Last year – Canadians took a record number of trips overseas. It’s amazing how much the popularity of overseas travel has increased 54% in the last five years alone. People are venturing out beyond the typical all-inclusive or snowbird southern destinations. If you are one of the many – here are some tips when staying at a foreign hotel.

Sometimes, the only thing you have to go by when booking a hotel in a foreign country – is consumer review websites. But travelers from different parts of the world will have very different ideas about what makes a good hotel.

So be wary of these sites. Check them out. But pay special attention to reviews from other Canadians… to be sure you’re getting the opinion of someone more similar to yourself.

Get directions to your hotel in the local language. Don’t assume your taxi driver will speak English or know where your hotel is. Especially if it’s small or off the beaten path. You can get the hotel to email you the directions in the local language and then just hand them to your driver.

It might seem obvious, but be careful with your valuables. If something goes missing, you may have no rights. The laws vary from country to country, so lock your valuables in the manager’s safe, or better yet, leave them at home.

Remember that 9-1-1 is not an international emergency number. Each country has its own protocol for emergency calls. Make sure you know how to get in touch with emergency services – should you need to.

And take an adapter for small appliances like your blow dryer or curling iron. It will allow you to turn your prongs into those that fit another country’s outlets.

Also, don’t assume a foreign hotel will offer all the amenities you’re used to at home…whether it be air conditioning or an iron. If a particular service is important to you – check ahead to see if it’s offered. Mostly importantly though – enjoy the experience that comes with seeing and trying new things.

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