Dress codes at churches
Many churches or temples around the world will have some sort of dress code. While they usually are more restrictive for women, there are some that will also apply to men, so be aware of this BEFORE you visit.
Most will want your shirts to have sleeves and if you wear shorts, ones that cover the knees. If you are a woman they may want you to wear a head scarf and have closed toed shoes. At many places where they want some sort of head covering they will often provide a loaner that you can return after your visit.
Always watch your bags!
Thieves are opportunistic hunters. If you make it easy for them they will strike. If you put barriers between them and your bags they will often find someone else who will be an easier target.
If you insist on wearing a backpack on your back make sure that you have locks for the zippers. Overall they will not be great locks, but a thief will see them and likely just move on knowing that your bag will be too difficult to get into.
Most people should try to keep their bags resting against the front of their body where it is easy to watch, or between their feet. If you have another person with you then between you is also very good.
If your bag or purse has any zippers always keep them shut. If a thief does start snooping in your bags you want to delay them as long as possible so that hopefully they will be interrupted or noticed before they can actually steal anything. Having them opening up zippers to find out if anything is inside takes longer than having them look at open pockets.
If you are on public transportation, sometimes right before the doors close a daring thief will make a grab at an entire bag and get off before the doors close. This leaves you inside and the thief outside with your bag and no way to stop them or recover it. If you do sit by a door on public transportation make sure that you are aware of this and keep the bag in a place that would make this grab and dash much more difficult.
In many places tipping is not mandatory, but it’s appreciated
America is one of the few places in the world where people will leave a tip when eating at a restaurant or at a bar. While it is not required in many places, it is often appreciated when you leave a tip for good service or for having a good experience.
Because it is not expected or part of what the staff relies upon for their regular income if you do leave a tip even 5 or 10% of the bill is a great tip for them. As with everything it is always best to do some research on the culture you will visit to know the customs and what is expected of you before you go.
Always have cash
We are moving towards a cashless society, and everyone wants to earn points on their credit cards, I get it. But you should always have cash for the times that it doesn’t make sense to pay with your credit card, or for places that only accept cash. It can also help you to avoid scams or to get a deal on souvenirs.
In cities like New York many of restaurants only take cash. If you don’t come prepared then you can expect to be looking for an ATM before you can get something to eat.
Depending on the taxi you use they may or may not accept credit cards. Also if you are aware that they are trying to cheat you then it really pays to have small bills or exact change. You can read more about that here.
When dealing with souvenir vendors they will always want a price higher than you want to pay. A tactic which works quite well is to have out the exact amount that you want to pay and show it to them. If you only have a large bill and will require money back they will know that you can pay more, so having small bills really helps.
Long before you plan to go on your trip you should know what the visa requirements are. Depending on the country you are going to, and the country you are from it can be as simple as just showing up, or as complicated as filling out many documents and having in person interviews at an embassy.
Usually a simple Google search is all that is required to find out what will be required of you to visit the country you are interested in. If the country you want to visit requires you to have an e-visa there will often be an official government website that you can use to complete the forms and pay whatever fee they require.
Avoid using websites like this one as they only want to act as a middleman, and raise the price of completing documents online for you. Usually all they will do is ask you for the same information that is required online, and enter this information for you on the official website. There is no reason to use this as it only cost more and rarely will even save you any time.
Know your flight number and airport code
You really need to pay attention especially at large airports that have multiple terminals that you are going to the correct gate. On the small displays if you are in a hurry it is very easy to mistake one city name for another. If the city names are not listed in full or you are in a rush Vienna can easily look like Venice, and any large airport in Europe is likely to have flights to both places.
If you know the airport code, who you fly with, and the flight number it can really help you to quickly locate the correct gate of your flight. The last thing you want to do is be running late and mistake two similar appearing city names and be at the wrong gate, as the correct one may be a lengthy walk away.