Traveling to the Middle East can be a rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the cultural experience to exotic foods to being able to walk through millennia of human history, it’s a true bucket list adventure. But planning travel to the Middle East does require some extra preparation. Here are four tips that will help your experience go smoothly and be full of treasured memories.
Consider Using a Travel Service To Advise in Planning
With the ease of using the internet to find lodging, airfare, and dining options, it is tempting to jump online and piece your travel plans together. But in addition to using a good Middle East Booking agency to work with you, don’t overlook a reputable trip advisor.
Especially if you’ve never traveled to the Middle East, it can be challenging to know if what you’re booking is of the quality you’re seeking. Are the connecting flights reliable? Arriving at your dream destination just to be disappointed and frustrated, or worse, can quickly change your dream into a nightmare. So it makes sense to take advantage of their expertise. And they’ll have insights into the route and destination that might just take your travel from great to awesome!
Once you’ve picked their travel brains, head over to those Middle East Booking sites and book your trip.
Allow Yourself Plenty of Time
You’re going to be traveling to a distant land that you may never get the opportunity to return to again. While there is always the question of quantity and quality, either option requires adequate time. So don’t short yourself when marking off days on your travel calendar.
The Middle East stretches thousands of miles east to west and north to south, with endless cultural and natural attractions. You’ll want to set aside at least 10 to 14 days, and even then you’ll have to pick and choose between your favorite destination points for your final itinerary.
Learn About the Culture
Middle East culture is very different from Western culture. A great way to ruin your travel experience is to find yourself in awkward or even illegal situations that could have been avoided if you’d known local cultural rules and expectations.
MJ Vogel said in a recent Ms Career Girl post:
“big-picture planning can include researching the local customs of your destination. As a woman, you don’t want to flag the authorities and get into cultural snags with locals or officials. For example, displaying uncovered knees or upper arms in Vatican City is prohibited. As a foreign visitor to some Middle Eastern countries, you must cover your head and wear full-length clothing.”
It’s well worth your time to learn about the local customs and culture of your travel destinations. And, it shows your hosts that you respect their cultural differences.
The first piece of advice: relax. I can assure you that you’re going to forget something. Rest assured that it is more than likely that you’ll be able to replace it on your travels. Beyond that, remember to be mindful of the local season as well as climate, and cultural expectations as mentioned above.
Here are some quick travel hacks that seasoned travelers have gathered:
- Use small zip lock baggies to contain cosmetics and smaller items, and large baggies for shoes and dirty clothes.
- Minimize jewelry for both security and ease of travel reasons. Get a small travel jewelry case that can be easily carried, placed in a safe, and fit in your bags.
- Get a collection of travel-sized items you regularly use. Trust me, it beats trying to pour your favorites into small travel containers!
- Remember those USB cords that somehow get tangled up no matter where you stash them? Wrap them up and place them in an old eyeglass case, or one of those handy baggies.
- Collect your favorite and often-used remedies for handling ailments that will undoubtedly pop up, from headaches to constipation. There’s peace of mind in a little familiarity!
Doing appropriate work ahead of time when planning travel to the Middle East will pay off in a more pleasurable travel experience. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, do a little extra research, and consider all your options. And get ready for something you’ll be sharing stories about for years to come!
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