Visiting far away places is amazing! Learning about other cultures, seeing new things and trying new foods is great and a hobby of mine but it can also be scary and overwhelming. Going to a strange land where you don't speak the language or know all of the customs can cause a lot of people to stay home where they are comfortable.
If you dream of visiting far away lands but are overwhelmed by the differences other countries have I'm here to help! Below is a quick list of easy things you can learn and do before you fly to take the fear out of going to exotic places.
1. Learn some highly used phrases in the native language. I suggest learning things like, "Where's the restroom?" "I'm sorry" "Do you speak English?". Learning these basics will show that you put some effort into communication and people will be more willing to help. You can do this by downloading an app, I use google translate but there are endless options.
2. Research some cultural basics. You can search your vacation location on Pinterest or grab a book from the library. You should look for info on how to behave as well as things like how to tip.
3. You can find out where the nearest US embassy (or an embassy for your own country) by doing a quick google search. Having this info handy is good incase you lose your passport or just need help in general. You can also register with your state travel department for travel updates and info.
4. Contact you cell phone provider about coverage, roaming, and fees. You need to know if your phone will work with coverage or only while you're connected to wifi. Also know in advance how to call for help.
5. You should know the climate so you can pack and dress appropriately. Again, something you can find out via the good internet.
6. Plan activities and transportation before you go. Know where you'll be and being armed with the knowledge that you wont be stranded somewhere will allow you to relax and enjoy your trip.
Simple! Hope this quick post helps overcome a little nervousness associated with traveling.