A big fear many new travelers have is getting lost in a foreign country, especially if you don’t speak the language. But in most places, the tourism industry wants you to visit and they work hard to make sure you can find your way around! So it’s not as challenging as you may think!
I’ll show you some tricks that will make it easier to get around.
World Travel 101 – Index
- Part 1 – Planning
- Part 2 – Travel Documents
- Part 3 – Foreign Languages
- Part 4 – Money
- Part 5 – Accommodations
- Part 6 – Transportation
- Part 7 – Packing
- Part 8 – Health & Safety
- Part 9 – Staying Connected
- Part 10 – Cultural Awareness & Respect
3 Ways to Prepare for Your Trip
If you have time, a little preparation can make it easier to find your way once you’re on the ground.
Here are some ways you can plan ahead:
- Find a Hotel in a Convenient Location – Google Hotel Finder or TripAdvisor can help you find a hotel near places of interest.
- Familiarize Yourself With a Map of Your Destination – Guide books offer fantastic walking tours. I’ve used Rick Steves’ books. He usually includes metro stops with all major destinations so it’s easy to find your way. But browse Amazon or your local bookstore to find 1 that works for you!
- Study Public Transportation Maps – Find these with a quick search on Google or in guide books.
Know Your Transportation Options
Renting a bike might be your best option in places with a lot of traffic. While in many European cities public transportation is the cheapest and most efficient way to get around.
Guide books will often give you tips on the best ways to get around, but here’s a look at some common options:
But some drivers take advantage of tourists. To avoid getting ripped off, make sure you use a reputable company. You can ask for a name at the hotel or do a quick search online.
You can also use Taxi Finder to get an estimate of your fare and ensure you aren’t overcharged!
2. Rental Car
Some people enjoy the freedom of a rental car. It’s a terrific way to explore places off the beaten path. Check out my rental car series for tips on how to save money.
3. Public Transportation
Public transportation can also bring you door to door, depending on your destination. Plus, it’s often very affordable.
If you’re staying for an extended period, check for discounts on weekly and monthly passes to save money!
It’s a good idea to know when service ends each day. Otherwise, you could end up stuck somewhere without a ride back to the hotel!
Finding Your Way
If you’re exploring your new location on foot or with a rental car you’ll have to figure out how to get around on your own.
Tips and tools that can help you out include:
- Offline Maps – Try using Google Maps offline. Or use an app like City Maps2Go Pro ($2.99) that has offline maps and guides.
- Cell Phone GPS – Activate your wireless international plan to get full use of GPS on their phone. A cheaper option may be to purchase a SIM card when you reach your destination.
- Google Translate – This app can translate signs for you and also help you ask for directions from someone who doesn’t speak English
Getting around in a a foreign land can seem complicated. However, many tourist spots actually do their best to make it easier!
Planning ahead can also go a long way! You’ll feel more at ease once you get familiar with the available popular transportation options, as well as maps of the roads.
Also, guide books and travel apps can be a lifesaver to help you navigate a unfamiliar city.