Problems you might have when travelling to Romania and how to deal with them
Every country has its fair share of problems that it might throw at tourists. A well documented trip stands for a hasle-free holiday!
There are so many reasons why one should visit Romania! Not surprisingly the World Travel and Tourism Council places Romania on the 4th position in the top of the world’s fastest growing travel destinations from 2007 till 2016. In the recent years, especially after Romania’s integration into the European Union, it has become a favorite destination for many Europeans (more than 60% of the total number of tourists). They come here for the so-called Romanian Riviera (Mangalia, Saturn, Venus, Neptun, Olimp and Mamaia) in summer, as well as for Valea Prahovei and Poiana Brasov in winter. Moreover, Romania is known for its villages with well-preserved traditions, old for more than hundreds of years! And, of course, we cannot neglect its natural heritage: rivers, sea coast, canyons, hills, valleys, mountains – the Romanians have all of them!
However, traveling in Romania, like traveling to other country indeed, involves a number of risks. Everything starts with the moment when you get off the plane on the Romanian territory! No one is protected from not quite comfortable incidents at border controls or visa issues. If they happen, don’t lose your temper as this can only make things worse. It is important to check the visa laws applicable to Romania before traveling, so invest time to research and avoid problems later on. For example, you could search for information about your visa on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, or on the website of the embassy of Romania, if there is any activating on the territory of your native country.
From the moment of landing on the Romanian airport, be sure to keep your passport, but also other documents, safe and in good shape, since neglected passport may seem a fake and a lost passport will transform into a real hassle. “What about damaged or stolen baggage that can leave you without all the contents?”, you’ll say. Well, in this case, we recommend peace of mind and… buying a travel insurance before starting your adventure.
If you decided to come to Romania by bus or car, you will have to deal with the Romanian road network. Anyway, you can encounter road risks during your entire stay in this country. The main roads in Romania are in rather good condition, but there is an absurd number of curves and very few motorways! So, even the ones who do not suffer from travel sickness can experience it while traveling in Romania.
There is a wide range of transportation that you can use to move from one locality to another. Many travelers often practice hitchhiking, but in Romania you have to be prepared to pay for your ride. Don’t forget that the driver is a stranger, so you could anticipate anything from it. Some disrespectful drivers may expect a higher tip, as you are a foreigner, so you have more money to spend, in their opinion. If you heard a rough “Close the door!” after the ride, probably this was the upper described case. Instead of hitchhiking, you could use a taxi, as travelers say a taxi ride in Romania is ridiculously cheap, or travel by public transportation.
The Romanian language is beautiful! If you speak a Latin-based language, you could be amazed by the similarities between your native language and Romanian. However, it is very useful to know at least some of the most common phrases if traveling in Romania, particularly in the rural areas. If you intend to visit the Eastern Transylvania, but also cities like Miercurea-Ciuc, Targu-Mures, Oradea, Cluj-Napoca, Satu-Mare, then knowing Hungarian will be a plus for you. A foreigner trying to speak Romanian can expect just positive reactions from native speakers. So go ahead, make an effort and speak their language!
When planning a trip to Romania, think well about whether you want to book accommodation, or find a place to stay on the spot. In both situations, problems may appear, but the risk is more reduced if you make a prior reservation. Yet, travelers eager to completely feel the Romanian adventure may choose spending their night randomly. How could they otherwise feel the real Romanian spirit? It is no doubt that you could find accommodation with decent life conditions, hospitable hosts, but you could also face poor hygiene and sanitation, water of low quality, which may cause serious health problems. Traveling without reservation requires more flexibility: you will have to be ready to pay more, live in less attractive rooms, with fewer amenities, thus less comfortable. It is like gambling!
Swindlers and touts may cause problems in Romania, too. Just be careful, the sooner someone calls you “my friend” the more they will try to scam you. Flaunting wealth in front of unknown people is not the best idea. Strolling in a foreign country with an iPhone in your hand, a fancy watch on your wrist and a fat wallet in your back pocket is not just stupid, it is also an extra incentive for swindlers/pocket thieves to rob you! Act and dress modestly, be minimalist and take with you just what you need. The valuables you carry should not bring pressure and attachment – you should not always think about how to secure them instead of going to swim in the sea. If you are taking a nighttime walk, don’t get too drunk, especially if you travel alone, as you become immediately an easy and lucrative target.
Besides, swindlers and touts, you may encounter stray dogs during your walk. This is more possible to happen in the rural area. While you’ll see a stray dog here and there, they are usually not dangerous and you shouldn’t worry unless the dog appears aggressive.
As you can see now, Romania is a destination which is not more dangerous than others in Europe. Then why not visit its pretty medieval villages, stunning castles, explore its amazing wildlife and rich historical heritage? We wish you safe travel!