Travel Planning

Travel Planning Tips And Ideas

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Guidebooks written by locals or people who travel frequently often help us with travel plans.  When you don’t have a lot of time to search the internet and read through hundreds of recommendations – that may or may not be paid troll reviews used for promotion and rarely based on actual experience or travel facts.

Guidebooks offer great advice on local attractions, maps, and tips on the things you may miss out on otherwise.  Often these valuable sources of information help you sort out accommodations, help you choose safe areas to travel in, show you restaurants that you may not find without them and list the various modes of transportation for the different areas – Hours of research you don’t have to do yourself, by people who know and who have experienced that area.  You’ll get hints on the culture you are visiting too, and may avoid embarrassing mistakes.

For instance, did you know that cross cultural mistakes that can cause embarrassment and discomfort include these examples.  To one culture they seem innocuous, but to another culture these behaviors/questions are just plain rude.

  • American – Asking them how much they paid for their car – or for anything that belongs to them is seen as an impolite personal question.
  • Argentinian – Beginning an email with anything but a friendly greeting.
  • Australian – Cutting in front of them in a line (India would be a challenge for Australians).
  • Austrian – Going back or returning to China and having someone say, “Wow, you got fat.”  But honestly comments about weight probably don’t sit well with most people regardless of what culture they come from, or travel to.
  • Brazilian – Too much space between you when you are talking to someone.
  • British – Not replying to an email.
  • Canadian – Avoiding eye contact.
  • Chinese – Asking personal questions that are too personal.
  • Emirati – Their not responding to an email then your asking them, “why.”
  • German – Wasting valuable time on a non essential business call.
  • Honk Kong – Don’t spit on the street.
  • Nigerian – Do avoid eye contact with a superior.
  • Slovakian – The use of your first name in an email meant as an introduction.

It’s never “just words.”  Find out what context you need to use to avoid embarrassing moments in conversations.  To void misunderstandings you can practice these tips:

  • Be positive and upbeat about what your intention is/was.
  • Find out why a person reacted or responded the way they did – To you it may feel rude, but to them it may be how they were taught, or raised – Do not tell anyone to “lighten up” about their reactions – You are the one in a different environment, not them.  Learn what you need to do and say BEFORE you make any negative statements.
  • Find out ahead of time how the locals meet and greet one another.
  • Do be your natural personality, but learn about and adapt to local customs and environments where you are traveling to before you go (making a fool out of yourself).
    (Source:  cultural intelligence agency)

  • Guidebooks, trip planning maps and trail maps keep you from missing anything. No matter how much you research before you go, having these valuable tools will help keep you from missing out on, “that one thing,” that you could have missed,  . . . but didn’t!
  • Travel guides and maps offer trustworthiness because they are published and reliable sources of information.
  • No way can a travel guide book or map run out of batteries or stop working for lack of a wi-fi connection.
  • Pickpockets and thieves are less likely to take your guidebook or map than they are your GPS or high dollar phone gizmo and spendy app.