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 HollywoodMarine
Joined: 10/6/2009
Msg: 1
Travel Etiquette for TouristPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Having served in the Marine Corps, I've had my fair share of "Liberty" (etiquette) briefs before venturing off in a Liberty Port. As a tourist I still practise the same ettiqette rules. The last thing I want to do is offend someone and cause an international incident. But that won't happen. I'll probably add to the sterotype of a typical American tourist: Loud, Fat, and Obnoxious. So what sort of the basic etiquette rules do you recommend for tourists? It doesn't matter where you are and whether you're the tourist or the resident. Share some of your experiences and tips. Here are just a few of mine. I'll share a few more when I can remember them:

Foreign toursit in the US:
-bad or non-tippers

Americans in Korea:
-turn your headlights off at traffic intersections so not to blind drivers on the other side of the intersection.

Americans in Europe:
-waiters don't serve you right away because they aren't rushing you to eat and leave.
 flyin squirrel
Joined: 5/25/2009
Msg: 2
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 1/21/2010 10:43:17 AM
Don't forget if you put fruit in your bag ...when my friend and I landed in EWR from Heathrow and we were waiting for our bags a guard w/ a beagle came right up to my friend and he( the dog) was freaking out..jumping up on her and everything ..for a second I thought wtf? OMG if she has drugs I'm gonna freak....turns out the he was a agriculture sniffing dog...who knew? She had a apple in her purse!

Just thought I'd share....
 HollywoodMarine
Joined: 10/6/2009
Msg: 3
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 1/21/2010 11:00:26 AM
Here are a few that I've come across:

For the international travelers:

- Please do not walk in to the airport/tourist attraction/museum in another country and complain loudly that none of the signs are in your native tongue and that you will not be able to see anything now. You're in another country, and sorry, your language of choice isn't the one used here. You knew that before you got on the plane. What did you expect?

- Please do not become angry and berate everyone within sight when you can't find anyone who speaks your language. Again, you are in another country and it is not anyone's fault other than your own that you are in this predicament.

- Do not hunt down every American fast-food place in the city and eat only there.
 brieses360
Joined: 12/23/2009
Msg: 4
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 1/22/2010 9:19:13 PM
1. Toilet paper does not go down the toilet. Most places don't have a sewer system that can handle paper with your waste. They will provide, in those situations, a wastebasket next to the toilet to throw your paper in.

2. BYO Toilet paper. Toilet paper is a predominantly western phenomenon. If you don't want to indulge in a bit of left handed culture, bring your own roll.

3. Learn the language. Yes, you're going to slaughter many words, but locals will appreciate the effort and you'll find them alot more helpful.

4. Don't point- and if you must, don't point with your left hand.

5. Be warry of the left hand. It's consitered rude to offer things with the left hand, point with the left hand, eat with the left hand.

6. Bartering is Ok! Most people expect you to barter with them. If not, they'll say, but don't be shocked if they start lowering their prices the longer you stand and admire. Feel free to walk away if the price wont go low enough

7. Don't be a nagging Nancy. No one wants to know how things are done "back home". You're in a foreign country- enjoy it!

8. Dress as the locals do. This means, if you're in a conservative culture, it's not a good idea to go out wearing mini hot pants and a tube top. The locals deal with the weather year in and year out, they know how to best dress to deal with it. Light cotton clothing that covers the arms and legs really is cool and keeps the sunburn off in the Egyptian sun.

9. Adapt. Stuff happens, menus will sell out of items, places will be closed, no one might speak english, so, find a way around it and adapt.

10. Always carry the local currency. Not all countries have VISA cards and machines, so always make sure you have enough cash on you. Also have a safe place to store that which you do not need for the day. Everyone and their uncle knowns that tourists wear moneybelts, so find another way to hide the goods.

Hope that helps- should cover most of the big points.
 dbz77
Joined: 12/5/2006
Msg: 5
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 1/30/2010 1:16:57 PM


- Please do not walk in to the airport/tourist attraction/museum in another country and complain loudly that none of the signs are in your native tongue and that you will not be able to see anything now. You're in another country, and sorry, your language of choice isn't the one used here. You knew that before you got on the plane. What did you expect?

There are people who actually do that?

Well, if there are people gullible enough to fall for 419 scams...

Do not hunt down every American fast-food place in the city and eat only there.

When in Italy, why not have a REAL Italian dinner?


Michael
 brieses360
Joined: 12/23/2009
Msg: 6
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 1/30/2010 1:53:23 PM

When in Italy, why not have a REAL Italian dinner?


Know your country's customs.

If you plan to eat at noon in Italy, the only thing you WILL find open are American fastfood places. Why? Siesta.

Plan to eat a little earlier or a little later. Or stop at a store and grab some items for a picnic!
 HollywoodMarine
Joined: 10/6/2009
Msg: 7
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 1/30/2010 2:48:58 PM

There are people who actually do that?

Yup! Saw it in Paris when I came across a group of American nurses on their first overseas vacation trip. Their complaints were: no ice in their drinks, drinks are to small, not everyone speaks English well enough, locals were smelly or rude... blah blah blah. They fit the description of "Loud," "Fat," and "Obnoxious".
 Iamsnookums
Joined: 6/20/2008
Msg: 8
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 5/31/2010 9:17:40 PM
I would guess that willo go at home or away, PLEASE DO NOT take a young child, under the age of 2 to a museum exhibit unless it is Sesame Street exhibit, he has just awoken. or you have some way of controlling hiom . In New York, Omar Shariff telling us about the treasurse almost constantly had to kae tuns with this child
 want to travel
Joined: 7/29/2006
Msg: 9
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 6/25/2010 7:00:48 AM
if you are american act like a canadian, you will not be hated
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 10
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 6/25/2010 12:43:45 PM

BYO Toilet paper. Toilet paper is a predominantly western phenomenon. If you don't want to indulge in a bit of left handed culture, bring your own roll.


Just out of curiosity where on earth should I be avoiding? I have yet to visit a country that did not have TP in the bathroom, although that hole in the floor part is weird.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 11
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 6/27/2010 8:41:52 PM
^^^^^ Lots of places. Third World countries, for instance. Nepal, India, Kenya, Mexico, Central America, Russia, Latvia . . .

Americans - keep your voices down! Gosh, we are loud!
 justkeepontruckin
Joined: 7/21/2010
Msg: 12
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 7/24/2010 7:16:54 PM
To add to the list:

Don't assume that former Soviet countries are third-world. Latvia is part of the EU and fairly modern, and having been to 11 different cities in Russia, I only saw a hole in the ground toilet/lack of toilet roll on two occasions - one of which was on a mountain!
 brieses360
Joined: 12/23/2009
Msg: 13
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 7/24/2010 10:17:33 PM

^^^^^ Lots of places. Third World countries, for instance. Nepal, India, Kenya, Mexico, Central America, Russia, Latvia . . .


wow.. that's highly insulting. I'v been to India, Nepal, Russia and Latvia. There was nothing what so ever dangerous about it, or worth avoiding. In fact i'd go back to all four again in a heartbeat.

I think India is one of those countries everyone should go to. No one fully understands the impact the west has had on the world, especally when it comes to living off their backs.

Not to mention the mongul archietecture and technology was amazing for the time- can still walk through the Red Fort in amazement with how innovative they were.
 valenciacityx
Joined: 3/10/2009
Msg: 14
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 7/29/2010 1:34:47 AM
do your homework,
Read the State Dept warnings for your target area, make friends before you go, avoid the 'tourist' traps/tours.
Remember your meds, and a current prescription script, incase they get confiscated
pack an extra pair of glasses if you wear them
comfy shoes, clean socks
Learn the language, if you cant learn it, be gracious in your attempts
never forget a small token for your host
remember its a big wide world, dont piss in the pool and make it bad for the rest of us.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 15
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Posted: 7/29/2010 3:35:02 PM
wow.. that's highly insulting. I'v been to India, Nepal, Russia and Latvia. There was nothing what so ever dangerous about it, or worth avoiding. In fact i'd go back to all four again in a heartbeat.

I didn't say they were dangerous, I said they were places where you should make sure you carry toilet paper because the restrooms often don't have them. I made a post that said some places you need to bring your own toilet paper and the poster said, "Where should I avoid?" in response to that which I assume she means she wants to avoid places where it isn't commonly provided. I loved all those places. I also *always* carry toilet paper because most of the places I've been don't provide it in the restrooms. Russia and Latvia - I was not there as a tourist, was in many, many places, even in the Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Riga, that did not have toilet paper in the restroom. This was in 2001 and I was in places not frequented by American tourists.

Read the original exchange:




BYO Toilet paper. Toilet paper is a predominantly western phenomenon. If you don't want to indulge in a bit of left handed culture, bring your own roll.



Just out of curiosity where on earth should I be avoiding? I have yet to visit a country that did not have TP in the bathroom, although that hole in the floor part is weird.



 missfeexo
Joined: 7/20/2010
Msg: 16
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 7/30/2010 1:10:02 PM
Msg 7 - I saw the same in Fiji on a 3night Cruise around the Islands - "Loud,Fat, Obnoxious", DEMANDING Americans - my Mother & I were mortified how the Fijian Staff were spoken to & ordered around - I still cringe thinking about it. You are in another Country so you should be respectful & gracious of your host Country & their Culture :D
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 17
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Posted: 9/8/2010 9:16:45 PM
^^^^ It is not only Americans. I've seen others do it. I was trekking in the mountains in Nepal once, staying in one of the little huts along the trail. The staple is dahl-baht (rice and lentil soup). These European trekkers came in, asked if they had any meat. When they found out there was only dahl-baht, greens, potatoes, eggs, and chapatis, the guy complained very loudly, "Dahl-baht again! I'm so sick of dahl-baht! I can't wait to get back to Katmandu and get a hamburger!" In front of poor Nepalis who don't get any sort of meat very often except for holidays. What a jerk! I think of people like that, if you want things to be the way they are at home, stay at home!


6. Bartering is Ok! Most people expect you to barter with them. If not, they'll say, but don't be shocked if they start lowering their prices the longer you stand and admire. Feel free to walk away if the price wont go low enough


You mean bargaining, not bartering. As in haggling. Bartering is exchanging goods without money as in I'll trade cleaning your house for dance lessons or I'll trade these blue jeans for that T-shirt. Bargaining is negotiating over the price. Some Americans misunderstand this because, with the exception of buying a house or a car, we're accustomed to fixed prices. Americans often think someone is trying to rip them off when, in fact, it's a part of a culture and people enjoy the banter. The best instance of this was when my friend was haggling with a fruit vendor over the price of a pineapple. "How much?" he asked. "Eight shillings, my friend," said the fruit vendor. "How can you call me 'my friend' when you want eight shillings for a pineapple?" my friend chided him playfully. The guy smiled. He loved the comment and my friend's playful interaction with him.

I'm bad with numbers in foreign languages and during my first attempt at haggling in a market in Mexico, I offered the guy twice what he asked for. He knew I'd made a mistake and laughed, "Of course I'll take 18,000 pesos for this shawl!"

It took awhile for me to get comfortable with haggling and I'm not real into it, but I've accepted it as a part of how things are done in many places. I try to be friendly and light and enjoy the banter. Speaking the language really helps.
 brieses360
Joined: 12/23/2009
Msg: 18
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 9/12/2010 1:19:19 PM
Nope- i ment bartering. One friend I was traveling with got 5 scarfs for next to nothing because the store owner was interested in his friendship bracelet. Got all his souvineer shopping done for his female friends back home in one stop :)

Knew a backpacker who was in India for a year. She'd get all her grocries at the stalls via bartering one trinket or another for a lower price on fruit and veg.
 CheshireCatalyst
Joined: 9/14/2007
Msg: 19
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 9/13/2010 7:46:53 PM
Lots of good suggestions here! One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that in some countries, it is a good thing to leave your feminist observations (if you are subject to making them) at home. Or, at least keep them under your breath.

Also, if you're not religious you need to be mindful of how you present yourselves in places of worship in other parts of the world. Shorts and revealing tops are not welcomed in most religious buildings - you can be denied entry if you are wearing shorts or don't take off your shoes.

You often cannot take photographs inside religious buildings either - this is true of Westminster Abbey in London - don't try to sneak any either (even without a flash) because your tour guide will be disciplined if you're caught (I speak from experience on this........I felt obligated to tip the guide extra because he was reamed out because of what I had done).

Cheers
 LongLensman
Joined: 9/7/2010
Msg: 20
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 9/15/2010 12:47:55 PM
There is one item that has always caused me concern.
When you are confronted by the local police for some infraction you've committed it seems that every country except Canada the officer will accept payment for your infraction on the spot.
I am dreading the possiblity of going to jail for trying to bribe an police officer in a country where the embassy has to intervene.
 LiliMarleen
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 21
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 9/15/2010 1:53:57 PM
To add to the haggling issue:

People will usually ask you w here you're from, and price the items accordingly. If you're American, don't admit it, because the price will be higher than for any other nationality.

Say you're Canadian, it'll get you a better price.

I always say I'm from Germany, which is true, originally, but definitely better than saying I'm American, which is also true.
 devilshaircut
Joined: 5/11/2008
Msg: 22
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 9/19/2010 10:13:56 AM
Also, respect that while you're on vacation, people who live where you are visiting are probably not and have places to go and work to do. It's very rude to stop right in the middle of the sidewalk or a path and pull out a map, gawk, or impede traffic. If you need to do any of that, step aside and out of the way. Also, if you're riding an escalator and aren't climbing the steps as it ascends, stand on the right (or whatever side is customary where you are) so that those who are in a hurry can get around you.
 mekong delta
Joined: 10/22/2009
Msg: 23
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Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 9/21/2010 10:56:18 PM
don't act as if you were superior than people around. that shows your selfishness and own insecurity.

Having served in the Marine Corps, I've had my fair share of "Liberty" (etiquette) briefs before venturing off in a Liberty Port. As a tourist I still practise the same ettiqette rules. The last thing I want to do is offend someone and cause an international incident. But that won't happen. I'll probably add to the sterotype of a typical American tourist: Loud, Fat, and Obnoxious. So what sort of the basic etiquette rules do you recommend for tourists? It doesn't matter where you are and whether you're the tourist or the resident. Share some of your experiences and tips. Here are just a few of mine. I'll share a few more when I can remember them:

Foreign toursit in the US:
-bad or non-tippers

Americans in Korea:
-turn your headlights off at traffic intersections so not to blind drivers on the other side of the intersection.

Americans in Europe:
-waiters don't serve you right away because they aren't rushing you to eat and leave.
 SweetnessInFlorida
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 24
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 12/19/2010 10:04:45 PM
I lived in a tourist town for years, some foreigners were awesome but others....well.........they had NO etiquette or respect whatsoever to our local culture.....and they call Americans obnoxious...hmmmmmmm.
 dawntreader10
Joined: 12/3/2010
Msg: 25
Travel Etiquette for Tourist
Posted: 12/28/2010 6:49:20 AM
DEF always carry a roll of TP, especially if you plan on venturing outside the normal tourist circuit, like I always do, lol....in Mexico, I've seen hole in floor, toilets with no toilet seat (very common - is there a seat theft ring in Mexico?), stone toilets, toilets that do not flush, and you just toss in a bucket of water, 'field toilets' where you literally go to a private area of a far field. Me personally, I don't care, as long as I can wash my hands afterwards. Oh, and carry bottled water. And don't expect to be instant friends with a fellow American, just b/c you're both Americans. Met a guy on a rural bus in Mexico once, and he assumed I wanted to talk, but he was loud and embarrassing, so I ignored him.
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