What (not) to pack for JAPAN

Yes, of course, you can just grab some suitcase, throw a hodgepodge of clothes, shoes, and cosmetics in and you’re good to go, however, if you do a little planning on what to pack for Japan, your trip will be more enjoyable.

Renata Green in Takayama, Japan
I’d found this umbrella at the Hida Folk Village in Takayama – but it was just a prop that could be used for pictures.
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How (not) to behave in JAPAN

Before travelling to Japan, everyone is making a big deal of on how to behave correctly in Japan – because it’s so different.

School Class crossing street in Japan, showing how to behave.
Follow the leader. And follow the rules. And….oh, when in Japan, just follow.

I really don’t know why everyone emphasizes how different Japan is. Because – different from what? Like everything else in life, different is very relative.

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Instant Lounge for Instant Leisure at Paris Charles de Gaulle

There is an Instant Lounge that grants instant leisure right at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Located in terminal 2E, it grants total relaxation between flights – and is absolutely free!

Entrance to the Instant Lounge at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Soyez bienvenus at the – free! – transfer lounge of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
It’s not only comfy and cozy, it’s most of all hyper classy!
(Photo: Gwen Le Bras / Aéroports de Paris SA)
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what to put in your hand luggage

Hand luggage – I’m a big fan, a huge supporter, and a passionate user. Where possible, I even try to travel exclusively with hand luggage. Not only because the cheap airlines charge almost the same amount you’ve paid for the ticket for checking luggage.

man pulling cabin case after having checked what to put in your hand luggage
Globetrotting the easy way.

No, it’s simply much more comfortable and so much faster. Although, since they established the security regulations regarding liquids, it has become a bit tricky.

Once I got even almost arrested at a French airport for carrying cheese.

But mostly it’s really much more handy. The longest I ‘survived’ on hand luggage were two weeks in Italy in summer; and I did not stink…

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Learning Languages for Travel – A Few Words About a Few Words

Learning Languages for Travel is a great way of getting in touch with locals. Here’s how to learn some basic vocabulary for your trips by using babbel.com

Finger turning a mini globe
Travelling around the world is so much more rewarding when you have at least rudimentary knowledge of the local language.

Considering that at least in Germany babbel.com is advertising a lot, to my surprise, I don’t know anybody actually learning with this online tool. Anybody but me that is. And I will tell you why I love using it.

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Grub First, Then Ethics – Brace Yourself for Cuba

Yes, Cuba is a wonderful place with days on endless beaches and nights at hot bars. Nevertheless, brace yourself for Cuba.

A lady and a little boy at the doorstep of a deteriorating building in Santiago de Cuba
Cuba’s life-threatening beauty.

Obviously, the difficult monetary situation and the unimaginable economic difference between locals and visitors might lead to misperceptions.
Grub first, then ethics – as a matter of fact, in Cuba, you are often reminded of this sober truth.

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Indispensable Travel Tools and Gadgets

There are some travel tools and useful gadgets that over the years became indispensable for me.

But seriously, what is it that you really need to take with you on your trip? Actually it’s your passport, your vaccination record, a credit card and your phone with all that matters on it.

Store in Athens
At this store in Athens, you can stock up on basically everything.

Everything else such as clothes, toiletries, or sun gear can be replaced. You can buy almost everything in almost every country in the world. Maybe not in the desired quality, but still.

I’m by no means an advocate to buy constantly everything – and, as a matter of fact, I hate shopping.

All I’m saying is that it’s neither the end of the world nor the end of a happy vacation if you forget something.

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how fast travel health insurance pays off

I was shocked when I learned how fast travel health insurance pays off.

Doctor holding a syringe to show how fast travel health insurance pays off
A shot can be necessary – and expensive.

For years and years of extended travel, I didn’t even think about getting health insurance. Which doesn’t mean that I never got sick. I did. But I was roaming Europe, where everything was covered by my regular German health insurance.

When going to the US, I always stayed for roughly ten days. Very short stays.

Albeit, I know that this argument is completely illogical because it takes minutes to get sick and seconds to die.

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