Frequently when people are assessing the advantages and or disadvantages of places for a once in a lifetime trip, they are drawn to locations in the developing or third world. While in the consideration phase of a trip, it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into a romantic notion of a secluded tropical beach on some forgotten exotic island or some other fantasy.
While discussing a fantasy is definitely the goal for some people. Others actually want to make their plans happen as easily as possible. For those people, there are some considerations that should only be ignored at your own peril. Getting to the developing or third world countries can be time consuming. Since, by definition, third world countries are not exactly models of German efficiency, getting there and around cannot be left to chance. Of course, you can figure out what you need to do on the fly, but if your time is constrained, plan beach vacations ahead.
The discount room in your hotel or resort may not be quite what you expected. Obviously, you get what you pay for. No matter where you are, that applies. So if you spent $20 for a small room on a Mexican beach, complaining about the remote for the air conditioning unit could be a fools task.
On a more serious note, standards vary widely around the world. It would be a shame to travel 15 hours in coach to a room of questionable cleanliness. If you know in advance what you are getting into, thats another story or if you just don’t care. It is just as likely, that you find your accommodations to be the nicest rooms you could have hoped for. Especially with all of the available resources for today’s traveler, there is no reason for you to have a completely terrible place to stay unless you go completely native and off the beaten track.
Some of the exotic local delicacies may cause havoc to your internal organs. A steady diet of cheese steaks and McDonalds over the years has not prepared you sufficiently for all the spices on the planet. That should be straight forward to anybody in possession of a passport. Its worth mentioning that if you do succumb to food poisoning in the 3rd world, you should be fine and not need medical treatment. A bit of charcoal is always a good remedy for food poisoning by the way.
The same can’t be said for cuts, broken bones etc. If you get hurt in a developing country you could find yourself on your own. Throw in a language barrier and that’s some scary stuff. Dive injuries without a local hyperbaric chamber become tricky. Your insurance probably won’t cover you if medical care is available. If there isn’t getting shipped to a modern hospital is expensive, no matter how deep your pockets are.
So am I suggesting that you avoid eating local sweets or finding that dream beach? No, of course not. I just hope that you know what you are getting into and spend an extra bit of time planning your holiday and make sure all of your needs will be covered. This is a once in a lifetime trip, so make the most of it.