Whether you are traveling to a different state or a different part of the world, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of the cultural expectations and norms of your place of visit. One of the best parts of visiting a new area is embracing the culture and learning more about the people who live there. However, without the proper manners and etiquette, you could inadvertently offend someone. To make the most of your visit and to have a rewarding experience, make sure to practice the following tips before your next excursion.
Take the time to learn as much about your destination before you go. Research the history, traditions, and customs to better familiarize yourself with the area. The more prepared you can be, the less likely you are to overstep your boundaries.
Learn the language
If you are traveling to a different country, it is best to learn the language. While it isn’t necessary to become completely fluent, knowing key phrases and common words will be essential for getting around. It will save you a lot of time and frustration and the locals will likely appreciate your efforts.
No matter where you visit, be mindful of your surroundings and the people who meet along the way. Remember that you are the guest, and while you may think poorly of food you try or something you see, it’s best to keep your opinion to yourself. The same rule can be applied to conversations about politics or other controversial topics, which should be avoided if possible. Remain courteous with your actions and respect the customs and regulations put in place.
Before departing for your trip, it is crucial that you are aware of what clothing is appropriate in the country or place you are visiting. For example, in many places of worship, it is required that you cover up shoulders and legs. Many places may also have strict guidelines on unacceptable shoewear, such as flip flops. Pack the clothing you are most comfortable with, but take into consideration the cultural expectations of your destination, in addition to what activities you have planned.
Review the geography
There may be nothing worse than getting lost in an unfamiliar area. You won’t become an expert in the geography overnight, but spending time reviewing the map of the city or region you are visiting can help tremendously in the long-run. Take notice of the major transportation stops as well as landmarks throughout the area. When in doubt, download a map to your phone or pick up a hard copy to keep handy.