Preparing for a trip is exciting, exhilarating, and a tad anxiety provoking. One of the most common things we see when we guide small group travel is visitors doing incorrectly is making mistakes in their travel etiquette. Here are some of the most common errors.
Not taking the time to learn the customs.
As travel consultants, we strive to give our clients all the cultural information they need to have a fun, safe trip and respect the people and customs. Unfortunately, not everyone makes the time to go through the materials we provide, and sometimes they make mistakes. Learning the customs is a wonderful way to truly connect with the countries you visit, and it’s a lot of fun too!
Speaking English only and avoiding attempting the language.
Nervous travelers may be afraid to try speaking the language for fear of offending their hosts or guides. What they don’t understand is that in most places, the people will do everything they can to help visitors speak and understand the language. However, they don’t appreciate when travelers insist upon speaking English without attempting to speak the new language.
Not understanding body language and gestures.
This etiquette mistake is much like the first one. If you haven’t taken the time to prepare yourself for your trip, you’re more likely to inadvertently gesture, sit, or stand in a way that will upset someone. Please be sure to read everything we send to you or refer you to, and it’s a good idea to take it all with you and review it periodically.
Tipping in other countries is very different from tipping here. In fact, in some areas, offering a tip is an insult to your server. If you have any doubts, ask!
Every country has its own table etiquette, and it varies from country to country. The easiest way to discover what is proper is to watch your hosts. Again, if in doubt, ask a question. It’s much better to ask and find out what is correct than to bumble through it and likely make a mistake. And you certainly don’t want to offend other diners or your hosts.
Have you ever had an etiquette oops? We’d love to hear about it!
This article was written by WDJ