27 Travel Etiquette Tips
Every country has different codes or etiquettes that you must know before going there. Sometimes travel etiquettes are very different from place to place. So, you should know which things you are allowed to do and which not. No matter where you are going, no matter if you are traveling for the first time or you are an expert traveler. Here you will find some of the most important travel etiquettes to take into account when you travel abroad.
What Are Travel Etiquettes?
Let’s start talking about the travel etiquette definition. The word “etiquette” refers to a group of rules and codes to behave or how to do different things in a proper way. These actions or behaviors are accepted by the whole society. But, remember that some “etiquettes” vary from one place to another. So, travel etiquettes are those guidelines and customs which control the way a person should behave when traveling.
International Travel Etiquettes Tips
Nowadays you have the opportunity of traveling and knowing different cultures. Also, you have the chance of showing your own manners and have a cultural exchange. But, do you really know some of the most important international travel etiquettes? After reading this, you will have an idea of the things you should take into account when traveling abroad. Here you have some tips to follow:
Learn a little bit about their language
It is well known that English is a worldwide language. But, in some countries, it is valued in a positive way the effort from the visitor for learning at least a few words in the local language. For example, you could learn how to say please, thank you, hi or goodbye.
Be careful with gestures
Body language is a good way to communicate with other people. But, you have to keep in mind that gestures are interpreted in different ways depending on the country you are in. Taking a moment in silence is a good idea too. You can meditate on the conversation and look for polite words to give the right answer or ask something correctly.
Giving a tip or not
After a business dinner, it is really common to leave a tip on the table. But, in some Asian countries, it is considered as an insult or a negative insinuation. It can mean that you are considering that the person that is receiving the tip has a low economic level. In some other countries like the USA, Canada, Mexico, or Austria it is almost mandatory. This represents a significant part of their salary.
Giving a gift from your country is considered kind and polite depending on the type of present. If you are the one that is receiving it, be aware of the etiquettes in that country. In some places is incorrect to open the gift in front of the person that is giving it.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Travel Etiquette
As it was said before, there are several things you are able to do or not when traveling abroad. It is important to know about them to have a better trip. But, have you asked yourself how to be a better traveler? Keep in mind you are visiting a country that is not yours. Locals have rules, codes, and behaviors different than yours and you have to respect them. Here you have general recommendations to become a great traveler and visitor:
- Be polite, respectful and thankful
- Search information about the places you will be visiting
- Respect other cultures and learn about local customs
- Wait your turn
- Be patient
- Have all your travel documents ready and accessible in all airport lines
- Respect other people’s personal space
- Double-check all travel plans
- Treat locals poorly
- Make negative comments
- Make assumptions
- Don’t block the aisles on planes, trains or other types of transportation
- Complain because things are not done that way at home
- Blame people if they have difficulty understanding you
- Be passive-aggressive
- Assume you have travel insurance (What Travel Insurance do you need?)
Good Manners While Traveling
When traveling, it is necessary to have good habits such as politeness and respect. Since you are a visitor and not a resident, it is very important to make a good impression. If locals recognize you as a good person, they will be open to you. You need to give them a good image from your country, remember you are representing it.
Means of transportation
When you are on a bus, train or subway wait for the other passenger to get in, and do not put your feet or your bag in the seats. If you see old people or a pregnant woman, try to offer your seat. When you sneeze, be careful with the direction you do it. When talking, moderate the volume of the conversation and avoid talking on the phone. If you travel by plane be aware of the safety rules. Do not kick the seat in front of you and if you are traveling with kids, try to control them. It will be best for everybody.
During the dinner be discrete with the eating habits of the others. Remember that there are vegetarians, vegans or just people from a country where eating meat is not allowed. Try to finish what you were served and if you want something that is leftover, you can ask for it. Also, avoid using the mobile phone on the table at all. It is impolite!
Business Travel Etiquettes
There are specific travel etiquettes, for example, business travel etiquettes. These etiquettes are codes that you should consider the next time you go on business travel. During the whole trip, you must remember that you are traveling for business. It means that your boss chose to represent your company. So, you have the responsibility to do it in the best way.
First, you need to consider the time you spend on your personal activities. It is OK if you take some rest; actually, sometimes it is necessary. But keep in mind that it is not a personal trip. So, you should manage your time to cover all the activities that were designated to you. Avoid recreational activities. Use your free time to organize your next meeting or presentation.
Try to always be punctual and to get ready on time. Remember that you are representing a company. Being on time is a very important etiquette to consider since you are on business travel. If the meeting is close to your hotel, try to leave at least 20 minutes before. You will be prepared in case there is a setback. If you do this, you will also have time to prepare your speech, make an important call or even take a cup of coffee or tea before starting the reunion. In business matters, is always better to be earlier than being late.
Another business travel etiquette you need to take into account is the way you dress up. Your clothing should talk by itself when traveling for business. It means you need to wear professional clothing all the time no matter where you are or what you are doing. Also, it is recommended to pack in a handbag all the essential things you would need every time you have a meeting. So, in case your suitcase gets lost, you will keep those important items with you.
Although there are some meetings that include having lunch or dinner, do not forget you are representing a serious work team. Those meetings are a little bit informal sometimes, but they are still part of your job. Avoid very informal talks or behaviors while you are at the meeting. It is always recommended to look for information about rules and customs to eat. Remember that there are countries with different etiquettes even for eating. You will avoid embarrassing situations during your trip if you have basic notions about this topic Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol with your colleagues. Business trips with colleagues sometimes turn into informal trips. But you need to focus on your job and avoid those kinds of behaviors that could end up in something bad for your career.
Stay Safe & Sound
Part of preparing for your trip is to know what is correct or not talking about your behavior. You should search for information about the local rules and codes of behavior that may affect your personal safety while being in that country. Here are some safety tips that you must know before traveling to enjoy your trip and be safe at the same time
1. Carry your passport stuck to your body. There are money belts where you can put not only your cash or cards but also your passport. This is a great option in case you do not want to carry a big purse. Do not worry if you do not have a money belt, try to use a shoulder bag. Put it across your body and keep the bag in front of you. You can put your passport in an inside pocket and keep it closed all the time
2. Make sure you have the emergency numbers of the place where you are. You never know when you will need any of these numbers. It is important to have them in a place where you or your family members can find them easily
3. If you are traveling alone; avoid using your cell phone, tablet or camera in public spaces. You never know what kind of persons are around you and what their intentions are. Try not to call the attention using those expensive electronic devices
4. Do not go to places far from the touristic ones. At least you go with a native, avoid those places where you can get lost or robbed. Do not go anywhere if you do not know how to come back to your hotel
5. Try to carry your own first aid kit. In case you get a headache, stomachache or you get dizzy you will have the possible solution in your bag. You never know when you will need to take those magic pills that make you feel better
Now that you know all these travel etiquette tips, you should follow them to accomplish all your travel expectations and be the best traveler. You will have wonderful experiences from now on!
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