Where some trek the Andes with all the confidence of a mountain goat, you stumble along them like Bukowski competing in an obstacle course.
Where uber-cool tourists sporting berets can, in perfect lingua franca, order a glass of Hacienda Merlot from a French waiter, you’re more likely to point at the menu shouting, “That one!” until the waiter walks away from you in despair.
Let’s face it – some of us just aren’t cut out to be born travellers. We don’t have the wiles or the wit, the natural rapport with alien cultures or the proclivity to elongated periods of travelling. Backpacking sounds like it’d give you a hernia and snoozing in a hostel is more likely to give you bedbugs than a decent night’s sleep.
The most you can hope for is to look vaguely competent while you enjoy your holiday. To achieve this meagre aim, all you need is a spot of preparation. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide on how to stay comfortable if travelling leaves you ill at ease.
Fly in style with a VIP trip to your airport. First off, sort out your parking situation so you’re not struggling to find a spot before you reach your terminal. There are plenty of fantastic options for parking, but our favourite is Edinburgh Airport parking, which offers a diverse range of parking options to keep your vehicle safe.
Besides parking, the trick to enjoying your time at the airport is to kick back and relax. You’ll be harangued by security personnel, moaned at by fellow passengers and irritated by clumsy baggage handlers. But take it all in your stride and you’ll be able to reach your destination without bursting a blood vessel.
Know the language
Unless you’ve got a natural ear for language, no one could reasonably expect you to understand the local chatter of every country you visit. But if you’re savvy, knowing the basics of language is a good way to ingratiate yourself with the locals.
Purchase a phrasebook and repeat basic sentences and phrases like they were mantras. Pretty soon you’ll have drummed a reasonable number of the local lingo into your head, giving you enough conversational skills to make small talk with anyone you encounter.
Get direction savvy
We’ve all suffered this issue on holiday – you’re in the middle of an intersection in a busy city and, like the village idiot, you haven’t got the faintest idea where you are.
Before you travel anywhere, consult Google Maps in-depth to understand the lay of the land. That way you won’t be scratching your head and lost in a country you don’t understand.
Have you got any top-grade traveller’s tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!