Here are 8 travel etiquettes every traveller should keep in mind when travelliing to a destination.
1. Know where you are going:
Before you travel do your research. Get a general idea of your destination, the culture, the seasons, and the people. Ask questions from people who have visited the same destination and take notes. When you do your homework, you will be well informed. Be a good travel student as this will enrich your time there and help you relate better with others.
2. Don’t Take Photos of Others Without Asking
You should never take up-close photos of others without asking for permission as this may be seen as an invasion of their privacy. If the person is far away, it might be okay to snap a quick photo — however, this will be relevant if you’re visiting a memorial site. Remember that under no circumstances is it permissible to take a photo of someone grieving. If you’d like to take someone’s picture, go up to them and ask if they will permit it, and if they do not, be understanding and back down immediately.
3. Be Mindful At Memorials and Religious Places
If it is very necessary that you must take a picture of a memorial or religious place, do your best to ensure there’s no one in the photo, as people who have come to grieve deserve their privacy and respect. While you’re in such places, make sure that you’re also respectful of the tone. These are not the places to make phone calls, to laugh with friends, or to speak loudly.
4. Dress Conservatively If The Culture Demands that You Do So
If you’re travelling to a conservative country, you should respect the culture of the destination that you visit. This is one of the travel etiquettes you must not ignore. Let your dressing be as close to the locals as it can be. This shows them that you respect their dress code, and also ensures your own safety. If you’re unsure of how to dress, get in touch with a travel agency or tour guide to get some reliable advice.
5. Learn the Language
No one expects you to be an expert in the language before visiting a new country, but having some knowledge of the language will only help you. At the very least, do some research to find out the basic phrases to use, for e.g, finding out the best way to greet people is important so that you don’t offend anyone. When in doubt, use Google Translate.
6. Do As Others Do
Before opening up your laptop at a cafe or making a phone call in a museum, you should look around to see if anyone else is on their phone or computer. You could be tempted to take a photo of something but if you look around and notice that nobody is taking pictures, you should refrain from taking the photo because perhaps there could be a reason why nobody is taking photos. Make it a habit to always scan a room for clues before you make yourself too comfortable.
7. Be Polite, Always
For example: If you don’t like the local food, you don’t have to eat it. But you should be gracious, and at the very least take a small bite and be grateful for the offer or the experience. When you insult food, you are insulting a culture. Just like you wouldn’t spit out something your grandmother made special for you, you shouldn’t crinkle up your face or turn up your nose at another culture’s food, drink, dress, music, or lifestyle. Be appreciative of the opportunity to experience a new culture.
8. Be Patient
Even when you are in a hurry, ensure that you are being careful and polite. If you’re used to travelling often it’s easy to forget that you’re a visitor. But whenever you’re visiting a new country or experiencing a new culture, it is never rude to hold the door for people, walk at a respectful distance and pace, and not display signs of frustration when waiting for food or other services. It does not matter if you are jet-lagged or late for an important event. If everyone around you is slow, or distracted, exercise patience. When you remind yourself that it’s an honour to be there, you will be able to put things into perspective.
There you have it. Hope you find these travel etiquettes useful.