For many of us, travelling abroad is one of our favourite past times as it gives us a chance to escape from our everyday lives, and enjoy a change of scenery. However, while it’s a wonderful experience, many of us often don’t appreciate that we’ve travelled to a country that has different cultural values and laws to our own. As a result, we can place ourselves in awkward situations that cause a great amount of embarrassment for all concerned. Furthermore, we usually stick to what we know: our social norms become our staple go to instead of embracing change and immersing ourselves in a new culture. To save you getting red faced the next time you’re away, we want to give a few handy tips on how to become one with the local culture when on holiday.
The best way of getting involved with the local culture is to rent a house or apartment abroad from sites such as www.housetrip.com instead of relying on a hotel. By choosing to stay in a more traditional abode of the destination, you can learn how the residents live, and it will enable you to polish up on your language skills. This is ideal if you intend to travel to more remote locations, far removed from hordes of tourists. Housetrip provides a place for you to stay that helps you break away from the tried and tested hotels, and will give you a better chance of becoming part of the community while on your holiday
Prior to your travels, one of the most important things you can do is research about the area you’ll be staying, and any other locations you intend to visit. Not only does this help to prevent any difficult pleasantries, but it will also allow you to discover facts and history about a place you may not have known beforehand. One of the most useful sources you can engage with is blogs – blogs are normally less formal than a travel guide, and as such have more personal experiences for you to read. What is more, they’ll usually suggest you visit an area that isn’t a main tourist attraction, meaning you get to uncover hidden gems as well as popular landmarks.
In addition to this, it’s always a good idea to try and learn some basic phrases and sentences before going travelling. Not only does it show you’re wanting to be involved with the local atmosphere, but it’s also helpful for anyone you come into contact with who doesn’t speak the same language as yourself. In choosing to practice your linguistics, it’s always good to keep a book to hand with the information you need – by knowing what’s acceptable and how to pronounce a word, you can avoid offending someone.
Lastly, try and learn what certain gestures and dress codes signify elsewhere, for example baring your shoulders and legs while in a place of worship in Italy is seen as disrespectful.
As you can see, there are lots of things to consider and research about before you travel abroad. Save yourself time and embarrassment by learning about the destination you’re travelling to – it might take extra effort, but it could save you no end of awkward moments in the long run.