3 Ways to Prepare to be a Tourist

Written by sarahtenenbaum May 17, 2022

Learning how to get around in a foreign environment

There are many different ways to travel in Italy during your time there, even if you don’t have a car. Some of these modes of transportation are trains, buses, and ferries. A train travels at 185mph which is faster than any other mode of transportation. This can get you from Rome to Florence in an hour and a half rather than the three hours it will take by car. Many students think it is complicated to find the train schedule, but there are many easy resources to help people who are new to the train system. A website that you can use is OMIO which can help you find timetables and prices for any train in Italy. The cheapest alternative for traveling in Italy is using the bus system. Many different bus companies travel through any city in Italy that is large or small. Buses are useful when traveling to places not served by the train system. While buses are cheaper, they are sometimes the more time-consuming option when traveling. But, with great Wi-Fi, comfortable seats, and low pricing, it won’t be a bad trip if you aren’t in a hurry to your location. The final car alternative is traveling by ferries. Due to Italy being a peninsula, it relies heavily on the ferry sister to get from one side of the country to the other. There are fifty-seven national ports that are connected to ferries all over Italy. You have the option to take the ferry from different mainland ports, some of the most popular routes take from twenty minutes to two hours. While you also have the option to go to the Italian islands which can range from under an hour to over seven hours. There are many options to travel around Italy without a car and take you to many different destinations during your trip.

Following the cultural norms of Italy

Learning how to fit into a culture of a new location like Italy is different since we grew up with different values and ideas compared to the country. Some of these differences come from the etiquette and customs that differ from country to country. Some of the etiquette differences start from greetings in Italy which have air kisses on each cheek versus an American greeting of a handshake while waiting for an invitation to use a first name basis with another person in a formal environment. There is also etiquette around gift-giving in Italy such as only giving a vintage and high-quality wine over a large quantity since wine is valued very high by many of the Italian locals. Also, many gifts like wine are opened immediately when they are received in Italy. Some other customs in Italy are the lack of punctuality when invited out for a meal. If invited it is often the cultural norm to be 15 to 30 minutes late during each meeting. When you arrive at a meal, try to remain standing until you are given a signal to be seated. Make sure at all meals to follow the lead of the host of the party. Italians focus a lot of attention on the first impression when meeting someone. When meeting someone of a different culture you need to dress appropriately and have a positive demeanor that will keep a long-lasting impression on anyone you meet.

Being informed on how to be safe in a new country

There are many ways to stay safe when traveling in Italy. Some of the easiest ways to stay ahead are having traveler insurance, knowing what to do during public transportation, and knowing what to do if something is stolen from you. Travel insurance is not necessary but is important to have when traveling for longer than a week in a foreign country. Travel insurance is the best when going on activities or excursions that have a chance to be canceled and you might be needing a refund. Travel insurance is also necessary when you are not covered by health insurance in other countries outside of your host country. Another way to stay safe in Italy is to keep valuable items close to you during public transportation. You can wear Fanny packs or keep money in your front pocket in public locations. This will make it harder for people to pickpocket you when you least expect it. Finally, knowing what to do when your stolen items are important when traveling. The first thing you can do to prepare is to have photocopies of everything valuable like passports and keep them somewhere safe. But, if your cards are stolen you can call your bank immediately and let them know your card was stolen. You can also go to the police and let them know about being pickpocketed. Overall, the best thing to do is never panic and follow these steps to keep your valuable items safe.