Three Travel Tips for Americans and Brits Traveling Abroad

Monday, December 31, 2012

When Americans and UK citizens travel to a country in mainland Europe they're prepared to deal with the language barrier, but some aren't ready to deal with experiencing a different culture.  When you're going on vacation in a foreign country, you may be a little surprised by just how different everything is.   Whether you're heading off to a few villas in Tuscany with your friends or traveling to hotel room in Stockholm, experiencing a little bit of a culture shock is normal. Don't let the surprise of culture shock ruin your vacation.  Here are a few tips that can help you feel at ease when you make your trip.

Lessen the Language Barrier

English is a very popular language to learn abroad, but you should still expect to experience a language barrier when you travel.  If you have a lot of extra money to spend you could hire a translator, or you can spend a few dollars and make your smartphone your translator.  There are many apps available that translate languages, and some of them are even free.  You'll be able to easily look up important words and phrases, and maybe even make a new friend with your new language skills.

Find a Tour Guide

You could choose to explore the country where you're vacationing on your own, but an experienced tour guide could help show your more than you would ever find on your own.  There is no shortage of tour guides in Europe, especially if you're planning to visit a big city.  The hotel or rental you're staying at may even be able to recommend tour guides to use.

Learn About Holidays

Holidays are important and unique to different cultures.  Stores, banks, and government offices close for holidays in mainland Europe just like institutions in your country.  If you unknowingly plan your vacation when a national holiday is being observed, you'll be disappointed when you arrive and see that everything is closed.  Take time to learn about your vacation country's holidays before you plan your trip.  You could choose to plan your getaway for another week, or you can learn about it and get ready to join in on the celebration.

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