While planning a vacation, most of us worry about our budget and where we’ll go, and don’t think about the impact we have as tourists. It can be easy to forget that not everybody else there is on vacation. As a tourist, it’s important to be respectful to the locals and of their home. Here’s you can do that.
Research Your Destination
A little research can protect you from any unpleasant surprises. For example, you can’t get into the temple you’ve been longing to visit without the right clothing. With some research, you can make sure you’re familiar with what is expected locally in terms of dress, tipping, haggling, offensive gestures, and public displays of affection. Know in advance if you shouldn’t hold hands in the street or will need suitable Muslim swimwear if you want to swim anywhere other than the hotel.
Be Mindful Of Culture
It’s amazing how many tourists get irritated when asked to abide by local rules and customs. If you know about and follow, local understandings, cultural rules, and expectations then you are showing your respect for the area. This will make the locals feel much friendlier towards you.
Ask Before You Take Pictures
Put yourself in the shoes of the locals. Would you like it if someone was taking your picture when you were just trying to get to work? Probably not. No matter if you think the locals just going about their day makes the perfect picture, always ask permission before taking a picture. This is a common courtesy. You should remember that while you are on vacation, some of the other people around you are just living their day-to-day lives.
Mind Your Surroundings
When you’re away on vacation, there are going to be moments where you need to stop to check your phone, check where you’re going on your map, or adjust the strap on your sandals. Don’t be that person who does this in the middle of the street. Step out of the way. If you’re trying to order from a local food outlet and need a moment to work out the menu, do this by standing off to one side, or while you’re in line. Don’t wait until it’s your turn to order and there’s a line of annoyed locals waiting behind you.
Keep An Open Mind
Sometimes when you’re overseas, you will see something that surprises or even shocks you. This might be as simple as not being able to order a cup of tea the way you like it, or a different attitudes toward nudity. Be open-minded and keep your opinions to yourself. Try to enjoy the chance to try something new and experience different cultures. If you don’t want to get involved, just move on.
Learn A Few Phrases In The Local Language
You don’t need to be fluent, but a little effort to learn a few phrases in the local language can go a long way in being polite. Learn some basics, like please, thank you, and hello.
So there’s a few tips on how to be mindful of folks that are not tourists when traveling. What customs and traditions have your run into while traveling that surprised you?