How Not to Be an Offensive Tourist

Posted by on October 25, 2014

Traveling is fun if you leave and go back home without experiencing a single problem. But whether or not issues will arise, actually depends on you. Apparently, you have the power to ensure your trip is smooth sailing. How? By not offending the locals. Even with language as a barrier, you can ensure a fun trip by doing the following:


  1. Learning the local dialect

You don’t need to be a master at it, but you should learn a few useful phrases before you head out to a foreign country. It is difficult, yes. But the locals will greatly appreciate the effort you made and will be more than happy to help you out. If you can’t say anything much, learn how to say ‘thank you’ the right way. You’ll definitely survive your trip when you do.


  1. Learning the local dos and don’ts

A lot of tourists offend locals when they don’t dress appropriately or do hand gestures that are considered offensive. So before you fly out, make sure you know a few dos and donts, especially when traveling to places with religious rules. If you don’t want to be turned away at the entrance of the temples of Thailand, for example, dress appropriately. Don’t expose your knees and shoulders.


  1. Learning what faux pas to avoid

Did you know that, in France, it is offensive to offer to split the bill in a restaurant? If a local asks you to dine out, enjoy the moment and don’t even think about paying for what you’ve eaten. You should also know when not to use a knife and fork when eating. While it’s okay to eat with a knife and fork in Germany, it is offensive to cut food that is considered tender, such as dumpling or potato. Remember these tips and you’ll do just fine on your next vacation.

DSC_1868How Not to Be an Offensive Tourist photos by Pedro Ribeiro Simões, Ed Yourdon, Dick Vos and PARSHOTAM LAL TANDON

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