So, you think you have everything you need before your big trip? New suitcase – check! Plenty of sun cream – check! Passport and other travel documents – check? Respect – wait, what?
You might not realize it, but respect is one of the most important things that you need to take with you whenever you go on vacation, no matter where you are going. This is especially the case if you are going to be in a country that has a remarkably different culture to your own. There will be certain customs and traditions that you will be expected to follow, even if you don’t believe in them yourself. Not doing so would be extremely disrespectful and will put yourself and your country in a very bad light. In the worst case scenario, you might even end up being arrested.
As long as you are courteous and respectful during your trip, though, you won’t have too much to worry about. Here are some ways you can ensure you stay respectful throughout your whole getaway.
Research Before You Go
It’s a good idea to do plenty of research into your destination before you leave. That way, you can find out about all the local customs and etiquette that you might experience over there. You’ll also be able to find out about the attitudes of locals as well. SImply googling your destination will bring up a few different articles and blogs that will give you all the info you need. Some destinations that are particularly culturally sensitive have created apps that travelers can use to help them travel with the utmost respect.
Take A Phrase Book
If possible, you should take a few language lessons before you jet off. If that isn’t possible, then at the very least, buy a phrase book to take with you. You’ll be able to find basic phrase books in all kinds of languages. Speaking a foreign language won’t be easy, but putting in this effort will show locals that you are trying and that you are willing to reach out to them in their native tongue. They’ll really respect you for this!
Be Mindful Of How You Dress
There are quite a few religious countries that require people to cover up while they are out in public. Just because you are a tourist doesn’t mean that you are able to ignore these dress codes. When you are doing all your holiday shopping, you should try and find some socially conscious fashion that will be acceptable to wear at your destination. You then won’t get into any trouble for wearing a skimpy outfit! For example, the dress code for The Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and St. Peter’s Basilica requires that both men and women have their shoulders and knees covered.
Ask Before You Take Any Pictures
You will no doubt want to take plenty of holiday snaps while you are traveling, but you should always ask before you snap any. Some locals might feel that taking pictures of their religious temples and shrines is disrespectful, and they might get angry and upset if you try to capture them with your camera.
Follow these tips, and you will have heaps of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.