Traveling is one of those things that never go exactly as planned. Missing flights and buses, paying for ancillary fees, and getting lost are all parts of the travel experience, whether we like it or not. Because travel is so unpredictable, you need to let go of the idea of a ‘no-hitch’ trip. While you can’t control everything that will happen, you can take some preventative steps to ensure that as little goes wrong as possible.
1. Learn the Basic Language.
It’s much easier to navigate and enjoy yourself when you aren’t reduced to grunts and pointing. Even if it’s just phrases such as “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Thank you” and “Where’s the bathroom?” it’s better than nothing.
2. Give yourself wiggle room.
If you need to catch a bus or train, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to find it. While waiting around may seem like a waste of time, it’s better to wait a little bit of time rather than to miss your bus and be stuck in another city without any idea how to leave.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
I know we as Americans like to practice our independence, but pride isn’t worth being lost for three hours. People are typically helpful and friendly, and will likely be more than happy to help you out.
Knowing where you’re going and what you want to do is a surefire way to have a trip that goes smoothly. While living freely may appear ideal, you'll save more money and see much more if you already have a plan.
Happy traveling! Next stop for me: Spring Break!