5 travel tips to help you prepare for an epic journey in Asia
ONLY the most adventurous would dare to rent a vehicle when traipsing across Asia.
However, Asia is vast, and there are going to be different rules, customs, and laws depending on where you are headed.
For example, in India (like many countries once ruled by the British), you drive on the “other side” of the road. In South Korea, you drive on the right.
Changing the side of the road you drive on can be a make it or break it deal for many travelers, so do your research and be sure you are ready.
Here are a few more handy tips to get you prepared:
Consider the manual transmission factor (and where it’s located)
In addition to knowing which side of the road to drive on, keep in mind that in some Asian countries, the odds of getting an automatic rental are slim to none.
This means you need to be very confident driving a manual. In countries where you drive on the left, you will also need to shift with your left hand.
This can be overwhelming for some drivers so it may be easiest to seek out an automatic when possible.
Check your tech before you go
Do you know the essential technology to pack for a trip?
This can include instant translators along with your preferred GPS app and downloading quality apps for dining, car sharing, or anything else you need for a seamless trip.
A little language goes a long way
Many Asian countries are used to Western tourists, and the most popular tourist destinations will have guides that speak a variety of languages.
However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the culture (and perhaps score some better service or tips from locals), practice some basic words and polite phrases.
The same goes for researching cultural etiquette norms such as bowing instead of shaking hands in many Asian countries.
A day to settle in and a day to relax
Jet lag does not spare anyone and having a schedule that is too tight will leave you exhausted and unable to enjoy your vacation.
Ideally, plan a full rest day when you first arrive in Asia. If possible, arriving close to when your bedtime there should be preferred.
Also, treat yourself to a full rest day (or more) upon your return. It might seem like you can power through your daily routine a few hours after an international flight, but that is rarely a good idea.
Be adventurous with your food
Asian countries are each unique and they all feature cuisine and dishes that you probably would not get authentically anywhere else in the world.
As long as the food does not include water that has not been boiled (such as chutneys), you are relatively safe
Challenge yourself to try a dish or ingredient that might not otherwise make it into your diet. Go off the grid and seek out local establishments.
Tasting a country’s dishes is a surefire, easy way for you to learn all about their culture.
Most importantly, remember to turn off the phones and cameras sometimes to experience what it is really like to immerse yourself in your travels.
After all, memories carry more weight than selfies.