What with the internet offering all kinds of deals and packages, travelling to a foreign country has never been easier. As long as you can get your visa (and for some passports, visa is just a courtesy), everything can be done online without any hassle. Such is the faith that operates via the internet that people book everything from accommodation to inland transportation to tours online and simply turn up in the port of call without ever having met an agent face-to-face. While this makes life easy, travelling also has many pitfalls that you can avoid with some simple safety precautions:
Beware of the Food
Sure, part of experiencing a culture is experiencing the food. However, if your diet has so far consisted of mostly bland meat and dairy products, you might want to avoid jumping straight into the fiery chilli dish that is placed in front of you in India. Not only will unfamiliar spices, herbs and ingredients give you a tummy upset, unhygienic methods of preparation can give you a serious case of food poisoning as well.
The best way to avoid jelly belly is to eat at international chain restaurants until you know you can handle local cuisine. If you are an Australian, then try and stick to the famous restaurants in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and other cities that you see all the time. There are plenty of chains that have a foothold everywhere, and plenty of apps that will show you their location as well.
Beware of Culture Shock
Culture shock is not as traumatic as it sounds unless you migrate to another country. For tourists and short term visitors, culture shock manifests itself in the traditions and customs of the country they travel to. Most Westerners have a rude awakening when they travel to Asian countries and are instructed to “cover up” before entering a temple, as revealing clothes are not considered proper in a place of worship. Instances such as these are rife, as are customs regarding food, travel and even greeting.
Read up about the country you are travelling to before you go. Find out about local customs that you need to honour and learn a few common phrases in their language that might help you get around. One of the best ways to learn about another country is to find Melbourne best restaurants or wherever you live that serve cuisine from that country. More often than not, they will also have a native atmosphere that will help you orient yourself before you travel.
Other common pitfalls include tourist scams, smuggling issues and petty crime. The best way to avoid these is to always stay at reputable accommodation, book everything through reliable engines and sites and to never take anyone at their word until and unless you can corroborate it with facts.