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What to Do If You Get Lost in a New City

With GPS on our phones, getting lost seems like a thing of the past. But when we travel, using data is not always feasible, meaning we must resort to (a) our memories or (b) paper maps—both can be difficult to navigate. And that’s okay.

Sometimes, we should welcome aimless wanderings. When we don’t know where we are, we open ourselves to experiences that we would have otherwise missed. Not to mention, your stories about getting lost will entertain others.

That said, getting lost can also make you late for engagements and add stress to your trip when it happens unexpectedly. Thankfully, there are two ways to prepare for this:

  1. Learn some phrases—if you’re visiting a country that does not share your first language, then learn some key phrases. For instance, how to ask for directions.
  2. Know the landmarks—locals might not know where your hotel is or that restaurant you want to try. This leaves you to orient yourself. The best way to do so is by identifying landmarks. Do your research before going to a new city and plot out the neighbourhoods around notable sights in the city.

When Someone You Care about Gets Lost

When travelling with friends, it’s important not to stray from the pack unless planned. Otherwise, the whole day is spent trying to reunite the group. For children, this is especially true. In fact, when travelling with kids, you should take a few precautions:

  • Discuss safe places to meet up if you get separated;
  • Give him/her a piece of paper with your contact information (or write it somewhere on the arm);
  • Get the contact information of the local authorities in case you need to report a missing person.