How do you act or behave in a place with a different culture?
While it’s a good thing to stand out from the crowd in your home countries, being different in another country as people are noticing you is quite troublesome. To help you to get away from the worse situations, read the following to lessen your worries.
1. Research local customs and laws
Most probably, you will never think of some simple gestures and actions that will offend other cultures when you are at home. Researching local customs prior to travelling will help you to understand the kind of behaviors that are accepted and not.
What about smoking? or rules about driving?
Understand the domestic laws in the country you are visiting to make sure a worry-free and enjoyable trip, as well getting away with trouble. Etiquette rules are as important as laws and breaking them will surely give you more attention and negative impression. Remember that things accepted in your culture are not always the same with other countries.
2. Learn 10 basic phrases
One way to add more excitement to your travel is practicing speaking some basics of a new language. You may want to take a foreign language class for a couple of weeks or months before your trip. You will not yet appreciate it until you need to ask for the nearest restroom using the language in the foreign country.
3. Respect their language
Never laugh even a foreign word sounds funny to you. You are foreigner in a certain country, so people are communicating in their own language. While some countries use English as second language, some people may not use it and it is better if you ask them politely if they know how to speak English. Moreover, try to speak clearly and find a simpler or various ways to say the same thing. By doing this, local people can respond to you in other ways they can. And of course don’t assume that all people can speak that American accent of yours.
4. Dress appropriately
When it comes to how you dress, neutrality should be your major criteria. By following to neutral and basic dress codes, you can be fashionable, modest and comfortable. While you have the prerogative to decide for your dress in visiting a foreign country, you should also avoid particular clothing to feel belongingness in a certain country.
Different cultures have respective rules of dressing that are usually in accordance to very old religious and moral beliefs. In more conservative countries, women are expected to dress conservatively which includes covering some parts of the body especially knees and shoulders as well as avoiding low-cut or tight clothing.
5. Eat where the locals eat
Discover a new city and explore the place where the locals eat. Wherever your destination is, find your way towards a genuine and unique experience. In fact, eating foods at popular local food areas helps you to find safe foods and prevent any health issues along the way.
6. Tone down the camera and other tourist gear
We can’t help but to take pictures especially when we are traveling for a certain place for the first time. However, there are good reasons not to expose it especially in public. Hanging your camera from your neck will not only invite thieves but will hinder you from blending in with the locals. Of course, I’m kidding, you can bring the camera. However, make sure to keep your camera under wraps a little bit in any place it’s not welcome. The same thing with fanny packs, guidebooks and similar tourist items.
7. Know the currency and handle money matters smoothly
Avoid very inconvenient and annoying times of looking for your money and pat all possible pockets. Before going out for a walk especially in public places, make sure to organize your money as well as your documents in private rooms like inside your hotel. You can buy a money pouch that can be kept around your waist and under your clothes to keep your essentials. Keep every item in different location from suitcase to socks for security. Moreover, you should also pay attention on how to use local currency of the country.
8. Keep the volume down
Most of the Westerners culturally speak at a higher volume compared to people in other countries. If you speak loud particularly using a language other than the foreign country’s official language, you can attract unnecessary attention from the locals. When you are in public unsafe places, discourage yourself or your company to get into unnecessary conversations or talk in low volume as much as you can.
9. Stay open minded
You will probably experience slow movement of things. The customer service was so disappointing. You are hungry and the restaurants are run out of menu items and you can see servers chatting on their cellphones ignoring their customers. The town or city that you are visiting is completely closed in some particular days. By the end of the day in order to blend in, you need to learn tolerance.
You can find a great world outside your country. It doesn’t mean that when things are done in a different way in somewhere else they are better or worse. You might sleep in littler rooms, taste fried crickets, and the way of living is not the same with your country.
Nevertheless, keep an open mind all the time and you will go home with a smile in your heart! Enjoy your trip.
Author Bio: Mel Devent is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing about all things digital marketing. She is currently working as a Marketing Associate at Blogger Sidekick, helping small businesses build authority brands with content marketing. In her spare time, she loves scuba diving, watching movies and catching up with friends.