When traveling for the first time to a foreign destination, this new environment, smells, sounds, and culture can be quite overwhelming. Although it is quite difficult to offend somebody that much that you get into trouble, there are certain use and habits that you as a traveler can find quite normal but are totally not accepted nor tolerated on your new destination. In this post, we will give you some tips on how to leave miscommunication at home, staying out of trouble and become and stay friends with everybody you will meet while on the road.
1. Respect the local Religion
Always keep in mind that you respect the country’s religion. When you are traveling in strict Buddhist or Islamic countries it is very important to respect several common religious codes.
2. Learn the basics
Try to learn some local sentences or words like, sorry, thank you or excuse me. In this way, you can always communicate in a proper way and locals see you at least try to understand the culture despite anything that happened.
3. Be like a local
Do like locals do. Are they putting off their shoes or they put on a scarf? Do the same, especially when entering religious buildings like churches, mosques or temples.
4. Smile and wave
Always keep on your happy face. When smiling, people are more likely to forgive any mistakes and will be less offended when doing so.
5. Prevent bad behavior
Don’t copy bad behavior of other tourists. Scratching your name on a centuries old monument or making fun of local habits are horrible things to do.
6. Never litter
Don’t use local waste problems as an excuse to litter your own garbage all around. Keep your garbage with you until you find a garbage can also try to separate the waste if possible.
7. Collect bottles
Finished your bottle of water? Don’t throw it away. In some countries like China or Indonesia there is no well-regulated retirement fund for elderly. In many cases, elderly are collecting drinking bottles to gain money to live from. They collect these drinking bottles from the streets or out of garbage cans. Put your empty bottles next to a garbage can so they don’t have to search for it in dirty garbage or hand your bottles over if you see them searching.
8. Mind your photography
Avoid taking photographs of military, religious or political spot except when given permission. If there is any demonstration going on try to stay out of the crowd and never take pictures to avoid offending any angry demonstrators.
9. Do the right thing
On many street markets around the world a lot of bargaining is possible and in many cases, salesman is asking higher prices than the item you are interested in is worth. Although it is good to bargain when buying these items, it is good to take in mind that if you are traveling to a less developed country. People are working very hard for small amounts of money and are living in conditions which could give you the shivers.
Sometimes it is good to keep in mind if the bargain you are trying to get is it really worth it. The money you just bargained could be the money for food or education for somebody.
10. Be an example
Although you might adapt yourself pretty well to a new culture, it might happen that other travelers you meet don’t. Many travelers show bad behavior out of ignorance and not on purpose, try to give tips & advice or approach somebody when something not done is happening.