From a city zoo in San Jose to the mountainous regions of Pakistan to the savannahs of Africa, it’s easy to see that traveling leads to very different places. Nonetheless, there are some basic tips that will help ensure a good trip no matter where it is that you are going.
To really get a feel for where you are vacationing, follow the locals. Many top vacation spots start to feel very generic and touristy. By asking around and finding where the people who live there hang out, you will get a more authentic feel for the area, and as a bonus, avoid the price markups that plague tourist hot spots.
When traveling to poorer or less-developed areas, avoid touching any of the local animals. This obviously includes farm animals, but also covers stray cats and dogs as well as draft or pack animals. You never know what diseases these animals could be carrying, and chances are you don’t have the same immunities as the locals.
When traveling, even in developed nations, always assume your hands are contaminated. Don’t put your fingers in your mouth and avoid eating with your hands. Chances are good you’ve come into contact with hundreds of people and thousands of surfaces, any one of which could be carrying a disease that you aren’t prepared for.
When planning a road trip, don’t forget to budget for the cost of fuel. While many other costs can be easily calculated in advance, the cost of gas is more difficult to figure, and can also add up surprisingly quickly. Online gas calculators can show you where the cheapest prices are and help you get an idea of what you’ll be spending.
Check out your hotels alarms when you arrive. You don’t want to get awakened by a set alarm. If you make sure to turn it off or reset it, you will help get your vacation started off on the right foot.
To travel efficiently, research the place you are going to as much as possible. You should know about the culture of the country you are traveling to, so that you do not do anything offensive or forbidden. For instance, be careful about the way you dress, and avoid certain hand gestures.
Spend more money on a better hotel than the one that’s cheap, but may be in a bad area. Cheap prices draw customers, but remember they also draw shady people too. Spend a few dollars extra and book a hotel that is in a better area with better reviews to boot.
Schedule a late night flight if you are traveling with a baby. Airlines dim lights and raise the cabin temperature on night flights so that people can sleep easier. People are also much quieter and tend to watch movies or listen to music instead of talking. These conditions will help your baby feel relaxed.
No matter where it is that you are going, these common tips should help you in your travels. While each country has its own idiosyncrasies, the advice here should be kept in mind no matter where it is that you go. Now that you’ve got the advice, all that’s left is picking the destination!