Budapest - Hungary
Learn Some Of the Local Language
Learning a bit of the local language can work wonders. Not only does it show you are making an effort, but it can be extremely helpful. Knowing how to say ‘no thank you’, ‘how much is it?’ and ‘can you speak any English?’ will really help with daily interactions.
If you are a Woman, Consider Wearing a Wedding Ring
It may sound like a weird tip, but it may save a whole lot of extra bother in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Men will be less aggressive with you if they see that you are “spoken for”.
Having someone else with you allows for so many more opportunities with travel. Not only does it provide a safety net, but it is usually more fun, too! Some experiences just won’t happen when you are a solo traveler, so consider bringing a friend.
Wear Dark Glasses
Another odd tip, but hear us out. Especially in developing Middle Eastern countries, eye contact (especially between a man and a woman) can mean certain intentions. Wearing dark sunglasses allows for more flexibility in where you look.
Hang Out WIth Moms
When in doubt, sit next to a mom. While sometimes sitting next to small children can be irritating, mothers are naturally more helpful, friendly and more protective. Chances are you will be bothered less if you are surrounded by women and/or families. (This is especially true if you are a female traveler).
Have Your Paperwork In Order
Developing countries usually have some hoops to jump through in order to gain access to traveling there. Check out webpages like Project Visa or Visa Hunter to figure out what paperwork you need. Also, start early so you are sure to get your paperwork in time.
Have a Plan for When You Arrive
Do plenty of research and know what your game-plan is when you get off the bus or plane. It can be overwhelming to have dozens of people yelling “taxi” at you when they see you leave the terminal. Sometimes even booking a driver is the best way to start in a developing country. Once you get to your sleeping arrangements, then you can dig in and start exploring.
Dress to the Trends of the Country
Especially in Middle Eastern countries or more conservative Asian countries, it is important to follow national customs in how to dress. Be sure to do your research about how covered you need to be when you are in public.
Plan More Wiggle Room in Your Itinerary
In developing countries, infrastructure is not what you are probably used to. So, getting from one place to another, especially with public transportation, will take more time and patience than you are used to. That’s okay! Just be sure to factor it into your plans
Carry a False Wallet
Put a small amount of cash and a couple of decoy credit cards or business cards. If you get robbed, hand over this wallet.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
This might seem like overkill, but culture shock is a real thing, even for the most experienced of travelers. As you start your journey, you might want to ease into the country by either going to a bigger city first, staying in a Western hotel chain the first few nights or packing your favorite snack from home to provide you comfort.
Carry Toilet Paper
Sounds simple, but most public restrooms won’t have any. Rather safe than sorry!
Know Where to Travel
Like places in the developed world, not all destinations are created equal. Unless you really know what you are getting into, we recommend staying away from war-torn countries and places with lots of protests. For your own well-being, be sure to research the safety levels of your destinations.
Don’t Be Too Paranoid
Humans are humans, no matter what country they live in. Use precaution and common sense, but most places in the world are relatively safe and people are generally very nice.
Lastly, just smile and enjoy yourself! Soak it all in - that is what travel is about, anyway!