Etiquette for the Avid Traveler

Traveling can be a very fun and exciting experience. However, you need to learn more about the place you are visiting to avoid being rude to the locals. Researching in advance and practicing a few actions and lines will help you show more respect, thereby making your trip more pleasurable. Here are some guidelines that will keep you safe and sane.

On Greeting

Depending on which country you visit, you will have to do a variety of greetings and salutations. For example, if you are going to France, you will greet strangers with kisses on the cheek. The rest of the nation gives two kisses, while Paris offers you 4. Shaking hands can also be done. In Japan or China, you will need to bow to show respect when meeting people for the first time.

Try to learn a word or two when greeting. For example, you can say "bonjour" or "good day" to a person you meet. Also learn other translations of "please", "thank you" and "goodbye". You can learn more about the language by searching the internet and chatting with some of the locals. Bring a dictionary just in case.

When Getting Dressed

Always dress in a respectable manner. Try to observe how the locals dress. In America, it might be acceptable to enter the grocery store in your gym clothes. This may be considered eccentric by other nations. Plan your activities ahead so you can dress in formal attire or more comfortable clothes. When visiting religious sites, it is always advised to dress conservatively.

Acting in Public

Be careful when taking pictures, since some countries do not like some of their government buildings and national treasures to be shot at. Read the rules and guidelines properly. When visiting museums, check first if it is allowed to take photos or record videos. Follow guidelines specifically. Avoid talking in a very loud voice when in public. If you need to go to the restroom or are looking for a certain place, approach a local, smile and greet, before you ask for directions.

Avoid laughing so loud in public. Never litter and show respect to other people's freedom, possession and conversations. Do not interrupt locals who are still talking. Listen intently and ask questions afterwards. Some nations find it rude if you refuse gifts. Some will require you to bring gifts if invited to their homes. Do not interrupt people who are praying or doing a certain ritual. Wait for them to finish before you ask questions or take photos.

Dining Rules

There are several rules that revolve around dining in a foreign place. For example, it is considered unsanitary to eat using your left hand. In China, the chef will appreciate it if you eat your noodles with as much sound as possible. Some countries do not like it when you add more seasoning to served food. You have to learn how to use other eating items like chopsticks, etc. to show respect. Learn how to eat different kinds of food in a variety of ways, depending on your location.

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