Dear Heloise: I read a recent article in your column on world-travel hints, and I have a few I want to add:
• Notify your credit-card company. Before you travel abroad, call your credit-card company/companies for the cards you plan to use. Let them know the countries and the dates you plan to be gone. A couple of the companies gave me a number to call while I was in Europe in case there were any problems using the cards. I also called them when I got back.
• Cellular phones that work in the United States might not work in European or other foreign countries. You might consider getting a special cell phone or an international plan to use. Another option is to purchase a prepaid international telephone card so that you can make international calls. I called the 800 number on the back to find out the local access number for the three countries I went to. One of the countries did not have service for the card purchased, but at least I knew that in advance.
• It is nice to save a small amount of foreign currency from one trip until the next so that you are prepared to make telephone calls, take a cab or purchase a soft drink while in transit.• If you are concerned about pickpockets, take along some large safety pins! Use one to pin paper money to the inside of your pocket, and another to pin the pocket closed. This makes for a bit of fumbling when you need to pay for something, but you definitely are more secure. Don't carry a lot of cash or valuables, and keep your passport and travel documents in a safety pouch (around your neck, inside your clothing, in a money belt, etc.). J. Lorette, McGaheysville, Va.
Very wise suggestions. May I add one of mine? Make photocopies of passports, tickets and credit cards to leave with a trusted person in case these are stolen! Heloise
Dear Heloise: There are many things people will say and do to be prepared for a hurricane, but most will forget this: Get a lot of cash! People do not think about the fact that without electricity, businesses cannot cash checks or run credit cards for purchases. That means no food or supplies. Even if you are well outside your home area, you might not be able to use your debit card if your bank within the area of destruction is down and it does not have a backup server. Norman, Peoria, Ill.
Dear Heloise: In order to have quarters handy for tolls and parking, I keep a film canister filled with quarters in my car. The quarters fit perfectly in the canister. No more scrambling for coins at the last minute. Barbara Schoeberl, Silver Spring, Md.
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-435-6473 or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.