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Post Reply Traveling outside of the country..
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Posted 7/1/17 , edited 7/1/17
UK standard cost for a passport is £72.50.

https://www.gov.uk/passport-fees

A lot of people have them even if they don't travel regularly because we also use it as everyday ID. There's only 2 recognised ID here, a driver's licence and a passport. If you're going for a job, getting accommodation, studying, opening a bank account or withdrawing money without a bank card then these are the ID you must show.

I've only travelled between the Caribbean and Europe. I've lived in the Caribbean and UK for many years. I've never needed to apply for a visa so far. I was a little bit disappointed that when I was in Spain trying to practice my Spanish, people would talk in English due to Barcelona being a big tourist area. I did get to speak a bit of Spanish using public transport and wandering far away.
Posted 7/1/17

dulun18 wrote:
I think that's the reason why they have those tour guides :). You can not expect most people to speak the language of the countries they want to travel to. It's too time consuming and impossible for some. It's harder to learn a new language as you got older. This is why you will see tourist with their phones out using some apps trying to communicate. I have nothing against those language apps but :sweatingbullets:. I got a call from a doctor stating that he was trying to use a language app on his phone to communicate with the patient for the last 10-15 minutes so he needed help. I asked the patient a few questions and got the answers he needed. I took 2 minutes.


I actually have something against tour guides. It's more so that they waste more time trying to explain things that are common knowledge or lead you to the worst possible experiences you can have in their local town. I've chilled with some tour guides overseas (Japan and Europe) - they'll blantantly tell you that they never take their guests to the best locations in the local domain to avoid having tourists horde to their favourite spots. At the end of the day, you're just spending money on a tour guide that's just going to give you a sub-par experience.

I get that languages take some time to learn - but, in most countries, if you can understand the essentials (on par with a 4-5 year old citizen of said country) .. you can pretty much get around with some eyerolls here or there. It's more about exposure than anything else; more you use it, the more you'll get used to it. The more you hear it, the better your pronounciation will be... etc etc. My cantonese and mandarin are both starting to catch up to near-fluency level and I've had issues with them both throughout most of my life. Why? I'm actually travelling to China nowadays (before I was just trying to teach myself listening to audiobooks, using learning programs, and the likes).


dulun18 wrote:
English is an international language but don't expect the the majority of the natives speak it though. I would say you will have more luck with college age people.


Rule of thumb: the further away from a metropolitan area you are, the less likely you are to find English speakers. It boils down to the exposure thing (for them). If you're following around a tour guide, you'll be fine. They never deviate away from their "tourist trap" list - which is often riddled with other tourists or English-speaking shops.


dulun18 wrote:
1 week? even for regular clients ? I would think since both sides already know each other and the process it shouldn't take as long.

I don't think people or companies will post information that will required you to go to a college or university for, especially more specialized information/skills You don't see how to do a heart surgery for dummies sort of thing through Google.


One week is about the average turnaround for regular clients. Since they're larger companies, they have to go through the process of getting any budget that we send them approved through the higher-ups, then their higher-ups, then the accounting department... finally they'll go back down the list and send an e-mail to myself and the CEO with approval, flights, and budget update. To be fair, regular clients will give me an insane budget to do as I please. The reality is that the CEO will cap my spending to ensure that it doesn't come off the wrong way.

My last trip to Russia, the client had approved ₽500,000.00 (about $8,500 USD) for "spending allowance". This would be food, cabs, coffee, drinks.. non-business expenses. I ended up spending ₽25,000 ($425, roughly). The hotel was only 4 blocks away (no taxis) and I spoke to some of guys at their office to find some cheap food spots. Amazing what you can do when you don't spend money like some executives try to (the CTO that was before me would have gone over that budget, easily).


dulun18 wrote:
JAL was among the top 10 airlines after all :). I'm guessing you buy tickets 1-3 weeks ahead of time ? I found the price is pretty much the same through out the year for the country i'm going to, the only difference is more flights are available around certain months.

I hate EVA airline they tend to have a lot of kids on the plane. The last thing i want is dealing with some noisy kids for 14-15+ hr flight.


1-3 weeks for business flights is about right. There have only been a few times where it's been a "next day" thing due to an emergency. Client had zero fucks about how much was spent, as they were leaking money with a major outage. In less urgent scenarios, we tend to book flights within 1-3 weeks before the flight.

EVA is only okay if you're flying in their "Royal" class (I can't remember what it's called - Royal something). Even then, you're relatively close to other people for being in a cabin/bed seat. I have noticed that there are a lot of kids on EVA flights too. That's mostly because their tickets aren't that badly priced and their seats are more comfortable than the average American airline seat (I'm guessing).

But yeah, I've even been in their first class/royal class seats and still dealt with children crying and being noisy. Those aren't the most pleasant flights. The difference is that there's usually some snobby dude that complains about the kids and the parents are asked to quiet them or take them to business class until they calm down.


Artlicker wrote:
oh you want proof here u go : )


Nice loophole. Technically, it's likely because you're a relative of someone who has a diplomatic passport. Funny story - those who end up getting a diplomatic passport have had to pay for it in some way or another (usually indirectly through a lawyer or by having to get a specific level of security clearance). True story though, if you aren't travelling for state/government-sponsored trips - you still have to have a regular (official) passport (unless you are a relative of someone who has a diplomatic passport as mentioned a few sentence ago).
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Posted 7/1/17 , edited 7/1/17


This is odd :/ I didn't get any notification for this post. I think you also posted in the gun general discussion thread right ? did you reply to my post there ?

I don't speak Chinese and we only had 1 week, we brought a cousin who said he can speak Chinese. Would you rather get lost or be a victim in some foreign country ? Tour guides will be safer for most people.

Tour guides tend to take people to places where they have contracts with. I forgot how many businesses we went to during the 1 week tour of China. They used the time for lunch and dinner to advertise stuff. They provided this during lunch once and later offering us green tea that will help clean out all the fat and cholesterol Good luck trying to run 1.5 mile 4-5 hours after eating a bowl of this. Ice is very valuable in China by the way. I had to ask to more ice at every meal!!




learning a new language is more ideal when you are younger, it will become more difficult as you got older. It would say dedication is important. How badly do you want to learn the language? You would learn it more quickly if you need to use it even for the most basic needs. A co-worker of mine learned Portuguese in 6 months ! (or so he said-- also met his wife there).

We were in a hotel in Beijing and could not find a hotel staff who can speak English, it's a hit or miss even if you are in the city. They also have those annoying card that you need to put in the slot to turn on the electricity. I hated it when you spent the whole day in the heat coming back to the hotel room that is 90+ degree inside !!!


Make more while spending less
is the goal for me. My current income is nothing compare to yours but we are getting by. I hope to make 6 figures within the next 4-5 years if everything is going well. I can't imagine myself living the life some the rich though. I'm fine with those Japanese cars and paying $15-$20 for a meal. etc.. I do want a bigger house though. A place where i can have my own garden, backyard chickens and car garage-- i think 1/2 acre or 1 acre should be sufficient. I want to go off grid if it's possible.

If you only spent $425 out of the $8500 provided, i'm sure the client will take note of that and will most likely come to you in the future. Repeated customers are the most important in growing a business after all.

Did you notice the seats are getting smaller even for business/first class seats ?
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Posted 7/1/17 , edited 7/1/17

ninjitsuko wrote:


dulun18 wrote:
Do you travel outside of the country often ?


I keep my passport renewed frequently. I've gone through two of them now (one as a teenager, one as an adult, currently on my second one as an adult). I'm usually out of the country at least one week every 2-3 months for business (at the bare minimum). Work tends to take me to Japan, Australia, Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Ireland. International vacations are at least 3-6 weeks (when I finally do get around to taking them). I tend to take trips to England, Germany, Luxembourg, and China for vacation.

So yeah... I think I travel outside of the country more than enough in some cases.

Edit:
One thing I absolutely hate is that the government isn't keen on adding passport pages any longer. I'm due to run out of pages in the next 3-4 months, so I guess I should probably apply for a new one altogether soon myself. 52 pages just isn't enough.


Same but I've never got one as a teenager. My first passport was at 18 because I had planned a trip to Europe a few weeks after my 17th Birthday, but I renewed it 2-3 years ago I think due going to Canada now I'll have to do it again since I've had my last name changed.
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Posted 7/1/17

AnimeAddictANN69 wrote:


Artlicker wrote:


AnimeAddictANN69 wrote:


Artlicker wrote:

lol you actually pay that much? holy crap i get my passport and fees for free ctfu
and no my parents don't pay for it[


Thank you for clarifying it we believe you !


oh you want proof here u go : )


the credibility of the passport aside... if someone else is paying for it instead of you it's FREE ? i guess it is then.. but what's the difference from having your parents pay for it ?

Thank you for clarifying it we believe you ! :happy:


on other notes,

Smuggling gangs renting out real U.S. passports
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_BR_AFcuKI


are you implying as if the U.S governments are handing out diplomatic passports left & right? how silly of them not to keep a track of the people they do in a database as if a regular passport is on par with this one
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Posted 7/2/17 , edited 7/2/17

Artlicker wrote:




you didn't get the chance to read the other user's comment ?

the video is a separate thing i want to add in to the post (as stated-- on other notes)



ninjitsuko wrote:


Artlicker wrote:
oh you want proof here u go : )


Nice loophole. Technically, it's likely because you're a relative of someone who has a diplomatic passport. Funny story - those who end up getting a diplomatic passport have had to pay for it in some way or another (usually indirectly through a lawyer or by having to get a specific level of security clearance). True story though, if you aren't travelling for state/government-sponsored trips - you still have to have a regular (official) passport (unless you are a relative of someone who has a diplomatic passport as mentioned a few sentence ago).


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Posted 7/2/17

AnimeAddictANN69 wrote:


nanikore2 wrote:

Travel outside of the country is a once a year deal for me at most.

...and I'm not that big of a repeat traveler. Once I've been to a country I kinda want to go to another one instead of going there again for vacation.



i don't know how long people usually stay in a foreign country during their vacation... but it's impossible to visit all the places in that countries in just a few weeks. I would like to stay for a least 3-6 months but it's not possible.



My wife and I rented an apartment in Paris for a month across the river from Notre Dame and by the end of that month we were quite ready to come home.
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Posted 7/3/17

nanikore2 wrote:

My wife and I rented an apartment in Paris for a month across the river from Notre Dame and by the end of that month we were quite ready to come home.


you didn't go anywhere else in that month ?

There are a lot of attractions in each country but you have to drive/fly to those places
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Posted 7/3/17

dulun18 wrote:


Do you travel outside of the country often ?




Depends on what you mean by "frequently". Last year, for example, I took 4 individual trips. But two years before I didn't go anywhere.
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Posted 7/3/17

ninjitsuko wrote:

My first passport was rather neat. One country would stamp to the left for entry, right for return (ex: Japan, Left / USA, Right). Even though it cuts your pages down in half, at least it followed some type of pattern. My last passport was out of pages when I had to go to Italy on an emergency. My arrival and return were just "re-stamps" (stamped on top of my last stamp from each country). That worked too. Now it's just a free-for-all. lol


Now, I don't know how it is for other airports in the U.S, as the only U.S. airport I have ever used was JFK, but they have been implementing these machines where you take a picture and fill out the customs information before going through security. For me the custom officers have been stamping that print out and not my passport, which has been saving spaces in my passport.
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Posted 7/3/17

Bowie-Sensei wrote:


dulun18 wrote:

Do you travel outside of the country often ?



Depends on what you mean by "frequently". Last year, for example, I took 4 individual trips. But two years before I didn't go anywhere.


I guess. I didn't go outside of the country since 2010.

a side discussion relating to the topic,

Do you guys worry about the radiation or war/terrorism at all during your travel ?


Posted 7/4/17

Bowie-Sensei wrote:
Now, I don't know how it is for other airports in the U.S, as the only U.S. airport I have ever used was JFK, but they have been implementing these machines where you take a picture and fill out the customs information before going through security. For me the custom officers have been stamping that print out and not my passport, which has been saving spaces in my passport.


Yeah, this depends on which airport is your re-entry one. I've seen what you're talking about. It streamlines entry for those with American passports or valid US visas (which is kind of awesome). It's just that not every airport has caught up to this line of thinking just yet. It would cut down on the number of stamps in the passport.

Speaking of this topic, I've gone ahead and put in an order for a new passport (with expedited services). I have a business trip in August (to India) and I'm skirting by with just a few pages. I should get it before then (normal turnaround is around 2 weeks).
Posted 7/4/17

dulun18 wrote:
This is odd :/ I didn't get any notification for this post. I think you also posted in the gun general discussion thread right ? did you reply to my post there ?


Funnily enough, I didn't get a notification of you quoting me here. Sorry about that!


dulun18 wrote:
I don't speak Chinese and we only had 1 week, we brought a cousin who said he can speak Chinese. Would you rather get lost or be a victim in some foreign country ? Tour guides will be safer for most people.


You're right, to a degree. It's safer but it's one of those things that can easily become a scam either way. I'm lucky that I picked up reading most languages as a child (I hated not being able to read something and I was deaf until I was 9 years old, so reading/writing were my only forms of communication). Speaking didn't come until much later. I can get buy in most places and it takes me about 6-10 months to pick up a language well enough to travel on (even in my "old" age).

As you said, it's really about dedication and desire to learn the language. That's why I've noticed that even those far older than I will pick up a language if they're excited about travelling to a new place abroad. This trend is becoming less common, as I think people are being told that it's fine with a translator or tour guide. It's a strange thing for me, having only used a tour guide once and got frustrated with the "processes" they would go through each day.


dulun18 wrote:
We were in a hotel in Beijing and could not find a hotel staff who can speak English, it's a hit or miss even if you are in the city. They also have those annoying card that you need to put in the slot to turn on the electricity. I hated it when you spent the whole day in the heat coming back to the hotel room that is 90+ degree inside !!!


Aaaaaaaaahaha.........ha...
Sorry, this brings back memories. I'll give you a pro tip in case you go back to Beijing again. Get two electric cards. Leave one in the slot. This works in most hotels in Beijing that has such a system. Keep in mind that it's a bit of a rude/jerkish thing to do in that culture (as electricity is a precious commodity in some parts of China). But, needless to say, I'm a tech guy - so this used to impact not only my temperature (hey, I like it cool) but also killed charging my backup phone or tablet while not in the hotel.


dulun18 wrote:
Make more while spending less is the goal for me.


This should be the goal for everyone. It's often that I see someone making six figures or more and they get accustomed to some lavish lifestyle. My logic is always imagine you're making half of what you do (when you hit six figures). I do have moments where I spend way too much but that's because of the emergency/OH SHIT! savings account (which started back when I was a kid, cutting tobacco). Life happens. Life is expensive at times. Medical bills, car repair, installing a new faucet in the kitchen (ugh..my next thing to do - will get to it tomorrow), and regular day to day stuff can magically hit your bank account.

Of course you're going to spend more when you make more, even if it's just a small amount. But when compared to my neighbours and colleagues that make similar (or more) than me - I'm not going out to some lavish restaurant every other day for brunch (there's a nearby place that some of these guys are going that costs $85 a plate for breakfast/brunch). I'm more of a $15-25 per person kind of guy myself. Some people just go stupid with spending money when they make more money. Then they complain about "dem libruhs" wanting the government to take their money -- but, that's another thread at another time. It's one of my pet peeves.


dulun18 wrote:
If you only spent $425 out of the $8500 provided, i'm sure the client will take note of that and will most likely come to you in the future. Repeated customers are the most important in growing a business after all.

Did you notice the seats are getting smaller even for business/first class seats ?


This is one of the first things that our clients noticed when I took over as CTO. On-site travel costs were dropped tremendously. I asked to fly economy/coach for the first few trips. They felt that it was under appreciating my value and felt that such seats were uncomfortable enough for a short flight - so they bumped it up to first class. My personal spending dropped a significant amount when compared to the last CTO. My last calculation before stepping down for awhile (demoted myself to development until the ship gets a bit happier) confirmed that I utilize around 5-10% of the allocated amount on all of my trips. The former CTO would spend 135% or more on each trip and our side would have to compensate him for it. Not only do I save our clients money, I save our company money.

Some airlines are shrinking first class. Business is getting a weird overhaul. Many airlines are converting business class seats to "economy/coach plus" seats or something similar. This means slightly smaller-sized seats and more legroom (than economy). But overall, smaller than business. One thing I have noticed is that the number of first class seats is shrinking faster than anything else. For domestic flights, it's gone from 20-25 seats in first class to 10-16.


dulun18 wrote:
a side discussion relating to the topic,

Do you guys worry about the radiation or war/terrorism at all during your travel ?


Not really.
I do happen to travel to some controversial places from time to time. Some of my friends freak out about me going over to Russia because of the Trump/Syria stuff that's been going on the last 7 months. What they don't realize is that relations with Russia have been strained since the Cold War - it doesn't impact private companies/businesses much as long as there aren't any regulations. Japan? Eh, it isn't like I'm going into Fukushima or something.
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Posted 7/4/17
Seeing that I almost never leave the country that I haven't bothered to get mine renewed after it expired two years ago. I realize that I just don't have the money these days to make such a trip, so I'm in no such hurry to get a new passport. But one of these days, I'll need to because I'm never quite sure when I'll need to.
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Posted 7/4/17

ninjitsuko wrote:



Yeah, this depends on which airport is your re-entry one. I've seen what you're talking about. It streamlines entry for those with American passports or valid US visas (which is kind of awesome). It's just that not every airport has caught up to this line of thinking just yet. It would cut down on the number of stamps in the passport.

.


Yeah, no. It doesn't stream line it at all. In fact, each successive trip I take it makes the process take longer and longer.
Most recently I took a trip to Kyoto in April for spring break, and it took two and a half hours to get through customs, and I was near the front.
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