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Things to consider when traveling to a country for the first time

By Edited Feb 13, 2016 1 1

If you are the adventurous type that enjoys travelling to different countries over the globe to experience the diverse cultures that each country brings, then that is a great thing because no one will be able to take that experience away from you. When traveling however, it is very important to make sure that you put your safety first.

It is very important that when mapping out strategies to enjoy your travels that you should include ways to guard against any eventualities. Make sure you do a lot of research about the place and if possible ask people you know who may have travelled to the places you are planning on going. Ask them questions on what to expect. No doubt there is always good and bad about places you visit and it is better to know about the bad so that you are not in for a shock when you get there.

If the main language of the country you are visiting is not the same as yours, you could invest in a language book that would help you to at least learn the basics of communication.

If accommodation is not part of your travel package, then be sure to make this a top priority before you travel. This might sound like an automatic thing one would do, but there have been cases where people have gone to places where they have not done proper research about the hotels in the area and they have lived to regret it.

Having said that, even if you have booked a holiday with accommodation as part of the package, going by horror stories some people have faced, it is better to still do a little bit of research about where you will be staying so as to be extra sure.

Transport is another factor to consider before travelling. Make sure you find out about registered taxi services and local buses running within the locality of where you will be staying. You should be able to check these details by searching the country's website that deals with tourism or even the website of the High Commision or Embassy of your country based in that location should be able to have information you need or point you in the right direction. You could even book your transport before leaving and that way someone would be waiting to meet you - with your name on a placard or something.

Be sure to store important numbers on your mobile phone such as your country's high commision or embassy, local emergency services, your credit card emergency number, the registered cab office, and the airline customer service amongst other things. Yes you could get this on the internet, but it's still better to have it saved on your phone and how do you know what the internet connection is like over there.

When travelling it is much better and safer to have a credit card handy to make all your transactions but the fact is that you will still need a bit of local currency. If you intend on taking some cash with you make sure you find out where you can get a good exchange rate. For example, would it be cheaper to exchange the currency before traveling or would it be much cheaper once you arrive your country of destination. Find this out in order to save both your money and time.

Having done the above, you still need to take precautions once you arrive.If you cant afford to register a cab, do not share a cab with anyone even if the other party offers to pay! Whilst the offer may be genuine, you do not know that and it is better to be safe than sorry. Thank the person and politely turn down their offer. If the person is genuine, they would take it in their stride and understand.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, it is equally important to make sure you apply safety measures once you reach your hotel. Familiarise yourself with your room, and its environs. Find out the times when the rooms are cleaned and when to normally expect staff to come around to do one thing or the other.

Whilst it's good to be friendly and meet new people, it would probably be better to socialise with them at a crowded location like the dining area, bar or swimming pool.

Make sure all safety locks are used at night in order to avoid the attraction of unwanted guests such as burglars. some people are very good at spotting tourists, no matter how hard you try to blend in with the locals, so the best thing to do is be careful when travelling to a new country but also enjoy yourself.

These are some of the things to consider before traveling to a place you've never been before and also things to do once you arrive.

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Comments

Jun 17, 2010 10:19pm
Deborah-Diane
Great suggestions for traveling to a new country for the first time. And, I don't think you're being paranoid at all to emphasize the importance of checking locks and looking out for your own safety. You're just being realistic! Thanks for the informative article.
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