The experts at Ottawa Valley Travel tell us it is easy these days to just step on an airplane and within a few hours of travel find yourself in a whole different country and culture. In many countries, English is not the usual language and if spoken it is often with an accent that is difficult to understand. The laws are also quite different from many English speaking countries and so is the clothing and the food. That’s what makes it so fascinating to visit such a country. We can learn from people of other nationalities if we open ourselves to doing so.
However, rather than going off unprepared, it is wise to take some time to learn a few things before you go. Here are some tips to get the most out of your overseas holidays.
- Learn a few phrases of the language so you can at least say yes please and no thank you.
- Find out what the climate is likely to be for the time you will be there so you can pack appropriately. Also check the weather just before leaving. You don’t want to head into a tornado or hurricane.
- Learn about the most common laws and don’t break them, particularly those about drugs – even those that are normal to us, such as painkillers – and drunkenness.
- Learn about their dress code and respect it. Many countries require a woman to have her knees covered in a temple.
- If you intend to drive, do some research on the road rules for that country. And on whether your Australian drivers license can be used or if you need to get an international license.
- Find out what diseases are likely and if you need vaccinations before you go.
- Do some research to find out the political scene before you go. If there is a coup or fighting it’s best to stay away.
- Find out what amenities are available. Are you likely to need pharmacy medication, or specific food? Is it available at your chosen destination?
- Find out what will be available at your accommodation so you don’t have to take it. Soap, shampoo and towels may be provided.
- Find out from your bank if your credit cards can be used from overseas.
- Every country including Australia has certain areas that are dangerous to wander around in, especially after dark. Find out where these are in your destination country and be sure to avoid them.
- Make sure that the country you are going to has what you want to see. If you love theme parks, zoos or surfing beaches, be sure the place has them.
No matter where you travel, it’s much safer to go with a group, or at least one other friend. When you travel alone you are setting yourself up as a target to the criminal element that can be found in almost every country. So stay with others you can trust and you’ll be a lot safer, not to mention have more fun.