What not to do abroad
When going for a trip, we are trying to bite the biggest and the most delicious piece of the “tourist” pie and preferably with a cherry on top, because we often neglect some of the cultural rules of our destination. TRIPMYDREAM has prepared a list of things not to do or that you at least try to avoid during your pleasant journey.
Upon arrival at the destination, the first thing we usually do is to have a look on our temporary home, in other words, our hotel. To paraphrase a famous expression: ”Make yourself at home, but do not forget that you are in the hotel”. That is why we dare to give some advices about things better not to do in a hotel.
For example, the minibar, a beautiful dower chest full of various awesome treats and located in the most prominent place, can bring you not only to a few pleasant hours with a bottle of your favourite drink, but also a lot of unpleasant emotions later, when you get the bill. Believe us, it is better and cheaper to have a walk around the neighbourhood in search of a cosy wine supermarket or grocery store, instead of realizing the pricey and difficult road your Snickers had to take to your hotel room.
Experienced travellers advise not to lean out of the window (you can look for a hotels’ statistics) and not to drink from the cup in hotels (hello germophobia). When choosing a hotel, do not neglect the reviews and photos from real travellers. We all know that the tourist brochures rarely give us a trustworthy image of the real situation.
The main thing about communication with the locals is that every country has its own subtleties. We generally advise to check for them before travelling somewhere. Here are just a few examples:
First stop is the relationship with strangers. For example, it is normal to lean on a stranger in public transport in the US, but it is unacceptable for Swedes, who are obsessed with their personal space. While jumping the queue is not recommended anywhere, it is almost dangerous to do so in England and Scandinavia.
Before talking to someone, think about the topic of the conversation. In the predominantly atheist Norway people do not like to talk about the church, British usually prefer not to ask about income and if you gonna mention rugby or "Lord of the Rings", New Zealanders can be offended or drag you into a very long discussion about that.
Before going shopping abroad, read the local rules of the game. There are countries where bargaining is a part of the culture, people do it expressly, loudly and enthusiastically. For example, in India and in some countries of the Middle East, people, who refuse to bargain in order to buy something, may lose the respect of their peers.
The attitude towards tips is also different in every country. While in US rewarding waiters and staff is almost mandatory, waiters in Japan can even find your tip offensive.
In terms of sightseeing, we recommend you not to be tempted by the abundance of cabs with friendly drivers, but rather go for public transport. There are many advantages: public transport is still a part of the local culture, it is much less likely to get stuck in traffic, and the most important thing is that helpful taxi drivers usually try to make your trip as expensive and long as they can.
In addition, when making a list of the sights that you plan to visit, remember that you do not have to pay for everything. Of course, many interesting places are worth the entrance money, but in contrast to them, there are many other spots where you can go for free. This includes for example, the Tiergarten in Berlin or the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In other cases, do not hesitate to ask for discounts and benefits that you can possibly get (as a tourist or a student).
In order to save time and to spend it on the most interesting sites (especially, if you have only a couple of days) do not neglect the opportunity to make a reservation or buy tickets to the most popular destinations in advance. In addition, we strongly advise you not to ignore the neighbourhoods that are located close to the main attractions. Often you can discover a lot of exciting "non-touristic places" there. And finally, do not forget to take a map ;)