From a city zoo in San Jose to the mountainous regions of Pakistan to the savannahs of Africa, it’s easy to see that traveling leads to very different places. Nonetheless, there are some basic tips that will help ensure a good trip no matter where it is that you are going.
When traveling, it’s important to pack light. Pack items within other items (rolled-up socks and underwear inside your shoes, for example). If possible, bring knitted or microfiber garments that you can roll up tightly in your bag. Always bring clothes you can wash in the hotel sink and hang to dry if necessary. Roll all garments instead of folding.
The advice “don’t drink the water” if you travel to a foreign country is, unfortunately, accurate. However, you can also have intestinal upsets any time you drink water from a place other than where you live, even in the U.S. That’s because the bacterial flora that live in your gut (intestinal tract) are very sensitive to the composition of your own water, in your own area. It takes them a while to get used to water from elsewhere, and in the meantime, they want to push that unfamiliar water right through. So until you get used to the local water, wherever you are, sip slowly or stick with bottled H20.
Going on a long trip can ensure that something will happen. Make sure to pack a small first aid kit with you to help with minor scrapes and bruises. Other items, such as bottled water and some snacks can also make a huge difference when you don’t have to buy these things at a higher price in a tourist attraction area.
If you or a travel companion is seriously allergic or sensitive to cigarette smoke, don’t just ask for a non-smoking room. Requesting that your room be located on a non-smoking floor ensures that your neighbors will not be smoking in their rooms when the doors are opened, and that smoke will not carry between windows of rooms on the same floor.
If you’re traveling with kids, buy each child their own disposable camera. Tell them to take pictures of anything they find interesting. If they fill it up before the trip is over, you can get them another one fairly cheap. Then they’ll have something to remember all the things they liked – you’d be surprised how different the pictures your kid takes are from yours.
Do not ever tell a street vendor where you are traveling from. These vendors are experienced sellers. They know the financial interests of many different cultures and will use yours against you to get you to buy what they are selling. Just tell them, “No, thank you,” and keep walking.
No matter where it is that you are going, these common tips should help you in your travels. While each country has its own idiosyncrasies, the advice here should be kept in mind no matter where it is that you go. Now that you’ve got the advice, all that’s left is picking the destination!