Roaming in an unfamiliar place can be nerve-wracking. You don’t know the street names, the language, or where to find suitable transportation – and then there’s the fear of getting lost. That said, you don’t have to worry if you stay ahead of the game. I’ve put together some tips to help you in a foreign land and avoid getting lost. Once you’re fully prepared, you’ll be breezing through the streets of your destination. Follow these seven pointers to make sure you have a safe, worry-free, and enjoyable journey:
1. It’s Wise to Plan Ahead
No matter where you are heading, planning will save you a lot of trouble (and time) down the road. This is where the internet plays a dominant role – you can find nearly everything regarding your destination. Here are a few suggestions for planning and avoiding getting lost on your trip:
- Read books about your destination.
- Make a to-do list of places you plan to visit. Search for their locations and note them down.
- Figure out how you can reach these places from your accommodation. Use online maps to plan your routes and check the different types of transportation.
- Visit online forums or groups on social media to get more information from people who have already visited your destination.
- Search travel websites or blogs.
In addition, make sure to use my travel spreadsheet to plan your trip so you know exactly where you’re going and what you’re spending.
2. GPS Apps or Phone Trackers
There are a bunch of apps you can set up on your mobile phone to make sure you don’t get lost. Most people simply rely on GPS apps such as Google Maps to find their way while traveling. It’s no doubt the quickest and most effortless method. However, there are phone tracker apps as well that track your entire route and perform other vital tasks. These applications can guide you get back on track, if you suspect you’ve lost your way.
3. Depend on Locals
Though it’s not usually the foremost option, asking the people around you for directions is actually very useful. Your best bet is to question the locals since they’ll know the area quite well. You can even gain some extra knowledge from them such as shortcuts or even the best places to eat. If you can’t find any locals, you might be able to identify other travelers to help you out. Either way, don’t hesitate to ask people for directions. But wait, will the locals understand what you’re saying? The next tip will help with that.
4. Learn the Language Basics
Chances are most people who you meet would know how to speak English. But, what if no one does? It could be frustrating not being able to communicate with others in the area, especially if you need to ask for directions. It’s smart to learn the basics of their local language beforehand, such as “Where is the…” or “left” and “right. Learn a few common words and symbols that can appear on the road as well.
5. A Portable Charger Is Your Best Friend
Seriously, it is! You’ll use your phone for GPS applications, photos, videos, music, and lots of other things. A dead battery would make things difficult for you, such as reaching back to your accommodation. Investing in a portable charger can save you considerable hassle while traveling. Needless to say, the portable charger won’t supply unlimited power. In case you’re out too long, and both your cell phone and the mobile charger have given up, check out the last two tips.
6. Use Actual Maps
Maps might seem outdated, but what would you do if your trusty GPS phone app doesn’t load maps, or worse, your phone battery is dead? An actual map might be one of the handiest tools when you’re out and about. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to purchase some sketches of the areas you’re traveling in.
7. Write Down Necessary Info
Unless you’ve memorized your accommodation address, physically note it on a piece of paper. Keep the writing safe and secure in your bag. Phones or other digital devices are unreliable in this matter – they can get lost, stolen, broken, or run out of battery. Therefore, relying on your cell phone isn’t a good idea. Write down other relevant information as well, such as hotel phone numbers and emergency contacts.
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