Going abroad as an independent can be an eye-opening and life-affirming experience. Travelling to a country where you don’t know the language or the customs can make you feel vulnerable, but it also affords you the opportunity to learn about other cultures and open your mind to new possibilities.
If you’re considering life as an independent, here are some tips on how to make the most of your experience.
Travel To A Country That You Are Interested In
One of the best things about travelling is the ability to choose where you go. There are plenty of places around the world that you can visit without needing to worry about accommodation or meals. But, if you’re not really sure about travelling to a certain country or area, it’s best to avoid them. You might end up in a situation where you’re not comfortable, or in a country where you don’t feel welcome. There are also lots of places where you might get harmed or sick, so it’s important to do your research before you travel to find out about the level of danger you will be exposed to.
Don’t Forget The Dos And Don’ts
One of the first things that you need to remember is that, no matter where you go, the culture will have its dos and don’ts. It’s good to be curious about other people’s habits and customs, but you have to remember that these are just that – other people’s habits and customs. You are likely to offend someone if you don’t know how things are supposed to be done, so always try and remember that you don’t know (and never expect) people to appreciate your ways. Travelling is a great way to learn about different cultures and how they do things, but you have to be mindful not to step on any toes or break any cultural boundaries.
Pack What Is Necessary
Another thing that you need to do is to pack what is necessary. One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of travellers make is going abroad with way too much money and way too many belongings. If you’re going to be travelling for a couple of days, you don’t need to bring along your entire wardrobe. Even if you are staying in a nice hotel, the hotel will provide you with all the items you need to feel comfortable – such as clean underwear and bedsheets, a toothbrush, etc. Remember, less is more; you don’t want to overload yourself with too many belongings. Being a tourist in a strange place with lots of new things to see and do can be overwhelming, and you don’t want to bring along everything you think you’ll need. It’s best to be selective about what you bring – take your camera but leave your laptop behind, for example. If you do decide to bring your laptop, make sure that you pack it properly in a case so that it doesn’t take up too much room in your checked baggage. Another important thing to remember is that even if you are going to be staying in a nice hotel, you still need to prepare for the possibility of roughing it. Sometimes your trip can turn out to be more expensive than you budgeted for – situations like this can be really frustrating, so prepare for the unexpected by bringing along extra money in case you run into any problems. Another important point to make is that no matter what, when you’re travelling you are subject to the local laws and you have to abide by them. Even if you think that something is not illegal where you are, it might be in another country, so it’s always better to ask. Try and keep your passport and visa copies somewhere safe. Having them stolen could land you in big trouble, especially if you are not prepared for a lengthy stay in the country you have visited. Stolen documents might also make it harder for you to get back home if you have to wait for paperwork to be processed. Finally, if you are out of state when an accident happens, you have to report it to the police and follow their instructions. You don’t want to put off reporting an accident if you are not sure who to call or how to do it correctly. Being in a different state or country than the one you were in just a few minutes earlier can feel like an entirely different experience. One that you might not like very much if you aren’t prepared for it.
Learn A Few Common Phrases
Another good idea is to learn a few phrases in the local language. Even if you don’t understand a word that is being said, you will be able to follow the conversation with ease. Learning a few common phrases will also make it easier for people to communicate with you. Many countries and regions have very different customs and ways of doing things, so being able to speak a few words will make you sound more like a local and less like a stranger. It might even give you the opportunity to make new friends while you’re away visiting.
One of the best ways to have a good time on a trip is to arrive early at the airport and check in early. At least half an hour before the scheduled departure time, you can find a good spot in the airport’s lounge to wait. You can get coffee, snacks, and drinks, as well as get the lay of the land. Waiting at the airport can feel a little tedious, but it’s worth it. The earlier you arrive, the more time you have to explore the airport and get familiar with the layout of the place. You can easily find the bathrooms and storerooms, so you don’t have to worry about finding a place to go to the bathroom after a long flight. Checking in early also gives you the chance to relax a little before the hustle and bustle of the holiday begins. You can get your bags and check your belongings, while also getting a feel for the airport’s vibe. Is it calm and laidback, or is it more frenetic and hectic? You might not feel the need to rush, as long as you are not holding up the plane’s departure. So, early bird and all that..
Check Your Bags
While you’re waiting at the airport, it is a good idea to check your bags. Even if you’re not carrying too much, it’s best to take your time and go through the motions of checking your belongings. This will help you to avoid any trouble at the airport. If you are carrying a lot of hand luggage, it can be difficult to keep your balance while checking your bags. So, while you’re at it, take your time and ensure that your bags are safely in the luggage compartment. Another good idea is to use the extra weight to your advantage. If your bag is over the weight limit, you will need to pay a heavy surcharge to the airline. However, most airlines waive this fee if you buy another ticket to get home (even if it’s a full-fare ticket). You can ask the check-in staff if this is an option for you.
Enjoy Your Independence
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s time to step out of the airport shuttle and into the real world. Depending on how long you’ve been away, you might need a little bit of help getting around the city. However, as soon as you’ve figured out how to get around on your own, you will feel liberated. Being able to explore the city without having to rely on others is one of the best feelings you can have. Enjoy your independence and take advantage of the fact that you’re not restricted to the attractions that busy bodies around you think you ought to see. Instead, you get to choose your own adventure and make your own discoveries. If you do get lost or stumped for a language barrier, there are always people around who will be willing to help you. All you need is a big smile and a question in English to get by – most people will enjoy helping a fellow countryman or woman out. Don’t forget: you’re a tourist – people will see you as nothing more than a smiling face and a question mark.