Traveling is a great way to expand ones view on the world and gain perspective. Obviously, you’ll gain physical perspective from literally seeing the world from a different place, but the political and social perspective is also a great learning experience. But in order to fully appreciate a new place, it’s necessary to be prepared for a variety of travel situations. Mishaps on a trip do happen, but by being ready for them, the amount of stress they cause can be minimized.
The first thing to be prepared for is weather. This is the most obvious consideration, but it’s sometimes difficult to remember to pack proper clothing if the climate and weather of the vacation spot are highly different from home. This is usually most problematic when packing for a cold weather vacation in a hot hometown, since not having a jacket is more of an emergency than packing one that you don’t need. Check the weather forecast for the final destination, and pack accordingly.
For ocean-going trips, such as cruises in the Bahamas, weather is usually very stable, due to the moderating effect of being near such a large body of water. Furthermore, the tropical latitude of the Bahamas means that there is very little fluctuation in temperature from one season to the next. Indeed, the only real seasons are wet and dry, as the temperature can tend to stay very stable. However, a mistake many people might make is the assumption that since the trip will be on the ocean, the weather will be warm and sunny like a beach every day. However, nights on a ship can be cool, and the high deck of a ship can get a good deal of wind. Bringing a light jacket is a good idea.
Other good tips include learning a bit of the foreign language for the area you’ll be in. For much of the world, English is a widely-spoken second language, if not the first language, but it is still useful to know some of the lingua franca. On a cruise, this is far less important for basic necessities, since all amenities are provide, in a language you can understand. But, when the ship stops in ports along the way, it’s helpful to speak the language a little. This is doubly important when attempting to buy anything at any small shop. Often, cultures outside of the United States have no set price on things for sale. Prices are determined by negotiation and bargaining, and a good handle on the language will make this go much more in your favor. Local shops may inflate the price two or three times if they can see that the buyer cannot speak the language and is obviously a tourist.
By Andy Summers