to multiple places, one after another, and take a lot of pictures along the way. Trips can last a couple of weeks, a couple of months, or for some of my hardcore travel buddies, a couple of years. One of my friends just got back from a three year long trip around Southeast Asia. One of his biggest issues, he said, was keeping track of all of the photos he took along the way. Especially since he is a professional photographer, and had clients who would ultimately be buying those shots.

But don’t fret! Whether you are a going away for a couple of days in another town, or you are traveling across the globe for an extended journey, you can store your photos easily.

Backing Up Photos Online

Dropbox Backing Up Photos Online

This should be something everyone is doing. It just makes sense, not only for storage but for sharing. Cloud services are all over the place, as are basic photo upload sites. Flickr is always a popular one, as is the Amazon cloud drive. Anything you prefer would work, as long as it provides you with enough storage space to fit your needs, or the ability to expand it.

Some people swear by storage desktop services like Box and Dropbox, and I like them both for many things. But I tend not to use them as much for travel, or recommend them. Only because not everyone has access to a computer all the time, whereas many digital cameras or mobile devices now have internet access that lets you upload photos online without a dedicated PC or laptop.

SD Cards

Something my friend mentioned above did was use SD cards, and I mean a lot of them. What he would do was dedicate one card to each location, then load photos on that card every time he went back. So he would have photos from various dates on the same card, but still easily sorted thanks to it being from a single region.

This might not be something that is needed for everything, a nd ultimately you will want to find your own system. But at the very least, SD cards offer a space efficient and simple way to back large amounts of photos and video files in one place.

Hard Drive Storage

Hard Drive Storage

This is, to me, both a good and bad way to store photos. On one hand, you have a lot of space and the ability to move things over from your computer to another source at the drop of a hat. Plus, many people take their laptops with them when traveling. On the other, if your hard drive crashes you could lose everything.

I would say you can use a hard drive storage option, but you should have a secondary means of backing everything up. A hard drive plus cloud storage should do it.


You don’t have to limit yourself in how many photos you take just because you are worried about storing them. Digital photos have made it easy to take all the pictures you want, then store them safely for long periods of time. All it takes is a little planning, which should be simple enough; you will be carefully planning every other facet of your trip, after all.

Have some tips on how to store photos while traveling? Let us know in the comments.

Michelle Fach is the travel geek writing for Dobovo, the free travel tool that helps you find accommodation across Eastern Europe (including Kiev, Odessa and Lviv). You can follow us on Twitter as @Dobovo

Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Midori Traveler's Notebook

Midori Traveler’s Notebook is a customizable leather journal that will accompany you through a great journey of everyday life as well as any exciting adventures around the world.

It features a high quality leather cover that is handmade in Chiangmai, northern city of Thailand. The vegetable tanned leather cover feels great in your hands and it becomes softer and more beautiful as it travels time with you. The more you use it, the better it becomes.

The inside refillable notebook is made in Japan with Midori’s original paper in order to pursue the highest writing quality.

The luxury of a notebook such as this doesn’t mean you need to give up on the convenience of your iPhone – coupled with Evernote you could capture and catalogue all your notes for later retrieval. But unlike Evernote or any other app., the Traveler’s Notebook will become an artifact that you can hold on to.

Leather Mod Case for iPhone 5

Leather Mod Case for iPhone 5

Incase’s newest Leather Mod Cases for the iPhone 5 combine dyed aniline leathers and soft foam for sophisticated iPhone protection. The foam back portions provide tactile feedback for provide grip and also a nice little cushion should you drop your phone. A great to protect your iPhone while you race from terminal to terminal.

Discover Iceland’s Landmarks With Reykjavik Excursions

While many people think of Iceland as a place frozen in snow and filled with chilly winds, this is far from the truth. Iceland is filled with many attractions that are exciting, fun, and refreshing. If you are looking for an extraordinary holiday that is far more than a city break, visit Reykjavik. Peaceful yet vibrant, Iceland’s capital city is unlike any other. The town offers a unique combination of leisure and adventure and is filled with attractions for all ages. Think of beautiful museums, art galleries, high-end restaurants, horse riding tours, refreshing thermal pools, and dazzling bars and nightclubs. Where else can you get such a unique combination of attractions? Reykjavik is a cosmopolitan town that caters to all types of travellers, from outdoor enthusiasts to indoor lovers. During your visit to this amazing town, go on one of the Reykjavik excursions and enjoy all the things the town has to offer.

Explore Iceland’s Art and Culture

If you are an art lover, go on a Reykjavik excursion and explore Iceland’s art and culture. Visit the National Museum of Iceland and discover the nation’s history from the ancient days up to date. Established in 1863, the museum houses a number of archaeological artefacts and conducts widespread research on its heritage collection. It has a large collection of old photos, prints, and pictures that are preserved in various forms. The Arbaejarsafn Museum, another popular museum, also depicts how life was in the ancient days. Founded in 1942, the open air museum will educate you about the Icelandic way of life. Reykjavik excursions also take you to Hallgrimur’s Church, Iceland’s largest church. Built in 1974, the church is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland and also serves as an observation tower. During your excursion, you’ll visit Hofdi house, the house where Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Regan famously met in 1986 to discuss ending the cold war. The house is a hundred years old and flaunts a unique and intriguing architecture.

Get In Touch With Nature

If you love nature, you’ll love what Reykjavik has to offer. Whale watching is one of the popular activities in the capital city and many Reykjavik excursions allow you to get close to these gentle creatures. During the months of May to September, you can go on a guided tour and see the gentle giants in their natural habitat. There are tours offered from Reykjavik harbour to Faxafloi Bay where you can see the minke whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises. If you are a keen bird watcher, you’ll enjoy coming close to endangered species like puffins and arctic terns. Visit the Laugardalur Valley and see nature at its best. The valley is home to botanical gardens, a zoo, a sports field, and a stadium. A popular feature is the hot spring pool located outdoors which makes an excellent swimming spot any time of year.

Visit a Geothermal Spa

A visit to Reykjavik isn’t complete without a dive in a geothermal spa. The hot waters of the geothermal pools will revitalize your entire body. Some of the spas are naturally heated and offer a relaxing experience. Visit the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa and discover why it is one of Iceland’s best attractions. The spa also offers wonderful treatments and massages. Some other geothermal spas in Reykjavik include Sundhöllin, Árbæjarlaug, Vesturbæjarlaug, Nautholsvík and Laugardalslaug.

Whether you love the indoors or outdoors, Reykjavik excursions have a lot to offer. You’ll enjoy seeing the dramatic landmarks and discovering the town from a whole new perspective.

Travel writer and online author Kate Parker is a regular visitor to Iceland’s cool cool capital, Reykjavik. She has written this article about Rekyjavik excursions on behalf of Sterna Travel.

Your Guide To China Town, Manhattan

China Town, New York
If you want to get a taste for life in New York City then you might want to head to China Town, Manhattan. This part of the world is thought to have one of the biggest populations of Chinese immigrants in the western world.  If you have visited another China Town elsewhere in the Unites States or indeed anywhere else in the western world, China Town, Manhattan will seem huge in comparison.

With approximately 100,000 people living and working here, you can be sure this part of New York has a lot of culture, heritage and excitement taking place on a daily basis.


A lot of visitors to New York come to China Town to sample the wonderful array of food that’s on offer. Here, you will find a wide variety of restaurants, fishmongers and greengrocers, which are well worth the visit. Even if all you want to do is take a look, please do, because it’s always good to learn about different cultures, especially one that goes back hundreds of thousands of years.

You will find some huge Chinese supermarkets here, and you can find a range of foods so large, you will not be disappointed. Visiting just one of these supermarkets is a must if you want to get an idea as to what the Chinese community eats. You will find a vast majority of the food sold here are not TV dinners, but good wholesome foods that take time to make. This ensures almost every dish is as fresh and as delicious as it can be.

With more than 200 restaurants in China Town, as well as providing the local community, and beyond with a vast range of freshly cooked food, they also employ many of the local residents too. Some of the best restaurants include Amazing 66, Jing Fong, New Green Bo and Joe’s Shanghai.


If you would like to learn a bit more about Chinese culture, you can always head to the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). Found at 215 Centre St., this museum houses a permanent exhibition that tells the exciting and turbulent history of Chinese people in the United States.  Re-opened in 2009, and with free admission on Thursdays, you can enjoy a wide range of exhibits, including a few relatively unknown facts about Bruce Lee, which is sure to please a lot of his fans and admirers. With some interactive exhibits and a calm atmosphere, a trip to the Museum of Chinese in America is definitely worth a visit.

Columbus Park

Columbus Park, which can be found between Bayard and Worth Streets, and between Mulberry Street and Hogan Place and Baxter Street will help to give you an understanding of the diversity of the Chinese community and the day to day life in the local area. Here, you can expect to see a lot of people either playing cards, practicing Tai Chi, and so much more. Why not get your fortune told and watch a game of football while you’re here. There’s something in Columbus Park for everyone, no matter where you’re from.

This article was written by Rachel Jones, a globe hopping adventurer that loves to experience new traditions, within existing cultures. Whenever Rachel is travelling to New York, she always uses and she recommends you do too.

10 Things To Consider Before You Book A Thai Holiday

So you want to travel to Thailand?

While people all over the world have different dreams and aspirations, for a number of years one of the more popular ideal destinations for the global nomad has been Thailand. One of the more culturally diverse and visually stunning countries in the entire world – and it doesn’t hurt that it is the gem of Southeast Asia and enjoys all of those warm Indian Ocean weather conditions – there are a handful of things you need to realize about going to Thailand before jump on an airplane.

Do a bit of research before you even consider making the trip

One of the worst things that can happen – and it’s happened to me more the times then I’d like to admit – is that I hear all of these incredible stories about someone’s trip to a faraway land and get wrapped up in the moment, never really considering whether or not I’m looking for the same kind of experience. And while this can be an incredible mental exercise, the fact of the matter is that it has brought me to countries and locations I will never return to.

Just because it seems like everyone else is jumping on the Thailand bandwagon – and my personal opinion is that it is one of the truly unique and ideal destinations on the globe – doesn’t mean that you’re going to have the same kind of awesome time. Make sure that you look into all of the different attractions, investigate different travel journals from a diverse group of people and then make an independent decision about whether or not you are going to want to see all that Thailand has to offer.

Thai Woman, Thai Flowers & Thai Culture

Many men love Thailand as it has a reputation for cheap raunchy nightlife and that is all they care about, they fail dismally to have any knowledge of what is really going on around them. There is so much different culture to soak up in Thailand, it is almost unbelievable for the typical westerner on their first visit. I spend most of my travels exploring the huge amount of botanical and flowering gardens in Thailand, they are also great for photographers. It is ideally suited for these due to its warm moist climate. Thailand has over 1200 species of orchids that are show cased in these amazing gardens, most of the venues are also free entry and subsidized by the Thai Royal Family.

Lockup accommodations before you touch down

There are a handful of sites and different travel gurus out there that promote this kind of fly by the seat of your pants world travel and though it can be tremendously exciting the fact of the matter is that it can also cause you unnecessary anxiety, unplanned expense and frustration. Thailand is filled with all kinds of world-class resorts and accommodation and you can lock them up before you even step foot on the islands with just a little bit of effort ahead of time.

If you are dead set on trying to wing it or are planning on staying for an extended amount of time and want to be able to have the flexibility to choose your home base of operations in any one of Thailand’s incredible cities and neighborhoods, then I would suggest setting up short term accommodation for about a week or so while you are out trying to find the ideal spot to plant your roots. You can rent a motorbike for the week for about $50 or less, depending on who you talk to, which will give you the mobility to check out all of the different cities, find the right accommodation and secure it and then move all of your stuff with ease. This is the real way to see Thailand, and something that will make for an incredible adventure you’ll never forget.

John Shoane lives with his family and is a Florist in Bangkok who teaches and designs flowers for Gogo Florist. His main passion in life is researching and breeding orchids which involves extensive travel through South East Asia. Follow John Shoane on Google+.