International Travel Etiquette | Jennifer Lesser
Traveling the world is one of the great joys of life. Immersing oneself in a foreign culture often results in brand new perspectives and reinvigorated zest for living. However, it is important to remember that different places have their own customs and these must be respected for the most fulfilling travel experience. Etiquette is a huge part of traveling successfully , especially when abroad.
Preparation is key to success. Researching a country beforehand provides the traveler with invaluable knowledge and plenty of fun trivia! An easy few minutes of online reading can equip a traveler with the tools they need to navigate an unfamiliar setting. This simple step can save many a social faux pas down the road.
Respecting locals and their rules is paramount. A vacation destination for one person is home to another. Politeness and graciousness are qualities of superb travelers.
A small thing that goes an extremely long way is to learn some of the local language. The great Nelson Mandela even spoke on this universal truth. It is quick and easy to learn a few popular phrases online and consult YouTube videos for pronunciation. It is similarly beneficial to educate oneself on the customary physical greetings. It would be awkward to go in for a cheek kiss when a handshake is the norm. Locals always prefer travelers who make an effort in their language and culture. It is endearing to the locals and gratifying for the traveler.
Everyone should be mindful of their behavior when overseas. Taking a photograph can be done in respectful and subtle ways. Sampling new food may be surprising but should be consumed with grace. Determine beforehand whether tipping is welcomed or offensive. One’s apparel always makes the first impression and dressing appropriately for each situation is critical, especially if in religious or historical settings. Littering is discouraged everywhere and good environmental hygiene should be standard practice for everyone.
Lastly, operating with poise is a vital ingredient for travel success. Knowing when to price bargain prevents unpleasant exchanges. Sensitivity around subjects such as politics and religion is key for maintaining peace. Common sense and basic decency will carry any traveler far. Those who go the extra mile with etiquette are universally appreciated.
Originally published at https://jennylesser.org on May 10, 2022.