How Not To Behave When You Travel

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How Not To Behave When You Travel

Every culture is different, and has different styles of etiquette, or unique set of rules and expectations on how to behave in different situations. Every culture has its own customs and etiquette that tourists frequently aren’t aware of. It doesn’t matter where you travel—you should never insult the people who live there by dismissing their customs and etiquette. Knowing the right etiquette and customs can help you enjoy your holidays and make local friends. Maybe before you leave to your destination, you might want to research their unique customs and etiquette. Here are a handful of ‘faux pas’ you don’t want to commit while travelling in six popular destinations:

Japan:

  • No tipping. Tipping your servers in Japan will just confuse them.
  • Escalators have one side for standing and one side for passing. Make sure you’re on the correct side. But keep an eye on what people are doing since in some cities you stand on the left, and in other cities you stand on the right. In Tokyo you stand on the left and in Osaka you stand on the right. Rule of thumb; follow what other people are doing.
  • Don’t walk around while you eat. This is just not acceptable in Japan.
  • As we said, leaving food on your plate in some parts of Asia is sure to insult your host, so if you’re looking to compliment them try burping. They’ll be flattered.
  • Don’t wear your shoes inside someone’s house. If you see the host or other guest remove their shoes prior to entering take the hint and do the same.

France:

  • “Parlez-vous Français?”. Don’t expect to get by with English in France. The French have great pride in their language. They don’t appreciate switching from French to another language at home.
  • Avoid talking about money issues. The French have a strong distaste for discussing financial matters openly. You’ll put people in an uncomfortable spot to talk about how much they make or spent on something.
  • Don’t rush while you eat. If you eat your food quickly, people will assume that you are a slob. The French, take great pride in their cuisine, so savor what you eat. French lunches are known to last three hours long!
  • Don’t expect a huge amount of vegan options: Very few people are vegan in France compared to some other countries, and although tit is slowly being accepted, the awareness and acceptance of it are still quite poor. Some older people especially can consider it a ‘weird’ or even radical behaviour. So notify people you are going to visit and be careful which restaurants you go to.

Russia:

  • Leave home without it: you probably won’t find that many places where your  credit card will be accepted. Cash is king.
  • Avoid making casual political criticisms. Russians view these kind of statements from tourists as personal insults, as if you consider them personally at fault for these problems, and not the government.
  • Don’t go with the flow. If a situation arises and you’re not sure what is going on, try to ask someone. If you keep quiet, people will assume you understand what’s happening and won’t go out of their way to help you.
  • If you bring someone flowers, make sure the bouquet has an odd number of flowers in it. Even numbered bouquets are reserved for funerals. A dozen roses would creep Russians out.

India

  • Do not complain about the food. It is insulting to your host. Don’t eat something you don’t want to eat, but don’t offend the people who served it to you.
  • No public kissing. This can even result in jail time.
  • People usually don’t socialize while eating in India, and may take offense to being interrupted while they eat.

Singapore

  • In Singapore You can get fined for numerous things and some that you get away with in your country. Following is a list of things you will get fined for if you are caught doing them – feeding the birds, spitting, urinating in public, smoking in public, having your pet in public, eating or drinking on public transportation, and littering, among other things.

Germany

  • Don’t stare: “You’d appear either uneducated or mentally ill.”
  • Don’t be overly friendly: “Germans like to gradually warm up to people and take time to really get to know them before acting like BFFs.”
  • Don’t wish someone a happy birthday before the actual day: “The origin is a superstition that something bad will happen to them (they might die) before their birthday if you do, however this rule is not limited to superstitious people. Even bright, rational Germans will feel uncomfortable because it’s just not done.”
  • Last Don’t do the Nazi salute, not even in jest. It’s a crime and every year there are tourists arrested for it. Also don’t carry any Nazi symbols on you.”

  Switzerland

  • If you’re meeting someone for the first time, stretch out your hand and say grüezi. If you meet a friend, then you kiss them three times, offering first your right cheek, then left, the right again.
  • When it come to punctuality, Swiss don’t take too well to tardiness they find that plain rude.
  • Swiss love their fondue and have firm belief that only certain drinks help you best digest the cheese, so don’t be surprised if the waitress refuses to serve you a lager with your fondue.
  • If you’re meeting someone for the first time, stretch out your hand and say grüezi. If you meet a friend, then you kiss them three times, offering first your right cheek, then left, the right again.
  • When it come to punctuality, Swiss don’t take too well to tardiness they find that plain rude.
  • Swiss love their fondue and have firm belief that only certain drinks help you best digest the cheese, so don’t be surprised if the waitress refuses to serve you a lager with your fondue.

Depending where you are travelling to, it’s always a great idea to get to know the country’s customs and etiquettes and avoid coming across as rude and ignorant.

Do not complain about the food. It is insulting to your host. Don’t eat something you don’t want to eat, but don’t offend the people who served it to you.

Taylor

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