Are you planning to travel the world? Well, where will you visit and when? How much will you spend? What will you do when on vacation? Where will you be staying? These are serious questions that you must confront, which are never easy to address. Then there is the culture shock that you’ll have to deal with when touring foreign destinations. How do you navigate around them? How do you make the most of your trip? Well, follow these 10 simple tips to become a good global traveler.
- Understand the six-month passport rule
If you will be touring a country that needs tourists to carry a visa, then ensure that you apply for a travel visa in your home country at least six months prior to your trip. The entire process takes a maximum of two months to complete, but it is always wise to finalize everything well in advance. Secondly, ensure that the expiration date on your passport is six or more months from your travel date.
Also, note that most countries will deny you access if they realize that your passport is nearing expiry. What’s more, you could be planning to stay in a country for less than a month but due to unavoidable circumstances, you are unable to get back home as early as planned. Always be ready for such inconveniences.
- Prioritize traveling
If traveling isn’t your priority, you will never be a good global traveler. Traveling means making sacrifices in all areas of your life. For example, the lion’s share of your budget needs to go to traveling, your wardrobe needs to be filled with travel-friendly clothes, your energy needs to be focused on finding traveling destinations, and your life partner needs to be a travel enthusiast. This is a very demanding venture.
- Avoid spacious suitcases/bags
If you don’t want to burn out after a single trip abroad, avoid heavy and unnecessary luggage. One way of doing this is acquiring a small travel bag/backpack that will not fit too much stuff, even as much as you want to pack more. Just because you feel like you want more items for your trip doesn’t necessarily mean that you need them. As a matter of fact, there is nothing wrong with wearing the same t-shirt two days in a row when traveling the world. Respectively, it is best to bring as few clothes as possible if you want to buy something traditional in that country. For example, going to Peru and taking a Peru tour, you will come across so many traditional clothing and items that you would want to leave some of your clothes behind.
- Respect your hosts
The old saying; When in Rome, do as the Romans do, is applicable to every traveler. Always wear decent clothes as per the culture of your host nation. Smile and be gracious to people as that will help you make friends faster. Also, use appropriate language when addressing people of all ages and avoid offensive political or religious utterances. When visiting London, for example, avoid sensitive topics such as Brexit and instead indulge in the locals’ love for tea. To get a glimpse of the real English culture, take a London free walking tour and experience all that cultural attractions and treasures that characterize London.
- Leverage the locals’ hospitality
Eat local meals and stay among the locals in order to learn their ways and reduce your budget. It is also a good gesture to buy from local businesses and boosting the local economy.
- Make hostel/hotel staff your friends
Hotel, restaurant, and bar attendants deal with tourists all the time; their advice is always invaluable. Ask them to guide you to cheap food joints and free attractions. They know the city in and out, including the places that could pose security risks to tourists.
- Learn the basics of the local language
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela.
The onus is always on you to understand the language of the locals, not the vice versa. Don’t always complain when the taxi driver can’t understand a word you said in English. Make a point of learning at least a few basic phrases of the local slang.
- Flexibility is important
It is not always wise to pre-book everything because there always are hidden treasures to discover once you are in town. Locals will teach you interesting cultural activities, offer you local delicacies, and recommend tours that will excite you more than you can possibly imagine. If you don’t have time for those, then you will miss out on probably the best time of your life. Always make your itinerary as flexible as possible.
- Avoid sleeping in
Vacations are meant for resting, not sleeping. There is a difference. Because you want to see and do as much as possible during your limited stay in your host nation, always rise up early and hit the road. Did you know that free walking tours offer you the best opportunity to explore a new city?
“Anila is a young ambitious girl who has been researching self-development for the past three years and is now focusing on her career. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams. She loves to share her experiences with people. She is a strong believer that sharing is caring.”