The first time you try traveling or embarking on any adventure can be daunting, just like any other activity-your first driving lessons, your first day in school, etc. Touring is even much more nerve-wracking because it is in a different country and continent altogether, a land you have never set foot in. The adventurous nature of touring and touring Africa, in particular, can be exciting for any tourist due to the burst of energy and excitement that usually accompanies traveling for the first time. Most people commit many otherwise avoidable mistakes that either take the fun out of the adventure or causing them to incur costs they could have avoided. To enjoy your trip to the maximum, I will take you through some simple and important pointers that you must know when traveling and touring for the first time in Africa and Ghana specifically.
1. Do your research
Before embarking on any adventure, you must do lots of research. Study the culture of the people, their language, foods, politics, and acceptable or unacceptable practices of the land. Doing this limits you to have a cultural shock. With a lot of research, you will not only travel based on your emotions but facts.
2. Learn the basic phrases of the people
Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to communicate with others when it is most pressing. As a traveler and tourist, learn some basic phrases of the people that can help you get by without paying for a translator or risk getting stranded. You do not have to be a master of the language, you only need to make an effort in understanding and speaking basic phrases to help you get by. That will go a long way to make your trip wholesome.
3. Check VISA and other important documents needed for traveling.
Enthusiasm and excitement can sometimes lead to forgetfulness. Be sure to double-check all documents, especially your VISA as early as possible before your departure date to be certain that all documents are duly in place to enable you to have a smooth and stress-free experience when boarding.
4. Secure Visa’s and other important documents
Get softcopies of all documents (passport, VISA, Travel insurance) and email them to yourself. Many times, travelers and tourists tend to misplace or lose their documents on tour. They either forget where they place them in the excitement of new places and this can be very dire for you. To be on the safest side, scan all important documents and email them to yourself. When you do that, you can easily recover all documents should you, unfortunately, lose any of them. No worry or hustle then, your fun just continues.
5. Luggage in moderation.
The fear of not having what you may need can be worrying, however, that fear may also cripple you into packing too much then you should have and will need. Burdensome luggage can be a fun blocker, giving you body aches from carrying and at the same time preventing you from freely enjoying your trip. Get a list of necessities and pack in moderation. There is such a thing as too many clothes or luggage and it’s a bad escort for any fun trip.
6. Be flexible
In your quest to have a perfect first trip, you tend to plan and over plan. That can put you in some unneeded stress which will affect the trip and take away the excitement, and so, plan but not stringently, be flexible and let the ACT. help you out.
7. Locals are friends, not foes.
As strangers, we sometimes tend to see everyone as an enemy especially when we have some sort of biased perception of the place. You can not however fully enjoy a place and not involve the locals who have lived all their lives in the place. Don’t be too guarded or scared to interact with the indigenes of the place. You must however be careful not to be too trusting so as not to attract people with not-so-good intentions.
8. Hoarding local items. (Buying too much)
The beauty of Africa and precisely Ghana can never be overrated. The beautiful artifacts are all over the place that you can never get enough of. As a tourist, don’t make the mistake of trying to purchase everything that catches your attention. Once you do that, you will end up hoarding and spending so much more than you intended. Have a budget in terms of how much you can buy and stick to it to avoid any financial unpleasantness after the trip that may make you regret going on the trip.
9. Dress appropriately
In truth, in Ghana, you are going to be addressed based on how you dress, and not all dress styles may be culturally appropriate. Try as much as possible to dress with the culture of the people in mind, to avoid being tagged and stigmatized-which will take out the fun in your trip. My tip will be to dress to cover most parts of your body.
10. Ask questions
You need to ask questions before and during your trip. A better understanding leads to a better appreciation. Do well to ask questions that will help you not just be a one time traveler but a frequent one, who also enjoys his/her trips. African Culture Trips is a hub of answers, always ready to hear from you and give you answers, pointing you in the right direction.
Make your next trip to Africa meaningful. Choose African Culture trip (ACT) to plan your trip with you. Contact us with this link.