With plans for summer vacations in the works, I thought it would be a good idea for a refresher on the Do's and Don'ts of traveling, especially international. Putting the right foot forward can make for a wonderful experience, whereas going with a lot of preconceived ideas and attitude can lead to misery
DO – Go With the Flow
You can come up against differences when traveling in the U.S., but when you travel overseas the differences are huge, especially in some countries. Adjust to their culture and don’t expect them to adjust to yours.
DO – Learn a Few WordsYou don’t have to be fluent in the language, but learning a few words like, hello and thank you, goes a long way when you’re in another country.
DO – Be PoliteSome of my most embarrassing moments have been watching Americans be jerks. Remember, you are not in America and things are done differently. There is no need to be rude when things aren’t done like back home. Example: On a tour of Zimbabwe the luggage didn’t arrive with us, one of the ladies went off on our tour guide. The poor man was doing his best to find out where our bags were and constantly on the phone with his office. She wouldn’t let up on badgering him. I tried to diffuse the situation, but then she snarled…”you’d be upset too if your bags were missing. This doesn’t happen at home.” My response, “do you see any luggage around me? And yes, to do lose luggage on flights at home too.”
Remember, you are an Ambassador for your country, no matter where you come from. Your actions reflect on how the people of the country you’re visting view others from your location.Do – Know What Baggage is Allowed
A number of international flights allow for one checked bag, but make sure your airline does. Also, know what you can have in your carry-on and that large bag you need to check.
Liquids and creams: Check the restrictions. See Airport Security Update: TSA Adjusts Liquid Ban.Unsure on other items: If you are not sure if something is allowed in carry-on, check the TSA web site. You get current information as to what can be put in carry-ons and checked bags.
DON'T – Over Plan and ScheduleMake sure to allow space in your plans to be flexible. If you’re rigid in your plans you’ll miss out on a lot of fun and interesting happenings. You may want to spend extra time chatting with people you meet. Sometimes you learn more about a country by those casual conversations than sticking to that strict schedule.
DON'T – Over Pack Your BagsSo guilty on this one, but I learned the hard way. Humping a couple of pieces of luggage (even with wheels) and a carry-on through the Tube Stations of London was not a fun lesson. Plan on doing laundry (hand washing works too) if you’re gone for an extended period. Google packing tips or what to pack on long trips, .
AND REMEMBER….DON’T BE RUDE!!