Heading abroad is something many of us count down to every year. We’ve all worked hard and deserve a relaxing break, that breath-taking adventure or eye-opening journey into our favourite or bucket-list destinations. But heading abroad isn’t without it’s complications and if you want to avoid legal issues while travelling, then it’s crucial that you do research about your destination before you jump on that plane and jet off into the sunset.
From legal and religious customs, to local laws, drug and drink laws and even dress-code regulations, it’s important that you get clued up. Here you’ll find a few helpful tips about how you can stay safe and on the right side of the law, before you travel.
When you’re out sightseeing, do not take your valuables with you. I’m talking passports and travel documentation. There’s no need to take your credit card either, just take a little cash with you – and not all of it either! If you’re heading to a late-night hotspot, then the same rules apply, bring enough cash to see you through the evening and maybe a small camera. If you think you need to have some sort of ID, consider taking a driver’s license; something that has little or no value in your current country, but can be easily replaced or verified when you get home, should it go awry.
Try to stick to a minimalist mentality, meaning take as little possessions with you in your backpack, wallet or pocket. The less valuables you have to worry about, then the more you can relax and enjoy your travelling experience.
This is a big one. Before you travel, make sure you’re clued up on local customs. It’s also wise to double check things like gestures and greetings, as many hand gestures are not as universal as you may think! Think body language too, tipping in restaurants or what etiquette is appropriate when entering someone’s house. For example, photographing government buildings, palaces or even local people in Saudi Arabia is not allowed. So be careful!
Be patient and keep an open mind
When travelling abroad, blending in can help you stay out of trouble. In some countries, such as Spain and Latin America, things like customer and table service is probably a little slower than what we may be used to; simply because of their lifestyle and culture. Don’t be disgruntled if you see servers chatting on their phones or the restaurant running out of menu items regularly. Give yourself a reality check. This is a different way of life, and don’t rush to complain or make a fuss – you’ll only draw attention to yourself. And remember, you’re on holiday; sit back, relax and soak up the culture.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed or lost in a new city. Avoid coming to an abrupt halt in the middle of the street and pulling out a map. Walk with purpose, head into a café or shop and then get your bearings.