Are you planning to go abroad anytime soon?
Perhaps you’re planning a winter getaway, such as a trip to Paris for Christmas. Or you might be in the throes of your spring or summer planning for a trip abroad that doesn’t include a lot of snow.
Wherever you go, we hope you have a wonderful time. But before you pack your suitcases and retrieve your password, it’s worth learning a few useful skills before you travel. Skills such as the following, for example.
#1: Learn the language
If you’re lucky, the locals will already understand the language you’re speaking. But as this isn’t always guaranteed, it’s worth learning a few key phrases in advance. When you know how to speak the lingo, you will be able to ask for directions, which is especially useful if you get lost when you’re away. You will find it much easier to order food too, and you will be less likely to make a cultural faux pas by saying the wrong thing. There are lots of courses online you could take. You can learn Japanese with Memrise, for example, alongside the other languages they cater for. If you would rather learn offline, there might also be courses happening at a local college or community centre near you. Consider your options and take whichever course is most relevant to the country you are visiting.
#2: Learn how to read a map
When you’re a stranger in a strange new land, the chances of you getting lost could be high. This is especially the case if you’re somebody who likes to wander off the beaten track in search of adventure. Of course, getting lost doesn’t have to be stressful, especially if you know how to ask for directions. There are also navigation apps you could download onto your phone. However, there might be occasions when there is nobody around to ask for help. And your phone’s battery could die or it might fail to pick up an internet signal. At times like these, knowing how to read a map would be vital. So, take a look online for helpful map reading information. Ad purchase maps related to the country you are visiting and study them to learn the lay of the land before you venture forth.
#3: Learn how to haggle
If you’re visiting a country where there are a lot of outdoors markets and street vendors, knowing how to haggle is a must. Haggling is often expected so you don’t need to feel like you are causing somebody a disservice when trying to net yourself a bargain. It is also key to alleviating the chances of you being ripped off by somebody who knows how to fleece an innocent tourist of their money. You probably won’t find a course on haggling but there is lots of advice online. Check out this post on haggling in markets, for example. It might also be that you can get hands-on experience at home by haggling in the markets in your home town.
These are all useful skills to learn so do what you can to get to grips with each one of them. You will have a much easier time of things when you’re away, so while learning something new might seem like hard work, remember the advantages of the skills we have listed.