10 Surprising Things You Should Know When Traveling Abroad – Mia Terra Retreats

Experienced international travelers know the basics, such as checking the expiration date of their passport before they travel, letting their bank know their travel destinations and dates, and using a destination’s ATM to get the best exchange rate on local currency. Here are ten surprising things the experienced traveler may not know about. Number 1: […]

Number 1:

If you become a victim of crime while in a foreign country, what’s the first thing you do? Call the police? Consider this: the police may not always be on your side. In many countries, you might have to pay them for their services, and you may not be able to trust them. As a U.S. citizen, you have a backup. If you feel the police won’t help you or you can’t trust them, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler App and their Country Specific Information pages provide phone numbers and addresses of U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. U.S. State Department staff will give you information about the country’s criminal justice system, legal resources, how to file a police report and acquire medical assistance. They’ll also help you with language barriers. For more information, visit the State Department’s U.S. Citizens Victims of Crime webpage.

Number 2:

Hand gestures, body language and other cultural practices have different meanings in different countries. What might symbolize a positive thing in the United States, such as a thumb’s up gesture or the “okay” sign, are viewed as disrespectful or vulgar in other countries. Before you travel to another country, it’s wise to do a little research on cultural practices there. Make yourself a “cheat sheet” to take along with you, so you don’t forget.

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