-- How To Be a Better Traveler ~ Travel and Immigration 101

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How To Be a Better Traveler

We all like to think we’re pretty good tourists, expanding our horizons and learning about foreign cultures, but sometimes even the most experienced traveler can be guilty of some common travel slip ups. To guide you along a more enlightened path, here’s how to be a better traveler.

  • Contribute: Contributing to the local economy is one of the best things you can do when travelling. By buying locally made products or staying in homegrown hotels (not big international chains), your tourist dollars go direct to the people who need them. If you’re visiting an orphanage or school in a developing country, find out beforehand whether it’s worth bringing items such as pencils or schoolbooks for the local children.
  • Research: Heading somewhere new? Then do some research on the local customs and traditions, even if it’s just for five minutes on the plane. You may find out what not to wear, whether some gestures could be misinterpreted as rude, or even pick up useful some local words. Are public displays of affection frowned upon? You’d thank yourself for finding out before anything happened.
  • Show respect: Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. You should remain respectful to everyone you meet, whether that’s the women at the convenience store, the hawker interrupting your beach session, or someone working behind the airport check-in counter. If you treat others with respect, then they’re more likely to offer helpful advice if things go wrong.
  • Live in the moment: Are you guilty of dining in McDonald’s everywhere you go? Trust us, it tastes the same. Travelling should be able trying new things, even if that’s a local delicacy you can’t pronounce. Be adventurous, and you’ll get a whole lot more out of your experience.
  • Don’t blow your lid: Schedules inevitably change when travelling. Although this can be extremely frustrating, blowing your top about it isn't going to help anyone - least of all you. Being patient and accepting of the situation, knowing that it will eventually get resolved, will get you a lot further as people are more likely to help a calm person than an irate one.
  • Be patient: Patience is a virtue. When you accept that most things are going to be done differently from what you’re used to, you’ll have a more relaxing trip. Some countries are much more laid back than others and may take longer to respond to requests. Just be patient.
  • Go local: You never know if or when you will get to experience the country you are travelling in again, so try to get the most out of it. Hang with the locals, learn about places to explore which aren’t mentioned in your guidebook, and just soak up the authentic local culture.
  • Be a good passenger: Long plane and bus journeys are usually pretty uncomfortable, so stay mindful of your fellow passengers. Avoid invading their personal space by spilling into their seat, and if you have a weak bladder maybe request the aisle seat. Everyone is pretty crammed together so it’s also a good idea to freshen up before you embark on the long journey.
  • Barter with respect: When visiting developing countries, most market vendors are usually open to a bit of bargaining and quite enjoy the banter that goes along with it. Just keep in mind that the $1 or so you’re bargaining over may feed this salespersons family for days, so stay fair and real. Don’t treat the person poorly just because you’re trying to secure a better deal.
  • Be organised: Ensure you are totally organised before you set off on your travels. Have your map and guide book close and exchange some money before you leave. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport to avoid unexpected delays.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Design by Wordpress Theme | Bloggerized by Free Blogger Templates | free samples without surveys