Nobody wants to look like they’re nervous in a strange country, so read on for how you can look like a pro and stay safe!
It always amazes me how tourists have no qualms about letting everyone know that they are foreigners in a strange land.
They stand out not only in the way they dress, how loudly they talk or the map that they’re holding but also with how they stop every few metres to snap photos on their mega cameras.
It’s like an open invitation to the locals by saying, “Jack-up the prices and rob me if you want to… I’m a tourist!” That might sound harsh but, really, why look like a tourist when you can look like a pro?
Here are some simple ways to look well-seasoned.
5. Fill up that Form Beforehand
We’ve all met these people… usually the ones right in front of you in the queue who choose to leave it to the absolute last minute to complete their immigration forms. They either don’t know they have to do it, don’t know how to do it, or leave most of the form blank.
This makes them hold up the queue with all their questions and annoy everyone else. Please, please, please, fill out that form beforehand and ask someone if you’re not sure what to do! Do it before you join the queue.
4. Go Free & Easy
With the number of hop-on and hop-off buses now available all over the world, there’s no better time to give in to your sense of adventure and go free and easy.
Sure, you get to see all the sights on a tour and there’s safety in numbers but I’ve heard the horror stories about how you’re rushed through most of the sites and hardly get to fully explore.
Plus, following a flag around on a holiday really isn’t appealing, is it?
3. Study the Route
Look up where you’re going beforehand and how to get there. Find out which modes of transportation to take and jot it all down so you don’t have to keep pulling out that map and burying your face in it.
Also, you can always get the concierge to write down the name of the place you’re going to and the address in the local language. This will save you so much trouble if you take a wrong turn!
2. Watch Your Bag
It always amazes me how Singaporeans leave their bags, or even laptops, unattended at cafés and restaurants. You need to be aware of your bag at all times when you’re travelling!
Put it on your lap, not on the seat next to you. When you’re carrying it, make sure the zipper faces the front so that no one can sneak up behind you. If you have to carry a backpack, make sure it’s locked and don’t store all your valuables in one place.
1. Look Like You Know What You Are Doing
As in life, confidence is everything. So what if you take a wrong turn?
Stay calm, look confident and approach the sanest-looking person. Most of the time, they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction, and you might even end up making a new friend!
By Shareen Wong
About Shareen Wong
Shareen Wong is a travel-holic, retailer, and former radio presenter. After numerous wrong turns and travel disasters (including several missed planes), Shareen has learned to be more calm and has become a more seasoned traveller.
Shareen caught the travel bug when she was three, and has travelled the world solo by visiting 15 different destinations. She now travels every other month, curating the world’s best designers for her jewellery boutique: Embrace Jewellery.
Follow Shareen on Instagram @ShareenWong98