No matter where you hail from, chances are good that you've at least heard of Pokemon Go by now. It's a way of mixing a late-1990s brand famous for videogames, a television show and a card game with real life. Essentially, it allows people who grew up catching the critters on their Game Boy closesr to the real world - by travelling around to find virtual Pokemon on their app. A Charmander could be lurking in your local supermarket or a Bulbasaur might just be on your desk in your office - you can find out if you open up the mobile game and spot one on the screen.
This has, thus far, been a great way for some younger adults to recapture the wonder of their youth. They've been getting out in their hometowns and meeting up with new friends. As such, why wouldn't travellers want to mix both of their interests: gaming and taking trips?
More and more, this is becoming a widespread phenomenon, and people are starting to play across the globe. How can you blend the two together?
Know where you can go
Unfortunately, Pokemon Go isn't available in every country yet. It would be a shame to head out on a vacation, planning on catching a bunch of new critters, only to find out that's not even possible. As of late July, this game was played in 26 countries.
According to Travel + Leisure, these nations include Canada, the United States, the UK, Spain, Ireland, Australia, Romania, Greenland, the Netherlands and Hungary, among many others. That being said, if gaming is the focus of your trip to South America, Africa or Asia, you might want to postpone that trip for a little bit.
Pay attention to your surroundings
If you're exploring an unfamiliar area while playing, it's really important that you look up from the screen with some frequency. As The Points Guy explained, this is for your own safety, and you can learn from the mistakes of people before you. For instance, the source detailed that players in California walked off a cliff because they were engrossed in playing and sustained moderate injuries. Others have put themselves in harm by playing in the middle of streets.
You're going to need to pay attention to what's around you. It's fun to play and can be a great way to make new pals, but you're also on vacation. Make sure to take in the local culture and environment all around you. You might just find yourself immersed in a new place and leaving that phone in your pocket for the majority of your trip.
Strike up a conversation
Because this is such a huge fad right now, you're probably going to run into others playing the game. While it's good to keep your wits about you and not organize meet-ups in unlit areas or unsafe spots, this is a great way to strike up a conversation with new people.
USA Today recommends initiating a conversation by asking others which critters they're going after, what they've caught so far, cool places they've seen Pokemon - and this can help you find places to visit on your trip - and other game-related pointers. This can evolve into a conversation about your trip, and help you get a local's perspective on your destination, as well as introduce you to a new friend.
Make sure to show respect
While playing can be a great means of meeting new friends across the world and seeing famous sites in a unique and interactive way, you've got to make sure you're not taking it too far. You must stay safe and aware of your surroundings, show respect to those around you and not crash areas where you're not supposed to be. For instance, as Hello-Canada reported, this has been a problem in Sweden.
The source said that Solliden Palace, the summer residence of the royal family, is a Pokemon hotspot and younger players have been in danger of trespassing on palace grounds. The security team recently stopped a group trying to enter the area at night with torches and phones in their hands. CNN Money also noted that staff members are protesting visitors playing this game while at solemn areas like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery. Be sure to show off your good manners and upbringing by knowing what's appropriate when visiting another nation or city.