Many people say that when travelling abroad you are an easy target for crime, but that is really only true if you don’t know how to blend in. Like all countries, there is crime, however, you really need to be educated on the culture and understand how not to like a tourist. This article contains a number of helpful tips on blending into the native culture and not looking like a tourist.
When traveling internationally on a budget, consider taking flights rather than trains to your destinations. While trains are perhaps the more traditional mode of transportation for backpackers, many airlines offer discount flights that are much cheaper than train tickets. This way, you can travel to more places without adding to your budget.
Use plenty of plastic when packing. Putting your clothes, toiletries, and other items in clear plastic bags is always a smart way to pack when traveling. Not only does it help you organize, it also keeps your possessions safe. If the bag should be exposed to the elements on the tarmac, the contents of your bag will stay dry.
When traveling, never take an item from someone to transport it for them. No matter their situation or how nice they may seem, this is almost always a trap to convince an unwary tourist to transport drugs or other contraband into secure areas. Even “gifts” can fall into this category.
To help you avoid paying excess airline baggage fees on your return trip, when you are more likely to have souvenirs to bring home, pack old clothing and shoes that you might want to give away. Then, when you are packing to come home, you can leave or donate the old clothing and shoes to make room in your luggage if necessary.
Jogging at a rest stop, while on a road trip, is a fast way to wake up, relieve stiffness from your limbs and prepare yourself for the next leg of your journey. Instead of simply walking around and maybe going to the bathroom, include a five minute jog at the rest stop. Simply getting out of the car may not sufficiently revive a weary driver, which may leave him or her still sleepy when on return. A quick run can also give children an opportunity to release some pent-up energy.
Talk to your bellman. The man who helps carry your bags to your room is usually one of the most informed people in the hotel. He can tell you the best and worst places to eat, drink, and be merry or relax. Tipping him can bring you a wealth of information, so don’t be stingy!
Traveling by bus with children can be a trying experience, but you can make it easier by being prepared for boredom, snack attacks and other potential circumstances. Bringing along some travel games and coloring books and crayons are great ways to keep both younger and older children occupied. If you travel overnight rather than during the day, a young child is likely to sleep through most of the trip. Pack a snack bag with food and beverages for each child. Give your children the opportunity to stretch their legs by getting off the bus during brief stops.
Pack your toiletries into a Zip-lock bag. You will need to do this to get through airline security and it is sure to save you some space in your baggage as well. It will take up less room than the typical toiletry bag and it will help avoid a mess in your luggage if anything was to spill during travel.
To steer clear of delayed flights, look for flights early in the morning. Chances are that if one flight is delayed, the flights immediately after that flight will have to be delayed. There are fewer reasons for delays early in the morning on the first flights.
Pack a collapsible cooler to use on your travels. Inexpensive but incredibly useful, collapsible coolers take up very little room in your suitcase and are ideal for allowing you to have a picnic on your vacation. Not only do they save you money, but they can also be used to hold your dirty clothes when you are ready to return home.
Only prepay for packages if you know that there is no way that you will have to shift dates. If you do prepay, make sure that you look into the cancellation policies so you do not lose out on the money that you have prepaid onto it if you should have to cancel.
If you are traveling to another country, make sure to check out their basic laws and regulations. Each country has their own set of laws and rules, and things that may be legal or a small offense in your country may be illegal or a major offense in another.
Give your travel itinerary to a family member or friend. This is important so everything is organized on the trip. Additionally, provide a passport ID copy and flight numbers.
If you are going to travel on a trip for longer than a few days, then tell your close relatives where you will be. If possible, leave maps and places they can contact you. It is also a good idea to keep in contact with them throughout the trip so they know that you are ok. If something happens and you do not check in, they will know to contact the authorities where you are, to find out if something has happened.
As was stated in the beginning of the article, knowing how to blend in with the local culture is crucial to not being a victim of crime. Criminals prey on tourists, but if you apply the advice from this article the chances of you becoming a victim of crime are much less.