When traveling to foreign countries, one of the most exciting experiences is hopping onto the public transportation in order to explore the area. Along with the thrills of exploring a new place, though, come the safety risks that come with the territory. So, for those wanting to freely experience all that a foreign country has to offer, here’s a guide on how to navigate public transportation safely while abroad.
1. Navigating New Cities: Making the Most of Foreign Public Transportation
Tips to Make Public Transportation Easier to Navigate
Navigating public transportation systems in unfamiliar cities can be an intimidating experience. But with the right tips tossed in your hip pocket, it doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are a few things to bear in mind when exploring a new foreign city:
- Damage-Proof Your valuables: While public transportation can be convenient for getting from place-to-place, you may want to consider what can be done to protect your valuables such as passports, wallets, and smartphones from pickpocketers who may frequent the area.
- Keep an Eye on Your Surroundings: On the bus or train, try to be mindful of your surroundings and the people nearby. Not all cities are safe, so it’s important to be vigilant and aware of the situation.
- Check Station Hours: Before heading out, it can be beneficial to check the local station for hours and days of operation. Nothing is worse than trudging to the nearest station only to find out service is suspended.
Knowing how to use cash when needed is also a good idea. Many ticket machines may not take debit or credit cards, so be prepared to pay in small change or bring along a bit of extra cash.
Finally, closely observe locals while waiting for the bus or train. Follow their behaviors as your guide: how they pay for tickets, which direction they take when getting on/off the train, and areas they avoid after a seemingly long day of work.
By being mindful and doing some research ahead of time, you can make the most of public transportation when exploring a new foreign city.
2. Taking the Right Steps to Ensure a Safe and (Inter) National Journey
When it comes to international travel, it can be daunting to think about all the different safety steps you need to take. But taking the right steps means that your journey will be much smoother, and you can fully enjoy the experience that comes with visiting a new place. Here are some of the top steps everyone should take when planning any sort of international trip.
- Research: Doing some research into the country you’re visiting is essential for a secure and comfortable journey. Researching the language, customs, local laws, visa requirements, and currency exchange rates will make your life so much easier when you arrive.
- Check-In with Your Embassy: Contact your national embassy in the country you’re visiting to make sure that your passport and paperwork is in order. Also, it’s important to keep your embassy updated on your whereabouts during the trip in case of any emergencies.
Once you’ve done your research and checked-in with your embassy, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to take note of the local customs and laws, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re ever in doubt. Go to highly populated areas rather than straying too far from major cities, and avoid any suspicious activity.
Being aware of personal safety is equally important, and you should follow the same protocol that you might follow in your home country. This includes carrying minimal belongings and not sharing your personal financial information with anyone you don’t know.
Finally, make sure to have travel insurance if you’re planning to go abroad. Having travel insurance means that in the case of any unexpected events, you’ll be covered and can have peace of mind throughout your trip.
3. Avoiding Unwanted Delays: Tips to Stay Out of Trouble on the Transit System
Traveling through the public transit system can turn into a nightmare if you don’t plan ahead and know how to navigate the system properly. To help minimize unexpected delays, here are some tips to make sure you stay out of trouble and stick to your timetable.
Doing some research into the transit options available and their routes and times beforehand can help you make sure you arrive at your destination on time. Have a look at the official timetable for all transit options in case you need to catch two buses or two trains, and plan your itinerary in accordance with the information you’ve gathered. It’s also important to look up your stop in advance and be aware of any changes that may occur due to construction or other unforeseen circumstances.
Grab a Seat
Standing in a crowded bus or train car is the simplest way to be late for your next activity. If you can, try to find a seat so that you don’t risk missing your stop. Some tips to help you do this include:
- Choose a car with plenty of seating
- Board the first car of a train
- Choose near the front of a very full bus
- Stick to the perimeter when in a car or bus
Do whatever it takes to get the best seating opportunities to stay out of traffic and achieve your objectives!
Listening to the transit announcements can be extremely helpful because they typically give you the information you need to stay on the right track. Pay attention to what the conductor or driver has to say, and make sure you alight from your bus or train on the correct platform. Actively listening can save you time and keep you from having to backtrack.
4. Embrace the Local Culture: Navigating the Local Scene in a Smart Way
Ride the Subway: Being smart about the local culture, especially when traveling to a new city, starts with knowing how to get around. Find out the transportation systems – metro, bus, trams, etc. – and how to operate them. Riding the subway can give you an insider view of the city and put you in touch with the locals. Plus, you don’t need to worry about parking spaces or traffic jams!
Learn the Locales: Get to know the neighbourhoods and areas where locals hang out. Ask the locals at the hotel or tourist information centre about places known only to ‘the locals’. Chances are, these spots will be cheaper and more authentic than big touristy ones.
Try Local Cuisine: What better way to embrace a culture other than through its taste! Whenever you go somewhere new, explore the local cuisine and have a meal in the restaurant run by a local family. You’ll even get to make a few new friends in the process.
Go to Local Markets: Not only can you get a taste for local culture in the supermarkets, but the markets too. Local markets offer unique dishes and wares that are only found locally. Visit flea markets, farmers markets, bazaars, etc. and pick up something to commemorate your trip there.
Support the Local Art: Art and culture go hand-in-hand, and that’s especially true in a local setting. Try to attend some local galleries, or even some pop-up art shows, to get a sense of the locale. Plus, buying art like paintings or pottery from the local talented artists can also make for a great memento from your visit.
Travelling to a foreign country can be exciting. With a little extra preparation and care, riding a foreign public transportation system can be an exciting, safe, and affordable adventure. Remember to be mindful of your belongings and aware of all the local regulations and guidelines when navigating public transportation safely in foreign countries.