Traveling can be disorienting- new environment, different language, changing hotels frequently, along with fatigue and jet lag. If you are traveling with a group, you may not be paying as close attention to where you are or where you are staying. You need to know how to reconnect if you get separated from your group.
Got a cell phone? Take a picture of your hotel. You can show this to someone to help you find your way back, even if you don’t speak the language. If they have a business card or match book, take one and keep it with you.
Make a plan. Decide where you will meet, if you get separated each day. Know where your group is headed next. Wear a watch to keep track of the time. Ask your tour guide the best way to contact them if you get separated from the gang. Your bus may not pick you up where you got dropped off.
Here’s my biggest problem when I travel. I am not good at other languages. I always try to learn the basics – please, thank you, where’s the bathroom. But in this world you need more than that to get by.
Now there’s Google Translate. This amazing app translates in to 64 languages. You can type in your words or speak into your phone and it will translate your spoken words. Or push the hand write button and write in your words to be translated. Hit full screen and show someone your translations. You can also communicate with another person using speech-to-speech translation in Conversation Mode.
You’ve just got to check out this app. Oh, yeah and it’s free.
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Check out what’s happening to see how your travel plans may be impacted by weather.
Cell phones can be very handy when you travel. They can act as a flashlight. You can take a photo of your hotel and if you can’t communicate with your cabby, show him a picture. You can take a photo of important things, like your passport, itinerary , immunization record, medical history, medication list, phone numbers of your credit card companies international line to report stolen or lost cards, and the number of your travel health insurance company.
It’s easy to get injured when you travel, especially when you are taking a photo and wearing sandals on an uneven unpaved road and keep backing up to get the right angle. I was bleeding and found out later I broke a toe. In the next town, while I cleaned myself up, the waiter brought me a cold can of Coke, for my foot and a glass of wine for my pain. It was 9 am and I was grateful for both. Where was I?
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. Sign up for Travel Alerts.