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5 Signs You Need to Ask for Directions

Repeat after me: It’s okay to ask for directions.

There comes a time in every traveler’s life when he or she wanders off the well-worn trail in a far away place and ends up very LOST.  Being a free-spirit, I usually invite quite a bit of chaos into my travel adventures and have discovered many hidden treasures away from my intended path.  So let’s agree that being lost is not always a bad thing.  However, there is such a thing as being lost and it having serious consequences.  So that got me thinking about when to push the panic button.

Here are 6 definite signs or situations where you need to ask for directions:

You have to be somewhere, at a specific time

This one can become really embarrassing.  You know you need to be somewhere at a specific time and location, yet you are lost but confident you will arrive on time. Blinded by your own confidence and bad judgement you continue moving farther away from where you need to be.  Many along the path offer to save you, but you will not accept their help.  By the time you figure out you’re screwed, it’s too late.  Good thing this has never happened to me! (hahaha)


It’s night time in a strange city

You go out to dinner with your traveling companions to a nice restaurant a few blocks away.  Everyone walks because it’s a lovely evening and you need some fresh air.  You have a little wine and lobster and leave about 3 hours later.  Starting back to the hotel, you all realize no one knows the way in the dark.  Sound familiar?  Do you a) hail a cab?, b) stumble around in the dark?, c) go back to the bar or d) ask for directions?  Most will choose option b.  I typically go with option c followed by option a.


You feel like you’re in a scary movie

Most of the time when I’m lost, I make an effort to embrace the feeling of the unknown.  The best things are found by not looking for them so being off-course can bring fun-filled surprises.  However, there are times when being off-course will transport you into your favorite horror movie.  It hits you like a ton of bricks and you scramble to get yourself back to safety.  Always have a plan and listen to your little voice.  Both will save you, along with the ability to ask for directions in ten languages.


Someone starts crying

If you travel with a group, you’ll find that everyone has a different tolerance for being lost.  Some people embrace it like it’s an adventure of epic proportions, others will go along in shocked silence hoping the others will figure it out.  I have learned that the silent ones will eventually crack and start crying.  When this happens, it’s time to call in the cavalry.  Trust me, no one wants to see or hear a grown person cry out of desperation.


Your chances of survival are dropping by the minute

You hear stories all the time of people becoming lost or disoriented and not realizing they are in significant danger.  They are usually on a big vacation and attempting something they have dreamed about forever.  I’m no expert, but make sure you have a fail-safe way for someone to find you should you become lost.  Or better yet, hire a guide if that’s an option. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your smartphone can bail you out of any jam.  Plan ahead, just in case there’s no one to ask for directions.


More from Samantha Brown:

Travel’s Biggest Rip-Offs

6 Signs You’re an Experienced Traveler

Money Can Buy Happiness

Things You Must Do When You Travel

7 Signs Your Vacation is an Epic Fail

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Hi Sam me,I don’t get lost I look up in the sky,I don’t need gps. Are you still with travel channel,I don’t really watch it anymore I did old day young channel. I hopping you have reunion,I allayed watch you show. Oh I love going to palm spring in December,I love it. I’m upset old history I like. We stay at world mart,I don’t like that place.service yuke. Crapp. I hope I go there my town and I never been to Los angles. Yes I never been there. Love old history. I hope one day go there.

  2. Hi Sam!
    I would just like to add or hail a Taxi! Lol … I will never forget roaming the streets in Barcelona and suddenly we were really far from the hotel and not in a great part of town. We were really lost, hot, tired and upset! I told my friend let’s take a taxi back to the hotel! She thought I was brilliant! 🤣 a simple walk back a block put us at a large crossroads where we could hail a taxi.

    P.S. Sam are you still doing the River Cruise?

  3. It would be nice to be able to ask for directions in 10 languages, but if that’s all you know how to do you won’t understand the directions when they are given to you.

  4. Getting lost in a foreign country or losing your travel mate can be scary. we always start by making sure our phones work have a place to meet up at a specified time preferably a place you can see for miles. Always make note of rivers major highways places that can help you with directions. Note directions the sun can be valuable. Your article is good and exploring off the beaten path is great but having a plan makes it more fun

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