How You Can Be A More Respectful Tourist

When you’re on vacation, it can be easy to forget that not everyone else around you is. Whether you’re heading overseas or playing tourist in your local area, it’s all about having respect. Here are some simple ways that you can improve your behavior when you travel so you can be confident you won’t cause any offense.

Image – free for commercial use

Research Your Destination

A little bit of research can save you from some unpleasant surprises, like the fact that your favorite outfit might not be well-received in the temple that you plan to visit. Research your destination before you travel so you know what is expected in terms of dress, tipping, offensive gestures, bargaining, and public displays of affection. 

Be Mindful Of Different Culture

A lot of tourists get annoyed when they are asked to abide by simple but important cultural rules, understandings, and expectations. However, playing by the rules is a good way to show respect and might make the locals feel friendlier towards you. 

Ask Before You Take Photos

Would you like it someone took a picture of you when you were just on your way to work? Probably not. Whether you see Shen Yun in traditional dress, locals crowded round a chessboard, or local kids gathered in the perfect shot, it is very important and polite to ask before you take anyone’s photo. You need to remember that the people you see out and about are just living their lives. 

Mind Your Surroundings

Of course, when you’re away on your travels, there are always going to be moments when you need to stop and consult a map or check your phone, but try to be mindful of where you do this. Don’t just stop in the middle of the sidewalk. Step aside first. Be mindful when trying to order food somewhere busy. Do your consulting and translating of the menu to one side, instead of holding up a queue while you try to work out what everything is. 

Keep An Open Mind

Sometimes, when you’re abroad, you might see something that doesn’t fit your sensibilities, whether a food seems strange, or you can’t understand why something is considered rude. This is fine, but it’s not a good idea to voice these opinions too loudly. Instead, enjoy the fact you’re in a different country and can experience different customs. 

Learn Some Phrases In The Local Language

This does require some effort from you, but learning a few easy phrases in the local language can make a lot of difference, especially if you’re in a non-English speaking country. Learning how to say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you is a good start. 

Go Local For Dining And Entertainment

You didn’t travel somewhere new just to eat at McDonald’s. Valuing the local foods, arts, crafts, and customs can show an appreciation for the place that you are visiting. Just because we live in an age where you can find a Starbucks just about anywhere in the world, that doesn’t mean you should. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *