If you’ve never traveled overseas (or even if you have) –it’s crucial to brush up on travel etiquette.
Many well-meaning travelers make travel blunders on their vacations – simply because they didn’t know any better.
So, before your next big trip – don’t be “that guy” and make sure you follow these four golden rules of travel.
Learn The Culture
When you’re visiting another country – it’s critical you learn at least basic customs and culture – or you’re bound to seriously insult someone.
Like in India – it’s considered rude and disrespectful to shake with your left hand or even eat with it…
… because it’s the same hand they use to clean themselves after using the restroom.
If you innocently go to shake someone’s hand and use your left hand – it’s considered “unclean” – and incredibly rude.
Other conservative countries frown upon short shorts or sleeveless dresses.
You don’t have to completely change who you are – but it’s wise to learn about the place you are visiting before you offend the locals with your lack of basic knowledge.
Don’t Be Cheap
In countries where it’s appropriate – make sure you tip your severs, hotel staff, and even cleaning crew.
And while it’s good to negotiate and barter on the streets (it’s expected in many countries) – remember many of those selling goods are dirt poor – and selling a pair of earrings to tourists may be their only income.
Hustling a single mom down .50 on a pair of earrings might be nothing to you – but could be the difference between feeding her children that night.
Be Careful With Photos
You may want to take Instagram-worthy photos – but don’t exploit the poor on your social media posts.
Taking pictures of poor people in huts or on the side of the road – or the homeless begging for food and posting them to social media robs people of their dignity.
How would you like it if someone photographed you at your lowest moment? And then broadcasted it to the world?
Remember – we are no better than anyone else – and it’s important to respect the dignity of others.
As a sidenote – many people often encourage you take pictures of them performing a trick or stunt…
… but then they expect you to pay for it!
You might be shocked if you snap a photo – only to learn that your photo isn’t free.
Don’t Be A Karen
There’s nothing worse than an entitled American tourist demanding to “speak to the manager” because they didn’t get their way.
Remember other cultures are different – and many are laid-back – and won’t understand why you’re so stressed out that the temperature isn’t perfect in your hotel room…
… or why you are demanding a refund because the ice machine is broken.
Definitely advocate for what’s important – but let the little stuff go.
And finally – remember being polite and gracious will get your further than being standoffish and snobby.
Locals are often willing and eager to share their beautiful country with you – and tell you about the hidden gems.
Just don’t be a jerk – and treat people with respect – or else you’ll give the rest of us a bad name.
What are some golden rules of travel etiquette you follow?
Have you ever experienced culture shock on a trip? What was that like?
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