Traveling internationally is one of the top vacation plans in the works for Americans right now, and with that comes a lot of pressure to do it right. We want to be tourists and get to see countries from the eyes of the locals. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mistakes that are easy to make! Here are four things to know before you travel anywhere.
You Don’t Have To Be Fluent.
Many people think that they can’t travel until they’re fluent in the country’s language. But, unfortunately, this isn’t the case! Although it’s beneficial to have an entry-level understanding of some simple sayings in the language, you can get by using something almost everyone has: a smartphone. There are dozens of apps for language translation, translating text to translating the spoken word and allowing you to hold a conversation with anyone necessary.
Some common phrases you should know in any language you’ll encounter are ‘I need help,’ ‘thank you, ‘how do I get here, and ‘please.’ Although knowing more is celebrated, and most locals will get excited to hear you try, it’s not necessary unless you won’t have your phone around.
Be Respectful And Willing To Learn
The worst thing you can do going into an unknown country is assuming you know everything you need to know. There’s a phenomenon in Japan known as the Paris Syndrome when they go to France, and it doesn’t fit the ideals they assume. This kind of culture shock can cause migraines and heart problems if it’s severe. So travel with an open mind, and be ready to learn things. There’s only so much you can find out about a country and its people by being online.
Don’t think that you’re above locals if you’re in a country that your own country seems to look down on. Every human being has a different experience, and there’s no way you can lump any one type of person or country into one category.
Don’t Travel Alone Unless Necessary.
If you can find a travel buddy, go with them! You may think you do fine traveling to new cities in your home country, but a new country is different for obvious reasons. Go with someone you trust, and get to know the country together. This doesn’t have to be a romantic trip, and you don’t even have to spend every moment together: allow yourself to have a safety net in the form of a person. You can find new experiences through their eyes and possibly learn and do things you won’t have tried alone.
Plan Out Lodging Ahead of Time
Although it might be exciting to go into another country blindly, it’s not the best idea at times. If you don’t speak the language, you don’t want your first hours to be spent getting lost trying to find a place you can afford.
Having a hotel or hostel planned out for every night allows you to have a home base that you can go back to at any time. This isn’t like looking at Nashville houses for sale; you can’t just go to a familiar brand to stay in a hotel for a night: you won’t recognize most brands in most countries.