If you plan on running out of pages on your passport, you better learn how to become a master at traveling. The anecdotes of your adventures ought to be amazing if you are going to travel, and a little planning goes a long way. Unless you truly enjoy your experience as a tourist, you would not be able to make the memories you can cherish later on.
So let's get to a few basic tips that can help make your experience better. Have a look:
A lot of folks these days have been using Airbnb as a cheap alternative for hotels. Don't get me wrong; you can find luxurious residencies on this app as well. However, what you have to keep in mind is that when you are headed to a residency where your host is living, it might be helpful to not go there empty-handed.
I suggest you choose something from the native delicacies or a little souvenir from your homeland as a gift. You are bound to receive much better treatment, and I can guarantee that. Try not to vandalize the place you are living at, because that leaves a wrong impression.
These days, it is all about instagraming your latest adventures. That might be fun, but like all the other aspects of life, I suggest that you bring some class to your traveling. Send home a postcard. That way, you can let your close friends and family know where your wanderlust has taken you without bragging all about it on Instagram. (Okay, maybe you should post on your Insta story as well!)
Travelling is all about experiencing new places and learning about new cultures, cuisines, and customs. Guess who your best teacher is? That is right, the natives! A map sure does look fancy in a tourist's hands, but you might find a helpful taxi driver more effective as well as helpful.
You might be an introvert but interacting with people more often is that one thing that you ought to do if you are out to discover a new city. A barista at a bar could tell you more about the neighborhood than Google would.
It is not mandatory for a tourist to learn the language of the natives, but I see many pros and no cons. If you know the native language, you would be able to read the signboards better. Shopping for souvenirs would become a lot easier if you can bargain with the seller in his language. Using a common language creates an instant bond between the people having a conversation.
Imagine walking through the streets of Madrid and overhearing a conversation between a street vendor and his son about their day, that’s the kind of understanding of a culture that knowing a language can offer. Try this if you’re looking for the best way to learn Spanish.
Okay, I have to admit I am a sucker for style. You can board the plane in your PJs for all I care, but honestly, maintain a good wardrobe when you are traveling. People speak to the way you are dressed. Do you plan on going to a country where the societies are somewhat conservative? If yes, then you ought to dress modestly. People tend to respect the tourists a lot more if they are mindful of the native’s values.
If you are under the impression that every minute you spend traveling will be one of sheer bliss, you are badly and sadly mistaken my friend. You see, traveling demands from you a lot of patience. You will come across people who you might find weird or absurd according to your ‘better' judgment, but trust me, that is cultural differences obscuring the positive traits of that person for you. Treat people well, and stay calm. You might as well end up making new friends.
Traveling with pets is something a bit difficult. I suggest that you find a caretaker or leave your pet at a pet daycare/resort while you are gone. And if you don't want to leave your pet behind, do remember to acquaint yourself with the rules regarding pet boarding. Also, purchase a pet harness and make sure to keep all the pet essentials with you, I promise it will come in handy. Or you can just let go of all this hassle by hiring a pet relocation company for the job.
I have got a good reason for asking you to do that. You see, while the city’s attractions are piled in the city center for the most part; it also happens to be the most expensive part of the city for tourists. If you try to discover the other parts of the city, you will find that the food is cheaper, same goes for the souvenir stalls on the streets. You will also help spread the dollars across the city that way.
You will find that people are quite helpful when you let them know you are a tourist who needs help with directions or translation. It is your job to show them good manners and practice common courtesy. Learn to say ‘thank you' in their native language, and thank people when they help you.
Always tip the waiter before you leave the restaurant, especially if you have engaged with him in a conversation about the best parts of the city that ought to be visited by tourists.
A tourist and a camera go hand-in-hand, quite literally! But before you set on your mission to capture a city’s beauty by your camera, consider a few things. You ought to make sure you are not taking photos of children without asking their parents.
Be especially careful while taking scenic pictures in developing countries. It is always best that you ask people before you take a photograph of them and their activities. Try to make sure that your photograph doesn’t end up contributing to a stereotype that doesn’t need further endorsement.
Apart from all these things, make sure to keep a first aid kit. Consider it a mandatory thing! When you are away from home, you are more prone to minor accidents and mishaps as well as you never know what the trip has on the plate for you. So you need to be prepared ahead of time by carrying all these essentials especially a first aid kit. You can purchase a travel first aid kit. It is available over the counter at all the local pharmacies or departmental stores in town.
The tips mentioned above are quite simple but needless to say, they are of great significance. I hope all these tips would prove to be useful. Happy Traveling pals!
Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at https://www.mimicmethod.com/.