14 Important Things Every Tourist Must Know Before Touring a Foreign Country
For a trip to be memorable, proper planning is paramount. That is especially true if you decide to visit a foreign country. To have a thrilling experience as a tourist, you have to invest time when preparing for that trip. It doesn’t if this is your first tour or twentieth trip. Maybe there are things that you wished you had known before your last trip.
From organizing airfare, getting, passport and visa, seeking medical advice to researching your destination, are all key to achieving a smooth trip. Even more, a trip to another country means interacting with people different cultures, attitude and whose cuisine is different. When in the foreign nation, you have to assume their ways of life. It requires you to see things from a different angle, their way. Otherwise, you may get yourself on the wrong side.
The following are the things you need to know when organizing sightseeing to a foreign nation:
Be Vigilant for Any Travel Alerts
Before you plan a visit to another country, it is essential to know if there are any warnings to tourists to your destination. You do not wish to put your life at risk. All this information can be found at your country’s embassy. They have up to date security messages for all destinations in the world. Get to know the political climate of the country you are planning to go. Checking from time is necessary because things change super fast. Also, ensure that you have confirmed before and during your depart date. You need to call off the trip if any threats are reported if you do not plan to get into trouble.
Familiarize Yourself with the Country of Your Interest
No doubt, we have different cultures. Just make an effort to know as much as possible about your destination. What one country values might be frowned upon in a different country. Know the all the documents required for all those touring the country. Get to know the religion, language, and cultural norms. Learning does not mean that you should be aware of every aspect of their way of life. It entails appreciating some of the things that appear obvious so you can interact better with the residents of the country.
For instance, make sure you master a few words related to saluting people, food in the local dialect and such. Just learn a few of the local key phrases of that country. If you struggle to speak their language, it draws their attention to you. That’s a way of creating rapport with them. They will treat you in a unique manner and maybe learn more from them.
Understand Health Precautions
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other credible sites have all the information regarding the health precautions for people visiting foreign countries. In there, they provide recommendations for the vaccines that you need to take before entering any country. Also, they will give an outline of the health hazards that you are likely to encounter on your trip. As a smart tourist, you need you need to put your health at the top of your list of essentials. You don’t want to come back to your country with all sorts of infections.
After all, a tour is supposed to be interesting and not something to blame yourself for. You could consult a physician so they can offer directions. Ensure that you stock medication enough to last you the whole duration of the tour. Also, get a medical checkup and a letter a letter from your doctor. There are countries they will deny you entry if you have not verified the status of your health. That is a precaution they take to prevent the introduction of contagious disease into the country.
Be Ready to Use Cash
Not all countries have embraced the use of credit cards in all their transactions. That is so if your trip is to a developing country. Just before departure, it is crucial to inform your bank and Credit Card Company. That is necessary because the bank or the card issuing company might deny you transactions from a different location on grounds of cyber security.
Also, check the exchange rates of converting your money to the foreign currency. It is advisable to avoid the exchange agencies. They are a rip-off. Consider getting the local currencies from a local ATM if there is one at the airport of your destination. If possible, you could get a premium card that can be used worldwide. Withdrawing cash overseas can be quite expensive.
Obtain an International Driving Permit
If you have plans of driving, then getting a driver’s license is mandatory. That is if you are not ready to find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Not every country recognizes foreign driving licenses. Get to know the official rules regarding driving in foreign countries.
Get the Contact Details of Your Embassy
Remember you are moving to a foreign nation. You might have taken all the measures to ensure a successful trip. However, bad things may occur. Talk of an unexpected security breach when in a foreign country overseas. There will be no way of rescuing you if cannot call them and direct them to where you have found refuge or hidden.
Do not take this for granted. Make sure that before you grab your flight to that foreign country, you have all the hotlines with you. You may also signup to receive any notifications concerning security if the embassy offers such services in your country of origin.
Travel in Low Season
There are times when people visit in large numbers. During this time, you pay a lot of money for your flight. You could save on a cheaper ticket if there are not many travelers. In some places, you may find places with food and accommodation is half the regular price.
Prepare Your Documents Early
Before leaving your country, ensure that your passports and visas are ready in advance. Keep them together with you flight tickets. Renew the passport early enough to avoid inconveniences. You may not be allowed into some countries with a passport that is almost expiring. Also, getting your documents ready in advance helps you correct any issues early enough. Failure to do so would only make your travel canceled after going through all the hectic formalities. Included in the documents is the medical letter from a reputable healthy facility.
Another important thing to do is to photocopy your travel documents. Ensure that you notified those close to you that you are going for a trip to a foreign nation. Leave each one of the copies with the relatives before departure. In the case of an emergency, they will be of great importance. Also, let them know your movements from time to time during the travel. The airline agents should be your friends. Speak nicely to them. They may be of great help whenever you get stuck. You do not want to spend the night on the airport floor.
Keep Track of Your Spending
When travel, it is good to ensure that you have a budget beyond which you cannot spend. Nobody would like to get stranded in a foreign nation with no cash. There are Android or iOS apps to help in sticking to your budget.
When visiting another country, you attract a lot of attention from the locals. Not every place is safe. To maximize your safety, ensure that you do not store your credit cards together with the cash. Make sure to separate to your cash and keep it in different pockets. If you get mugged, you will not lose all the money. Or if you lose your cash, you will be left with you cards. That’s a smart way of navigating those areas you are not familiar with.
You may also carry a dummy wallet with expired credit cards with you that you can hand to the robbers. Ensure that you do not have your original documents with you. Get a photocopy of the documents and leave the originals in a safe place. If you have any valuable items like a laptop or jewelry, don’t walk with them everywhere you go. That is a way of attracting thugs. You can use the local cyber café for browsing. Ensure that when in public transport, you have all your valuables closer to you. Not in the luggage compartment.
Get Health and Travel Insurance
When planning a trip to a foreign country, you need to approach a trusted insurance company to get a medical cover. Some nations may not consider foreign insurance policy covers. In such a case, you need to get an extra cover that offers medical assistant and one that allows for medical evacuation. The cost of medical evacuation can turn out to be extremely expensive. So you need to get the cover to save yourself the headache of footing the medical bill.
Book Accommodation Beforehand
To avoid the trouble of being misdirected and taken advantage of, you need to research early enough. Get to know the hotels there together with their cost. Choose a quality hotel but one that is affordable. Avoid walking with your backpack when you exhausted from traveling all day. To get cheap accommodation, you could check on sites like Craiglist. Here you will find apartments and hostels at a lower price. If you have been to a trip, you already know how restaurants and hotels can be expensive.
Be Nice to People
You get treated the way you interact with the people that you meet. Just share information with the people you find and are guaranteed of a nice experience. They will reciprocate and treat you likewise. They will teach you their language and how they do things in a local way. For example, you could learn how they call certain foods.
Get someone that you can walk with and try all manner dishes. Also, have your favorite snacks with you. It reaches a time when you are not comfortable with what the locals are eating. It is from the locals that you will learn a lot of things, even those considered top secrets. If you cannot understand the local dialect, just make an effort to fable a few words that they may be familiar with. That will enhance your connections with them.
Enjoy Without Reservations
Don’t think of the next time. Enjoy now. Things change pretty fast, and you may have only that chance. Make it memorable. Interact with the locals. Take part in all the activities they engage in. Take those photos while smiling. Just make the trip a memorable one. But this is a caveat; never of take pictures without the consent of the people or touching the members of the opposite sex in a suggestive manner. Do not play superior by calling people “locals.” Even more, distance yourself from the politics of the country.
Everywhere you go, you will encounter new challenges from what you are used to at home. You might find harsh residents, harsh climate, food that you don’t like. Just learn how to deal with them. Keep all the above importance things in mind and you are guaranteed of a successful trip to your next destination.