Tourists get a bad rap, but it’s not all undeserved. Rather, many of us have bad habits or simply culturally out of sync manners that disrupt the locals and make us stand out. It’s something of a when in Rome situation – visiting another area comes with certain expectations. So if you’re an active traveler or someone who hopes to travel more, consider breaking some of your bad travel habits. Your hosts will thank you.
Civilizing The Airport
No one likes the airport. It’s crowded, stressful, and annoying. But there are some easy things we can all do to make the process more pleasant. Particularly if you’re a regular traveler, taking intentional steps to improve the process can actually make the airport a less stressful space.
For example, everyone wants to be comfortable on the airplane, but many think we’ve taken things too far. Dragging along your pillow from your bed at home is just bad airport manners. And other than when airport security makes you take them off, keep your shoes on. This isn’t your living room and should be treated like other public spaces.
Mind Your Dress
While you may think your vacation is all about lounging by the poolside or strolling along the streets in some warm locale, it’s important that you consider local manners when getting dressed for the day.
It may not be expected for a visiting woman to cover her head in a religiously conservative area, you also should dress in a way that shows respect for the local culture. Consider this when packing so that you don’t have to revamp your wardrobe after you arrive, and simply leave inappropriate items at home – that way you won’t be tempted to put them on.
Cut The Complaints
Is the train late or the restaurant crowded? As it turns out, everyone standing around you is experiencing that very same complaint. And what’s more, if you’re complaining about a general public activity, such as public transit that locals use all the time, these complaints may come across as an offense or insult to local infrastructure.
No one wants to hang out with the vacation complainer, so find ways to handle setbacks that don’t involve whining to anyone within earshot. Bring small activities and prepare for delays because they happen everywhere, even when you’re on vacation.
Finally, if you’re a frequent traveler, you’re probably not squeamish about new foods – or at least you weren’t until someone offered you some fried up bugs for a snack. Remember that no one is asking you to eat things that others don’t eat on a regular basis. This is part of the experience. Embrace it.
Traveling should always provide a great story, so find ways to embrace the process, treat others respectfully, and get the most out of your trips. These adventures are an opportunity to grow and explore the amazing world we live in.