Heads up, travel friends – the U.S. State Department has issued a new travel advisory that urges United States citizens to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to the Peoples’ China. Similar advisories are out for citizens of Algeria, Antarctica, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Myanmar, and the United Kingdom.
Although we don’t do it all the time, when Joe and I have a opportunity to visit a place where a movie we enjoy was filmed, we visit it if we can. We’ve seen lots of places where they filmed the Harry Potter films, and even spent several days in Salzburg, Austria, visiting places where they filmed The Sound of Music. We’ve also been to lots of locations in New York that were used in movies, such as The Plaza (Home Alone 2) and Katz’s Deli (When Harry Met Sally). Oh, and I TOTALLY geeked out when we visited A Christmas Story House (it’s a museum now) a few years ago.
Over the years, we’ve come across a few places in our travels that had Disney references in them. i.e., when we went to France, we stopped at Notre Dame Cathedral, and in 101 Dalmatians, Pongo dragged Roger to the park, which is fashioned after Queen Mary’s Garden, in Regent’s Park. But it turns out that nearly every Disney animated feature was based, in part, on a real place. Take a look:
Joe and I have had Global Entry for several years now; it simply makes life easier when we’re traveling overseas because we don’t have to stand on as many queues. That’s a nice thing but since we only travel outside the U.S. one or two times a year at most (and sometimes not at all, depending), it admittedly has limited use to us. However getting Global Entry also gives us automatic TSA Pre-Check, which is WONDERFUL, especially since our home airport is MCO and their TSA checkpoint is so slow that they’re getting ready to do some major construction to add more lanes.
I was always under the impression that TSA Precheck was only available to U.S. citizens, but apparently a few years ago the program was expanded to be available to citizens of several other countres around the world. And just like with American citizens, if you have Global Entry, it also gives you TSA Pre✓ eligibility.
Going on an international trip is very exciting but it can also be very expensive. Using a credit card to pay for purchases when traveling internationally is often the best way to get a good exchange rate and the rate your bank gets will be better than the one you’ll get on your own if you exchange cash. Using a card also means that you don’t have to carry around a bunch of cash with you. However, many cards will add on a “foreign transaction fee” to any transactions made with anything except your home currency. Here’s an easy way to keep from paying that extra 2-3 percent on all of your purchases while away.
It’s been over a year since we broke up with AT&T and made the switch to T-Mobile. We’re enjoying paying $65 less a month for phone service but one of the things we’re most excited about is being able to use our own phones while traveling overseas. This will come in handy when we (hopefully) travel to Japan in 2020, as on past trips we had to rent data-only sim cards for our phones.
Unfortunately, we haven’t gone a trip outside of the lower 48 states since we got our new plan. Lucky for us, T-Mobile is making some changes to the Simple Global program we get as part of our T-Mobile ONE plan. It looks like the international data plan will be even better by the time we finally get to use it.