Travel Tips

Cultural Bias and Common Sense

Many experienced travelers will tell you that travel is the most experiential form of learning. It often requires a different set of skills than you would use in your day-to-day life. And yet, many of our daily skills are also transferable ones.

The generic travel skills are the same coping skills we use on a daily basis: critical thinking; communication skills (verbal and non-verbal); orientation skills; predicting skills; reading for meaning skills; being open-minded, tolerant, perceptive; and simply having a little bit of courage to think and step "outside the box."

We all have a cultural bias; we all are products of our backgrounds. We all "come from somewhere." And this can interfere with our travel if we are not careful. There is nothing wrong with having a bias. It is a normal human behavioral phenomenon; however it is useful to be able to distinguish between a positive and a negative bias. Both play a role in travel and both need to be understood as affecting our general travel skills. When bias becomes an "issue" is when it becomes a negative bias.

"Travel broadens the mind." would generally be considered a positive bias. "Why don't the people in this country speak English like the rest of us?" is of course a negative bias. There are also unintended negative biases as well (although meant well). "Oh look at those colorful peasant farmers. How quaint!"

Perhaps the most important travel skill is the ability to recognize that our realities are not the only ones.

Let's Talk ... Travel


The Fundamentals

Many travel companies such as this one provide practical advice for travelers.

1000 Travel Tips for the Independent Traveler
Some kinds of travel and more "exotic" destinations (exotic to anyone not from the destination), require specific information and experience.
Another general site that offers lots of good advice.
Asia is a growing travel market.

Travel Tips Magazine (Western U.S.)
If the western states of the U.S. are a favorite destination for you, this magazine may be of interest.

Online Versions of Print Travel Publications
Many of the more popular travel guides have websites where you can find specific travel tips on many countries. Here are some: Fodor's; Frommer's; Lonely Planet; Let's Go; Insider's Guides; Rough Guides.

If your favourite isn't here, just "Google" them.

Women Travelers
Although women are traveling for business and pleasure more and more, they still face gender-based issues and challenges, especially in some destinations.

Here are some specific websites for women travelers.

Adventure Women

Unique Travel Adventures for Women and Volunteers

General Information and Books for Women Travelers

The Women's Travel Club

Women Traveler's Top Safety Tips

Travel Books For Women

Miscellaneous Sites Worth A Visit

A very comprehensive website for anything to do with air travel.

Seat Guru
How to know what seat you will be choosing or sitting in on any flight anywhere.

The CIA Fact Book
Don't be nervous about this site. It actually has a lot of useful general information on any country

The World Clock
Everything you need to know about time zones.

Foreign Currency
It makes currency conversions easy.

A travel news and commentary website with Talking Travel's own Chris Elliott.

The Inimitable Johnny Jet
A plethora of travel information.



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