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Tip 95: Buying Souvenirs

It can be easy to buy souvenirs for yourself of others if you collect specific trinkets such as t-shirts, bottle openers, magnets, etc.  However, many people do not have collectibles and yet we want to remember the trip.

Consider buying something that you will regularly use, and it will remind you of the trip every trip you use or wear it.  For example, buy jewelry native to your destination, perfume or soap that reminds you of a local scent, or a dress/shirt that will remind you of the trip.

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Tip 75: Cuba travel advice

Yesterday we shared a tip on making sure you carry toilet paper with you while visiting the island. That was honestly the best advice we got prior to our trip so it felt worthy a separate post.

Here are some other tips:

  • You will need a visa if traveling from the US. Airlines and cruise lines sell them. They are about $75/person and can be issued immediately.
  • CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) is the main currency. There is another option, the Cuban Peso, bur that is more for locals. The CUC is pretty much dollar to US dollar but the exchange taxes the conversion of US dollars something like 13%. It is more advantageous to convert from Euros so we had planned ahead and brought those instead. Also, US banks cannot concert the cash for you so it is something you have to do once you are in Cuba.
  • As of this writing, you can bring back 100 cigars and 1 liter of rum duty free per adult traveler. It is best to buy both from official retailers to avoid fakes.
  • There are hundreds of classic cars for hire relatively inexpensively. A fun way to view the city!
  • Drink only from sealed, bottles beverages.

Havana highlights:

credit card
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Tip 36: Credit Card PIN numbers

In the USA, we typically only need to enter PIN (personal identification numbers) on debit cards not credit cards. In many parts of the world, you need PIN numbers for both types of cards. You may want to call ahead to your credit card companies before you travel to see if you can set up a PIN.

As noted in a previous tip, it is also helpful to alert your bank of your travel plans. Many have an online form you can complete to set that travel alert.

Shoes
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Tip 25: #Crowdsource tip time! What are your favorite travel shoes?

We’re now a quarter of the way through #100days100traveltips and we’d like your help!  What shoes are your favorite to pack for a trip?  Whether it be form or function, what do you suggest to fellow travelers?  Comment here to share your ideas!

Airport Shopping
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Tip 24: The best Duty Free deals

Many airports now have an excellent selection of local and high-end shops.  Duty free deals, which avoid some import duties and taxes, can be a great bargain…but it’s not always the case.  Savvy shoppers know how the airport or duty free prices compare to the retail price at home.

Here are some comparisons:

http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/duty-free-deals

More good advice:

https://www.skyscanner.com/tips-and-inspiration/when-to-shop-at-duty-free-stores-and-what-to-buy

https://www.tripsavvy.com/duty-free-a-good-deal-459050

 

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Tip 16: Fruity travel challenges

Fruit is a difficult item to bring home from other states or countries. Be knowledgeable about the border rules so you don’t have to throw away a souvenir or expensive purchase.

The rules are complicated in many cases. Here is a good starting point on Customs and Border rules on plants in the US:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/sa_international/sa_travel?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_resources%2Fsa_traveler%2Fct_general_allowed_food_items

Euro receipt
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Tip 4: Pay in local currency to save money

Is it better to pay in foreign/local currency or your home one when given the option at the check out counter? Experts agree the conversion rate and fees are better if you pay in the local currency. So next time you get the option, chose the currency of that country and not your own. More on dynamic currency conversion here.