As I always say travelling is all about exploring, and we explore place we don’t know. This is where the fun is in exploring. But there is one thing that bothers some people and even excites some people, the thought of getting lost. To both of these people, I must address that in reality getting lost might not be a very great experience till you are safe and you find a marvel of a spot. Imagine, you might run into bunch of muggers, or you might miss a flight while finding your way. Well I am not to scare you, but on the contrary give you some tips on how to not get lost during travelling.
1 – We are in 21st century and GPS is already invented, so you shouldn’t mind using it as a device or some app on your phone. People GPS is a must if you are going outdoors or better off to hiking. Trust me outdoors or wild is no place to be lost, and actually it is easiest to be lost there.
2 – The first thing you are going to do when you arrive your hotel is to ask for couple of visiting cards of the place. Keep them in your wallet and pockets. Trust me it’s a boon when lost.
3 – Before heading out for the day, always check your route to all the places you will visit. This for everyone even if you have a taxi to show your around and drop back to the hotel. You must know where you are going and via which way.
4 – I think Google Map is one of the most used inventions of our times by travellers. You should do it too. Download the offline map when in wifi zone, and be benefitted of the perks.
5 – Locals are always a great resource when lost. They helpful and often exhibit hospitality the moment they realize that you are a traveller. The tip is to ask the easiest person around, who looks like the man next door.
6 – In middle of the situation of being lost, if you find a Y turn, or a circle with number of ways out! I suggest that you take a pause, and better look for other resources, than trusting your guts.
7 – When asking locals, the biggest drawback you might face is ambiguity. Yes, different people will tell you different ways, and if you have no other option but to trust one of them, I suggest that you trust your instincts. Trust me. I won’t be there to help you, so better take the liability of finding right way.
8 – Drawing back your step to a more familiar place is always better than going forward cluelessly into the void. The moment you feel you might be lost, get back to the starting point!
9 – Always remember a distinctive landmark near to places you visit or come across to way down from your adobe. It could be statue of a boy, or a naked pillar, or anything that looks unique. When lost it will help you to least get somewhere by asking directions to that distinctive place!
10 – Keeping a copy of Travel guide to the city you are visiting, is a great idea and move. It will have everything to not make you feel lost. It’s a travelling bible you should keep close to heart.
11 – Learn the local language might feel lots of homework, so I suggest keep a local dictionary or language guide with you. The worst thing about getting lost is not understanding the help you get in other language, and interpreting left as right is disaster.
12 – Call me old school, but nothing beats a physical map. Yes, I vouch for them, and you should carry one. You will feel very independent, and always in touch of great route resource.
13 – When lost in a colonial setting or small towns, the first thing you should ask for is main market or main road. You might not get closer to your destination, but you will probably get a taxi, or least a way out as these markets or main roads are well connected.
14 – This tip is not everybody cup of tea, because it’s not taken seriously except careful travellers. Carry extra batteries for your GPS, and a power bank for your cell phone. Hope you will follow that.
15 – There is always a taxi out there, so don’t mind pouring few bucks to eliminate chances of being lost further down the road. Call a taxi even if you feel the destination must be nearby around. The tip is to stop a proper taxi operated by orgs, and not the unorganized local transport.
16 – Observing your surroundings is a great move when you are travelling, look for the boards on shops that have addresses on them, look for sign boards on streets, and memorize pictorially the routes.