You are just thinking right now of going to a new country and learn another culture but wait a second! You must learn anything and everything about your destination first before you go. Fortunately, we can browse the Internet for information but knowing too much information will screw your other priorities to prepare for the trip. Enumerated are the most important things to consider knowing before you go overseas.
1. Check your body and insurance first
Can you travel in hot or cold countries? Have a health check-up. Depending of the country you are visiting and your occupation, be sure to have proper vaccinations and medicines so you will be immune from possible diseases. Check with your insurance about the procedures and policies if something happens to you abroad.
Also, know the contact details and place of your consular affairs or embassy in the destination country so you will know how to get there in case of being in a bad situation. Prepare digital copies in a password protected gadget and at the same time prepare about 2 photocopies of your travel documents and place these on separate bags for you to avoid rummaging and being hysterical finding documents.
2. Abide by the law
Pay attention to rules and regulations so you would not be arrested or worst, be sentenced to death. Don’t be scared to have a vacation or business in other countries, you will just have to follow even simple rules such as:
- Not doing illegal activities
- Not insulting the country and its locals
- No littering (e.g. In Singapore, if someone throw a chewing gum on the streets, this person will be caned as a punishment)
- Dress Code (e.g. Dress must be longer than knees and no sleeveless shirts in Saudi Arabia)
- Don’t practice your religion publicly unless the country allows
- Don’t touch someone because it might get you years in prison
- Don’t just take pictures of locations
3. Etiquette and rude behavior
Gladly, everyone is familiar about using the middle finger as a bad gesture but you must know other things that the locals might get offended. Consider this tip so you would not have trouble being attacked by an angry mob. (Examples of rude behavior: giving any kind of white flowers to the Japanese because these are associated with sickness and funerals, smiling to strangers in Russia, using left hand when picking up something, shaking hands or doing any personal contact in India)
4. Money exchange and stores
You must convert even a small amount of your pocket money into another currency before going to the cheapest money changers abroad so you can already purchase or shop immediately when you arrive at the airport. Do note that most of the countries normally let you touch or test the items before buying but in Hong Kong street markets (big stores excluded), you cannot just touch their merchandise without the vendor’s permission.
5. Electronic devices
Check the voltage of the country. Know if these have 2 plug or 3 plug outlets. To be sure just bring an electric extension and 3 to 2 way plug converter or vice versa so in case hotels don’t have these, you are prepared.
6. If you have spare time, download Apps and travel guides
There are many country specific travel guide apps to download. Also, have a hard copy of a pocket book or any travel guide that are lightweight or small to bring while travelling.
If there will be festivals or cultural exhibits in your area, try visiting those and enjoy having a mini world tour.
7. When in airport, check your bags again
Cover you bags and sealed these with padlocks. Before having your bags checked-in, inspect your bags if someone placed illegal things there. If you have found one, report this immediately to your airline carrier and the airport. Better be safe than being arrested.
Even you are currently busy, there is no reason to ignore another country’s information because you have now read the most basic reminders. Have a happy and safe trip!