Traveling the world and exploring new places is an amazing experience, however, you have to be careful and ensure you are prepared for all outcomes. While it is good to be spontaneous when travelling now and again, it is also important to be sensible when traveling abroad. Here are 5 tips and tricks to help you avoid getting lost abroad.
Traveling is an amazing experience and to make sure you get the best out of your time away, you should always try to be as prepared and well-informed as possible. As tourists you can seem vulnerable and so the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to fall victim to a con artist or any other unfortunate surprises. The streets of Venice, Italy as charming as they are, they are like a mza. It is so easy to get lost, even if you have Google maps loaded on your smartphone and you speak Italian fluently. Trust me, I know!
The bottom line is that you should keep these 5 tips and tricks in mind and you will be set!
1. Use reliable transport services
After a long day of traveling, whether you arrived in a country by plane, train, or automobile you are likely to feel a little worn out. So the last thing you need is to be faffing around with train timetables or dealing with dodgy taxi services. It’s important to plan ahead, for instance, if you were flying to the beautiful Eastern European country of Slovakia to explore its natural landscapes, mountains, caves, and medieval castles, you should ensure that you use a reliable private shuttle taxi service from Bratislava Airport. You will save yourself the headache of dealing with it upon your arrival. Pre-booking your transport will mean you can feel at ease and sure that you will be taken to the right location. Also, it will stop you from getting taken advantage of as there are lots of dodgy taxi drivers out there who are more than happy to overcharge a confused tourist.
2. Always carry a map
Rule number 2 is simple: always carry a map with you, no matter what. It can be a pain to squish it into your bag or pockets but you will be incredibly grateful should you get lost and suddenly need it. If you don’t want to use an old-school physical map, you can always opt to download a navigation app on your smartphone to use online or even offline (to save on roaming charges!). Just make sure that your smartphone is fully charged when going out or bring a portable charger with you to be really safe. Not only will having a map prevent you from getting lost, but it can also come in handy for finding quieter or more scenic routes, and as a way of finding shortcuts that you can trust.
3. Research places thoroughly before going
Another good tip to avoid getting lost is to thoroughly research places before you go. So if you are going from one part of town to the other, think about researching transport links, places to eat, whether it is tourist-friendly and so on. For example, I love to eat out so before going on holiday I spend a lot of time researching the best food spots, searching for recommendations on travel apps or on Instagram and Pinterest. If you are a last minute travellers who doesn’t like to make plans, then I recommend booking a guide food tour of the neighbourhood you are visiting, whether it’s Trastevere in Rome or Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.
Remember: the more you know about a place before you get there, the better as you will feel more confident and you will know if there are any nasty surprises to be aware of, for example, pickpockets. What’s more, is that some areas will probably be discouraged for tourists and other areas will have inconsistent transport, so you don’t want to end up in a place where all the trains stop early in the evening (or don’t run at all on a Sunday for example) and you suddenly find yourself stranded.
4. Learn basic phrases
Learning a few of the basic and more essential travel phrases can help you get by a lot easier while you are abroad. No one is suggesting that you have to learn a whole new language, but a couple of sentences can help you navigate your way around and assist you in asking for directions. Keywords such as left, right, train, bus, and such are good ones to focus on if your main concern is to avoid getting lost. That way if you end up asking natives for directions you will be able to understand the main gist of what they are saying. To help you get to grips with the language you could download language apps such as Babbel and Duolingo. These apps are easy to use and can teach you a variety of languages focusing on conversation-based lessons. It’s much better to learn a few useful words and phrases than to rely on Google Translate every time!
5. Memorise your accommodation address
One final, but crucial tip for you is to remember the address of your hotel or private apartment. You will likely have made an electronic booking, but you might not be able to access it without wifi or 3G. Saving important information like your accommodation address in a notes app on your smartphone is a good habit to have. If you get lost that is the address you will need to help you find your way back. If you are staying in a hostel or hospital sometimes they will have pamphlets or business cards that have their address on them, if so, then pop one in your bag and this can be something you give to someone when you need directions as it is a bit safer than handing someone your phone.
When visiting unfamiliar places, especially where they speak a foreign language, it is important to be prepared for every eventuality. The last thing you want is getting lost and not knowing how to get help in finding your way back to your accommodation! These small tricks are easy to remember and turn into a routine that you will follow every time you travel.
Thanks to these simple ways you will avoid getting lost when travelling to a foreign country.