Some people have mental roadblocks about traveling abroad, worried about the dangers they see on the news or the uncertainties of traveling in a strange land. As a result, they struggle with whether to go on their planned vacation or to eliminate certain destinations from their travel bucket list.
Before you do—and forfeit your freedom to embrace a world of experiences—here are some tips to help you overcome your major travel fears.
FEAR: Unexpected Disruptions
Convinced your cruise ship is going to end up on its side like the Costa Concordia? A hurricane will stand you on an island? You'll be pick pocketed or involved in a terrorist attack?
These concerns seem stronger than they are because they're multiplied by the fear of the unknown. And like any fear of the unknown, knowing is the answer. To gain solid information and key insights about a destination, seek out friends who have traveled there before, dive deeply into travel blogs and online reviews, and consult a travel agent who specializes in that destination. By arming yourself with the right advice and safe experiences, you'll feel more confident at your destination.
FEAR: Lack of Communication
Worried that you won't be able to speak to anyone or read a sign? You'll be amazed to find that the majority of people you'll encounter in popular tourist destinations possess a passable grasp of the English language since it's part of their core curriculum in school.
In the few instances where someone doesn't speak English, gestures typically do the trick. Turn your conversation into a game of charades, and when all else fails, they will usually point you to someone who does speak English. And no matter where you go, everyone will recognize your immediate need if you whip out the pee-pee dance.
FEAR: Mystery Food
Are you afraid that the unreadable appetizer you ordered will come with octopus legs or, even worse, spinach?! While part of experiencing a culture is diving taste buds first into their regional cuisine, food is a tricky subject now that more and more people are on different diets or avoiding certain foods.
Luckily, in most tourist areas, menus often have pictures of the food, so all you need to do is point. Still, it's wise to learn a few key words of the local language if you have an allergy or dietary consideration. You can even consider writing down your restrictions on a card and having them translated before you go, so you can show the waiter or cook.
FEAR: Travel Troubles
Traveling can be a sticky business, especially when you consider flight delays, mixed up reservations, tropical storms or an Icelandic volcano eruption that spewed so much ash into the air it cause the largest air-traffic shut-down since World War II.
That's why having a travel agent can make a world of difference. Should your flight be cancelled or you drink the water and find yourself ill, we are quick to find a solution and ensure you make it home easily. We also have a ton of knowledge about the location to give you safety tips and information before you leave.