Make Sure You Get Back To Your Hotel Safely While Visiting A Foreign Country With This Tip

Sightseeing is a wonderful experience, especially when you're in a country you're not familiar with. You get to meet new people, learn about a different culture, and see some incredible things. What if you don't speak the language, though? Of course, it's a good idea to attempt picking up some phrases and giving them a shot when you can, like at a street market or in a grocery store. However, there is one occasion when you need to be absolutely sure that you're saying things correctly — when you're trying to get back to your hotel. 

It can be easy to get lost if you don't know how to tell the driver of your taxi or rideshare where you're going. With that said, there is a really simple tip that can help get you back to your hotel safely, and it's not going to cost you anything at all. We'll tell you how it works and give you a few other tips to stay safe while traveling from place to place in a different country.

How the hack works

Before leaving the hotel, simply ask the hotel concierge to write the hotel address in the local language on the back of their business card. (The business card may feature the English version of the address.) That way, you can show the driver of your taxi or rideshare, or make sure you're on the correct bus route. While this might seem obvious when you're in a place that uses a different type of alphabet or characters than yours, things can also differ in countries where the alphabet is the same. By receiving the address in the local language, you can either correctly type the address into your rideshare app (different language keyboards are available on most smartphones) or show the driver. It might also help you to recognize street signs. 

While you're talking to the concierge, it's worth asking if there are any red flags you should be looking for in terms of official taxis, like logos, licenses, etc. That can be really helpful when trying to avoid taxi scams. Make sure to take a quick picture of the license plate on the back of the car, which can help you identify the make and model, just in case. You can also take pictures of the business license and driver's ID inside the taxi. 

Additional tips for navigating safely

There are a few other things to keep in mind when traveling in a foreign country. First of all, the Google Translate app can be extremely helpful. Not only can you type in what you want to say and have it translated immediately into another language, but you can use the photo feature to instantly translate signs by holding the phone over it. (Sometimes you have to take a picture.) It's just an extra layer of protection and one that can help you with our next tip. Ask for a fare estimate before accepting your ride. You may want to also ask for clarification if the estimate is per person or not. In many places, rates will be posted on the cab, but not everywhere. 

In addition, the concierge can give you an idea of local neighborhood safety and if you should be aware of any common scams. They can tell you if a specific bus route is safe as well. By asking, you'll have a better idea of how locals travel within the city while gaining insight into the place you're staying.