Travelling abroad is fun, but there’s no denying that it has its ups and downs. If you plan on travelling any time soon, here are some dos and don’ts for your trip.
DON’T ignore the culture and customs
No matter where you’re travelling you’ll find that there are differences between your and their way of life. Unless you know about the customs in a certain country it can be surprisingly easy to upset people. In some countries it can take something as simple as pointing your finger in to make someone feel uncomfortable or threatened. It’s easy to find out about these customs online or in travel guides and in quite a few places, if you’re polite and friendly, you’ll find that asking people is the easiest way to get a handle on social etiquette. It’s also advised that you always ask before taking a photo or video of someone.
In the same way that you should respect the customs of a particular country, you should also resect the culture and history. If you’re visiting historical, religious or culturally significant sites then you should respect the people and the places. Don’t litter or cause a scene and pay attention to how people navigate the site. Food should be treated with the same respect too since it is an integral part of culture. If the local food is not to your taste then politely decline to eat it as opposed to loudly stating how gross it is.
DON’T make yourself obvious to thieves
Tourists are the favoured targets of pickpockets and thieves around the world so do your best not to give thieves an incentive to target you. Don’t carry around large sums of cash or show off your money. Distribute and hide your money in different places on your persona and in your luggage. This way, if you do happen to be pickpocketed or mugged, you are likely to have some money left. If you carry a bag, carry around a small and discreet bag and keep it secure and always in your hold.
DO immerse yourself
If you want a well-rounded experience of your travels then you need to get involved with the country you’re in. Learn some of language and test it out on the locals. Take public transport at least once. Try some of the local food (although be aware of the quality).
DO travel smart
There’s a careful balance between saving money and putting yourself in danger. Never, hitchhike or walk alone in unpopulated areas. There are other ways that you can save money without putting yourself in danger. You can compare airport parking online to get it for less and bring your own snacks instead of buying food on the go.
DO stay safe and aware
You should always keep aware of your surroundings while you’re travelling. Make sure that someone knows where you are or where you’re going at all times and avoid going places alone. Have a backup plan for any items that get stolen. Write down your passport and bank card information (or memorise it) so that you can alert the authorities or freeze your bank cards.