If you are adventurous and would rather travel to a third world or developing country instead of a more established destination, there are some things you should know before departing. As with all forms of travel, it’s good to prepared with what you should expect while visiting this new country or countries. Yet, even for the more experienced traveler, developing countries that are struggling politically and economically pose a different challenge than more typical destinations. Use the tips in this guide to become better prepared and ready for your trip.
1. Research, Research, Research
Researching the destination thoroughly is probably the most important and necessary tip of them all. Before you depart to this unfamiliar area, you will want to make sure that you understand what kind of conditions to expect.
By doing your research, you will be better prepared for what you might come up against. Thus, you should familiarize yourself with the new cultural differences that you will experience. Just like traveling to any other country, you will want to know how to act polite in the country you will be seen as an outsider in. You should familiarize yourself with common gestures. Finally, when doing your research, look at the pollution levels, weather and the amount of medical treatment available to you in the area you will be staying. Doing so will help you make the right decisions on what items you should pack.
2. Drinking Water
Understanding beforehand whether the area you will be visiting has safe drinking water is also something you should know before departing. This is because drinking water in places where they have different or no sanitation practices will get you sick.
Since it is not possible to force your body to get acclimated to the water locals have been drinking their whole lives, it is important to have water treatment options available. Wherever you are headed, make sure to pack some iodine tablets and water filters with you. With so many water filtration options out there, choose the product that will work for you the best.
3. Medicine Preparation
As is the case before traveling to any foreign country, it is important to make sure your medical preparations are in order. In this case, this point is intensified due to the fact that in the developing country where you will staying; they will most likely not have the same medical care or resources available that you are used to.
Before you leave, make sure that you get all of the recommended vaccinations done. Even vaccinations like rabies, which may not be required, should be completed as a precaution. Also, don’t forget to bring any of your vital prescriptions with you. Finally, check to see if you will be staying in an area that has malaria or any other dangerous diseases. Bring the corresponding preventative medication with you abroad just in case.
In developing countries that are struggling economically, you can expect to be approached by children and maybe elderly individuals who will ask for money. In these situations, it can be heart-wrenching and very painful to say no to someone who is most likely in need of money more than you. Yet, it is important to say no. Instead of giving your money to the beggar, most believe that it is better to give your money to a local community organization or non-profit, like a church or school. Today, you can even use online fundraising services to help the area you are visiting that is in need.
Many developing nations use bartering or bargaining techniques during the process of making a sale. As new member of the area, the first thing that you will want to make sure is that you don’t get ripped off. On the other hand, the truth of the matter is that paying an extra few bucks for an item is part of the experience.
As a foreigner, you will always be expected to pay more than a local, but that doesn’t mean you can’t haggle. But, remember to never show interest in an item that you have no intention on actually purchasing. This only leads to a negative interaction among you and the seller. In all reality, make sure that you aren’t afraid to say no to things that you do not want. It doesn’t matter if they spoiled you in free drinks in hopes of making a sale. You still have the choice of whether you want to purchase an item or not. Thus, know when to walk away, and walk away quickly.
This guide of tips is intended to make you more prepared and ready for your travels to a foreign and developing country. You should consult these tips before your journey, but most importantly, do as much research on this new area as you can.
You can never be too prepared, and in the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Image by Steven Lewis.