When you plan to travel abroad you must take actions, “Before you go” as well as “During your stay” and also “On your return”.

Here are the most important actions you must take care of:

A) Before you go

 

Money & ID matters

Make two photocopies of your Passport, ID card, Drivers License, Credit Cards, and Airline or Sea Tickets. Also note your Laptop and Mobile phone S/Ns etc id numbers and characteristics so can identified in case found after lost. Keep one copy in your home and the other in your suitcase not near your valuables.

Do NOT take with you, all your credit cards, Social security card but only the necessary ones. Do not keep all cards or valuables in one place but in two places.

Better take with you an old mobile phone or old laptop without important data on them like passwords, you may just want to access with this laptop your bank account over the internet, but only in secure places like your hotel, but not in internet cafes.

After contact your Bank saying you plan to travel in the particular country for any advice tips has and can give. Ask in case of lost or theft of money possessions like cards or cash how to cancel and how to replace them anywhere in the places you plan to travel taking all possibilities. Learn phone numbers or web sites you can disable cards in case of lost or order new ones along with cash. Keep these along photocopies above and on your mobile phone. Also keep emergency numbers in the visited country like Hospital, Police, Fire, Hotel, Taxis, and your embassy of course.

Country profile

First read country profile, and learn about laws & customs, criminality, maps, transport routes, internet criminality, and recent news. All can found online.

General

Also it is good if, in a country where English is spoken in a small scale, to learn some local language words/phrases and bring with you a Language-to-Language Dialogs pocket-book, this could be used anywhere in your trip.

Laptop & Mobile Phone (wifi/3G/Roaming)

Find out on your trip places and stays where could you have safe internet connection (May for internet banking) and also arrange with your cellular and internet provider in your home country, roaming costs and plans for the visited country. You may consider buying a Roaming Data plan for your internet connections, for one month from your cellular provider.

Notify some family members or some friends only of your trip, and say for example if not on the phone every 2-3 days something happened.

 

 

B) During your stay

Hotel

While you are going out of your hotel get with you 2 credit cards and some cash only, rest leave the in hotel safe along with all other ID materials. Keep the pre-referred photocopies in your suitcase.

Lock always the hotel room.

Transportation

Take only authorized taxis.

On trains, trams or buses you may drugged and robbed while sleeping. Avoid long waits in terminals; hence pickpockets, thieves, and violent offenders are common in such areas.

Laptop theft is common in Airports.

Laptop & Mobile Phone (wifi/3G/Roaming)

Use wifi or Ethernet internet connection of your Hotel, but not in internet cafes hence they are more secure. Bad guys may compromise your connection at times and steal private info or install malware in your laptop.

Do not attach Devices in your laptop like USB memory sticks.

Do Logon to company network only from company’s laptop.

If you lost your Laptop or/and Mobile Phone immediately report it, to local authorities and to your consulate with your photocopies and ID numbers.

Money Matters

If you lose your wallet (all or part of your possessions) immediately report it, to local authorities and to your consulate along provide your photocopies. Also call your bank’s staff for this purpose, so as to cancel credit cards and send replacements to your hotel or consulate.

Before you depart for your home country

Just when everything went ok and ready for departure, in your hotel, compare/check/count all your possessions and ID Documents with photocopies like credit cards, traveler’s checks left, Passport, Driving License. If something is missing notify Authorities or Bank immediately.

C) On your return

On your return compare/check/count all your possessions and ID Documents with photocopies like credit cards, traveler’s checks left, Passport, Driving License. If something is missing notify Authorities or Bank immediately.

Also just on arrival home and too thereafter 1 or 2 months, check your Bank Accounts and credit cards statements online from your online bank account, for any malware activity. If you detected anything, you should contact your bank immediately to cancel the credit card(s).

Links: FBI, travel.state.gov

Today is the best time for new Language, learners. Of course, I mean today Internet technology. Learning of course, has to make the big effort for it. Of course if you know 2-3 languages to learn another must be easier, also language are categorized by difficulty
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Language_Learning_Difficulty_for_English_Speakers.
I write this as a Russian learner, for my blog. I choose Russian as, the language has/use 20% of Greek and English words (eg robot=робот=ροπότ). Also Russian is an important language for science and technology. According to a recent study, the number of publications in the sciences is highest for English, with Russian second (link).

The major teaching communication (with distance teacher) tool I use is the free Skype Internet messager [www.skype.com], of course you may use similar free chat/messager tools like GoogleTalk, MSN, …etc but you must use identical tool with teacher. With Skype you may have teacher to student or, teacher to students (group talk), free voice/text/video chat or even screen sharing (Skype 5). With Skype you may also send files to your talking partner… Email client programs also are used widely for communication and homework submit.

You can find a teacher easily online using special websites like
http://language-school-teachers.com
 and http://skype-language.com/. Here you register free as a teacher or as a student saying the languages you speak and the current interested language to learn. Teachers then look for you, or you(as student) may search/browse for teachers by the language they teach, country they are located, and so on. If you want group lessons which I do not like (by one to one talking you gain more and teacher has to do only with you, although cost is bigger in this case, not as in a group which cost is shared) you may find friends locally or classmates or friends online (facebook,…etc) to learn with you.

Surely exist online websites offering ready online classes with students from around the world, not have to setup yourself the environment…
www.mgu-russian.com/programms/online-russian-course/en
www.primelanguageservices.com
(these also offer one to one Lessons).
Of course, exist for other languages identical Sites, just search for “skype online french lessons” or search the language-school-teachers.com or similar site.

Considering the vast number of sites available today, there is more than enough good information to learn/read about grammar, most common words/verbs, starter points in a language,…etc, in text, voice, or video sometimes, and also quizzes, exercises to practice on, all is free. Also you may find online, some complete ebooks in PDF format, I found 7 in “Learn Russian” (in English) but not all in beginning level. Ebooks are paperbacks in electronic format.

As of real paperback books, there are teach yourself materials or teacher assistance materials for any language online, just search your online bookstore or google eg. “teach yourself Russian books”, or “Learn French books”. You may also find story books (eg novels or short stories) in your target language or search for books in a bookstore in that country language is spoken eg in a Russian bookstore if you look for Russian books, where also you may find all kind of books, from science to technical to social science and so on. If you have difficulty with the language you may try Google Translate to translate whole page to eg Russian->English, also if you click a link next page translated automatically. You may also request from a friend or teacher search a book for you or, even send you some books… The latter may be required for your language studies.

Online also you will find free access to online live or on demand, radio or TV station programs, just search eg “Russian online radio stations”, or any other language. Of course, you must pass the beginner level for this. There are also online newspapers and magazines in any field in your target language, just always search eg. “Russian newspapers”. Sometimes preferred find a website with a list of all newspapers by country like
www.world-newspapers.com. Same applies to magazines/journals although they may be listed together along with newspapers sometimes. You may also like this for Russian http://onejournal.ru/.

As you know on the Internet you can find almost anything, so here is some Learn a language Tips guides
www.wikihow.com/Learn-Any-Language
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com (there’s and multi-language forum too here)

At end, if you have questions and need answer but you do not know where get it, you may post your question in a forum of your target language, just search Google “Russian language forum” register/confirm-Your-Email and post it to appropriate category. Just remember choose “email me upon reply” or you may have to return in forum/myPosts to check for a reply manually.

Other Sites:
www.languageguide.org Have categories of similar items/icons with icon and spelling/pronunciation (voice)
http://imtranslator.com
Text-to-speech voice in 10 languages, virtual-keyboards in many more languages, dictionaries, spell Checker, and some others
www.forvo.com All the words in the world pronounced
http://translate.google.com/#ru|en| Translation Gadget with pronunciation (voice)
http://russianpodcast.eu

Please visit my blog to read this online, or browse through the listed resources, as I say before for my target language:Russian.

LSE, Polis, Paphos.
http://leonidassavvides.com/torfl/ Russian resources.
http://leonidassavvides.com/blog/ My blog.

P.S. If you think the languages of Internet Users, see
www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm