There are many do’s and don’ts to take into account while preparing for a trip to a foreign land. Although you may assume many are common sense, for some reason while people travel or vacation, they tend to experience “common sense amnesia.”
This may conceivably be from giddiness and intellectual detachment while preparing for a long-awaited trip. Certainly travel can be a great release from the pressures of work, an opportunity for family enjoyment, or simply some alone time. Nevertheless, there is some basic knowledge gathering you should do beforehand.
Not all destinations are created equal, and there are laws that govern every city, country, or continent you visit. So, the next time you plan a trip to a first-time location, research the area thoroughly to become familiar with each destination’s traveler requirements.
Learn everything you need to know about the place you will visit. That includes at least a little of the language, customs, religions, laws, and the kind of money you need to use there.
Do not show up in another nation looking like a typical wide-eyed tourist because you may be treated badly or disrespectfully. Just as you likely may not appreciate international tourists who do not know at least minimum customs in your own country, the same is true of people when you visit their lands.
You must obtain a passport to travel to most countries. It is imperative that you start this process very early, because acquiring a passport can take several weeks. Without it you will not be permitted through customs. Even if the country doesn’t require it a driver’s license, it is still helpful to obtain one from your destination nation, as your native driver’s license isn’t always valid in other countries.
There are other customs you may assume to be normal that don’t necessarily apply to other nations. For example, bringing your pet when you travel may not be such a great idea.
Although many stops in the Untied States allow you to bring your pet, it is much more difficult to travel to other countries with it due to quarantine laws and other international considerations. Given the risk, it would be better to leave “Fido” home with a reliable friend or relative.
When renting a car, be aware of different national laws. Some such as Ireland, Cyprus, and parts of England require driving on the left hand side of the road, so be cautious if you plan to drive. (If you are uncomfortable with that arrangement and fear making a critical driving error on the wrong side of the road, you might alternatively consider taking a taxi instead of driving yourself.)
Seatbelts are required just about everywhere you travel and for everyone in the car, so don’t be negligent. Additionally, the speed limits change and can be much higher than those in the US; drive safely and move to the far side of the road if you plan to motor at a slower pace.
Traveling can be both very exciting and enjoyable, but you must not arrive without knowledge of the laws and customs of a foreign land. Adequate preparation will make your trip safer and more pleasurable. So read up in advance, do your homework, and when you have fully planned your trip you will feel more comfortable traveling to a distant land.