The appeal of the exotic is enough to afflict even the most content person with wanderlust. It’s in our nature to want to occasionally escape our regimented lives and experience another’s way of life. While traveling can be a fascinating experience, it can also be full of pitfalls and dangers that most tourists may not be aware of. Here are 5 dangers you could face when planning your own trip to a foreign country, as well as how to avoid them.
Most tourists, especially first-time tourists, are not knowledgeable about individual neighborhoods in the country they are visiting. You want to be close to activities you have planned. Getting transportation may be much harder or more dangerous than it is in the United States. Or you could be booking a hotel in the most crime ridden part of the city. That “good deal” may be priced low for a reason.
Dealing with finances in a foreign country is never easy. There are always exchange rates and currency fluctuations to consider, and it can be difficult to know how much you’re truly spending during your vacation. When using a credit card or pulling out cash, there will always be foreign transaction fees. If you’re not careful with your finances, you could end up spending way more than you initially intended. Beware of counterfeit currency too.
In the United States, we pretty much assume that restaurants are plentiful everywhere, and we’ll be able to eat just about any time we want. This is not the case in many foreign countries. You may find restaurants closed at certain times because of cultural differences, and the quality may be vastly different. Some dining locations may prey on tourists.
When you plan a trip on your own, you’re embarking with little actual knowledge about your foreign destinations. For example, if you want to attend a festival, you may not know that crowds may be so intense that there is a real danger of falling or being trampled. Any fall could result in being cut or wounded. Local knowledge is helpful because they may direct you to the safe and comfortable balconies above. Lack of knowledge about the local dangers of any area can cause a variety of problems.
Many things that we accept as ‘normal’ could be viewed as rude or offensive in foreign countries. When is it acceptable to shake hands or bow? Not knowing enough about what is culturally acceptable in the country you’re visiting could pose problems when you interact with locals.
How to Avoid These 5 Travel Dangers
Anyone who plans their own foreign vacation has details to navigate above and beyond domestic travel. The best way to alleviate these dangers and have a fantastic vacation is to hire an expert travel partner.
Many people don’t realize that you can hire a personal concierge of sorts that can help you steer clear of the pitfalls. Travel expert, Mark Hellmann Regouby specializes in planning exciting trips to Pamplona Spain to experience the famous “Running of the Bulls” celebrations. While he does not arrange air fare, he can handle all the details including consulting on which airport to fly into, ground transportation, hotel stays, restaurants, bullfight tickets, tours and local celebration intricacies. In his case, he travels to Pamplona frequently and has private deals with vendors to treat his clients as VIP’s. He can meet you at the airport, and gives you his cellphone in case you need anything.
Overall, the goal of any travel partner should be to give you the best experience possible. Traveling overseas is always expensive both in terms of dollars and time. There is significant risk in leaving details to chance and not making the most out of your foreign vacation.