Basic advice for travellers
Friendly locals who invite you for one drink 
Never ever go into a bar with very friendly locals who engage you in friendly welcoming banter.
Think about this for a moment why would a stranger invite you for a drink, yes it might happen that someone is just being friendly, but what happens in your own country?. The answer is you usually go into bars, pubs and clubs with people you have already become friends with via some other contact means. Such as from your employment, school, college, university, by being a customer or client in business circles, by being members of a society or activity club etc. Going into bars etc by yourself tends to feel not quite right when back in your own country. So why go by yourself with total strangers in a strange country, where you do not speak the language. Or have not acquired knowledge of the culture and how police may or not deal with any incidents. If you are careful back home then stay extra careful in strange lands. The best way to do this is to drink alcohol in moderation. Have fun eat drink and be merry. But don't become so merry that you cannot think straight or defend yourself verbally or physically. If you are staying at a reputable hotel etc ask at the reception which places to avoid. And if possible before arriving in the new country at least try to learn some simple basic phrases, in the new language to say firmly thanks but no thanks. Finally do not stop walking whilst you are chatting continue briskly on your way,and wish you new friends a good evening. 

Friendly strangers question? 

Basic visa advice to avoid

Always check if you need a visa long before travelling, if you can not apply for an online visa and have to go for an interview do not leave until the last two months. This may not be enough time. Some countries have a simple easy to use online application that applies to certain countries. Use google to find the official sites for the country you wish to visit. When and where you are able to apply for an online application the cost is usually very reasonable. be a little bit wary of sites that claim to apply for online applications for you that promise to check all answers before applying on your behalf. The questions that are asked by many countries that operate an online visa service via their countries official government site are usually very simple and quick to answer. The unofficial visa sites will often quadruple the cost. For Example at the time of Writing Visa to the USA via the visa free program are $14.00 per person. Many sites charge $80.00 or above and they issue you with the same reference number you would receive if you applied yourself directly via the official USA site for ESTA visas visit the page click on apply if you are elligible and are truthful with your answers you will have an electronic visa very quickly. Note US customs can still refuse you entry at the airport. Similar very cheap and quick online applications also apply for other countries to other tourists.

Beware the official USA visa site does not appear at the top of search results it usually appears about 3 to 4 search results down the list. The ones at the top of the list will charge you about $80.00 for an ESTA visa to the USA and email you the same reference number you could have received yourself in a few minutes online provided you were eligible in the first place and telling the truth. The cost would have been much cheaper than the amount charged by sites impersonating official government visa portals. For the USA ESTA visa it will be considerably less $15.00 to $20.00 dollars at the time of writing.

Travelling advice

Always get your e-visa via the official .gov. ? website

For the country you wish to visit. Be carefull the sites that appear at the top of a google search are not official. They charge you a lot more and just make an application via computer automatically based on the information you input into the form. Then they automatically send you the references etc and if your application fails, you either get your money back or maybe not. Online e-visa applications are very simple provided you are eligible. And they are not expensive in any currency. Evisa to Turkey in 3 simple steps.

There will be a separate section with links to the official government E-visa site to prevent visitors being charge three or four time what they should be paying.

Phone costs

Always check with your phone supplier before leaving home that you have switched off your roaming phone settings. To a setting that will not give you a costly surprise when you get back home. One common way of achieving this is to pre pay for data only "sim cards" so that you can surf the internet receive calls etc via "what's app" for example, whilst travelling abroad .This allows you to receive emails and also messages to stay connected back home and the cost is controlled. There are many internet companies who will  supply a range of travel sims , tailor made for your particular circumstances. And the good thing is you can recharge them with credit ready for your next trip, from the internet back home. Just follow the online instructions and remember it is best to set the credit start date before boarding your flight, typically two days before you land. You can push it to only one dat but you might have time zone delays for a short while upon arrival at your destination. It is best to receive a message whilst in the air "Welcome to (the country)" on your phone, rather than having to wait stuck at the airport for things to "SYNC". Get things in sync a little while before you might actually need your phone for emergencies emailing Hotels calling cabs. etc. Finally one final note, if travelling to Turkey it is just as simple to get connected on the phone in Turkey as it is in your own country. Ignore all the forum discussions on the internet, about difficulties. There are no difficulties. I know I have been there and you just ask in a shop and the staff "Eleman" will have you connected in a flash. Or order  A Turkish sim card.  

Travel insurance medical Insurance

It is never advisable to go travelling without adequate insurance cover, for cancellations delays lost luggage and most importantly medical fees. Although all travel companies, will offer a cheap package for individual flights. Often these do not provide you with all the cover you may expect. It is more common than you know for people to become sick and ill while on holiday vacation or just generally travelling in foreign countries. When this happens it is often distressing and costly and involves a lot of administration and bureaucracy. You do not have to have the insurance the airlines sell you it is possible to have your own independent insurance from many companies. for frequent travellers it may be best to pay for an annual insurance premium covering all the places you will be visiting. If you are planning to visit America or Canada be sure to tick this requirement on any online application. The medical costs in the U.S.A can be extreme. Finally do not withhold any medical conditions declare them all, to avoid a void policy. It usually doesn't put to much cost onto the premium payable, in any case if you suffer a serious condition it is possible to find a broker who specialise in providing what you may require. The company that I have been using "Saga travel insurance" has a quick easy interface online and gives quotes instantly in most cases and is not expensive. A yearly policy will pay for itself after 3-4 trips, when compared with the cost and hassle of arranging all your insurance on a per visit trip to a new country.

medicines abroad

Travel check before you go

Medications on prescription may require some particular attention these are outlined in the table shown below. You have to check first with the Country you are visiting is to see if there may be any problems with a particular drug that is prescribed in your own country but may cause problems in another county. Generally most countries will not prevent you taking prescription medicines to last you for your vacation. The one mistake many travellers make is to put them into the baggage hold. And to take them out of their original containers and then proceed to wrap or hide them in the bottom of their luggage. Do not ever do this, pack them into a clear plastic bag and place openly into your hand luggage where customs and X-ray machines can clearly and openly see them. If you are asked "anything to declare" say "No but I do have these prescription medicines". The worst that can happen is a slight delay or maybe they won't let you proceed with them, but at least you will not be held under suspicion.

Travel insurance advice

Make sure to check all the things on the quick check list below
Travel check list
Friendly strangers only one drink!
Correct visa via official sites
Travel insurance
Passports valid up to date
Kids are included on passports
Everyboody has valid passports
Prescription medicine in hand luggage
Prescription medicine in original containers
Prescription medicine + note from doctor
PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE HAS
Your name officially printed on it
Prescription medicine has date + pharmacy address
This will ensure a trouble free christmas new year holiday vacation break
Many thanks for your time
Come back again for more updated travel guidance
© CopyRight John Ames