April 7, 2009

Internet Access Overseas; Importance of Its Availability and Proximity

Last Thing on Your Mind When Travel: Importance of Notepad and Internet

Always ask the hotel clerks of where you are staying overseas, whether they have Internet access and how much they charge for it. Perhaps you can even negotiate your stay with free Internet access (that is before you have already given your credit card for payment.) And if they don’t have Internet access, inquire about the locations around the hotel or in the city. However, as I recall, there were quite a few of Internet cafes / Internet centers around Paris, Rome, Florence, Milan, Athens, Madrid and Barcelona. But there are places, where there might be less of them.

(Prague, Czech Republic)

(Rome, Italy)

With today’s technology, such as Google Earth and mapquest.com, for instance, one can map out the routes from your hotels to attractions you are visiting, and visa versa. And such booking sites as Hotels.com offer mini-maps of attractions around hotels with distances in miles and kilometers, but you might want to have a more accurate measurement or direction.

(Tokyo internet cafes)

At least for the first day it might be helpful, or at least psychologically relaxing knowing where you are located and where you are going the first few days in a foreign country. Of course, any hotel/motel/hostel will have all kinds of maps, flyers and other helpful print-outs for you to get around the city, but knowing that you have prepared yourself a bit more in advance might be mind-settling and worry-free.

Notepad is Your Travel Buddy

This one might be of a “Duh” tip – or “as if we didn’t know it already” kind of tip. But regardless, please, do bring a little notepad that fits in the bag you’ll be carrying around. This could be useful for anything: taking notes, jotting down directions, doing translations, and/or even communicating with a local – yes, by drawing what you mean to say. It could be especially helpful in small towns and villages of a country where people, most likely, won’t know a word in your language.

This brings me on to the next topic, and tip: Knowing a Bit of a Foreign Language Goes A Long Way.

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