How Can I Avoid Getting Lost on Vacation?

It’s frustrating and can even be a little scary when you don’t know where you are. It can affect your driving because you are frantically looking left and right trying to see what road you are on. The same can be said if you are wandering the streets or traveling through the wilderness. Being prepared can save you time and allow you to have more time on the beach or sightseeing.

Satellite Phone

We often forget that above everything else, a phone is a tool. It can be used to communicate, yes, but it can also be used to connect. This connection is particularly crucial when traveling abroad and in an area that is unknown to you. A satellite phone is a great way to be able to call for assistance if you lose your way while traveling. When combined with other concrete tools such as flares and whistles, a satellite phone can keep you out of harm’s way or get you out of a dangerous situation as fast as possible. Some countries do not permit the use of satellite phones within their specific borders. It is important to have an awareness as to whether the location you are going to be traveling within allows the use of satellite phones. Furthermore, be sure to conduct research regarding which satellite phone is right for you, along with a plan that meets your needs. Be mindful of the area you will be traveling in as well as the duration of your journey when selecting a plan. While you do not want to overpay for a satellite phone and its accompanying plan, safety should always be your number one priority when traveling outside of your comfort zone.

Research Maps

Sometimes old school is really the way to go. So often, when we are traveling internationally, our phones have limited or spotty service. Nearly 67% of smartphone users choose to navigate using the Google Maps app. So, it is a good idea to have a backup for your cellular mobile device if you were to lose signal or if you do not want to purchase an international plan. Having an awareness of the area and taking the time to know and be able to spot famous landmarks and roads will help you find your way back to your base should you get lost. Research maps might seem like an outdated way to travel, but in reality, they are often just as up to date as an app and sometimes even include local landmarks that apps miss. Traveling with the help of research maps is a trusted way to get around for a reason. This tried and true method will help ensure that you have an idea of where you are, and if you need help from a local, having that awareness no matter how limited, it is better than having none at all.

Having a Guide or Contact

You always want to notify someone who is in the destination with you when you are heading off on your own. The person you tell should be a local guide or a friend who you are traveling with who knows the area very well but is sitting this daily trek out for whatever reason. Having a person who knows the area and knows where you will be is paramount in avoiding getting lost and staying lost while on vacation in an area that is unknown to you. Pick the person who will be your emergency contact prior to embarking on your journey. Also, be sure to let someone back home know who your emergency contact at your destination will be, so they can get in touch with that person if necessary. It is always better to have a guide on trips to new places, especially if the common tongue is not a language you are well-versed in. Remember to always let your point of contact know where you are going before you leave and your anticipated return time, so they can help keep track of your whereabouts should you unexpectedly get lost.

Vacations are typically a good time, but these travels are less fun when you get lost. Getting lost in an area you are somewhat familiar with is difficult in and of itself, but that difficulty is compounded and mixed in with fear when you are traveling in an area that is new to you. Traveling with certain precautions can help you avoid getting lost in the first place, and should the unexpected happen, these precautions can also help secure your safe return. Satellite phones help you get in contact with individuals who can help you find your way back in remote areas. Research maps can help you navigate back to landmarks and towns if you decide to wander off the beaten path.

Finally, having someone who knows the area well be your guide and maintain an awareness of your itinerary can be a proactive strategy that keeps you from getting lost to begin with, as well as a way to guarantee your safe return if you do get lost unexpectedly. Safe travels are happy travels, so be proactive to avoid getting lost on your fun vacation in a new area.

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