Look into the site’s history, culture, natural environment, customs, legends, advisory notices and more. UNESCO’s World Heritage Center or Wiki Travel is a great starting point.
Buy your vacation package from a business you have confidence in. Ask family and friends to recommend a company with a good track record. Think twice if you can’t get a person on the phone to answer your questions or if the ad doesn’t give the company’s street address. Contact the state Attorney General, consumer protection agency and Better Business Bureau where you live and where the company is based to see if there is a history of complaints on file.
Learn a few words in the local language. Making an effort to speak the local language allows you to interact with the people who know the site best. People appreciate your efforts and your interest in learning. Simple words like “Hello,” “Please” and “Thank you” can go a long way.
While Traveling Engage in local culture. The saying, “While in Rome do as the Romans” still applies today. Your trip provides a unique opportunity to explore a new culture and to see the world through a different perspective.
Remember that eating local foods, shopping in local markets, and attending local festivals are all part of experiencing the culture. Hire local guides. Enrich your experience by choosing local guides who are knowledgeable about the destination. Ask local tour operators and hotels for good recommendations.
Get the details of your vacation in writing. Get a copy of the company’s cancellation and refund policies, and ask “What if…?” Consider whether some form of travel cancellation insurance may be appropriate. Use a credit card to make your purchase. If you don’t get what you paid for, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company. However, don’t give your account number to any business until you’ve verified that it is reputable.
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