Lomprayah in Magazine Issue 41(12/2014) www.facebook.com/lomprayah

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Issue 41 / December 2014





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Editor’s Talk Hello, December Finally, it’s now December, the month of celebrations and the last month of the year. So, we would like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, who are always supporting our magazine. Due to the coming up New Year, so we prepare the special and interesting places to celebrate the New Year Eve in Thailand for giving you choices to enjoy your New Year eve. For example, Koh Pha Ngan, Bangkok, Phuket and etc. We wish that you will have a good memory in your New Year eve party. See you again next year.

Lomprayah Team Editor in Chief Photjanard Kantiwong

Executive Editor Wanitcha Sukchet Tinn Chacalanuwattanapong

Editorial Staff Vorapong Vongvarothai Juntiya Laoniyomthai Areeya Pichittanabordeekul Jiraporn Boonta Kitthawat Chaisingthong

Art Director Methakritsada Wanngoen

Photjanard Kantiwong


Graphic Designer Seattakit Meunnak Annop Sawatdipol






Festivities kick off on 30 December with 35,000 revellers carrying torches from Parliament Square to Calton Hill, where fireworks set the sky ablaze. On New Year’s Eve, join the 80,000 people who will take to the streets to sing Auld Lang Syne (the biggest and loudest rendition in the world) and to party. Celebrations continue on New Year’s Day with games such as ‘scotch hoppers’ and ‘dreadnought’, created by local artists, in the Old Town.

STAY The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney overlooks Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, so book a room on the waterfront for the view of the greatest fireworks display on the planet.



Spending New Year’s Eve in the sunshine is an appealing idea. Sydney Harbour fills up with boatfuls of revellers, out to watch the firework extravaganza playing overhead at midnight. You can hire out a boat, bring your own bubbles and start the countdown early. Alternatively, motor out to Cockatoo Island and set up a moonlit picnic in preparation for the show; you can even camp there for the night, as long as you book a spot in advance. Landlubbers might prefer to book an outside table at one of the waterfront restaurants by Sydney Harbour Bridge for a front-row seat for the world’s biggest firework display. On New Year’s Day, if the hangover isn’t too severe, strap on a rope and climb the Harbour Bridge from where the fireworks were set off.

STAY The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney overlooks Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, so book a room on the waterfront for the view of the greatest fireworks display on the planet.



Some say Goa’s parties are not what they used to be. We say it’s still hard to beat dancing on the beach, with the sand between your toes and fairy lights strung on every palm tree, sequinned sari skirts twirling under the stars. And New Year’s Eve is the best time of year to party in Goa, with fireworks and celebrations all along the coast of India’s goodtime state. Inevitably, the biggest and loudest tend to be around Anjuna, while Palolem (pictured) in the south has more intimate parties. In the new year, head north to Agonda for yoga and reiki and some healthy living.

STAY Something that certainly has changed in Goa is the quality of accommodation. On the beach in Candolim, not far from Anjuna, The Park Hotel is an all-white, contemporary place with 30 bedrooms, cabañas on the poolside deck, a private beach and DJs playing Balearic beats (welcome news for anyone not a fan of Goa trance) in the open-air bar. Doubles from around £150.



It’s practically midsummer in Rio de Janeiro at the moment, which is why many partygoers shun sweaty indoor clubs and take the party onto the streets instead. Join the two million visitors on the beach to watch the incredible fireworks display. Copacabana Beach (pictured) is the epicentre of the action, where celebrations officially start at around 8pm when live music shows from Brazilian samba to rock bands get the crowd in the mood. It is customary to wear white in Rio on New Year’s Eve - said to bring you luck for the New Year. But perhaps leave your favourite clothes at home, unless you don’t mind getting doused with champagne, sprayed F1-style by rapturous crowds.

STAY Copacabana Palace is an elegant hotel overlooking Rio’s most famous stretch of silky sand, with exclusive views of the action (and a price tag to match). In our Gold List, the Palace was described as ‘a legendary meeting place for Rio’s high society’. For something more affordable but with similarly breathtaking views, the Mama Ruisa hotel is a lovely new guesthouse with a vintage, homely feel.



Work up an appetite during the day at the annual pancake race, Berliner Silvesterlauf. Runners in fancy dress follow various routs of two, four, six, 10 or 15 kilometres from the arty Grunewald neighbourhood, flipping pancakes all the way. In the evening, Berlin’s biggest party takes place at the Brandenburg Gate. Teufelsberg and Viktoriapark are also great vantage points from which to watch the fireworks.

STAY The Berlin outpost of Soho House attracts the same creative types that frequent its London counterparts. The members’ club has just 40 bedrooms, restaurant, bar, a screening room, rooftop pool, library and gym. There’s also a Cowshed Spa for removing traces of the night before… A classic hotel in a quiet neighbourhood, Brandenburger Hof Berlin has a Michelin-starred restaurant, Die Quadriga, which serves New Nordic cuisine and has an award-winning wine list to fit.



Amsterdam is compact, and it’s easy to catch one of the many fireworks displays around the city on December 31 (though don’t be surprised by firecrackers starting around the city a day or two before). The city’s bridges offer some of the best views of the city’s various firework displays. You can catch the Amstel River display from Magere brug. And to get closer to the action, visit one of the squares: Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt, Museumplein and Dam Square all hold parties, and you’ll more than likely bump into a makeshift street party on your way there. Oliebollen (fried dough, apple and raisins) is in abundance; wash down with your drink of choice.

STAY The sister hotel to eccentric cultural centre The Lloyd, Hotel The Exchange invited students from Amsterdam Fashion Institute to design the interiors in a bid to make the area more fashionable - and it certainly seems to be doing the job. Stay here to mix with Amsterdam’s (many) beautiful faces. The Grand made our Hot List 2011 for its interiors by Sybille de Margerie, popular restaurant Bridges, where chef Aurélien Poirot serves first-rate seafood, and its interesting history (it started life in 1578 as a monastery).



There are parties on the beaches of Thailand’s islands all year round, and the mother of them all is New Year’s Eve on Koh Pha Ngan, home to the world’s most famous full-moon party. The maelstrom revolves around Sunrise Beach in Had Rin, which starts as soon as it gets dark in the evening and rages on well beyond sunrise and into the following afternoon. Our tips: go for cocktails and a dinner of freshly-caught and grilled fish over on the Sunset side of the island, and don’t even think of joining the party until just before midnight; then head back to Sunset Beach for a dawn swim.

STAY If you want somewhere more luxurious to escape to, well away from the bass bins, take a longtail-ride around the headland to Had Yuan, a beautiful beach where you come for the day and can end up spending two months. Had Yuan has some lovely accommodation such as The Sanctuary www.thesanctuarythailand.com; and now it has a smart boutique option, too: Centara Pariya Resort & Villas, with its sea-view pool, elegant contemporaryThai décor, and hot showers - still something of a rarity on this island. Rooms from 5,300 baht (about £120).



CENTRALWORLD Bangkok’s equivalent of Times Square in New York, a street countdown party happens every year outside Central World shopping mall. Find a good spot near the junction where you can enjoy the fireworks and cheery crowds that will have gathered here from the early evening, with over a hundred thousand people expected. In front of the mall there will be a beer garden and live entertainment including live bands and DJs. There will also be plenty of snack stalls. To really fit in, find one of the sellers who will be touting their flashing headbands and sparkly date sunglasses. Getting there and back is extremely easy as the BTS skytrain runs until after midnight on New Year’s Eve.


The rooftop bars and restaurants in Bangkok are pretty magical on an ordinary night of the year, but come New Year’s Eve they add an extra dose of sparkle and magic to their lofty surroundings. New rooftops open every year, and as competition increases, the events become more impressive. Lebua are doing a New York inspired ball drop, there’s a 7-course dinner at Siroocco on the roof of the Banyan Tree Hotel and many others. Standard end of the year celebrations will include plenty of bubbly, excellent food and quality entertainment. Check out our top rooftop bars for more details of the best spots for a fantastic view of the fireworks.


LOY NAVA RIVER CRUISE With departures at both 18:00 and 20:00, spending the last few hours of the year chugging down the river on a converted rice barge is romantic, especially with the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Rama VIII bridges glowing in the spotlights. Dinner on the Loy Nava includes a ten course Thai dinner, a bottle of wine per couple and party favours. Disembarking before midnight, there is the option of a midnight celebration at the Royal Orchid Sheraton, which includes a live band, dancing, fireworks and 2 cocktails included in the price.

This riverside spot has become one of the most popular places to ring in the New Year. Starting at 17:00 on the 31st of December, the countdown at Asiatique will be broadcast on television, so expect at ritzy glitzy affair. The best way to get there is via boat from Sapphan Taksin Pier (near the BTS of the same name). The night market will be buzzing: expect live music, Thai celebrity appearances and fireworks as the clock strikes twelve. Many of the restaurants will be hosting special suppers and it’s worth booking ahead to make sure you get a table. Check our favourite Asiatique restaurants here. If you don’t manage to get a table never fear, there are plenty of food stalls and bars to keep you fed and watered.

RCA (Royal City Avenue)

For clubbing and dancing there is no better location than Royal City Avenue, a short street where the party never stops. For the end of the year celebrations they take it up a gear, so don’t expect an early night. RCA runs from Rama 9 to Petchaburi and there are over half a dozen nightclubs and venues here. Make sure you bring ID as RCA are strict on this issue. If you’re partying in a group and can’t decide whether you want live music, R and B, pop or international DJs then RCA is a classic option, there really is something for everyone here. Clubs will stamp your hand upon entry so you can pop in and out of a handful of places. The crowd here is young and fun-loving, a great end of the year party spot.

Destination Guide


HIN Ref: http://www.tourismthailand.org/Where-to-Go/Hua-Hin

Ref: http://www.khaosok-tourism.com/khaosok-national-park.htm

Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s premier beach resort towns on the Gulf of Thailand, is less than 200 km south of Bangkok, making it one of the most popular weekend getaway destinations for city residents. A resort equally popular with young couples and families, tourists and Thais, Hua Hin is also the location of the King of Thailand’s summer palace, Klai Kang Won, “Far from Worries.” Hua Hin features a beautiful, powdery sand beach, numerous seaside seafood restaurants, a lively night market, numerous beach activities, and some great inland activities, not least of which is golfing at some of Thailand’s most renowned courses. Hua Hin is accessible via train, bus, or car and the seaside community of 60,000 residents is a fine example of warm and welcoming Thai hospitality.

The seaside town of Hua Hin, meaning “Stone Head”, was named after the rocks at the north end of the powdery sand beach. Hua Hin became Thailand’s first beach resort after a train line was laid in the 1920’s to provide access from Bangkok and King Rama VII established his summer retreat in the area. With a 5 kilometerlong beach that features numerous activities, the laid back and hospitable town of Hua Hin continues to draw both tourists and Thais. In addition to beach fun and games, outstanding seafood restaurants, and a vibrant night market, Hua Hin is well known for having some of the finest golf courses in Thailand, as well as some of the most renowned resorts and destination spas in the world.

Place Guide


The food is freshly prepared by vendors who have perfecting the methods to cook Pad Thai, Green Curries and more specialist shell fish dishes for decades, with many dishes taught down the generations. To add this special atmosphere the meals are eat on disposable plates while sat on stalls and benches, crammed next to the locals eating some of the most spicy dishes ever created. The Thong Sala Food Market is designed for the locals of Koh Phangan and the food is incredibly cheap, with a main meal costing the same as a can of fizzy drink. The Thong Sala Food Market is a great place to meet, chat and laugh with Koh Phangan residences who many have no connection to the tourist trade, here the Thai smile is so easy to find. The market is a great no pressure environment to try a a range of different dishes that the tourist would be to nervous to try in a restaurant in case the dish was not liked or, more likely, too spicy. Go on try something new at the Thong Sala night Food Market.

Ref: http://www.2weekbackpack.com/Koh_Phangan/Thong_Sala_Food_Market.html

Restaurant Guide




It is located on the next bay along from the villa. Named after the local blue palm tree, the restaurant is magnificently situated at the pinnacle of the Resort, more than 100 metres above the beach. Diners may sit indoors, in air-conditioned comfort or alfresco on the terrace or thatched roof lounges with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Siam and surrounding islands. The gourmet paradise of Italian cuisine and some delicious Thai specialties, where abundant varieties of fish and exotic herbs are coupled with Thailand’s sophisticated culinary traditions make for an outstanding dining experience.

Ref: http://www.villarivasamui.com/about_koh_samui/about_koh_samui-recommended_restaurants/




First Thailand Halal Assembly to help boost trade, travel with Islamic World. An estimated 5,000 delegates are expected to meet in Bangkok between 28 – 30 December for the first “Thailand Halal Assembly 2014″ to be held at the Bangkok Convention Centre, Centara Grand Hotel at CentralWorld. Organised jointly by the Halal Science Centre of Chulalongkorn University, the Central Islamic Council of Thailand and Halal Standard Institute of Thailand, the event is designed to help upgrade the standards of halal products and services being made in Thailand to cater to the rapidly growing Islamic market, both within Asia and worldwide. Date: 28-30 December 2014 Location: Bangkok Convention Center, Central World, Bangkok

Real Story


Ref: http://www.flightcentre.com.au/travel-news/destinations/koh-samui-thailand/

Flight Centre’s Hannah Morgan travels to Koh Samui in Thailand. Hannah stays in Chaweng Beach and enjoys the laid back island lifestyle but also takes a snorkelling tour on Kao Tao. Let’s hear about Hannah’s island escape. Koh Samui, what a beautiful place. There are white beaches, stunning blue crystal clear water and sun. I think Koh Samui is a traveller’s delight. I went there with my husband (well then boyfriend) and we loved it. We flew over the beach and into this tiny airport, where the terminals were free standing little huts. The luggage carousel was outside and we arrived on these small two- seater planes. To get out of the airport, we had to drive over a small sand dune. We stayed at the Centara Grand in Chaweng Beach, five star of course; my husband loves a club room where he can drink free cocktails. I would recommend this hotel to anyone; it’s one of the older properties on the beach so it has the largest piece of real estate which is filled with gardens and lagoon style swimming pools with a pool bar. It is right in the middle of the most popular beach on the island, Chaweng Beach. In comparison to Phuket, this place was much smaller and had fewer crowds. At night, each hotel/restaurant sets up tables and chairs with candles on the beach and you can walk down the beach and look at the menus, so beautiful. There is a great restaurant across the road from the Centara Grand called Zicco’s, it’s a Brazilian capoeira bar and has great Brazilian food and entertainment. It has girls dancing and capoeira dancers. We also did a great day tour from Koh Samui to a small island called Kao Tao, where we enjoyed a snorkelling tour. The visibility was great and there was lots of sea life. There is also a nice hike up the hill to a great lookout overlooking the island. It’s amazing staring out to sea and seeing nothing but crystal clear water and the bright sunshine. Bliss, I love being on holiday and having the warm sun on my face. Checking out the view from the lookout was so worth the hike.

Top of the World


In 2014, the most attractive city for visitors is London. Bangkok dropped below London as the most attractive city for international visitors this year because of political unrest in Thailand’s capital, according to a survey. But despite an 11% decline in estimated visitor arrivals this year, Bangkok remains the top destination in the Asian-Pacific region, according to the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities, released Wednesday. London regained its position as the top destination after a year in the second spot, thanks to 8% growth in expected arrivals. The study estimates this year London will attract 18.7 million visitors, who will spend a total of about $19.3 billion, while Bangkok will get 16.4 million visitors. Bangkok’s share in the estimated spending is more modest at $13 billion, according to the report. Paris came in third on the list, but the Asian-Pacific region is home to five of the top 10 destinations, up from four last year, according to the report. Singapore follows Bangkok among Asian cities at No. 4. The city state is expected to receive 12.5 million visitors this year, growing 3.1% from last year. Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Seoul rounded out the eighth through 10th positions, respectively. Dubai, at No. 5, is expected to attract 7.5% more visitors this year, rising to 12 million, while Kuala Lumpur’s growth in arrivals will be even higher at 13% to 10.8 million visitors in 2014. This year, 67% of London’s international visitors are from other European cities, an indication of Europe’s strengthening economy. Barcelona and Amsterdam were among the other European cities in the top 20. Ref: http://www.wsj.com/articles/london-pips-bangkok-as-most-attractive-city-for-visitors1404897513?mod=e2fb


FATHER’S DAY IN THAILAND Ref: http://www.fundootimes.com/festivals/thailand-fathers-day.html

Father’s Day is celebrated on December 5th and it marks the grand birthday celebration of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the monarch of Thailand. This day is a national holiday in Thailand and is celebrated all over the country to express their love and respect for their king and also fathers. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is most loved and longest serving monarch in the history of Thailand. December 5th, is the day when the king Bhumibol Adulyadej was born and as the Thais respect him as the ‘Father of the Nation’, his birthday day is observed as the National Father’s Day. Ways to celeberate Father’s Day in Thailand Thais celebrate National Father’s day or King’s Birthday with the great spirit and gaiety. December 5th is observed as a grand event, where in people express their heartfelt affection and love to King and fatherly figures. All the streets and buildings are decorated with the flags, lights and other decoratives. The Grand Palace and Ratchadamnoen Avenue areas flowers are most adored. In most of the places religious ceremonies are held for the well fare of the King and in the night the Thai skies sparkle with the colorful fireworks. Thais enjoy the day by walking through the streets in the evening. Many schools make this day a special for fathers by helping the kids to show their respect and love to their fathers.

Horoscope Predictions for the month of

December By Mr.

Rup Krishen Baqaya


You will reach out to people and they will respond favourably. Your plate will be full with events and activities. There is socialising, travel, expenses, but some stress too.


The stars say that you will tend to behave like a rolling stone. As you would realize, there is no advantage in this. You need to be objective and change your attitude.


You will be confused, working and thinking at cross purposes. Then there are domestic pressures too. Thus, not many happy thoughts will occupy your mind this month. You need to work towards bringing more harmony in your life.


With new ventures in place, there is a hard slog ahead on the work front. With proper motivation, you can launch yourself in a big way. You like the good life and spend a lot on luxuries.


You are brimming with energy and ready to work hard, what with lots of expenses and investments ahead. Possibly you could be pushed into corners at times, but finally you will cope well. This is also the time for romance.


This is a favourable period and you manage your life well. There is harmony in your dealings and you manage to sort out all pending disputes. Legal issues could also come to the fore and will need your attention. Health needs care.


You work hard and initiate several projects that stretch your imagination, capabilities and skills. This hard work will help you to keep depression at bay.


There is a new focus in your life and you see success in all that you do. Work increases and you have no time to party. You may need to make new investments which will give you the right dividends in future. There will be time for family, friends and fun too.


You grow as a person and earn the respect of your peers. Even on the work-front you are doing well as work progresses and you are determined to sustain the growth you have achieved. You need to pay attention to family and friends.


You slow down a little bit now and take some correct decisions. There is more sanity in your dealings at work. This is also a time for partnerships and ties. You may turn to religion looking for some answers in life.


You are really not depressed but are looking for answers which are not easily forthcoming. You may travel to holy places, seeking answers. You are advised to spend sometime with children, this will give you great pleasure.


There is more happiness and contentment in your life. You are more accepting of yourself, others and situations which earlier infuriated you no end. At work, you could expect better prospects, even a promotion.



All eight timeless sunglasses styles may not have a place in your stash, but choosing one or two will allow you to pull off effortless style without scrambling to go shopping with the shifting seasons, or even from year to year. Choose to invest in a designer pair that won’t be going anywhere for years, or pick up a replica, and you probably won’t even have to think about your eyewear on an everyday basis. Slip them on and look instantly chic.

Ref: http://womens-fashion.lovetoknow.com/eight-timeless-sunglasses-styles

No time for makeup? Crow’s feet got you down? Want to glam your t-shirt and jeans for a coffee run? Looking a little haggard after a late night? Enter oversized frames. They cover everything you don’t want seen without hinting at what’s behind them (unless you choose to continue wearing them indoors; then others might know something’s going on).



OVERSIZED FRAMES Wrap style sunglasses are often sporty, but sometimes glam. They hug your face and often offer more UV protection than other sunglass styles. This is because they tend to be wide at the temples, blocking the sun from coming in around the sides of the lenses.


Aviators have several variationsdouble bridge, single bridge, gold, silver, bright and summery colors, and more. With this style, one thing remains the same: aviators are one of the most universally flattering shade styles ever. They look great on men, women, most face shapes, and all ages. For that reason, they’re not going anywhere.





Movies of the 80s made the Ray Ban Wayfarers a mainstay in the sunglasses world. They’re typically seen in all black, which is flattering on most skin tones, but there have been other variations through the years. The Wayfarer is another unisex style that doesn’t look out of place on members of any age group. If you’re not one to spend money on designer sunglasses, don’t despair. There are replicas almost everywhere you turn.





While different colors are in and out with the trends of the season, low-shine metal frames are classics. Gold, bronze, copper, silver, and pewter work well on men and women of any age. The low shine keeps them looking inconspicuous, easily transitioning with the seasons. Choose the metal that works best with your wardrobe palette and your coloring. If you frequently wear jewel tones, black, navy, or pure white, for example, you’ll probably look best in silver or pewter frames. If you prefer earth tones, gold, copper, or brown may be your best pick.

CAT EYE This retro style often makes females happy. Why? The shape gives an instant lift to the face and offers a sexy, exotic vibe. Pair these with bright lips and you may suddenly feel as if you can conquer the world.

Will convenience ever go out of style? Nah. Will the urge to save money ever end? Probably not. That’s why clip-on sunglasses of all kinds are so timeless. Once you find a flattering eyeglass frame that comes with clip-on sunglasses, you don’t have to worry about the search for the perfect pair of sunglasses. They’re already there. They’re also lightweight and can be conveniently slipped into a t-shirt pocket while you’re out running errands and alternating between clear lenses and sunglasses.



Lenses in rainbow tones are fun to wear. Some are quite functional - even preferable - for certain sports. Some of the most versatile lenses are gray and amber, while black, brown, and tortoiseshell are among the most universally flattering frame colors. Double up and get another classic style like the Wayfarer or oversized sunglasses in black with gray lenses or aviators in muted gold with amber lenses.

Lompraya News

Lomprayah set a booth at Koh Phangan Colormoon Festival On 9-13 December 2014, Lomprayah Catamaran set a booth at the Koh Phangan Colormoon Festival. In this festival, Lomprayah provided many special packages for the tourists who attended this event.

Lompraya News

Lomprayah joined the competitions at Koh Phangan Colormoon Festival At Koh Phangan Colormoon Festival 2014, there were many competitions which are very interesting. Lomprayah Catamaran also attended some of the competitions, which are fashion show, singing, dining table decoration and floral design.

Lompraya News

Lomlahk and Lomprayah being a sponsor for Koh Phangan Colormoon Festival Lomlahk and Lomprayah being a sponsor for Koh Phangan Colormoon Festival 2014 which was held on 9-13 December 2014 at Koh Phangan. In this festival, there are many activities in this festival, such as stage show, fashion show and many competitions.

Global News Thai Tourism Recovery Continues in November 2014 The number of the international visitor arrivals has continuously risen for the second month. Visitor arrivals to Thailand in November totalled 2,438,301, a growth of 2.53 percent over November 2013. Figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports show that the main contributing factor was a 58.8% surge in Chinese visitors to 513,441.

Qantas unveils new First Lounge in Los Angeles The new spacious and luxurious lounge is based on the flagship multi-award winning Qantas First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, providing seating for more than 200 customers and different zones to dine, relax, work and socialise.

Air China receives Facebook award Since June 2013, Air China has pioneered the use of Facebook in Greater China’s aviation industry, and opened a Facebook account in North America, Europe, Japan and other areas.

Thanks : http://www.tatnews.org/thai-tourism-recovery-continues-november-2014/

http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/57567/qantas-unveils-new-first-lounge http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/57525/air-china-receives-facebook-award

Tip to Trip




Being in a strange place can be invigorating and eye-opening. Some of my favorite travel memories include an earlymorning run along the Danube River in Budapest, touring the temples of Angkor Wat, and having late-night drinks and steak in Uruguay. There have also been plenty of business trips where the only sites I saw were those visible from my hotel room window, because I was too busy running from one meeting to another. Regardless of what type of trip you’re on, there are several steps you can take to ease an overseas journey. Here are 12 of my favorite international travel tips:

Ref: http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-blog/carry-on/2014/2/18/12-tips-to-make-international-travel-easier



The first thing I do when arriving at a hotel overseas is take a business card from the front desk. That way, if I ever get lost, I have the name and address of the hotel in the local language. Large populations around the world speak English, but having something in a local language that I can show locals and taxi drivers is an extra bit of insurance.

The expiration date on your passport is actually a bit deceiving. The U.S. lets you use your passport up to the date inside the cover. However, several countries will deny travelers entry if the passport expires in less than six months. Why? If for some unexpected reason you get stuck overseas longer than planned, that country wants to ensure that you have a valid passport to eventually travel back to the United States. To avoid any problems, I always renew my passport during a downtime in travel, about nine months prior to the expiration date.






The way to get cash is usually an ATM, but many U.S. banks charge steep fees for using an ATM that is out of network. You can take out a large amount of cash at the airport ATM so you pay that fee only once, but it’s never advisable to carry large sums of cash. Plus, you risk having too much local currency left over at the end of your trip. Charles Schwab and Fidelity both offer checking accounts that have no minimum balance requirements and reimburse you for all ATM fees, including those from overseas.

The best exchange rates are often found using your credit card. However, many credit cards will tack on a foreign transaction fee, sometimes as high as 3 percent. It’s a pointless fee that no traveler should ever pay. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Platinum American Express are two of the cards that don’t levy this fee. Also, never have a hotel or restaurant convert a charge into dollars first. It’s a bad deal.



Notify your credit card company’s fraud department of what countries you will be visiting and on what dates. This way, they won’t think your card is stolen and shut it off just when you need it the most. Be mindful of any countries you might be changing planes in; you might need to make a charge during your layover, especially if there’s a delay.

U.S. credit cards rely on magnetic strips on the back that are swiped at vendors. In Europe, cards have a chip embedded in them which—when paired with a PIN—are used for purchases. It’s a much more secure way of charging goods, but hasn’t been adopted in the States. Most vendors overseas can still swipe your card. But train ticket machines, gas stations, and other machines where we pay without interacting with a person often reject cards that are swiped. Getting a chip and PIN card from a U.S. bank is hard. But many credit cards are now coming with chip and signature technology.




I always carry an eye mask and earplugs in my medicine bag because you never know what your hotel room is going to be like. But I also carry Advil, NyQuil, Imodium A-D, Tums, and a handful of other key medications. Yes, even the most historic European neighborhood has a drugstore. But do you want to be running around Germany late at night, trying to translate “diarrhea”? If you’re heading to third-worldMedicine. countries, stocking up on the right drugs is even more important. Many travelers fill a prescription in advance for the antibiotic ciprofloxacin and bring it with them just in case.

It’s a good idea to check the State Department’s travel warnings and alerts. It’s also smart to print out the address and contact information of the local embassy.




If you are on a tight budget—and don’t have to book through your company’s travel department—look at overseas airlines’ sites in their home countries. I recently booked a ticket from southern Italy to northern Italy on Alitalia. The airline’s U.S. site wanted twice the price of the Italian site. I’m not fluent in Italian, but Google Chrome translated every page for me. I paid in euros, using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

Set up your cell phone to avoid international data roaming. Many business travelers have an international calling and data plan. But infrequent travelers don’t. The biggest costs can come from transmitting data overseas. I was in a remote part of southern San Diego last summer, and my cell phone provider sent me a text alert welcoming me to Mexico. Apparently, I had jumped onto a cell tower in Tijuana. I immediately shut off my data roaming, turning it back on only once I was out of that area.



I have a great sense of direction and rarely need a map. I know others aren’t as lucky, though, and have come to rely on their cell phones to get around. If you don’t add a data plan to your phone while abroad, you can still jury-rig a crude version. Using the Wi-Fi in your hotel, plot out a few routes you plan to walk that day. Then take a screenshot of those maps. You can later find the photo, zoom in, and follow the path. It’s not ideal, but it’s a work-around.

I figure out on my last night how much cash I will need and then set aside the leftover money. At checkout the next morning, I take that cash and ask the hotel to apply it to my bill and then pay the remaining balance with my no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card.