• 6 Tips for Traveling to Emerging Destinations

    2012-09-13

    As adventure travelers search for destinations more off the beaten track and under the radar, some countries traditionally perceived as less safe for travelers are becoming more and more appealing. These emerging travel destinations are often just out of political unrest and usually the neighbor of a much more tourist-friendly country. They also offer bragging rights for adventure travelers, who rank destinations like Laos, Lebanon and Nicaragua high on their bucket list.

    And, rightly so. Laos, the landlocked country between Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, has an eclectic French culture interlaced with the island feel from the luxury villas on the Mekong River. Lebanon's capital city, Beirut, attracts travelers interested in culture, religion, food, clubbing, and the beautiful sandy beaches with their diverse history. After thousands of surfers and honeymooners alike began flocking to Costa Rica, Nicaragua is now becoming the go-to Central American country for adventure hungry tourists who want to see the rainforest, hike in active volcanoes and hang ten without the crowds.

    But don't let the beauty of these countries and your own adrenaline get the best of you. They are emerging destinations for a reason and, as a traveler; you need to take precautions to make sure your adventure is with your travel excursions, not your safety.

    Here are six tips for traveling to emerging destinations:

    1. Be observant. Traveling to emerging destinations is similar to traveling to bigger cities in America. You need to be aware of who and what is around you. Act confidently while exploring the destination and don't display huge amounts of wealth, like large watches or big diamond rings, so you won't become a target.
    2. Travel in groups. Try joining an organized tour the first day of your trip to familiarize yourself with the new city and meet locals who can give you advice on the best places to eat, what to see and where to go.
    3. Only take authorized taxis and buses, and always negotiate the price before starting the ride. Also, be prepared to pay by having a few small bills in your pocket so you don't have to flip open your wallet.
    4. Exercise caution around border towns, where more instances of drug trafficking and crime can be found. Travel with proper identification including passport, ID card and hotel information, and if driving, carry appropriate auto insurance. If you happen to get arrested or detained by police, contact your country's consulate as quickly as possible.
    5. Only bring what you absolutely need. Make your trip easy on yourself and pack a simple backpack, with locks on the zippers, so you only have to keep an eye on one item. Keep valuables, money, and your passport on your body or deep in your pack so that a pickpocket can't grab and go.
    6. Invest in travel insurance. Travel Guard offers comprehensive travel insurance plans that include assistance services to the meet the needs of many kinds of travelers and adventures. Especially when visiting a country that presents higher risks than another, knowing that you have travel insurance to cover lost or stolen luggage, trip cancellation, interruption, or delay due to covered reasons a medical emergency and more, may help you sleep easier. If you do need assistance, Travel Guard can help and contact family back home for you.

    Many times a few neighborhoods ruin the reputation of an entire country. Don't let those small areas stop you from visiting the beautiful nature and exciting city vibes. Follow these simple tips and educate yourself before you go to be prepared for situations that could arise. Once you are confident and knowledgeable about the area, all that's left is the adventure of exploring a new city and returning home with incredible stories and bragging rights.



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AJ Sosa