Traveling out of the country can be quite the luxury. Whether you are on business or are leaving for pleasure, getting to explore and experience a foreign land is quite a magnificent opportunity. I, myself, have traveled around the world in my short 21 years of life. Through my journeys I have come to learn a few helpful tips here and there when traveling to different countries. Now, I’m not talking about the obvious tips that both seasoned and unseasoned international travelers know. Exchange your currency, learn common phrases and sentences in the country’s language, don’t drink the water, look out for pickpocketing, and things like that are that are what everyone knows already. Sometimes, there are things you just don’t think about until you get to your final destination.
1. Transportation Limitations
No matter where you go, there will most likely be taxis and shuttles. However, these modes of transportation can be a little pricey depending on your location. With Uber and Lyft growing in popularity around the world, they have become the more desirable method of transportation. What I did not know, however, was that Uber and Lyft are illegal in some areas. For example, in Mexico (or at least in Cancun) Uber was banned from going to airports, or any place really, that taxis were stationed. This threw me off, and I had to factor those expensive in my vacation budget.
2. Whether Exchanging Currency is Actually Necessary
Depending on where you are staying, exchanging your currency may not be as needed as you thought. I have come to learn that when traveling in Mexico (which is a country bordering the US, I know) that they have almost prefered the American dollar over pesos. Our currency has a little more weight to it, so they don’t mind accepting it in touristy locations. I have also found out that this is common in some middle eastern countries like Lebanon. They prefer the American dollar over the Lebanese pound… or they used to. Just do your research and reach out to people who have traveled where you are going to ask about currency.
3. Local Custom Specifics
Unseasoned travelers tend to focus on learning key phrases commonly used in the country they are visiting. While this is extremely important, it is also equally as important to study up on the physical customs of a country. Certain American methods of body language and physical interaction are deemed rude or unacceptable in certain countries. Make sure to research the formalities behind handshakes, hugs, kisses, eye contact, bowing, etc.
4. Local Wildlife Preparation
I know from personal experience, that the only real thing I researched and paid attention to when heading to Cancun recently was the weather. When it came to the wildlife, the only two things I was really aware of were the amount of bugs in the tropical area, and that there were not many sharks in the ocean. What I was unexpected to discover when visiting was the extreme presence of alligators and crocodiles in the Mexican lagoons. I was dead set on renting and riding around on a jet ski, until I realized that people were zooming around in waters filled with man-eaters! Cutting kayaking and jet skiing out of my to-do list due to certain animal interaction wasn’t terrible, just something I wish I had been prepared for before going. Don’t forget to research the wildlife friends!