Travel! That part of your personal life where you get to explore another terrain and rediscover a place much different from how you learned of them initially from books. Or some nerdy Facebook group filled with history majors.
It’s one reason why some historians end up becoming one of the most traveled individuals in the world. Not that they don’t trust their books. But the hardcore researchers read a couple of books or more before hitting it off to that exotic part of the world and verify if any of the things that they have learned is accurate.
There are travel books that occasionally derive information from history books. And there are travel books that read more like pamphlets warning you of the unscrupulous individuals that might take advantage of your “innocence” of the place and the behavior of the people that inhabit it. You may have heard of pickpocketing incidents involving tourists too preoccupied with the scenery.
But apart from the basics, anything more to add from the travel preparations that you have put in place? Let this list help you out.
Read the updated version of a history book.
Not just any book. Make sure that book has the information referring to that exotic part of the world that you intend to stay for the weekend. Or longer. Like it would be awkward to visit some tourist destinations in Turkey, for example, and not remove your shoes before entering a mosque to snap some selfies, not because they just did some tile and grout cleaning! But for cultural reasons. Some history books are written to make foreigners a little sensitive when it comes to cultural appropriation. So you have to be sensitive not only to your surroundings upon coming there but be aware of perceptions that might give locals the wrong impression about tourists like you.
When in a cue, line behind some business travelers.
It happens at times when you have the option to pick your line and see which individuals occupy them. You may not be on a business trip. But you have been around some corporate yuppies on their way to a conference. Being pressed for time, they have gotten used to moving fast even if they are not traveling as light as they should be. But their speed will be helpful for you as you simply have to keep up with them when lined up at the airport or some other station when traveling solo.
Check for any upgrade possible once in the hotel itself.
This usually happens during the off-peak season. If your travel itinerary falls on that season, it’s the best time to ask for a room upgrade. Just to have that extra room when you have the extra budget, of course. While it’s good to ask before booking the hotel reservation before even landing in that city, giving it a shot once in the hotel itself talking directly to the front desk.
Shop for useful souvenirs.
Useful meaning carpets and rugs, for example, as opposed to figurines or some other works of art that just end up gathering dust at home. Maybe you have some carpets and rugs at home that still give you a reason to call your friends at the carpet cleaning company and see the rugs cleaned one last time before finally laying out new rugs at home. Some would even go as far as calling their friends at the tile and grout cleaning company to have the floors cleaned in time for the arrival of the new carpets and rugs. It really helps in having souvenirs displayed at home and be useful while gaining a positive impression on your guests.
In case you have not realized yet, yes, some folks go to the touristy parts of the Middle East and Europe to check out the latest roster of carpets exclusively sold in the area where it is manufactured. A cute excuse to travel around the world see which memorabilia would suit your household best. As long as you come in prepared for your next pit stop, things will go smoothly as planned. Just like the tile and grout cleaning that you asked your pals to get done and over it.