Best combined advice from over 40 years of travel experience
Top Tips From Our Travel Consultants
Our travel professionals offer you some of their favorite travel tips. Whether you’re traveling near or far, we know you have questions. Below you’ll find answers to some commonly asked questions about traveling. Read our staff and client’s travel stories. And become prepared with travel tips.
Traveling to a Non-English Speaking Country
Visiting a country where English is not the primary language can be an adventure. And don’t we travel for the adventure and to explore outside our comfort zone?! Most major cities around the world have people who speak some English. Especially those popular in tourism. You’ll likely find that the more remote you travel, the less English speakers you’ll find.
Don’t let that scare you though. 93% of our communication is nonverbal. It’s amazing how much you can say without using your words. Try using hand gestures or pointing. Getting creative while traveling often creates great memories.
Learning a couple of basic terms in the native language of the country is always a good idea. Not only is it respectful, but knowing the words for things like “bathroom” comes in handy when you’re out-and-about. Plus, the locals will be happy to see that you’re trying.
It’s a good idea to arrive in a country with some local currency. If you haven’t left yet, then your bank or credit union are probably the best places to exchange money.
If you are abroad and in need of local currency, then a great place to head to is an ATM. Check the details of your credit cards for the foreign transaction fees. Some even offer international ATM fee reimbursements. You can usually find an ATM in any airport and often inside convenience stores (make sure to bring a spare card in case a machine eats yours). Prepaid cards in the local currency are also an excellent way of paying for your expenses. Couples traveling together should have individual cards for some extra peace of mind.
One tip when it comes to tipping abroad: Some restaurants will include a tip automatically. Be sure to check your receipt to avoid tipping twice.
Travel with Common Sense
This is a very important trip tip: Take your brain, street smarts, and intuition with you. Just like you do at home, exercise some precautions while traveling. Sexual harassment and assault are not limited to one region or culture. It’s important for all travelers to maintain a degree of awareness about behavior, clothing, and overall etiquette.
If you’re not sure, check with your travel consultant. If you’re already on your trip, then talk to your hotel’s staff; they are a good source to learn about neighborhoods you should avoid while exploring. Of course, there are still taboos no matter who you are or where you go.
Just like anywhere else, you’ll want to use your common sense while walking around. You may want to err on the side of caution in some countries when it comes to public displays of affection. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t totally trust strangers, and watch out for pick-pocketers.
You want to consider leaving your valuables tucked away within your accommodations while you explore; your room safe or a safety deposit box are good options. Only take the minimum such as your ID, cash, and key, and cell phone. Most importantly, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, leave. We want you to explore the world, but please be safe while you do it.
Preparation, True Travel Stories, & Resources
Preparing to leave for vacation requires more than setting your “out of office” email. Whether you work with us or not, make sure you know how to prepare for a trip.
Travel anxiety is very common. Especially if you’re headed to a new destination. Anxiety and excitement can blur together, or switch back and forth. It’s around this time that our clients tend to come to us with the haunted “What If” questions. Which is why we’ve put together our top 6 What-If questions to help put your fears to rest.
Any travel magazine or social media post can place visions of idealistic vacations in your mind. Our job, as your travel consultant, has many responsibilities. One is to arrange the different pieces of your trip, another is to prepare you for the realities that come with it. Our travel stories come directly from our clients and staff. They’re authentic accounts of real trips they’ve taken. And a great way for you to get fresh ideas and provide you with a glimpse of the true magic traveling has to offer.
If you’re new to travel, then you might not be aware of some important travel resources. Things like: what you need if you plan on driving abroad, how to pack, or getting/renewing your passport. Our Resource page has all these trip tips and more.