Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Travel Wednesday - Do's and Don'ts -Let the Fun Begin

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 Words
You 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 Polite
Some 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 Schedule
Make 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 Bags
So 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, for ideas on what to include.



Unknown said...

I learned the hard way too about over packing...we went to Texas for Christmas 1 year ago...well we were pack in like sardines on the way home and didn't even wear half of the clothes I packed!

Leigh Daley/Arley Cole/me said...

Lizzie, you clearly go better places than I do. I gotta go someplace good. My last trip we used Trip Advisor to help out with the itinerary and I even left my own to let others know about our experiences. It was really fun!!

Lizzie said...

Shelly, I remember when you took that trip...*g* And I've been there too. Have one coming up this summer that's going to require thinking...need stuff for hot & fairly cool weather.

Lizzie said...

Arely/Leigh...Planning a trip can be part of the fun, sharing the memories even more. Sometimes surviving is the best you hope for on some...LOL

Sloane Taylor said...

Love your travel Wednesdays, Lizzie. Off to share this post with several friends.:)

Lizzie said...

Thank you, Sloane!

Unknown said...

Great advice, Lizzie. Thanks for sharing!

Lizzie said...

Some I learned the hard way, Sara...LOL

Sharon Ledwith said...

Will you be my tour guide? You're so darned worldly! Great tips, Lizzie!

Lizzie said...

Sharon, I am a certified tour guide/director. One of my many other 'lives'...*g*