I like to travel all over the world and visit places I have never been to. After I have chosen a destination, the next thing that I like to do before my trip, is a little research. It’s nice to have the tools and know how that you will need to have a more enjoyable experience while you are there. I have made you a list of 5 things that I like to do before visiting a different country for the first time.
1 – Obtain Maps, Guides or Tour Books
- Great tools for planning travel routes and itineraries
- Usually includes detailed information on local sites and attractions
- May also include information to help you select your lodging
- Provides information on local tour companies you may want to utilize
- Some even include discount coupons to local attractions
2 – Watch a Travel Show or Read an Article featuring the destination
- Find out what language they speak and do I need to learn it
- Which sites are highly recommended and are there some to avoid
- Learn a little background history on the location
- How is the best way to get around
- When is the best time to travel there
3 – Watch a couple of Know Before You Go videos on You-Tube
- Are there any quirky customs to know about
- What currency and payment methods do they use
- When do they eat dinner
- Is tipping customary
- Is it safe there and are there any specific local crime or scams to watch out for
4 – Check for any Government Rules or Restrictions that may apply to my Trip
- Will I need an International Drivers License for driving there
- Is my Passport enough or will I need a Visa as well
- What other documents should I have on my person at all times
- Do I need any immunizations to visit there
5 – Ask people I know about their Personal Experiences Visiting the Location
Most of the time, I know someone who has been to the country that I plan to travel to. If so, I try to discuss specific questions or concerns that I may have about my impending visit. Generally people are happy to talk to you about the places they have traveled and are glad to pass on helpful tips and advice they have gleaned from their own experience.
Casting a wide research net tends to pull in the best variety of helpful information for planning a trip to a new country. Having multiple sources insures that you are getting different views on the same subject and that your information isn’t jaded by one just one site. I also feel more confident traveling in a new country when I have a good grasp of the local rules and customs so that I am not navigating them in the dark when I arrive. A little bit of planning allows me to make more informed choices, stay safer and just makes for a better trip all around.
Dream, PLAN, Save, Adventure!