I have never traveled abroad before and I am planning a trip to the Philippines in January. I will be arriving in Cebu and taking a ferry to Bohol. Upon my research on the internet, that seems like the typical tourist trip taken.
Of course, my research and my inquiries have turned up even more questions about traveling abroad that I can find answers for. For one, how safe is it to travel to the Philippines? I have discovered that kidnapping does indeed happen there and that theft and robberies are commonplace. Of course, being a smart traveler will help safeguard against dangers, but there is no guarantees in life either. In order to be a smart traveler, I felt I needed to write this blog to hopefully get some tips on traveling abroad from the more experienced than myself.
Here are some additional concerns that I do have, that I have heard from some other people...not sure how true they are or not. Any other things I should watch for would greatly be appreciated.
...My first hold over will be in South Korea. (I was told that I would have difficulty making it out of that airport because they are huge and very busy and that the signs will be written in a language other than English). That really does not make sense because it is an international airport. But, I have never been there so I don't know for sure.
...This leads to another concern. I will be traveling by myself...and of course being new to this experience, I myself am also responsible for any language barriers. Not everyone I am going to need to associate with will know English. How do you communicate or deal with situations like that?
...I was also told that security at airports look for people who are nervous and will take them for questioning. Sometimes that questioning can go bad really quick, especially if there are language barriers. There is a good chance I will be a little nervous at times being an unseasoned international traveler. Any advice about that?
...I was also told to be very careful in international airports, especially the Philippines about employees slipping things in your luggage and then asking for money from you to not report it. I was told to not have luggage with pockets on its outside and if you can, wrap your luggage. Also, don't help anyone carry their luggage because this is how drugs get transported and if you get caught carrying that luggage, of course you will be responsible for its contents.
...Also, are there any tips on getting great airfare rates?
...Anything else that a new international traveler should be careful with or it would be helpful if it is known about?
Thanks all for your advice.