What do you do when you’re alone in a foreign country, your boyfriend suddenly disappears, and people you barely know are coming to visit for the weekend? If you’re Megan Hofflin, you clean the house. And then set about following a trail of clues, dragging your guests along for the ride…
Next Friday, February 1, the seventh book in the series will be released on Kindle. I finished writing it in January, 2010, and only recently reread it for the first time since I made my initial edits. And you know what? It’s pretty damn fun!
Book 7: The Missing Tourist is the second mystery featuring Megan (introduced in Book 6: The Night Ferry), now a writer and editor for a travel agency. Here are a few tips she might share with potential travelers, based on some of her own adventures.
General Travel Tips, by Megan:
- While many wonderful experiences can be had when traveling alone, it can also be extremely illuminating to travel with companions. Whether they are old friends or people you meet on a night ferry, they can broaden your experience in ways you won’t be able to imagine.
- Keep your cash, cards and important documents, such as your passport and tickets, secure at all times: wear a money belt under your clothing while you travel, and lock documents and extra cash in your suitcase or room safe when you go out on day trips. If you find yourself sharing a cabin with a stranger, be sure to tuck your valuables in a safe place, like under your pillow.
- Recommendations from others are always a good idea, especially when you’re not quite sure where to go or what kind of experience you’re hoping to have. Social networks, books and travel rating sites may have great input for you that leads you to exactly what – or who – you’re looking for.
- Don’t hesitate to let your plans change if an exciting and unexpected opportunity presents itself. However, consider the extra cost before leaving a prepaid tour or cancelling a hotel or travel reservation at the last minute. In those cases, it’s only worth it if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, or an emergency.
- Keep an eye out for public restrooms, especially if you need to spend time sitting in a parked car, staking out an apartment. Some restrooms will require payment for use, often in coin currency.
- You can use your ATM card to pull out cash at many foreign ATMs as long as it has a 4-digit pin, though fees will apply. Check with your bank to find out what card logos to look for and ATM locations. You can also open a separate checking account for trip funds, in case of a lost or stolen card.
- If you find yourself in trouble abroad, you may want to contact your local embassy – or, if you have them, well-connected friends.
- Be open to what the world is offering you, whether it’s food you’ve never tried before; events, places or sights off your itinerary; or new companions you may encounter. Whatever comes could change your life.
Read the next exciting installment in the series to find out what happens as Megan, Lainey and Aiden race across Europe to solve the mystery of the missing tourist.