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do you all have any advice on prep for international travel? I am flying out to Israel and Greece today. I got a small med kit lighter books on the places where I will be. A good stash place for my passport and wallet. I will be on a hightened alert at all times. What else? What am I not thinking of?
 

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do you all have any advice on prep for international travel? I am flying out to Israel and Greece today. I got a small med kit lighter books on the places where I will be. A good stash place for my passport and wallet. I will be on a hightened alert at all times. What else? What am I not thinking of?
gps to get around with
 

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Tips from an American Greek who goes to Greece often:

Greece... cuban cigars, real absinthe... if you land at the new airport take the subway into Athens, quicker and cheaper than the bus. Don't try and use old tickets or under fair tickets on the subway... they will catch you and take 50 Euros from you or you won't leave their custody. Most of the beggars are Albanian. They will roll you for your gold if they see it. The Albanian prostitutes are the most beautiful women you will ever see. They will take your breath and soul away. Unless you have two souls keep it zipped up. Get lost in the Plaka at least once. Cops carry Uzis down town. Leave them alone. Bathrooms are in basements of the American fast food chains (McDonalds, Burger King etc.) Never hold your hand up in a "halt" gesture with your fingers spread apart... it means something like I ruined your virgin sister in bed and I am not going to marry her but you will have to raise my bastard child. The only thing worse is using both hands the same way... which means I ruined your sister, your mother and your wife and I drank all your ouzo. If you need to insult someone call him a Turkos (a Turk) it will outrage him but it is a good insult from the Greek point of view in that any thing that insults Turks is good. Always read the menu prices first. Never order without reading the prices first. Never. Let me emphasize that. Never, or you will pay $45 for a tiny hamburger and coke. If you travel on a ferry, buy a first class cabin and all the beds in it. I don't care what it costs, don't argue, just do it. Unless you have relatives in Greece sex with a local is an invitation to castration. Greeks drink but do not tolerate drunks. They are inclined to batter drunks and leave them in a ditch. Dinner is around 11 p.m. No breakfast at all. The waiter will talk to you, not any female with you. You will order for her because men make the decisions. The waiter may ignore you for two hours after you are served. That is normal. His job is to get you in and buying food. Pampering and good service are absolutely out of the question. Going to see the Acropolis? Be there at 7:30 am and be first. The ticket is good for several other sites in Athens. Across the street is the cave they held Socrates in, right behind the tavern. Watch a sunset from Lykavittos Hill. It is worth it, far better than the akropolis. If you are bored take a bus ride through the mountains and sit in the front seat. Close your eyes when riding in a taxi. They go 60 mph down tiny city streets with no stop signs. He who honks first has the right of way. Landline phones don't work. Rent a cell phone or take you own unlocked phone. Rural Greeks have national tradition of offering hospitality to strangers. Don't take advantage of it. Oh, and don't fall down on a wet floor and break a leg. There is no personal injury in Greece. If you fall down and break you leg, it's your own damned fault.
 

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I always have a Leatherman multi-tool, a flashlight, some duct tape, a small spool of wire, a small sewing kit and a rubber door wedge in my suitcase.
 

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good idea but a bit late for me. I am ok with a map and compas (in my backpack) so I should be ok.
Are you going to be doing outdoor stuff only, right from the outset, from leaving the plane doors? Because a topographical map and compass would be an arse to navigate through urban areas with, if you will stay in or pass cities. Hence if gps is a no I would advise the following, which I have done in these scenarios;

Googlemap. Find the exact location you are arriving in, be it the airport or train station. Mark it on a copied and pasted screenshot of the map. Now do the same for the US embassy and your tempory residence. The same can be done for the closest supermarket, hospital (if necessary), banks and so on by keying in "banks in *town name*". Did you check your card will withdraw in these countries and even if so then be sure to have the international contact number of your bank if they mistakenly assume your card has been stolen. Gonna rent a vehicle and if so are there any particular things to heed (check points in Israel I'd assume, which would like W. Africa means you better have a lot of papers on you.) If you are going to be immediately travelling again when you arrive by some other public means then be sure of how and where it departs from, mark it on the map. What about important telephone numbers for when you get there? Are they noted, be it a relative or work contact? Will your phone work over the Atlantic anyway and if not do these countries only have Telephone Cards, rather than coin slot payphones? Also, health insurance? What are EDC laws like in Greece/Israel? Are you paranoid enough to buy a cheap throwaway legal knife on arrival? If not then consider simple things like not unpacking your bags in the middle of a city street, to get something out - this draws attention. Much like if you need to look at your map put your back to the wall, lest some gypo open it from behind. Finally if you have a small survival kit of water tablets/bandaids etc which is legal to fly with then of course that should go.
 

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Great post Straight Razor! My wife's family is from Greece. In six years of marriage I have been there twice. I hated leaving both times and this is coming from a person who hates to travel. One correction the cops had MP5s and Sig pistols :)

As for what I carried, I hate to be without a pocket knife and a flashlight. So I carried a SAK (Swiss Army Knife) and flashlight. Do not bring a light that use CR123 batteries. Pick something with common AA batteries. As for knives few people will give a SAK a second look. Some countries like the UK do not allow locking blades including on SAKs.

These are the two knives I carried:

Farmer

OHT

Flashlights:

Some cheapie Rock River 1xAA battery

Gerber Infinity Ultra
 

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Will let you beg for food
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That was very well written and VERY funny...first laugh of the day - thanks

Tips from an American Greek who goes to Greece often:

Greece... cuban cigars, real absinthe... if you land at the new airport take the subway into Athens, quicker and cheaper than the bus. Don't try and use old tickets or under fair tickets on the subway... they will catch you and take 50 Euros from you or you won't leave their custody. Most of the beggars are Albanian. They will roll you for your gold if they see it. The Albanian prostitutes are the most beautiful women you will ever see. They will take your breath and soul away. Unless you have two souls keep it zipped up. Get lost in the Plaka at least once. Cops carry Uzis down town. Leave them alone. Bathrooms are in basements of the American fast food chains (McDonalds, Burger King etc.) Never hold your hand up in a "halt" gesture with your fingers spread apart... it means something like I ruined your virgin sister in bed and I am not going to marry her but you will have to raise my bastard child. The only thing worse is using both hands the same way... which means I ruined your sister, your mother and your wife and I drank all your ouzo. If you need to insult someone call him a Turkos (a Turk) it will outrage him but it is a good insult from the Greek point of view in that any thing that insults Turks is good. Always read the menu prices first. Never order without reading the prices first. Never. Let me emphasize that. Never, or you will pay $45 for a tiny hamburger and coke. If you travel on a ferry, buy a first class cabin and all the beds in it. I don't care what it costs, don't argue, just do it. Unless you have relatives in Greece sex with a local is an invitation to castration. Greeks drink but do not tolerate drunks. They are inclined to batter drunks and leave them in a ditch. Dinner is around 11 p.m. No breakfast at all. The waiter will talk to you, not any female with you. You will order for her because men make the decisions. The waiter may ignore you for two hours after you are served. That is normal. His job is to get you in and buying food. Pampering and good service are absolutely out of the question. Going to see the Acropolis? Be there at 7:30 am and be first. The ticket is good for several other sites in Athens. Across the street is the cave they held Socrates in, right behind the tavern. Watch a sunset from Lykavittos Hill. It is worth it, far better than the akropolis. If you are bored take a bus ride through the mountains and sit in the front seat. Close your eyes when riding in a taxi. They go 60 mph down tiny city streets with no stop signs. He who honks first has the right of way. Landline phones don't work. Rent a cell phone or take you own unlocked phone. Rural Greeks have national tradition of offering hospitality to strangers. Don't take advantage of it. Oh, and don't fall down on a wet floor and break a leg. There is no personal injury in Greece. If you fall down and break you leg, it's your own damned fault.
 

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As for what I carried, I hate to be without a pocket knife and a flashlight. So I carried a SAK (Swiss Army Knife) and flashlight. Do not bring a light that use CR123 batteries.
These are the two knives I carried:

Farmer

OHT

I think it needs to be mentioned that their may be problems with carrying knives through customs. If you do carry a knife make sure it is in your luggage that is going in the hold. If you forget and have a knive in your pocket or day pack then you're going to have it confiscated:mad:
 

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Watcher:

You are right. I should have prefaced my post with that. My knives stayed in my checked luggage when I traveled to and from my destinations.
 
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