What everyone should research and prepare for before visiting a new city or country

Are you thinking of taking a trip soon? It’s not just important to pack enough socks and underwear, but there are a lot of different considerations one should review before stepping foot in different continent, country, region, city or village.

Know a destination before visiting

Whether you’re planning to visit Florida to tour some of the Fort Lauderdale houses for sale, heading to any new city on vacation, or for any reason, there are a so many things you’ll definitely want to know before you go. And these best practices are good to review before any trip — domestic or international.

Entry Requirements

If you’re traveling to a foreign city, one of the first things to check is the entry requirements. A valid passport with an expiration date three to six months after the date you plan to exit is required by most countries. Some also require a visa, meaning you’ll need to submit an application, photo, and other documents, so you’ll need plenty of time to get that taken care of.

Plan around local holidays

Check to see what and when the public holidays are for the destination you’re traveling to to avoid disappointment or worse. Holidays can mean many things will be closed, from attractions to banks, and there may not be any public transportation running either. If there is a special event celebrating a holiday, it could mean sold-out accommodations or traffic problems.

Know the weather

You’ll want to at least have an idea of what the weather might be like in the city you plan to visit so you’ll know what to pack, but there are other reasons too. For example, if you plan to travel in an area subject to hurricanes, it becomes even more important to know when to visit to avoid that risk. In some places, winter might be dry and sunny, while others experience frequent blizzards, which means bringing that heavy coat and snow boots.

If you’re heading to a city in the Southern Hemisphere like Sydney or Auckland, remember that the seasons are the opposite of what they are in the Northern Hemisphere, so you could leave home with snow on the ground and land where temperatures are sizzling.

Research Top Attractions and Hidden Gems

While you don’t have to plan out your entire itinerary, do some research ahead of time to get an idea of the top attractions, as well as places locals recommend that are likely to be more hidden gems most visitors miss.

Electricity (want to charge your phone?)

Depending on your destination, you may need adaptors or converters to use your electronic gadgets, from phone chargers to hairdryers, laptops, and so on. The voltage and type of outlet are the same throughout the Americas, but if you’re traveling elsewhere, you’ll want to find out what the standard voltage is for electrical outlets in your destination as well as the kind of outlet used. An adaptor will allow you to plug in your device, while a converter makes it work without blowing it up. If either are necessary and you don’t have them with you won’t be able to use your electronics.

The overall culture

At the basic level, travel is said to increase cultural understanding. The idea there is being simply being exposed to something new expands the mind.

However it’s best to do some research ahead of time to find out about the local customs and beliefs beforehand so you’re respecting the norms and values of that country.

It’s important to respect the culture – for example, in Muslim countries, women should wear loose-fitting clothes that cover the legs, chest, and arms, while both sexes should avoid t-shirts. While in nations like Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, and others, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering a home, and a major faux-pas to walk through a house with them on.

Almost all the traditional customs are a product of that country’s unique locale, history and religion so don’t pick and choose which customs you want to adhere to, but respecting all of their customs and values by being aware of them and culturally sensitive. You’re the visitor after all.

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