Statue Of Liberty, New York City, USA

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Soufriere, St. Lucia

Tambor Beach, Costa Rica

 

Travel Jitters

Laying awake in bed, hours before your alarm is set to go off, you may realize your attempts to ignore the feelings of anticipation for an upcoming trip is futile. When gearing up for an vacation, there may be last minute tensions that arise. While at this time I am often envious of the simplicity associated with pursuing a resort, cruise or all inclusive experience, the massive cost savings and ultimate freedom and flexibility associated with independent travel continue to ignite my passion for each and every trip.

However, it would be deceptive to say that it is a stress-free process. Every new experience is exciting yet the fear of the unknown can cause last minute apprehension. There may be concerns about the ease of accessing local transportation to get to your rental property/hotel/hostel,  the availability of your host to meet you in a timely manner with keys in hand, the safety of your surrounding neighbourhood, and the appropriateness of your accommodations. Despite excessive research and planning, when those issues have been resolved is when my vacation truly begins. If you are an independent traveller, here are a few tips to ease your mind and to implement safety measures prior to arriving at your vacation destination.

  • Contact your host/hotel staff in advance to confirm reservations.
  • Determine the safest and most direct route to get to your destination.
  • Research transit schedules and transportation options and costs from the airport.
  • Translate your instructions and destination address into the local language prior to leaving. You can install the Google Translate App onto your mobile device in advance and download all relevant languages for your trip. This will allow you to access interpretation options off-line and save your data during your trip.
  • Have the phone number and email for your destination accessible in the event of unexpected questions, delays or missed flights.
  • Research your destination on Google Maps. Take screen shots of the 360 degree view of your property and neighbourhood so you recognize it when you arrive.
  • Obtain input from local transit and taxi drivers to ensure you are making your way in the right direction.
  • Utilize only regulated taxi drivers and find out the rate prior to getting into the vehicle. If you feel uneasy, wait for another vehicle or go back into the airport and seek assistance.
  • Provide family members/close friends with your flight and destination information. Be mindful that your loved ones may have concerns about your safety. Letting them know you have safely arrived at your destination is a simple as a social media message, text or email.
  • Turn on your mobile GPS if you have any concerns about your safety and the possible need for someone to be able to locate you.
  • Add the toll free number for the site you booked your accommodations through (Airbnb, VRBO, Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Hotels.com) available in the event that you have concerns.
  • Once you arrive at your destination, obtain details on local customs and recommended sites, restaurants and shopping locations.

Now it is time to sit back and enjoy the food, spirits, culture, language, attractions and scenery your new destination has to offer. Despite the need for a little extra planning, your freedom to explore and enjoy the ‘local experience’ is something that cannot be truly captured in any travel brochure.

Happy travels, J&B

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