Travelling abroad offers such a wonderful opportunity to see and learn so many new things. Not only do you get to see the sights and native plants and animals, but you have the chance to learn about a new culture and how their communities operate and behave. Quite often when we travel we think about all the fun excursions and sightseeing adventures to enjoy, restaurants to try and nightlife fun. There are new foods and museums and historical sites, but there are also other things to think about as you travel abroad in order to have a full, safe and more enriching experience.
1. Respect the Culture
International travel means engaging with cultures different from your own. You should always try to be respectful of the difference. Even if you’re not familiar with particular customs there are a few things you can do. Never touch members of the opposite sex, be tolerant of smoking, and be aware of your hand gestures. Thumbs up, pointing, etc., these gestures may not mean the same thing in other cultures.
2. Medical Emergencies
All kinds of things can come up when you’re travelling, even when you do your best to prevent these unforeseen occurrences. You may want to consider traveller’s insurance that will work in conjunction with your health insurance. Check out Here, if you are concerned about how your European health insurance card can be used while you are abroad.
Some destinations require a visa. They’re basically permission slips to be in the country. Before you go, you should check if you will need one. They’re usually valid for 30 days, but it may be shorter or longer depending on your reason visiting the country. If you’re taking a longer trip, check with the embassy in your home country before travelling.
4. Take Care of Home
If you’re going to be away for a while, you may want to get a house sitter, especially if you have pets or a well-manicured garden that needs tending. You can pay bills in advance or online if necessary, or download security or utility apps that allow you to monitor your property or turn lights on and off remotely.
In most countries cash is king, but you want to make sure you have the right currency. The US dollar and the Euro just may be your safest bet when it comes to cash. If you choose to use credit cards wherever they are accepted, check regularly to ensure there are no unauthorised purchases. And regardless of how you pay, keep all of your receipts until after you leave the country. You never know if a customs agent will ask to see them.
6. Modes of Transportation
Taking a tour of a country or staying for a significant period of time will involve various modes of transportation. You should be aware that flying may not always be the best or most cost-efficient way of travelling. There are buses, trains and animals. Certain locations may only be accessible by horse, foot or private car, so keep this in mind when you are touring another country. And if you are travelling the country by plane, be prepared to do a little bargaining in order to get the best advantage possible. Your ticket is changeable no matter what is printed on it. Talking to multiple airline agents just might do the trick or go to an airline lounge instead of the main counter. You may be able to upgrade your seat for no money or get fees waived.
Safety is paramount whenever you’re travelling abroad. In many countries, the police may not be your safest bet. Sometimes they hire themselves out to the highest bidder, so if you are not in a position to pay for their service or protection, beware. Don’t allow people to follow you and always guard your belongings. If someone is begging or offering you some sort of help in exchange for something you have no interest in, you should clearly and firmly tell them that you won’t be helping them or that you don’t want their help. Make it clear that you have no intention of compensating them. Don’t tell strangers where you are staying and depending on where you are visiting, you may not want to be out at certain times of the day or night alone. Knowing the crime rate and the incidence rates of various crimes or criminal activity can help you make better judgements regarding your safety when travelling abroad.
8. Taxis and Ride Shares
In some countries, the best way to get around locally is the official taxi, but other countries may offer better service through ride share companies. Do a little research so that you can choose the right mode of transportation from the airport to where you are staying. Whatever way you choose, never assume that your driver knows how to get you to your destination. Ask if they know where they’re going or tell them to ask someone for directions. You can also provide GPS direction for your driver. Be careful of language barriers when you have to give the directions. Also, make sure to ask or settle on the cost of your ride before you pull off.
Unless you are travelling for political reasons, it is usually best to keep your political views to yourself. You want to avoid saying anything negative about the government of the country you are visiting. There’s no way to know who is listening or trying to bait you into saying something that can land you in serious trouble. If you are travelling in a country that is fraught with political strife or a country that thinks negatively of your country of origin, it will be in your best interest to stay hushed about governments, policy and political affairs. International travel is almost always exciting, but don’t let that excitement keep you from making good decisions and considering more than just discovering new adventures. Sometimes there are things that need to be in place in order for travel to happen easily and without missteps. Happy travelling!!!