It is the fourth month of the year and spring-break activities may be on the lips of every student. One such activity may be a carefully crafted travel plan. Groups of exuberant, vivacious travelers will engage in fun and frolic in an attempt to forget the stress of academia, to recharge, and to have a great time in a different place. These young adults eagerly look forward to executing their customized itineraries with great expectations. It is their sole intention to share with their loved ones lasting memories of an unforgettable trip. In a week or two they will feel the buildup of excitement. The anticipation of what is to come will rise to levels that may seem unbearable before setting out on their adventure. Still, at this initial stage it is crucial to always know where one can go when one needs help in a strange place.
It is imperative to have a ready list of places/businesses/services you can seek out for help if you need it. Usually, my first stop in any foreign country when I disembark is the information desk. There, I ask all pertinent questions re local transportation, hotel direction, area, money exchange, restaurants, etc., before leaving the airport. In my past experiences while on the road, I have found it may not always be wise to approach a total stranger. They may not want to assist you or may feel wary of your approach. So, here are some front-line resources you can use for immediate help if you need it.
Police – In all countries, the police are there to serve and protect people. Do not hesitate to locate the nearest station or approach an officer for help. They gladly assist tourist in distress, who are lost, needing directions, or other information.
Consulate/Embassy – This particular recommendation may not be one to easily access without an appointment. However, a request at the guard station may put you in touch with someone who can aid you.
Travel Agency – They are in the business to know all that pertains to the traveler. They are a good source to find and locate your travel needs. Use their services for directions, and advice on attractions, area, transportation, recommended tours, etc. You will find they have up-to-date information and network connections that will put you in touch with whatever you need.
YMCA/YWCA – Usually this organization has its doors open to assist anyone with a need. Do not hesitate to go to either establishment irrespective of gender.
Church – Any house of worship is a safe bet to enter and appeal for support also. If your particular church is not in the neighborhood, usually a catholic church can be located to offer back-up.
Hotel/Hostel – The concierge or front desk receptions of these establishments are always willing to help the traveler who needs support. Don’t be afraid to ask questions there even if you are not their guest.
i-booth – Last but not least, many i-booths are strategically located in major cities just to assist tourist. Representatives man these stations and they are usually outfitted with maps, brochures and tour operator paraphernalia for the traveler.
Community Peeps, what other places would you suggest to go to for help? Write your responses in the comment box below. I am anxious to know your thoughts on the subject and to add them to my repertoire of recommendations for the future.
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