KEY TRAVEL TIPS

  1. Ask someone who knows. Travellers often have to ask strangers for directions or other questions. The problem is the person you ask may not understand the question, may prefer to answer incorrectly than to admit being clueless, or may have some ulterior motive behind his response.  Remember proximity does not mean knowledge. The bathroom attendant in the Rio Airport will not know whether you can buy Tequilla in the duty free. He may feel that he has to provide an answer, any answer because if he was asked the question he is suppose to know. So he may give an answer, any answer and if the question requires a yes or no answer he has a 50% chance of being right and besides he will never see you again.Developing countries are very stratified and the working class does not come into contact with the westernized amenities. Example: One day in Cairo we asked the taxi driver to take us to the Benetton and pointed to a Colours of Benetton billboard ad.  The driver promptly took us to the base of the billboard (what crazy tourists he must have thought).  Look for someone that is working in an occupation that has some connection to what you are seeking. A traveller has to think like a judge you have to assess reliability and bias. You also need to seek out multiple sources
    1. Is this person in a position to have a clue about what you are asking about or is he/she just some random local that you just accosted.
    2. Did this person approach you? Is her or she all smiles? Is this person trying to sell you something? A hotel, a restaurant, foreign exchange? These are all warning signs
  2. Uniforms do not mean anything. In some countries there are official looking uniforms for everything. From the police officer to the street cleaner.  When you need help you need to make sure that the uniform represents an office or position that has some ability to provide the assistance you need.
  3. Not all Police Are Helpful. Some countries have multiple types of police officers, local police, provincial, city, capital, tourist police- you name it. Find out from locals and blogs which police should be approached and which should be avoided.
  4. Bitching will not solve anything.
  5. Loose is Lost. Organize and consolidate all of your stuff.
  6. Wait to find out if what happened was really an affront. This one came from Angela. In some countries people may do things that you see as an affront, but it may just be something that you did not understand. Wait a bit before you react, get more information. Sometimes it is obvious that you have been affronted but not always
  7. Put things where you can find them especially if you need to leave in a hurry
  8. Be Aware of Details they can make a huge difference.
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