Getting around in a foreign city can have its challenges. From language barriers to complicated public transit systems you will need to prepare yourself against the obstacles to finding the tourist destinations you want to visit. With a little preparedness navigating any new destination can be both fun and easy.
Bring a compass
Use a Map
Use a travel guide book for detailed area maps, phrases and information on what attractions to see. These types of guides will have lots of helpful tips and will be written by someone who has travelled successfully to your destination. Be sure to read reviews on each travel guide as some are better than others.
Learn Key Words
Using other Languages
Some cultures may understand snippets of other languages and it can differentiate if you will be understood or not. This may be especially true in Europe where in many countries people speak more than 2 languages due to geopolitical reasons.
Plan Your Route
Navigate by Landmarks not Street Signs
When you cannot read a language, reading road signs can be very difficult. Use landmarks from maps to navigate a city, especially if you are not driving. Often it is as simple as knowing what transit station to get off at and where to head towards, especially if there are tall towers or distinctive geographic features like mountains.
Use non-verbal hand signals to try to get your point across. Pointing down the street or pointing at your watch for the time. There are some universal gestures that are easily understood. Some of the best gestures in your arsenal are a smile or head nod.
Ask if someone Speaks English/Ask for Directions
It may seem obvious but try asking for directions in English and it may surprise you that people can help, or if not that someone may overhear who will offer assistance. Also, ask a concierge at your hotel as they can be a wealth of information.