I am a planner of note so when it comes to travelling I like to be prepared and research my destination before I travel.Be it local or international travel I always plan.My trip to Turkey last year was no different but I wish I had known somethings before travelling.So I decided to put a post of Tips for travelling to Turkey to ensure that you are prepared.
This post will be exploring various things to consider from packing to literally everything you need to know to ensure you have a fantastic trip to Turkey and like me fall in love with this country.
Tips before going to Turkey
1.Research various tour companies and find one that suits your budget and covers the places you want to visit.I used One Stop Travel for my trip to Turkey.And would defo recommend them for many reasons which you can read about here.
2.Have a budget of how much you want to pay for your trip and how much spending you want to carry.Research what you can buy in Turkey.
3.Carry Dollars or Euros for you to change into Turkish Lira. Notify your credit card company before you travel so they can allow your transactions.There are cash points all over Turkey where you can withdraw using your credit card Turkish Lira. Changing money at the Airport is advisable and safer. Some hotels offer a foreign exchange as one of their services.
4.When you check into your hotel , ask the reception to give you a business card of the hotel which has the address and phone number. Language can be a problem in Turkey as not many people speak English so having the business card will help you get back to your hotel.
5.Language is a major problem so it is advisable to learn a few basic Turkish words. During my trip I used Google Translate to help me communicate. I found this really useful article of apps to help you translate.
Basic Turkish phrases :
Hello is Merhaba (pronounced Mare-ha-ba)
Good Morning is Günaydın (gew-nahy-DUHN)
Good Day is İyi Günler (E-yee Guen-ler)
Good Evening is İyi Akşamlar (EE ahk-shahm-LAHR)
Goodbye is Hoşçakal (Hosh cha kal) is you are leaving, but if you are the person stay Goodbye is Güle güle (guele guele) so expect to hear it when leaving shops
Informal Goodbye is Allaha ısmarladık (ah-LAHS-mahr-lah-duhk)
Thank You is Sağ Ol (SOWL)
You’re Welcome is Bir şey değil (beer SHEHY deh-YEEL)
Do you speak English is (İngilizce konuşabilir misiniz)
Cheers for drinking is Şerefe! (Sher-a-fa)
Hagia Sophia in Turkish is spelled Aya Sofya (Eye-ah So-fee-yah)
Mosque in Turkish is spelled Camii (Jah-mee)
6.Invest in good walking shoes or a good pair of sneakers. There is a lot of walking to do and proper shoes are needed. It is wise to carry a pair of sneakers and a sandals for days when it is really hot.
7.Carry a scarf/shawl with you as you will need it to enter places of worship. Turkey is a predominately Muslim country and the people are very conservative.A scarf is perfect to throw over and cover up.
8.When packing for Turkey it is important to pack clothing for the season. A lightweight jacket is advisable for summer and spring. Wearing modest clothing at all times is advisable and pack a hat as the sun’s rays can be very harsh.
9.Not all toilets in Turkey as Western some places still have the old-fashioned low toilet system. Also at some tourist stops to use the toilets one has to pay so it is advisable to carry some small coins in a purse.
10. Eat local Turkish food just trust me on this one as the food and sweets are amazing. Stores often hand out samples of Turkish delight and sweets for you to try before you buy so it can be a real sugar rush.
11.Carry a bottle of water with you at all times.The tap water is not safe to drink so only drink bottled water.
12.Opt for a backpack rather than carrying a handbag. It is easier to carry and great for toss in your shopping.I wish I had taken a backpack than my usual handbag.
13.Mum and I both enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning and not all times was it possible to get a GOOD cup of coffee so from this trip I have now started carrying a box of Nescafe Cappuccino sticks with me just in case the craving kicks in.
14.The food in Turkey is amazing.The Lamb kebab is a mix of Lamb and Beef so if you don’t eat Beef it is safer to eat a Chicken Kebab.
15.The Turkish are very hospitable so shopkeepers offering you cups of Apple or pomegranate Tea is pretty normal.
16.Never pay the price you see on an item always bargain.
17.Check visa requirements for South Africans an online e-visa which is free but needed.
18.The best time to visit Istanbul and the inland regions is April to June (spring) and from September to November (autumn) when the climate is mild.
19.The public transport is pretty safe and reliable in Turkey.Buy a Bus Pass as the buses do not accept cash.Using your Bus Pass you also get to access Cable car up Eyüp which has incredible views of Istanbul.
20.Book a Turkish Night which is a fun and great night to experience the food,music and dance of Turkey.
I hope my Tips for Travelling to Turkey will make planning your trip easier.
Be Inspired !