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What's in My Round-the-World Travel Bag? (Part 9 -- Notebooks, Journals, and Diaries)

When I first started traveling, I carried a Moleskine notebook in my pocket. I thought I was pretty hip, and it was really useful: you should always have a notebook and pen handy. But then I started to sweat, and the Moleskine wore out really quickly. The finishing blow was when I walked up Mount Fuji; never mind that the notebook was in a plastic bag, the rain turned it to pulp.

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What's in My Round-the-World Travel Bag? (Part 7 -- Money and Banking)

Global ATM networks are probably the most revolutionary travel invention since the jet engine. Yet it's often difficult to know the best way to take advantage of this system: Which network should you have? Which banks charge outrageous fees, and which actually refund ATM fees? There's an enormous amount of variance. Many financial institutions do everything they can to stop you finding out about fees, figuring that will stop you from making an educated decision. It goes without saying, however, that ATM withdrawals will give you the best possible exchange rate, and you should exchange cash or travelers' checks as little as possible.

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Mark Twain on Traveling Abroad

I've been spending a lot of time with Mark Twain lately, reading the recently-released first volume of his massive (and hitherto unpublished) autobiography. Twain spent much of his life traveling the world, for leisure, health, and financial reasons. Here he is, trying to convince an old friend from Scotland to come visit America:

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