Congratulations – you’re about to travel! Heading off to faraway places should be fun and exciting, but that doesn’t mean you should throw caution out the window. Before you pack your bags, book that flight, and board the airplane, here are 5 things you should know first about the country you’re about to visit.
Unless you’re visiting a country where a big chunk of its population speaks English, learning their native language is a must. You don’t need to enroll in language classes. Go online and do a bit of research. Watch instructional videos. One of the reasons why people don’t enjoy their trip is because of the language barrier. Often there will be a misunderstanding between the tourist and the host. It might even cause a rift. Learn common phrases you think you need, such as, “How much?”, “Where is the nearest restroom?” and “Where is my (name of the hotel)?” These valuable phrases can help make your experience more enjoyable.
Before packing your bags, it’s important to know what kind of weather you’ll be experiencing. Remember that not all places have four seasons; some countries only have two – wet and dry. If you are arriving during the rainy season, make sure to bring appropriate clothing. Another reason why you should check the weather because so
e countries experience the four seasons the other way around. This is especially true for those in the southern hemisphere, like Australia and New Zealand. If you will go Down Under in December, expect to be greeted by heat. When it’s winter in the US, it’s summer in Australia.
Learning more about the culture of other people is also essential before you plan a trip. Someone else’s culture might be shocking to you, and you might disagree with the things they do. Remember that you are a tourist and you are visiting. Out of respect, you should be following local traditions and practices. Let’s take Japan as an example. Tokyo is a common destination amongst travelers. You should know that taking off your shoes before entering someone’s home is expected or that it is expected that you keep quiet and to yourself while you ride the public train. If these are things you cannot do or follow, then perhaps you should consider another country.
Another point you should learn more about is the country’s currency compared to yours. If you are going to the USA, you should know how much $1 is in your money. This will help you budget your expenses better. It might even help you decide if you can afford to travel or not. Remember that almost everything will be bought while you are in a foreign country, from food to accommodations to souvenirs. Plus, you should have an emergency fund for those rare occasions that you might need it.
If you use to drink water straight from the faucet, you should know that not all countries have the same sanitation processes. It is best to stick to bottled water for your safety during your trip and reserve tap water for gargling only. It will be difficult if you are to experience a stomach infection because of local water. Before you book that flight and hotel, study the country you want to visit. Learning more about its people, culture, and language is half the fun of traveling. When you are open to knowing more about exotic locations, you are willingly engaging yourself in a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is irreplaceable.