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Assist America will be celebrating its
25th Anniversary on January 15, 2015!
On January 15, 2015, Assist America will proudly celebrate 25 years of saving lives and providing peace of mind for its members worldwide. As the largest provider of the very best global emergency medical services available, we are privileged to serve more than 30 million members and over 300,000 enterprises through the world’s most prominent group benefit providers. 

As we enter into this 25th year, Assist America will continue to work as innovators, as well as expand our product offerings to suit growing market needs throughout the world in the global emergency services market. 

To kickoff our celebration, we hope you enjoy “25” travel tips (today through Friday) and find them useful during holiday travels and upcoming trips in 2015.

Safe travels!


Fly comfortably
• If you’re scared of turbulence, opt for a seat towards the middle of the plane.  You’ll feel bumps more towards the back.
• Want to enjoy a cocktail on the plane, but don’t want to pay a ton for it?  You can bring your own liquor through security, so long as it’s in a 3.4 oz or smaller bottle.  Those travel toiletry kits can come in handy!
• Airline meals can be spotty at best.  Consider packing your own food, or at least a backup snack.

Attempt to get an upgrade
• The first rule of getting free upgrades is simple: be nice.  Kindness can go a long way with those who are responsible for where you are seated on a flight or which hotel room you receive.
• If it’s a special occasion, say so.  Rather than booking online, pick up the phone and mention that you’re booking the hotel room for a special anniversary.  The person you’re talking to may place you in a nicer room.

Don’t forget to provide your loyalty program number.  Loyalty can go a long way.

Use the internet to your advantage
• Follow airlines and hotel chains on twitter to learn about flash sales.
• Use Pinterest to organize your ideas for your trip.
• Read other people’s reviews of attractions, restaurants and hotels.
• Find others to connect with using sites like Meetup and Eatwith.

Don’t be afraid to travel alone
• If there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, but you can’t find anyone to go along with you, don’t let it stop you.  Traveling alone will allow you to see everything you want at your own pace. 
• Bring a book along to keep you company at meals, or try to find outdoor seating that will allow you to entertain yourself with people watching.
• If you want to meet people, try sitting at the bar. Bartenders generally make great conversation partners and can provide good local recommendations.

Fill your evenings with culture
While there’s lots to see during the day while you’re traveling, sometimes evenings can be a bit harder to fill. Pick up a local paper to find out what’s going on after dark.  You can find information about all sorts of special events including:

• Live music performances
• Theater events
• Special late nights at museums
• Movies (watching an English movie with subtititles in another language can be a great way to boost your vocabulary)

Don’t rule out a “Staycation.”
Sometimes we want a break but can’t afford the cost of a trip.  You can still use your vacation hours to recharge without shelling out for a hotel or airline tickets. 

• Try a new recipe you’ve always been intimidated by.
• Visit a local tourist spot you’ve always been too busy to check out.
• Tackle some projects at home you’ve been putting off.
• Take a crafting class or learn a new skill. 

Get around
• Take advantage of public transit, such as trains and buses.  It’s affordable, and often a great way to see everything.
• Rent a vehicle.  Whether it’s a car, bicycle, scooter, or boat, sometimes just exploring with a set of wheels (or paddles) can be great fun.
• Wear comfortable shoes—and not new ones.  Even the comfiest looking pair of sandals can cause unexpected blisters when you’re on your feet all day.  

Protect your skin in the sun
• If you’re going to be out on the beach or near the pool, make sure you apply a water resistant sunscreen (aim for SPF 30 or higher).  
• Try to avoid being out during peak sun-times in the middle of the day.
• Stick to the shade if possible, and wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your face.

Consider renting 
If maid service isn’t that important to you, consider renting an apartment while you’re traveling.  Apartments can come with lots of perks that hotels do not, such as:

• Kitchens, so you can grocery shop like a local and experiment with new ingredients
• Laundry facilities, so you can pack lighter
• Ambience more authentic to daily life 

They are often a bit cheaper, or more conducive to traveling with larger families as well.

Shop smartly
It can be tempting to want to buy everything in sight, thinking "this is the only time I'll ever be able to purchase this item."  Try to remember the following though:

• If you purchase something the first day of your trip, you'll have to carry it with you for the remainder of your trip if you're moving about.
• The larger and more delicate an item is, the trickier it'll be to fit into your suitcase for the trip home.
• You can ship things, but you'll pay a hefty price to do it.


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Pre-Trip Information
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News Spotlight

10 Must Have Travel Apps
Besides the Assist America App, of course!
Additional protests over disappearance of 43 university students likely in Mexico
Expect transport disruptions. Violence possible, most likely in Guerrero.
What is my real risk of contracting Ebola?
by Joseph E. DiCorpo, BSc, MMSc, PA, Chief Medical Consultant, Assist America Inc.
Ebola Case Study
Emily*, the Director of Study Abroad Programs for a large university, felt personally responsible for the safety and well-being of the students from her school that traveled to attend international programs.
For pre-trip information: Assist America members can view pre-trip information on the Assist America website, Log in using your Assist America reference number. Interested in learning more about Assist America? Please visit us at Tell a fellow traveler about the newsletter and show them how to subscribe online! Interested in having your organization becoming a member of Assist America? Please e-mail us at
The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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