Travel etiquette may be a bit different depending on where you’re going. However, the principles remain the same. If you’re traveling to a country with another culture, you don’t want to annoy or offend the locals. Some gestures that people consider to be inoffensive can actually be very rude in other cultures. This guide will help you out, so you can feel confident when you go traveling.
Thoroughly Research The Country You’re Visiting
Make sure you thoroughly research the country or place you are visiting. Even in one country, there may be multiple cultures and contradicting beliefs and social norms you should be aware of. By doing plenty of research before you arrive, you’ll get a good idea of things to remember.
Get A Travel Guide
Buying a travel guide before you go can give even more insight into what’s OK and what’s not OK. You may learn some really important things in a guide that you wouldn’t learn online or anywhere else. Read some book reviews and find one that seems to have the best insight. Make sure you really take it all in – it might be helpful to underline or highlight bits you think you’ll struggle to remember.
Make Sure You’re Wearing The Right Clothing
Clothing is a big deal when it comes to travel etiquette. The things you normally wear may not be very revealing or considered sexy in your culture at all, but in other cultures, this may not be the case. Make sure you are wearing the right clothing right from the get-go. If you don’t, you might get funny looks and unwanted attention. You want to be able to make friends as you travel, and dressing inappropriately is a surefire way to make sure this doesn’t happen. Even when you go swimming, you may need to cover yourself up. Luckily, there are modest swimwear options you can find to keep you safe.
Watch Out For Hand Gestures And Things That May Be Second Nature
Things that may be second nature to you may be offensive in another country. Hand gestures are a good example of this. For instance, showing the soles of your feet in Thai culture is highly frowned upon. You may not even think about this if you rest your feet on something. Make sure you also know how to rectify the situation if you accidentally do make a mistake. They should be able to accept that you are not part of their culture and are still learning. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes.
Examples Of Offensive Gestures In Other Cultures
- The ‘V’ sign can mean peace in some countries but can be seen as a declaration of war in others.
- In Thailand, sticking your thumb up is the equivalent to sticking your tongue out. In others countries, it can actually mean something much cruder!
Hopefully, this guide to travel etiquette opens your eyes a little and leaves you feeling more prepared for visiting other cultures and feeling welcome.
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