Preparing to visit a new country can be a chance to learn, anticipate, and understand what’s to be expected before your trip. It’s a time to get excited for the upcoming adventures that await, and swot up on all the habits and practices of the locals you’ll soon be mixing with. Getting familiarised with a new destination just got easier thanks to the folk at CultureSmart! whose guidebooks will take you through the historical, cultural, social, and local insights you need to know. I used their helpful guide to prepare for a trip to Rhodes and share with you here a few tips for how you can get to know a little more about the country before you arrive.
Prepare for a trip to Rhodes
There are several things you can do to prepare for a trip to Rhodes, Greece, from understanding the political situation, to identifying the best clothing to pack. Fortunately, most of these things can be learned from a guidebook dedicated to sharing expert, professional knowledge on the destination. CultureSmart! travel guides can do just that. They offer a compact guide to a whole number of useful facts and stories about many worldwide destinations. Here we’ll see what can be learned about Greece based on their guide!
Prepare for your trip to Rhodes by finding the perfect guidebook
Transparency Disclaimer: The folks at CultureSmart! very kindly gifted me their guidebook: the essential guide to customs and culture for Greece, however, all opinions remain my own.
When finding your guidebook to prepare for your trip to Rhodes, it helps to use one that speaks your language. You know, one that you’ll enjoy reading and truly benefit from. I loved using the CultureSmart! Greece travel guide, as it covered plenty of aspects about Greek culture and history that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought to research before my trip to Rhodes.
Get an overview of the history, culture & language with CultureSmart!
One of the first aspects you’ll cover to help prepare for your trip to Greece with CultureSmart!, is learning about the complexities and evolution of Greek language. It’s explained with concise but in-depth knowledge, along with a hint of sarcasm and humour mixed in to maintain a casual read: “This probably sounds like some impossible virtual reality. Welcome to Greece.” is one of my favourites.
It’s a great start to familiarise yourself with the Greek language, as the alphabet alone can look completely alien to English-speakers. Fortunately, there is an overview at the back of the guidebook to help you along and understand a few common phrases, letters, numbers, and so on. You’ll also have information about the emergency services number, and other key traveller-friendly info that is an essential to any guidebook.
The guidebook also does a great job of adding comical but relevant references to movies and modern Western culture (the primary readership), such as mentioning My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This helps the reader identify what assumptions or preconceptions about Greece are correct, and how they can arrive into the country with a fresh perspective. It’s a nice and light-hearted read despite the book having such prestigious writers on board and even being used at universities!
On top of all the facts and stories is actual advise on how cultural quirks of Greece might affect your visit. For example, a recommendation to not talk too poorly about someone as they might be related to who you’re talking to is a handy piece of info, plus a gentle reminder of being a good visitor to a country. We can all with complaining less I think! You’ll find such suggestions throughout the guidebook, some which might be more applicable to your visit than others, but all worth learning for full cultural context.
Learning from honest facts and entertaining anecdotes
One of the great things about CultureSmart! Greece travel guide is that there is no shying away from the less than romantic aspects of the country, either economically or socially. For example, the guidebook makes sure to highlight the influx of loud, obnoxiously drunk British visitors invading Greece in recent years… A fact that many Brits will already be familiar with, but other travellers might not be aware of and without such information they might get quite the fright if they are to encounter such “tourists”!
Probably my favourite parts of the CultureSmart! books are the short anecdotal stories that litter the chapters, explaining the takeaway message through fables. Whether these are true or not, they are lightheartedly depicting an image of the people and practices in one’s mind. Likewise are idioms and proverbs naturally thrown in here and there, another way to feel immersed in the culture.
Overall, if you’re looking for a summary of all things Greece, look no further than the CultureSmart! guidebook. The details and depth of these guides are remarkable, even explaining the nation’s political conspiracy theories to the reader! As a philosophy fan, this certainly appeals to my interest in debate, questioning everything, and exploring all the possible answers to consider! It’s a pretty unique way to look at the country you’re visiting, and an aspect that not many will have considered discovering ahead of their trip.
Know what clothes to pack
Learning about the climate of Greece is no doubt most people’s first steps to figuring out what to pack. And, the regular warm, sunny weather is likely the appeal for visiting in the first place!
Look ahead at average monthly temperatures, daylight hours, and rainfall to gauge what you’ll need to bring for the time of year of your trip. In any season, you can expect that the island of Rhodes won’t see too much of a chill, with nighttime lows only barely dipping below 10 degrees in winter.
If you’re visiting in the peak summer season, light, airy clothing will be a wardrobe staple for your trip. Think loose outfits to keep you cool! Of course you’ll want your swimmers packed for a trip to the beach, plus sunnies to shield your eyes from the strong sun and sun block to protect your skin – your health is more important than your tan!
For those heading over to Greece out of season, you might need to be a little more diverse in your clothing choices. The island of Rhodes sees more rainfall per year than the other Aegean Islands, but not as much as central or Western Greece so you can rest assure that you might see more sunshine than clouds. However, as a country in the Mediterranean they expect rainy winters after the long dry summer, so bring along a raincoat, jumper, sturdy shoes, and umbrella in case of a downpour.
We happened across a storm during our visit to Rhodes, and were certainly grateful for all of the above mentioned weather-proof gear. You never know when the heaven’s will open! Good shoes are probably my biggest recommendation, as the well-trodden tiles and uneven streets can easily become slippery and cause an accident if you’re in ill-fitted footwear.
Knowing what to budget
It’s often assumed that visiting Greece is an inexpensive trip in Europe. However, when preparing for a trip to Rhodes it’s worth remembering the location of the island you’re visiting. As a remote destination rather far from mainland Greece, some items can be higher than you’d expect, such as groceries.
Additionally, when visiting Rhodes you’ll want to keep in mind the costs associated with transport around the island. Unless you anticipate staying in the Old Town only during your visit, you’ll be either hiring a car, taking the bus, or catching the ferry down the coastline of Rhodes and away from the nearby airport or boat docks. The bus is by far the cheapest option, followed by the ferry. While they won’t incur extortionate costs, it’s worth bearing in mind when you’re on a tight daily allowance.
And finally, your accommodation costs. If you’re visiting Rhodes in the off season, you might be met with fewer hotel options than the peak seasons, while some owners pack up for the winter months. Accommodation will likely be cheaper, however, the choices are fewer. In the summer, the converse is of course true: high prices and lots of options, but that means lots of competition so book ahead!
Knowing where you’re going
A trip to Greece can sound pretty generic, right? WHERE exactly in this 6,000 island PLUS mainland country are you visiting? Hone in on the specific area you’ll be visiting, whether that be an island, town, village, or beach!
This would also be a good opportunity to consider how you’ll be getting around. Are attractions a walkable distance for you? Is transport easily accessible to and from the airport? These small details are certainly the worrier’s niggling thoughts (guilty), but thinking ahead about such issues will save you so much hassle down the line.
Choosing where to visit in Greece can certainly seem like an overwhelming decision. There are so many “Top 10” lists and factors to consider, how do you even begin?! We ended up picking Rhodes through vigorous research on the key elements we wanted: history, nature, and price. Think of what will be most valuable for your trip, whether that be remote peace and quiet, lively bucket-list spots, or adventurous activities.
Rhodes is the ideal Greek island to visit for those seeking a healthy balance between rich historical sites, relaxing beach vibes, and reasonable accommodation, flight, and food prices. It hit the nail on the head for us, and it was a great introduction to Greece for two newbies!
Knowing how to travel sustainably
Sustainable habits should be a priority for every traveller. And every non-traveller in fact. When you’re off on holiday it’s easy to slip out of good habits and forget your responsibilities as a global citizen, but don’t let that be the case. Here are a few tips you can try to help continue the great environmentally-friendly work you’re already doing while you’re enjoying your trip to Rhodes. These can be used on any trip too!
- Off-set your flight’s carbon footprint – As shown by On The Luce, you can offset your flight’s emissions by signing up to schemes that offer the chance to balance out the negative environmental impact of your flights. Some airlines even offer you the option to do this directly with them, so keep an eye out, do some reading, and see what works for you.
- Bring reusable water bottles, straws, bags, and utensils – a pretty simple one, but it’s one of the most important points. Being on the go can sometimes mean forgetting about the little things, and letting convenience take over. Pack your day bag with the handiest, greenest little tools and it’ll make all the difference by making those small adjustments: say “no” to the plastic straws, refill your bottle before you leave, and so on. You know the drill.
- Leave no trace – my personal favourite. Bring your litter home, and leave a destination with nothing but your footprints. In places as protected as Greece, this is even more important because we need to preserve the history we’re so lucky to admire.
- Recycle – I mean who doesn’t recycle these days?! It can be harder on holiday, and particularly in Greece where the facilities aren’t as prevalent, but ask your accommodation provider what to do, and do your research.
- Conserve water – it might be tempting to have a long steamy shower after a day’s activities, but try not to be wasteful with water consumption and only use what you need.
- Walk, don’t drive – With so much to see and do it might be tempting to taxi around or drive. But why not enjoy the scenery with a gentle walk instead? You’ll not only extend your experiences to new sights, but also save a little bit of the planet by taking the greener option.
These few things to think about can help you get well on your way to prepare for a trip to Rhodes, Greece. Are you excited for your Greek island adventure yet? You certainly should be with this handy Greece travel guide!
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