Travel Etiquette: Five Excellent Tips to Keep in Mind When Visiting Other Foreign Places
“Traveling is like flirting with life. It is like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.” –Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, if anything brings you to the other side of the world, it is best if you are made aware of some of the most basic essential travel etiquette tips.
After all, if you are carting off yourself to unknown parts of the world, it is highly likely that you are going to meet some locals or if you are traveling on business, prospective clients. However, as you are in a part of the world that is still alien to you and in an environment that is more or less unfamiliar, committing social blunders may sometimes be inevitable—some of which could be incredibly offensive to locals, or hurtful to a potential deal or negotiations. Wherever it is you might be going, it is a good idea to be a good guest—regardless of whether this is going to be in another country, another state or even just another city. So, if you are planning to book a hotel in Cebu City anytime soon or anywhere else, here are some of the travel etiquette tips you ought to keep in mind:
Learn about the place you are going
Of course, it bodes well if you did a bit of research before even booking yourself an airline ticket to wherever you might be going. In this regard, you should know that not every country has the same culture and the same practices. What is considered respectful to you might not necessarily the same for other countries. At the risk of offending anyone abroad, you might as well do a little research first.
Learn the language—even just a little
While English has been considered as a universal language, do not simply assume and expect that everyone in whatever nook and cranny in the earth would understand it. Dropping a little “hello” or “thank you” in their native tongue would show your host that you are at least making the effort. There is no absolute need to take a crash course in a foreign language. Simply learning a phrase or two can already take you so far. Besides, with the prowess of today’s technology, all you need to do is enter a simple phrase in English to get the closets translation on Google.
But be careful with the language
Ensure that you thoroughly research the phrases you are going to say. Remember, some foreign languages have different meanings and contexts when they are already used in a sentence, so you might inadvertently say something rude. At all times, make sure you know what you are saying. Should you have any doubts, keep it to simple phrases and do not even attempt to form overly complex sentences.
Learn how to greet people
There is no universal way to greet everyone. While the handshake might seem customary in most countries, to some Asians this can be considered disrespectful—particularly if you are greeting someone older than you. With this in mind, it would also be wise to research on the correct way to address someone. Some countries have customs wherein it is considered respectful to address people involved in business by both their title and family name.
Never criticize the food
Much like the adage goes, if you cannot say anything nice, then do not say anything at all. Sure, some food staples might not be to your fancy and there might some that may even be considered downright strange, continue to be polite. Do not criticize the food. Instead, to avoid surprises like this, brush up on the dining customs and cuisine before making the trip.
Before making any trip in the world, do not let your excitement cloud your judgment and ensure that you brush up on your research first. In this way, not only would locals appreciate your effort, but you will receive an even warmer reception.