The trouble with traveling to foreign countries is that they’re, well, foreign. For some strange reason they do not tend to cater to our American needs as much as we would like. Their legal system is a little different (which can be good and bad). And why they do not speak English is a complete mystery. Step into the wrong places and people might not like you just because you’re American (not that we ever hate people because of where they are from…).
If you’re looking to travel abroad, you need to be prepared for the worst. The research team here at COED sacrificed a few interns in order to figure out how to protect you when outside of the U.S. of A.
Last night was a heck of a party. You and your boys found a local bar that sold $1 shots of what you were told was tequila. You didn’t care after the first three — you were already well on your way to wasted. Now the sun is shining, you have sand in your face from sleeping on the beach, your shoeless and shirtless, and top it off, you have no idea where you are. Oh and of course no one speaks English.
The answer to this one is simple. Before you ever leave the hotel, take a couple of pieces of paper and write down the name of your hotel and general directions from a major landmark. Stick these somewhere on your person that you will not lose or destroy. When you wake up on the beach, find a cab driver, and show him the paper. When you get there ask the bell hop to tell him to hold on while you run to your room for cash.
When you’re having so much fun, it is easy for things to get out of control. If bad luck happens to strike and you wake up in jail, you will need an escape plan.
The easy thing is to look back and wish you had read up on some of the local laws. But who really wants to do homework to go on vacation? Another easy solution is to make sure you only get stupid drunk at your hotel or resort, somewhere relatively safe that has to take care of you. Having guests arrested is bad for business, even if they deserve it. If you do find yourself sharing a cell with a complete (yet sexually adventurous) stranger, get in touch with the embassy as soon as possible. Part of the reason they are there is to help out idiots like yourself.
One of the most common problems that people have with passports is getting to the airport and realizing the information does not match the ticket and/or ID. Another common issue is losing your passport while partying at your destination.
Make sure your information is straight long before you go on vacation. Since passports are good for ten years, people will often get married (or if you’re an R&B music mogul you might just change your name just because). Either way, airlines do not have to let you board if the names do not match. You can beg and plead and possibly still make your flight, but the only safe bet is making sure your name is right ahead of time.
If you lose it while on vacation, you better hit up your embassy as soon as possible. It will take some doing, but you can get another one issued. Failure to do so may make it fairly hard to come back into the country when you’re done soaking up those south of the border rays.
With all the earthquakes in the news of late and Mexico getting hit so hard by hurricanes a few years back, the possibility of a natural disaster striking is somewhat high. The problem is that many of our favorite international vacation spots are not too developed, which means they take it pretty hard when disaster strikes.
The best thing you can do here is a little research before you even book your reservations. Check out their hurricane stats and make sure not to book during hurricane season (June to October) or during their rainy season. Sure travel during these months is cheaper, but you’re getting exactly what you pay for.
If it’s too late for you and you happen to be there when disaster strikes, then be sure you have enough water on hand in your room or wherever you take cover. Depending on the severity of the disaster you may want to contact the embassy afterward so that they can notify your family that you are okay.