What NOT To Do While Traveling
For every traveler out there, common sense sometimes goes out the window when vacation time hits. It’s easy to “be the tourist” when in a new environment, but doing so may devoid you of immersing yourself in a new culture or may just end up putting a target on your back for thieves. Here are some guidelines to follow and remember on your next vacation:
Don’t Take a Million Pictures: A million may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea. When someone has their camera or phone out taking picture after picture, the memories you make in the country are more of you well…just taking pictures. So, take a few pictures to document your experiences and enjoy the journey.
Don’t Stick with Comfort Foods: Food is a big part of a cultural experience. To seek out a McDonalds or any American food for the entire vacation would deprive one from getting to know the culture better and not to mention, would leave out some unforgettable memories. Whether it is a full on meal or a piece of candy, try it out. Who knows, you just might find a new favorite food.
Don’t Leave Cash at Home: While the world is increasingly advancing in the area of technology, there are still areas that credit cards are not accepted. Even if they are, little street vendors might not have any machines to process your payment. In an emergency or when tipping a waiter, make sure to have a bit of cash with you at all times.
Don’t Stand Out: Be cautious of wearing clothing that disrespects another religion or culture. The last thing you would want to do is offend someone who could potentially help you get around the city or town. Respect the culture and country’s religion(s) by studying up on required dress codes for specific tours. Standing out in an unfamiliar place not only refers to wearing inappropriate clothing, but it also refers to behavior. Climbing on sacred statues or touching sacred relics should not be on your bucket list.
Don’t Avoid Educating Yourself: While you will have the opportunity to learn a lot about a culture at your destination, it doesn’t hurt to research and learn a bit before you go. Find some helpful phrases in the common language of your destination. Not everyone speaks English, and these phrases could help you when you really need it.
Don’t Skip Travel Protection: Look, you are in a foreign country. Why would you not get protection?! Without it, you are susceptible to large fees and a lot of hassle if something does go wrong.
Don’t Buy Food Near Popular Tourist Sites: Food joints near or at busy tourist spots should be avoided to save your bank account and taste buds. Food prices are often out the door and the quality is not always exceptional. By going to a local restaurant, the prices are most likely lower and the quality much improved.
Most importantly, don’t just see your destination, but remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.