“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…”
You’re about to leave, so you check all the things you need to bring: ticket, money, clothes, hmmmm…..have I forgotten anything? Then maybe you’re going to start wondering: What if…I don’t like the food, run out of money, get lost…? Well, what if you prepare yourself for the unexpected things that can possibly occur during the trip? Find out about some unpleasant things that can happen during traveling and the tips to handle them.
( 1 ) Cultural Differences:
You’re in Greece and you’re treated dinner by a Greek family. They serve you a plate of food that can really make you full. Just after you finish eating, they fill your empty plate with food again. Trying to be polite, you do your best to finish it all. And after that, the host fills your plate again! What are you going to do? Try to be polite and wolf it all down again? Hey, relax pal. Don’t to be too hard on yourself! For Greek people, it’s impolite to leave a guest with an empty plate, so every time they see your empty plate, they will refill the plate. Then what should you do to show that you are full? Just leave some food on your plate. Isn’t Simple?
*Tip: Knowing and learning about the culture of a specific place before you visit it is important. Reading a book about it, browsing the internet, or simply asking your friend who’s been there will be very helpful to turn a shameful moment into a wonderful one.
( 2 ) Lost Translation:
“Wow, I’m in Japan!” You’re very excited to face your first day in Japan. You turn on the TV, and all the programs are in Japanese. You go for a walk; all the signs are in Japanese. You go to a restaurant, the menu is in Japanese. When you ask the bill, the waiter gives you a bottle of beer instead. (Japanese people sometimes mixed up “I” and “r”). Then you realize that you are in a difficult situation. Nobody can understand you and you can’t understand anybody. Aaaaargh!
*Tip: Learn simple, everybody expressions like “Can you help me?” or “What is this?” in the language of the country you’re visiting. Bring a dictionary. Make the most everything around you: pictures in magazine, things you bring in your bag and even parts of your body to communicate.
( 3 ) Cash Case:
You’re in Lombok after traveling from Yogyakarta and Bali, when you find out that you don’t have enough money in your pocket. Or maybe you’re in Sweden and you’re surprised to find that everything debit card so you can withdraw some money from the ATM or a credit card and you can still shop using it. But hey, you don’t want to go home flat broke, do you?
*Tip: Plan your expenses. Find information about the local prices from the internet. Bring extra cash in case of emergency. If you really have to use your credit card or debit card, use it wisely.
( 4 ) Food Mood:
You go to a restaurant and order something from the menu. But when the food comes, you are surprised that it looks just like the food in Fear Factor and taste is not to your taste.
*Tip: Bring instant food just in case you can’t eat the local food. But if the place you want to visit doesn’t allow you to, like Australia, well, just try to eat the food that’s served you. Just remember, if the natives can eat it, you can eat it too. It’s not poisonous, anyway.
If you have a special diet restriction due to your religion or health or you’re a vegetarian, no need to worry about food. Just make sure that you tell the person in charge or write down what kind of food you wish to get (vegetarian, Moslem, Hindu, or Buddhist) on the diet restriction form when you confirm your trip.
If you’re Moslem traveling to other countries, be careful with sausages, meatballs, and minced meat. Even though the seller says they’re made of beef or chicken, usually the meat is mixed with pork since in some countries pork is much cheaper than beef or chicken. In some places, even in Europe, you can easily find the “halal” sign. But if you can’t the sign and are not so sure of what to eat, you can eat sea food or vegetarian food. Just be ready to open your mind and taste to new kinds of food. Trust me, they’re also delicious.
( 5 ) Sick Sense:
You’re traveling abroad. When you wake up in the morning, you have a headache and fever. So you choose to take some medicine and get some rest. After a day you don’t get better, you decide to go to a hospital to see a doctor. But when you reach the hospital, they don’t want to accept you. Oh gosh…! What’s the problem?
*Tip: Whenever you travel abroad, it’s really important to equip yourself with insurance that covers all the things that may come up during your trip, such as getting sick. Without insurance, most hospitals won’t accept you. To be on the safe side, it’s better to buy yourself an insurance coverage with some of the money you’ve set aside for shopping. You never know what might happen, do you?
( 6 ) Direction Difficulty:
You’re in some place in Java. It’s late at night and you are going back to your hotel after meeting a friend in a mall nearby. For the first five minutes you are sure about the way you’re taking. But then you start to get confused since you seem to have lost your way. When you ask someone on the street, you get more confused because that person shows you the way using compass-based directions: just go west for about 100 meters, then turn north and the building will be to the east of you.
*Tip: When you travel to Bali, west, central, and east Java area, make sure that you know enough about compass-based directions. Or you can buy a map. Then study it and always bring it with you wherever you go. In case of emergency, if you get lost and need to ask somebody for directions, you can ask that person to show you the way using the map.
( 7 ) Theft Problem:
You’re on a shopping spree in Hong Kong. When you’re about to pay for the stuff you’re buying, you realize that your wallet’s gone! You lost your money and passport. A day that’s supposed to be a happy day for you turns into a horrible one.
*Tip: Before traveling, always remember to make a copy of all the important documents you need-passport, insurance, and ticket. Put the copies in your luggage and the original ones in your hand-bag or back-pack, so if a thief steals your documents, you still have the copies. If what you lose is your passport, you have to report to the your country embassy or consulate.
Talk to the airline company the thief also nabs your ticket. When you come back to your country, you can talk to the person in-charge from the insurance company about your problem and the additional amount of money you spent there because of this problem. If such incident is included in their coverage, the insurance company will pay you some money depending on the kind of insurance you have-silver, gold, or platinum.
So, ready to travel and experience new things now? What if after everything you do to avoid all the possible problems mentioned above, the unexpected still happens? Well, just smile and try to enjoy your holiday as best as you can. And when you go back to reality, you can say to anybody, “You won’t believe what happened to me on my last holiday!”