Smart Traveler Series 4: What you need to know before you set off on a trip

There are things we all do before we set off to discover the world. Book your air ticket, pack your bathing suit, download some maps. Everyone does it. What some of us forget is that there are a few key things we need to do so that we can fully enjoy our excursion without fear of offending the locals or being caught unawares in a sticky situation. Luckily if you’re booking your stay using Jovago, there is plenty of handy information on all our destinations. Below is a few things you need to know before leaving home. With all this knowledge in your pocket you are unlikely to be caught unawares in any situation that your travels may throw at you.

Language

It’s extremely important to find out the local language of your destination and whether or not English is widely spoken. If not, make sure you note down important phrases in the local language just in case. Phrases like “How much?” “How far?” “Where is the…” and “Please help,” are key.

Currency

Before you travel make sure you know the local currency. It is vital to know how it translates to your home currency as well as how it exchanges with the dollar. This will help you keep you spending in check so that you don’t go overboard and will reduce the chances of you being overcharged unknowingly.

Culture

Try to find out as much as you can about the culture and practices of the people. This way you will avoid offending the locals. For example in some cultures when serving food, there is an order to be followed. In some cases visitors are to be served first, in some cultures children get served first. If you know the do’s and don’ts of the culture then you’re less likely to run into an awkward situation.

Religious constrictions

It’s always a great idea to know the main religion of your destination as well as what restrictions it might bring about. A great example is that drinking in public is illegal in Egypt. You can only have a drink at closed venues or hotels, or purchase alcohol to consume in your hotel room.

Consular Office

It’s extremely important to know where your nearest consular office is located at your travel destination. In any situation, your consular office will help you. Make sure you find out the location before your trip and make a point to find it when you arrive.

Insurance contacts

First of all, the smartest thing you can do is get travel insurance. Most policies will cover everything from lost luggage to a quick trip to the doctor for sudden onset flu and broken glasses. Before you leave make sure you have all the contact details for your insurance company for that region. Most insurance companies will give you a daytime number and an emergency hotline as well.

Political activity

Before you travel, make sure you check up on the political activity of the region that you are travelling to. Whether it is elections or civil unrest you need to know what is happening, where it is happening and how to avoid areas that might turn nasty.

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