Remain Courteous While Traveling and Have a Great Time!

A common misconception among people of foreign countries is that Americans are ignorant, loud, and disrespectful. If you want to visit another country, it is very important that you avoid perpetuating this stereotype by learning a little bit about the culture and applying this knowledge while abroad. Read this article to learn some of the more important cultural aspects to keep in mind while you travel.

One of the most important steps you must take before visiting a foreign country is familiarizing yourself with the laws, especially if they are much different from those in the United States. This can be easily found online, so familiarize yourself with this so you can avoid getting in trouble with police while abroad. Besides this, there are several unique social "laws" that determine your politeness as well as awareness of those around you. All of these courtesies can be found in books about the country to which you are traveling or online.

The social customs surrounding your habits while you are eating are going to come in handy time and time again, no matter how often you travel. For example, in certain countries like Japan, it is rude to say "yes" when a host offers you a drink. Instead, it is expected for you to say "no" and they will bring the drink to you anyway. Other places think it is a compliment to the chef if you burp loudly or smack your lips. You do not have to completely change your eating habits, just make sure you avoid offending anyone. For those who will mainly be eating in restaurants, realize how much of a tip is expected. In the United States, tips are actually a higher percentage than other places. It can be rude to tip someone too much, as this suggests charity.

Many times, you should realize the customs of certain areas so you can avoid confusion or shock. While some countries think it is customary to wear face masks in crowded areas to avoid getting sick or to carry a parasol when it is very sunny, other countries expect to have a lot of personal space versus a small amount. If you know what to expect, you are much less likely to become uncomfortable when in the foreign country. Also figure out what the customs are for traveling, as some areas have very good public transportation while others do not. If you do take a bus or train, make sure to hold onto your ticket for the entire ride because there are transportation police that make sure no one sneaks onto the bus or train. Fines for failing to carry your ticket can be hefty, as well.

Traveling in a foreign country can be a wonderful experience if you realize the customs of the area. Keeping in mind how to act while eating with company or traveling can go a long way. Remember the tips in this article and you will enjoy a great trip abroad!

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