Travel Tip: Know Before You Go

You’ve made your flight, landed at your destination, retrieved your luggage and, as you walk through the airport you realize, you can’t read.  Specifically, you can’t read the language that is native to your destination.  There are a few things you can do prior to leaving that will help you avoid this situation.

Try learning a few key terms and phrases before you leave.  There are language programs you can use such as Rosetta Stone, or mobile apps such as Duolingo that get you speaking basic words or phrases.  Another option is to have a mobile app translator (Google Translate and iTranslate are popular) for figuring out languages while out and about. One friend said her son even used a translator app to help communicate with another foreign traveler who was lost in an airport.

 When meeting someone, do you shake hands or bow?  You have no utensils when you are served your food, do ask for some or eat with your hands? Familiarize yourself with the local customs and etiquette to avoid any uncomfortable situations.  You are the guest in their country and you don’t want to offend any of the local residents, or worse, violate any laws.  Just like you would like someone to respect your home, show respect for those in the destination that is hosting your travel adventure.

If you are planning on wandering around town to shop or are using public transportation, be sure to understand the currency exchange rates.  You want to get a good deal but also want to ensure that you are not shorting any of the vendors you are purchasing from.  This is another instance when your smartphone can be useful.  Download a reputable currency exchange app, sometimes available from your bank or credit card company, so you know just how much you are spending.  Along these lines, when using public transportation, come to an understanding about the fare price BEFORE you commit to riding off.  

A little research before you leave will help you be better prepared for what you encounter when you arrive at your destination.  That will be the best way for you to be able to relax and enjoy the cultural experience around you.

Journey Scapes Travel specializes in cruise and all-inclusive style vacations.  We are committed to offering personalized travel services and customer service satisfaction of the highest quality.  To find out how we can be of service to you, please contact us and we will gladly assist you.