Travelling is all fun and games until you realize you are breaking the law. Unfortunately, the downside of visiting the world is that each country or region comes with its own rules and customs, which means there is a slight chance to do something considered illegal or rude.
Thus, you should take your time and read about the place you’re about to visit, and, most importantly, see if it abides by the same rules you already know and follow. So here are some things you should avoid doing overseas, regardless of the customs in that country.
Don’t eat near major tourist sites
Whether it’s Rome, Paris or Sydney, the areas around major tourist attractions are usually crowded with cafes, bars, and restaurants. However, often enough the prices are extremely high, the service is not always good, and there isn’t too much variety either.
Most of these premium locations exclusively lean on hoards of tourists who are seeking a place to relax with a nice view. In addition, these restaurants and cafes know the tourists won’t come back again, so they don’t pay too much attention to the quality of the foods or snacks they’re serving.
Don’t exchange money at the airport
Local currencies can become a total pain, especially if you have to constantly make conversions in your head and keep track of how much you spend. Unfortunately, exchanging money at the airport is the worst idea since you’ll always get bad rates.
Instead, you should try using ATMs or pay with your credit card as much as possible. Depending on the country you’re in, you won’t be charged too much when you withdraw money from local ATMs or banks.
It is always best to travel with small amounts of cash on you and keep a low profile to avoid robbers or pickpockets. However, keeping some cash with you is required, especially since not all vendors accept credit card payments.
You should probably establish a daily budget for small shopping and souvenirs and never carry more than the required amount of cash on you.
Don’t avoid travel alternatives
Staying in hotels is not a great idea, especially if you plan on traveling for more than a few weeks. Luckily, there are plenty of other options that allow you to stay and live like a local for free or for reasonable prices.
So, instead of spending all your money on fancy resorts and 5-star services, you could opt for alternative hospitality networks.
Couchsurfing is the coolest concept developed in the past few years that allows you to stay for free at whoever is willing to take you in. You’ll have your own bed (or couch) or even an entire guest room in the house of a local to help you live your abroad experience to the fullest.
The best thing of all that you? You get to meet the locals, listen to their stories, and share your experiences.
To tip or not to tip?
Keep in mind that we live in a very complex world with each country having its own rules and customs. And, what might seem legit or even mandatory back home may not apply to other destinations. For instance, tipping is a very sensitive matter around the globe.
While tipping might be mandatory in some parts of the US, in other countries like Turkey or Greece, it’s already taken from your final bill.
The amount also differs depending on the country – if in the US it’s usually around 15-20% of the bill, other countries like Germany accept as low as 5%. And then there’s Japan. If you happen to travel there anytime soon, keep in mind that tipping the waiter is considered disrespectful.
So, in order to get things right, we always suggest you do some research about your traveling destination and read about the local customs, especially about gestures that might be considered rude.
Don’t drink too much
Let’s face it – you’re always prone to do silly things after one too many glasses of alcohol, especially if you are on vacations. So, in order to avoid awkward and risky situations, it would be best to make sure you don’t drink too much when you’re in unfamiliar places.
If you really need to drink, do it in your own apartment or hotel room or at least the hotel’s lobby.