It can often be that the ideal and most surprising trip abroad starts with spinning a globe and placing your finger on a random country. Of course, that’s a nice image to think of. But the truth is, while the world has a range of wonderful and absolutely worthwhile countries to explore, it’s also important to know what you’re getting into.
Even the safest countries have their own customs you need to adapt to, and everyday life that you need to be familiar with. For example, an American heading to Europe would need to roughly understand the value of a Euro, or which countries still retain their original currency. This slight example shows a need for some in-depth research, and that’s before we get to the other important considerations.
So, with this in mind, let us try and help you achieve this. The more prepared and comfortable you feel, the more you can get out of your travels. It pays to do your research.
Research The Area
It might seem like a somewhat ignorant or bigoted thing to state, but often, it’s always important to understand what areas are worth visiting abroad, and which areas to stay away from. Crime activity, gang movements and sometimes tourist targeting can occur in some countries, or in some areas of some countries. This is not to be considered a specifically intolerant viewpoint. In fact, there are areas like this in your own country, no doubt. You already know the streets of your city you would rather stay away from, or certain areas you are aware to divert around.
The same goes for international travel. Keeping your wits about you, researching online where these places might be and doing your best to stay in populated, well lit and protected areas is an essential part of the travelling experience. We know that getting an authentic feel for a place is essential, and so looking outside of the standard tourist traps can be a great idea. But don’t be afraid to inform yourself of certain travel considerations, as this can inform your safety and the safety of your group.
Research Your Medical Needs
There’s a chance that heading to a certain environment will signify a need for inoculations. You can often find this out when applying for your travel visa, or when researching online for the guideline travel instructions. Paying for these inoculations is of course essential. And yet sometimes, it can be important to consider your own personal needs. For example, it might be that in order to bring with you your medication you need a certain amount of stock and also to verify it through the correct channels before bringing it. On top of that, a Doctor’s note showing that this medication is important to utilise can help you pass through customs with much more ease.
Depending on where you are heading, knowing the most commonly issued anti-malaria tablets can help you protect yourself from diseases ahead of time. Doing your research is important. For example, certain food festivals might be a great place for food-born viruses to spread, or a range of other potential risks that might be temporary yet pressing in a certain environment.
Join Active Discussions
It’s not just about safety when travelling. Sometimes, you’ll want to know where to go to experience the best of a country, and to gain authentic experiences from doing so. This means that joining active discussions, relaying your experience, and connecting with others can be a great idea. For example, let’s say you’re hoping to travel around Italy for a few months. Heading to the Italian subreddit and asking questions in a thread might help you connect with residents ahead of time.
Of course, you might get differing opinions. One person might dislike an area, another might love the same place. But if you compare all the discussions, you may find that same topics are regularly coming up as recommendations, and this might be a great advice, and which could be worthwhile.
Learn A Little Of The History
Often, cities and towns can be great at sharing their history with you. For example, there will be tourist boards dedicated to informing you about how certain buildings were built, and tour guides around certain landmarks can be very informative. However, of course, you’re not always going to get the fullest picture while there. Bringing along a history book with you, or a more extended essay into the history of a certain place can help fill in the gaps, this may help you become informed when the tour guide might not be around.
This way, you might be able to teach your travel companions, or your children, or simply appreciate a place more while you are there. For example, the Venice carnival is an event that draws many hundreds of thousands each year. But what are the roots of that festival? Why the masks? Why continue to remember and celebrate it each year? If you don’t know these facts, it might impede the enjoyment of your visit. The same can be said for many more attractions. For example, the reconstruction efforts of the Roman Baths can help you to decide where and when to visit, or heading to museums can help you get a more informed idea of the historical context before you travel on to a different area.
Learning about history, will give more context for the present. We know this is true for our home countries, our families, and our own lives. So why not for your travels too?
With this advice, we hope your research can lead to a fantastic holiday in the long term.