Low cost airlines and cheap logging options like AirBnB made world smaller and more available for all of us. In this article I’ve listed things that you should and shouldn’t do while traveling abroad.
Carrying Passport Copy
Losing your passport in a foreign country is one of the major drags that can happen while traveling and that’s why you should leave your passport at a hotel. In countries where tourists are not obliged to take their passport with them it’s advisable to leave it at the hotel room safe or at the reception and carry a copy of first passport page, and visa page (if it’s required) that can be showed upon request of policemen or other authorized person.
Beware of Smooth Talking Strangers
Before traveling to foreign country you should investigate about common frauds and tourist traps. Many of these frauds include smooth talking strangers who ask tourists to spend some time with them, and show them their town. This socializing and sightseeing usually ends up in expensive bars and strip clubs where tourist is required to pay an overpriced bill. Wherever you travel, you’ll definitely meet many kind and hospitable locals, but strangers who are ready to quit their everyday routine, for trivial reasons, like showing you their city should definitely be avoided.
Respect Local Customs and Traditions
People in most countries are very sensitive towards their customs and traditions and superficial tourists can easily find themselves deprecated by their local friends or bystanders for making certain gestures that are common in their country of origin. These are some of the examples of things you shouldn’t do:
- Touch other people’s heads in Thailand;
- Tip waiters and other service personnel in Japan;
- Forget to tip waiters in US;
- Feeding the pigeons on St. Marc Square in Venice;
- Giving people a “thumbs up” gesture in Iran and an “ok” gesture in Turkey and Greece;
Buy Tickets in Advance
Many airplane companies and tourist agencies give great promotional offers for tourists who book their tickets several months in advance. This can save up to 60% of the money you set aside for traveling. It’s also great if you have time for searching for special discounts and packages. Early bird reservations always pay off, and it’s important to find the best offers the moment they are posted online, which is easy by using Travel Pay and other similar services. Best offers usually pop up around special dates, like Black Friday, when Ryan Air for example offered 2 million of promotional seat prices.
Leave Hotel without a Map
Map is one of the main tools for orientation in cities you are not familiar with. Paper maps are great, but today there are much more convenient digital maps that can be uploaded on your phone and that come with different features like: search, shortest routes finders and distance calculators. Other than regular city maps, you should also upload maps of public transportation, street maps and topographic maps for hiking.
Carry Expensive Items in Plain Site
Expensive cameras and phones shouldn’t be carried on plane site, no matter where you are traveling. Small and inconspicuous backpacks and purses can be of great help and they can save you from being mugged, which can definitely spoil your vacation. Wherever you are traveling it’s important to blend in the environment in the best possible way and to be less visible to people with bad intentions.
Wear Clothing that can be Abusive to Other People
Wearing T shirts with offensive inscriptions, camouflage wear and cloths with nationalist insignia can lead to dangerous situations. Your wear should also reflect common attire of local people, which is especially important in countries with written or unspoken attire rules. Certain countries in Middle East require women to cover certain parts of their body, and although it’s not obligatory, men are also advised to wear pants and shirts instead of shorts, because only then they will be accounted as serious and mature.
Believing and Sharing Stereotypical Views
Traveling is the best way to relieve yourself from stereotypes about people from other countries and their culture. Experienced travelers know that people around the world are not that different as the public thinks and that stereotypes are nothing more than misjudgments about other people’s way of life.
Even if you do believe in stereotypes about local people, don’t share your views out loud, because it can be bought rude and dangerous. Nobody likes the feeling of being degraded and judged because of their race, religion or ethnicity and whenever you want to share something that might be interpreted as stereotypical, think about how you would feel if somebody starts judging and downgrading a group you belong to.