If you plan to travel to a foreign country, it is important for you to know not just what you should do or see, but also maybe things that you should not do. If you happen to break a law on accident, you could end up in some serious trouble. There are certain dos and don’ts when you go abroad that should be followed. This is not just to help you enjoy and get the most out of your travels, but also for your safety and security as those around you, so you don’t cause harm or land yourself in a sticky situation.
DO: Understand The Rules/Regulations Ahead Of Time.
This is particularly important when you are entering some sort of landmark or attending a local event in a new place. If you can’t read the list of rules that come with your attendance, make sure to find a translator. If they don’t want pictures or video to be taken and it is prohibited, and you go in and whip out your phone to document, you’ll be escorted out quickly, and then you’ll miss out on the event or festival.
You could also risk going to jail in some cases if you aren’t careful enough. So make sure you take the time to read and make yourself aware of any rules or restrictions.
DON’T: Leave Your Passport/ID Behind.
Wherever you are staying, be sure to keep your identification on you somewhere at all times, rather than leave it in your hotel or space, even if there is a safe to store it. You never know when you may need to provide identification, and if you are caught without it, things could get difficult.
If you need to, Favisbook works with consulates to get you an appointment more quickly if you have lost your identification. Make sure you have a list of contact numbers in case you need assistance.
DON’T: Eat At A Major Tourist Restaurant.
This is more of a guideline, and the reason it is a good idea to note is that usually, those tourist places are more of a trap. Many of the eateries will be way overpriced, and they probably don’t take as much care with the quality of food that they serve either. If they don’t have to worry about people coming back, why bother? You’re better off asking the locals for their favorite place to eat or dine so that you can experience the “real deal.”
DO: Get Travel Insurance.
It is a great idea to make sure that you are insured. It may seem like an added expense you don’t want to have to take on, but it is a great idea for long stays because you never know what could happen. You could sustain a bad injury or have to leave your location due to a major natural disaster, and you would rather be insured in these cases than not! Obviously no one travels with the expectation that they will come down with an illness, but you have to be prepared.
If your budget is tight you can look into ways to travel for free that would help save when it comes to purchasing that extra insurance, or you can even look into local hospitality networks where you can stay for free. Don’t rule out staying in a hostel (yes, we’ve all seen the movies), because the idea that they are all bug-ridden and stink is a myth – as a matter of fact, many of them are cleaner than hotels!
DO: Use Public Transportation Instead Of Uber/Taxi Rides.
Uber and taxis are overpriced. And that’s really it, so if you’re okay with spending more on your transportation than you can splurge on a taxi ride that’s 40 minutes away. But for those budget-savvy travelers, you’re better off utilizing the public transportation system in a foreign country to find your way around. It will also immerse you within the locale and get you learning the language better, so that’s a win-win.
DON’T: Use Your Credit Card For All Purchases.
Traveling with money may not seem smart, but it is the smartest way to plan and budget your money. Currency exchange may seem like a pain, but it is the much less expensive way to go. When you use your card to purchase, your bank will take out fees each time, and they can add up quickly. Just be cautious when using your card a lot on a trip. You may think that you have enough in your account to cover things, but once the fees start coming out as well, you might be surprised how fast your account is drained. Nowadays, it is also possible to buy foreign currency online and use it during your overseas trip so that you can stay away from the long lines at the money exchange counter. As an example, Foreign Xchange is an online shop that offers hassle-free currency exchange in Brisbane and around Australia. It might be a safer option to pay in cash to keep count of your money.
Side Note: You also want to avoid exchanging your money at the airport, because they exchange at a very high percentage for transactions. Wait until you get to your location to do the currency exchange.
DO: Book Early, But Not TOO Early.
The rule of thumb here is within 4-6 months of your travel date. That may seem like it is too late in the game, but the truth is, your trip will be more expensive than in this window. Flights tend to start to lower or raise prices for flights on demand. If you know that it will be a place that gets booked up quickly then you can probably book earlier, but most places that have travelers will already be booked, and by the 4-5 month mark, there will be a lag. That’s when they start to drop prices to get more travelers, and it is the best time to purchase. If you plan to do a cruise, you can wait up until the last minute to book and get amazing deals.
Overall, just make sure to travel smarter, and familiarize yourself with the location. If you can save some money walking somewhere rather than taking the public bus, but it’s going to take you almost an hour to walk there, maybe you’re better off just riding the bus. You don’t have to plan every second of your trip, make sure to leave yourself plenty of downtime to enjoy things and find things to do that might not be on your internet research. Time is of the essence on a trip and you want to make sure you make the most of it.