Waseda Weekly早稲田ウィークリー



Things to do Before Traveling Abroad

The origin of the word ‘travel’ may come from the French word ‘travail’ which means work. In the past, it was believed that traveling was hard and stressful. With globalization, people started traveling for many reasons- leisure, business, migration to other countries, charity, research, and also for work. It is always exciting to travel to a foreign country. It gives you an ample opportunity to know a new culture, custom, society, and language. To explore an alien world you need to prepare well. Your overseas experience will depend on your pre-departure preparation. Your traveling would be easier and meaningful if you know the local language or at least English as it is an international language. The following points need to be considering before departure.

Visa and passport- check your passport validity before you buy a ticket and apply for a visa. Almost every country requires six months of passport validity to enter that country. As a Japanese passport is one of the strongest passports in the world and many countries allow on arrival visa if the passport is not valid for six months on arrival visa would not be issued by the authority. Many students make this mistake and cannot enter the country and come back with a very painful experience. Visa system need to be checked at least three weeks before the departure sometimes without prior notice embassy changes the visa regulations and that also prohibits tourist to travel and because of passengers’ ignorance, no company will refund the money for the services you have already paid. Some travel agencies issue tickets in the local language. Please have a copy of the ticket in English. Some countries won’t allow you to pass the immigration while returning if the ticket is not issued in English. Most of the South Asian countries follow this system.

Safety information is also an important part of traveling. It is better to avoid traveling to countries where social safety is a big concern. For the first time traveler, it is better to go to safer countries. All the information is given in Japan’s government website.

Have an open mind to everyone’s culture and customs. Do not be stereotyped – Asians are poor, Europeans are wealthy, etc. It will limit your knowledge in a foreign country. Do not compare with any culture with your own culture or try to change anything. Accept the local culture as it is. Do not be judgmental also who is good or bad. The way of asking questions is also different in every culture, for example, in Japan asking one’s age and salary is very rude, on the contrary in some culture it is a very normal question. Do not feel shocked and surprised by any questions which are not accepted in your culture. Try to handle questions nicely; some people won’t understand the reason for your anger.

One very important point is that it is good to be friends with the local people but do not share too much information about you and also do not be friendly quickly. Your overseas experience will depend on the experience that you will get from the local people. If you come across a good one, you will have a good experience but if you are unfortunate and meet someone who has got bad intentions in mind, your holiday will damage in one day. So you should try your best to choose people in a strange world.

You should arrange both cash and credit cards. Some countries do not accept card so cash is the only option. Carry enough cash and put in on the hotel’s safe and do not forget to check the safe while you check out

Try to respect local culture for example; giving tips is a must to do in some country and also offering food to the person with you when you eat something during your tour. Try to understand no one can win over the culture. Giving tips is not a very common culture in Japan but it can be rude in some countries if you do not pay them. Sometimes service depends on the tips too. It sounds strange but it is custom even in the United States of America.

Finally, arrange your first aid box with necessary medicines for fever, stomach aches, and minor injuries. Do not forget to check the local power system and buy the adapter to charge your electronic devices. Rather you will be frustrated not to share your picture and stories on your Facebook and Twitter! When COVID-19 is over, enjoy.



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