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Travel tips from the experts

Top Ten Travel Items by Lea Xu,Vice President, Lotus Travel, Inc

  1. Carry-on bag. One piece of luggage with all your essentials. Remember it must comply with both Asia and US overhead baggage regulations (no larger than 14"x9"x22"). Keep you “airplane survival supplies” in it. With our family that includes some “real food” for the flight, such as instant cup of noodles, in addition to snack foods. Ditto on a change of clothes for kids. Lip balm to combat the dry airplane compartment air and a portable DVD player rounds out my list for the carry on bag “survival kit”.
  2. Medication and glasses. Make sure you have your prescription drugs, vitamins and glasses packed in both checked and carry-on luggage. If one gets lost you still function without a hitch. Replacing glasses or prescriptive meds in another country is a waste of valuable time and effort, better spent on the fun sights.
  3. Money belt. Pickpockets are pretty common in Southeast Asia and most Westerners are not aware enough of the subtle ways a pickpocket can nab your valuables. While Asia’s overall crime rate is much lower than the US, pickpockets are more common. A moments’ carelessness can cause great interruption and inconvenience for your trip.
  4. Passport holder. Ditto on the pickpockets interest in a US passport. Carry a small passport purse around your neck, and under a jacket or shirt, for security and easy access. Keep passports and tip or small money amounts there for easy access. You can transfer more money from your belt at discreet moments, and not open up your traveling cash for merchants and pickpockets to notice.
  5. Backpacks are great. I would recommend the padded, double strap for both 
    shoulders, which wear well all day long without straining neck muscles. These are great for keeping your hands free, as well as carrying essentials for adults and activities or a journal for the kids.
  6. Plastic baggies. These little gems have incredible usefulness and not just on an adoption trip. They can save your suitcase from leaky toiletries, pack a snack, organizing dirty clothes or just keeping organized away from home, and a thousand other uses.
  7. Sanitation Supplies. A bottle or two of hand sanitizer and your own supply of 
    Kleenex or toilet tissue are important. If you do have Western-style toilets at all of your stops, you may not find an adequate supply of paper there. With frequent contact with numerous people in tourist areas, you’ll want to make use of hand sanitizer or wipes to keep germs at bay and family members healthy.
  8. First aid kit. A small, but well-stocked travel medical kit can save the day many times. You want to be able to take care of minor scrapes and bruises easily. An obvious list is: bandages, aspirin, antiseptic. A few other items also top the list: bug spray/ointment, tweezers for splinters or other such emergencies.
  9. Door stopper. If you are traveling off the beaten path, or even if you’re not, a simple added security measure is to carry a rubber door stopper. It is light and easy to slip under any hotel room door for that added measure of security for your family. Good tip wherever you travel.
  10. Cameras. This is a very individual choice for families. Something to consider are options to record key moments of your trip without interfering with the experience. Some cameras can take still photos and video; this may be worthwhile to allow all family members to fully experience the trip. Or, if friends or extended family travel, one or two may be designated to capture key moments of the trip.

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