There is so much history and culture in Turkey that there really is no other travel experience that can compare.
If you’re lucky enough to be traveling to Turkey, be prepared to experience the vacation of a lifetime. In order to make the most out of visiting such an amazing, beautiful and memorable country, here are a few helpful tips:
Do a little studying before your trip. Although you will hear English spoken in cities, if you venture outside of Istanbul and other major cities, most residents only speak Turkish. Do yourself a favor and learn some basic Turkish words before arriving. Luckily, Turkish is not a difficult language to learn. Learn the basics, like ordering food, basic necessities, asking for directions and greetings. A little Turkish will get you a long way because Turkish people are very hospitable and enjoy it thoroughly when Americans attempt to assimilate and learn the language.
It’s also a good idea to study up on Turkish history before your trip. The country of Turkey is one of the oldest regions worldwide and has a very rich history that you would be remiss to neglect learning about before your Turkish adventure. You can learn a lot about the history of Turkey online and there are many books written about how the nation of Turkey was formed.
Enjoy the food. Turkey is well known for its plentiful meals! Delicious food can be found on every street corner and restaurants are everywhere. Keep in mind that you will be consistently offered more food than you can reasonably consume. A good rule of thumb is to try small portions of each course they you are offered in order to avoid filling up and feeling ill. The Turkish people offer food in order to be hospitable, so try as many things as you can in moderation.
Locate a pharmacy when you arrive. The pharmacists in Turkey are regarded as family doctors are here in the US. Turkish people visit their pharmacists for routine medical advice, and Turkish pharmacies are permitted to offer many medications that are only available by prescription in other countries. Familiarize yourself with the location of one or more pharmacies when you first arrive in Turkey, in case you fall ill or lose medication during your travels.
Dress respectfully. Most Turkish people dress more formally that you may be accustomed to, especially if you are from the United States. It is wise to keep in mind that as a whole, Turkey has a mostly Muslim population. For women especially, it is wise to dress respectfully of that culture, in other words: avoid wearing swimwear unless you are at the beach and stay reasonably covered while visiting any religious attractions.
Drink bottled water. While on vacation in Turkey, it is wise to always have bottled water in your hotel room and as you move about the country. Although tap water in Turkey is said to be safe, almost no one in Turkey actually drinks the water. The tap water can be used for brushing teeth and cooking.
Most importantly, enjoy your trip to one of the world’s most fascinating places and soak in all of the culture, history, style and food as you possibly can!