Remember Two Things
While I was in Austin this past weekend and Istanbul / Madrid last month, I had 2 interesting experiences that I think others can learn from.
Always Bring 2 Forms of ID
I typically do not ever lose anything. I have never lost a phone, passport, bag, wallet, credit card, etc.
For some reason or the other, starting in Las Vegas this past January, I randomly started bringing my Passport Wallet that has my Passport, extra Credit Cards, Lounge Access Cards, etc, with me when I travel domestically.
I am not sure what the rationale behind this was, but I figured if somehow I got pick-pocketed or misplaced my wallet, at least with my Passport and extra Credit Card, it wouldn’t be the end of the world and I could still get home.
Well little did I know that losing my ID would be self induced, as this past Friday in Austin, I somehow lost my ID while out and about.
I got into the bar with my ID but didn’t have it when I left, so I am assuming that it just fell out of my pocket. We went back to the establishment the next day to ask if they had found it, and they did not.
Luckily, I had my Passport at the Hotel, so it wasn’t a big deal and honestly our first concern was not being able to get into bars the rest of the weekend. Not embarrassing at all to have to show your Passport at the door…
It wasn’t until we were back at the Hotel that I realized the severity of the situation. If I hadn’t brought my Passport with me, I am not sure how I would have gotten on the Plane home.
(A reader commented that you apparently can get on a Plane without an ID, the TSA just doesn’t say what exactly that process is and I don’t think you want to find out. More info here)
My Cousin said I could go to the Texas DMV, but I am not sure if that would have worked.
The only feasible option I can think of would have been to have my roommate FedEx my Passport overnight from Chicago to Austin.
The ironic thing is that I also had my Global Entry Card in my Passport Wallet.
I was contemplating using that when we went out, but even though my Global Entry Card is an official Government ID and there is a background check involved just to get it, it honestly looks and feels worse than the fakest College ID.
Even the photo on my Global Entry ID was taken with a webcam…
Those International Student Identify Cards look more official than my Global Entry ID.
Moral of this story is that wherever you go, always take 2 forms of ID with you because you will really be shooting yourself in the foot if you lose your main ID and can’t get home!
In my case, this was a domestic trip but even for international trips, say you lose your Passport. At least with your State ID, when you go to the US Embassy, you can easily show proof of who you are.
Take Your Medications With You
After doing Vegas during Super Bowl Weekend and then 4 days later flying to London, Madrid, and Istanbul, my body was not adapting well to all the travel.
The small cold I had before I left for Europe, quickly escalated into a full blown ear infection during the trip.
I could handle the ear infection but if you have ever flown with a ear infection or sinus cold, it is a different story because the air pressure won’t equalize in your ears.
I found that out the hard way when we flew between Madrid and Istanbul and my head and ears literally wanted to explode.
In Istanbul, all my cough drops that I had brought from the U.S ran out and I didn’t have anything else for my cold.
At a minimum, I knew I needed some antibiotics for my ear, so I went to the Hotel Concierge and ask if there was a pharmacy nearby.
I figured since it was Turkey, the laws for dispensing pharmaceutical drugs wasn’t as stringent but the Concierge said that was not the case and that they would have to first call a Doctor.
I told him that I knew what drugs I needed and if there was anyway to just go to a pharmacy and pick it up. He called the pharmacy and asked what I needed, surprisingly they said it was fine so I walked over to pick it up.
I got a box of Amoxicillin and the cost was only $4 DOLLARS!
I didn’t even need to have insurance or anything like that. I can only imagine what that same box would cost in the U.S!
Anyways, I took the antibiotics and my ear infection cleared right up and thankfully didn’t die on the return flight to the United States.
I got lucky in that I knew exactly what I needed, Turkey was pretty lax on rules for medications, and the drugs were CHEAP. Had I been in Spain or England, I doubt it would have been that easy and I would have had to pay for a Doctors visit, etc.
If you are traveling, you should always prepare for the possibility that you might fall sick. This is especially true since you are eating different food, on a different sleep schedule, drinking different water, spent time on a plane with other people who might be sick, etc.
Even something small like getting a paper cut can turn into an issue if the Hotel doesn’t have Band-Aids. Sounds crazy but the W Istanbul didn’t have any!
Going forward, when I travel I am going to make sure to bring a small medical kit that includes the rest of my antibiotics, Advil, Band-Aids, Pepto-Bismol, etc.
I got really lucky with my 2 above experiences in that both turned out well, even though I didn’t really plan for them.
If I didn’t have my Passport or was in a Country that was not Turkey, either situation could have quickly turned in a nightmare and could have put a huge damper on both vacations.
There isn’t really a cost in taking an extra form of ID with you or bring a small bag of medications on your next trip, so in my opinion it is a no brainer.
Are there any other things that are a good idea to take with you on trips?
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