Traveling is one of the best ways people can really test their boundaries and challenge themselves. It can be easy to lose yourself in the sights and sounds of a new place, and sometimes we can get a little too carried away and forget ourselves. Just because you’re in a new country doesn’t mean all forms of human respect go out the window. Being a good tourist abroad is just as important as being a good citizen in your home country.
So how do you prepare for traveling to a new place?
- After you buy your cheap flight to Europe from our Brooklyn travel agency, your next purchase should be reading material on the country you’re visiting. How do people dress? What does the average man or woman do for a good time? You don’t have to mold yourself to fit in, but it’s advisable not to conduct yourself in a manner that locals may find completely heinous.
- Learn a few phrases from the native language: “hello,” “thank you,” “yes,” and “no.” These simple phrases can show the locals that you cared enough to try and learn the language, and that little modicum of respect can go a long way to helping you receive a more enriching experience.
- Respect local culture. Easy enough right? For example, in deeply religious countries, don’t do anything that can be insulting to their religious beliefs. India is not a good forum for your new smattering of bovine jokes. People have been known to get thrown in prison for saying the wrong thing. It doesn’t hurt to read carefully about the local religions and traditions.
- There’s more to the country than the guidebook. Sometimes being a tourist means awakening your inner Indiana Jones. (We are not endorsing any trips into ancient temples.) Try and visit the less crowded streets away from the tourist traps. You may not be seeing the famous ancient tomb of a king, but you do get to have an engaging conversation with Richard O’Malley, the retired dairy farmer turned street performer. We’d take Richard any day.
- Try not to look like a tourist, and just be a little spontaneous. This could apply to even your hometown, but when you are traveling, you should be especially conscience of just trying to live it up in the most uninhibited way possible. Granted, you should focus on putting safety first.