Here at Door2Tour.com we like to practice what we preach and between us have been to almost every corner of the globe. We’ve made our own set of travel rules to help you get the most out of a holiday.
1. Do your research
Before you travel to a new destination you need to do some research to know what to expect, what the local customs are and how to behave whilst travelling. There is nothing worse than being disrespectful unintentionally because you were under-prepared. To find out more about travelling to a particular destination from the UK it is wise to check the Foreign Travel Advice website to find out a little more about laws and customs. For example if travelling to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) women are expected to dress modestly when in public areas such as shopping malls. Clothes should cover shoulders and the top of your arm, public displays of affection are also frowned upon and arrests for kissing in public have occurred.
It’s not only laws and customs that should be researched, find out about the area and the attractions nearby. The internet has a wealth of great information and TripAdvisor is a great source of finding good quality restaurants, hotels and bars. Though, it’s worth mentioning don’t always write a place off because it can’t be found of TripAdvisor, there are some real gems out there which haven’t quite made it up the ranks quite yet.
2. Try to live like a local
A life tip which has stuck with me, whilst travelling in far flung destinations if you choose to eat in a restaurant try to pick the ones where children are eating. You know the food will be of a good standard if the locals are there and have taken their children eliminating any poorly stomachs.
When you think about how well you know your own town, there’s no question that the best people to ask are the locals. On a recent trip to Cornwall we asked where the best place to get a traditional Cornish Pasty was, we were given an answer straight away – and the pasty was amazing. If you are staying in a hotel, get to know the Concierge, they will have plenty of contacts who might be able to get you a table at that restaurant you were dying to visit or secure you the last two seats in the theatre!
Try and eat the local food, how else can you truly immerse yourself in another culture without sampling a guinea pig in Peru or baby snake in Cambodia!
It pays to learn some phrases in the local language, even if you are not quite sure on the pronunciation at least the sentiment is there.
Before you go you need to plan what to take with you, it goes without saying but check the weather and average climate before you leave and try to pack according to that. There is nothing worse than going on a rainy holiday with nothing but summer clothes packed!
Another must have is an old favourite the bumbag or money wallet, they can be hidden under your clothes and will keep your valuables safe just in case.
4. Meet new people
You never know who you’ll end up meeting, but as corny as this sounds they could well change your life. Emma who worked in our office met her other half on a plane to Canada as fate had dictated they would sit next to each other. We’re not just talking about meeting your soulmate, you could meet a life-long friend somewhere you least expect it!
5. Enjoy the moment
Stop and take a breath to explore the beauty of a place, put the camera and the phone down and go off the grid – you’ll feel liberated and free we promise! (Even if it is only for a day or two.)