Now that vacation season is over, it's time to start thinking about ways to improve your travel literacy - loosely defined as your ability to get around without looking like a clueless tourist - before your next trip.
"Travelers want to arm themselves with the skills to keep themselves safe in unknown destinations," says Hailey Benton of Global Travel Academy, a site that offers video courses to improve your travel skills. "Traveling abroad should be exciting, inspiring and the best experience of your life. But if you leave home unprepared or uninformed, it can easily all go wrong."
How do I know our collective travel literacy is lacking? I run a nonprofit consumer-advocacy organization (elliott.org) that helps travelers every day. This summer, our caseload spiked to levels I'd never seen. I'm talking hundreds of complaints a week and often more.