Traveling to Asia gives you a perfect experience where you can exercise your new language learning experiences, if you’ve mastered one of the many languages spoken in Asia. Since one of the best ways to learn a language—and to use it, once you’ve learned it—is by traveling and living in the country where the language is spoken, traveling to Asia can be a great way to further develop some of the new languages you learned.
As you probably figured, though, traveling to Asia is not like traveling to a destination inside the United States, or even like Canada or Europe. Not only is the language structure very different in many Asian countries, but the things that you need to know before traveling are also very different. Here are some things to keep in mind as you travel to Asia, and before you get there:
- Be prepared in advance for a long flight. The biggest thing you need to remember about getting from the United States to Asia is that your flight, no matter what part of Asia you’re traveling to, or where in the United States you’re leaving from, is going to be long. Plan on having a flight that is at least several hours, and bring enough with you to either help you sleep, or keep you entertained during the flight. Your flight will be even longer if you’re traveling from Europe, and you may want to make the decision to buy a business class seat where you can be more comfortable.
- Remember to get your visa before you go—and do it well in advance of when you plan to travel. Many Asian countries require that travelers from the United States and Europe have tourist visas before traveling. You may need to get these months in advance of when you travel, unless you are willing to pay for expediting costs or you have a business that is sending you to Asia.
- Keep an open mind with regard to food. Asia presents many opportunities to try food that you’ve never heard of, and probably have never tried. Don’t try to seek out familiar, Western food when you’re traveling in Asia. Instead, take advantage of this experience and try new foods that you definitely won’t be able to get as take out at home.
- Remember that not all hotels are like those we have in the United States. This tip is very similar to the idea of keeping your mind open about food. Although many American and European chains do have locations in Asian countries, don’t expect even from those chains that you’re going to have the same level of amenities and room that you’d have in an American hotel room. In the larger cities, such as Tokyo and Beijing, space is at a premium and you’re going to have to accept up front that your hotel room may be smaller than what you’re anticipating.