Things You Need to Know Before You Travel Abroad


I love to travel and when I first started to backpack in Europe almost 15 years ago, I was way over my head because I thought travelling abroad was as easy as crossing the city borders. Well, I hate to tell you this but not even all the money in the world could help you prepare for your first time abroad. The more I travailed, the more I realized that there were things that needed to be done in preparation for your travel and preparation also for what you need to do while you’re there. This kind of preparation will not only guarantee your happiness and comfort, but also guarantee safety.

Here’s a short checklist of what you need to know before you travel abroad:


1.)    Be familiar with the laws, especially driving laws. It’s always important to read on about what’s legal and illegal in the country that you’re visiting. This is going to help you avoid encounters or arrests. Driving laws are also very important if you’re going to rent a car. You need to realize that the laws in Canada are similar to the laws in another foreign country. In Singapore, you can’t smoke just because it’s outdoors. There are designated smoking areas. You can’t even spit on the ground without getting fined.


2.)    Know the important landmarks. When you’re planning your hotel, you have to be familiar with the landmarks, like hospitals, police stations, and ATM machines. These are important landmarks just in case something goes wrong. 10 years ago, a cousin of mine got her passport stolen and in the midst of everything, she didn’t know where to go. She didn’t even know where the closest police station was from her area.


3.)    Bring extra money. Chances are, shops in your foreign country won’t convert your money. You have to bring your money and have it converted to their currency for convenience. Extra money comes in handy if your currency is a bit lower than the exchange rate for the foreign currency.


4.)    Plan your itinerary. Do not believe that a philosophy of WINGING IT will help you enjoy the country more. You are missing out on a lot of things because you are undecided. If you plan what you’re going to do and what you’re going to see, you will be able to make the most out of your trip. Another option is to seek out tours that will allow you visit popular tourist spots for a few extra dollars.


What to Do When Travelling Alone in Greece


Greece is the land of mythos – a place known for its culture, arts, and history. People come to Greece for the sights, the sounds, and the beaches. Placed ideally within the Mediterranean Sea, you can’t go wrong with a week’s visit to this magnificent island. But hold your horses! Just because it’s an ideal place to go for a vacation doesn’t mean that you should visit it alone. When you are planning on travelling to Greece on your own, you may want to jot down some notes and learn what to do when you’re alone. Trust me. I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences in the Greek islands.


The police are not your friends, sometimes. If it’s your first time visiting Greece, you need to understand that local law enforcement is not so welcoming of foreigners. I had a run in with the Athens police squad because of my stolen knapsack. It took a while to get them to accommodate me and scolding them did not do anything at all to hasten their response. Instead, they placed me in a waiting room for 3 hours before they took my statement. Despite my experience, I still believe that Greece is a safe place for tourists.


Overdoing a particular city, like Athens, is not a good idea. Sure, there are a lot of sights to see and food to taste, but you have to realize that you are a walking target for thieves. It was the reason why my knapsack got stolen. Do not assume that all people in Athens are good, especially if it’s your first time here. As much as possible, go for a hotel with security so you will be able to walk around without your backpack. Do not be lax when it comes to personal security.

Be flexible. Athens, or any other city in Greece, is just like any other city in the world. Do not rely on schedules too much because ferries, buses, and other forms of public transportation in the city experience delays. Before you even arrive in Greece, be sure that you have a copy of the schedules of public transportations so you will be able to make the most out of your trip.

Don’t be too alone. As I said earlier, foreigners are easy picking for thieves, so try to blend in by mingling with other tourists. This will make it look like you belong to their group and it will also help you make new friends. Greece operates a lot of tours and cruises, so mingling with tourists is now made easier.