Traveling abroad this summer? We asked Sheri Mruz, owner of Directions Luxury Travel in Ocala, Florida, for some helpful tips to keep you stress-free while you explore the world. Here’s what she had to say:


Be sure to make copies of your passport to have on hand in case you lose yours. It will help with replacement. Taking along extra passport photos from CVS or Walgreens isn’t a bad idea either.

Set up an international data and calling plan in advance of your trip. This will help you avoid unforeseen expenses that can quickly get out of control if you don’t have a plan in place.

Call your credit card company to advise them that you will be traveling. Find out if you will incur foreign transaction fees on your purchases. Also, ask them to let you know who their partner banks are abroad so you can withdraw local currency at an ATM without a fee.

Carry cash. Cash is king and always works, even during government shut downs or simple power outages. Carry it in a safe place like a Running Buddy magnetic pouch or money belt.  Avoid bags or fanny packs. These are magnets for thieves.

If you want to reduce your chances of getting sick while traveling, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and use hand sanitizer.


Pack your own medicine bag with small packages of pain reliever, cold medicine, anti-diarrheal, allergy medication, etc.  This will save you a bundle should you find yourself in need. It saves you the time of finding a pharmacy as well.

Pack light. I highly recommend a lightweight suitcase.  With strict limitations set by the airlines, every ounce counts. A lightweight suitcase can give you up to 8 additional pounds. There are wonderful products on the market now so do some shopping and find one that suits you.

If possible, don’t check luggage. I know it can be hard for many people, but try to fit all your belongings in a carry on suitcase plus the bag you can stow under the seat in front of you.  You can avoid the whole lost luggage ordeal and reduce your time at the airport.

One last item to pack, earplugs. Bring earplugs – you will be so happy you did.

Stay tuned for more tips from Sheri about shopping smart and getting the most out of your vacation experience!