Lifestyle

Travel Tips – Tourist and Vacationers Etiquette

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Most of us take at least one vacation a year. Taking off on a whim of wanderlust inevitably means that you’re going to crash over at someone’s place, check into a hotel / resort or couch surf. Though there are varying levels of formality in these places, there’s basic etiquette that must be followed by tourists, which we often overlook or ignore.

I know, we’re on vacation. It’s time to let go. But over the years I have been outraged by the behaviour of so many tourists, either because they don’t clean up after them or are downright rude. You don’t want to leave a bad impression behind, do you ? Here are some helpful tourist/ traveller basics that you can keep in mind before you set out on your trip.

If you’re going to be crashing at a friend/ relative’s place :

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Blessed are those who have a free bed to crash on, right ? Well, the least one can do is be grateful for it. Always take a gift along if you’re going to board or lodge at someone’s place. You could also take them out for a meal as a sign of gratitude.

Always make your own bed and offer to help in the kitchen or with the meals, if they ask you to stay for dinner.

If they have pets and you’re allergic, politely stay away from wherever the pet is, you don’t want to inconvenience your host’s family.

When your stay is done, give them a small gift and a handwritten note as a nice touch. Don’t forget to invite them to stay over at your place, the next time around.

If you’re going to be staying at a hotel /lodge/ resort :

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Staying at hotels are the more comfortable (read pricier option ). Since you’re paying for their services, you can also avail several little luxuries like waking up when you want to and ordering in.

The little rules to abide by are –

● Respect local customs / hotel rules
● Don’t play very loud music or have a noisy party in your room
● If you smoke, use an ashtray to dust
● Don’t leave stuff thrown around, even though the hotel sends staff to clean up once a day, we can all use the dustbin provided instead.
● Do not leave taps running / dirty linen hanging around

It really isn’t that hard to leave your room a little presentable after you’re done using it.

Tips for visiting public places / tourist spots :

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Most places of public interest are thronged by tourists with cameras and locals trying to sell stuff. Here are some simple things to keep in mind :

– Read up on what clothing is acceptable locally, or what kind of outfits are generally worn in the area. You can’t go wrong with pants, a blouse and a jacket in most countries. However, some parts of the Middle East and Asia are more orthodox about dressing. Always dress modestly , especially if you’re travelling solo – it’s safer.

– Don’t stare. We don’t take kindly to people staring at us, so try to avoid staring too much at the locals, even if you are just curious about the local culture, some may find it offensive .

– Check if photography is allowed before going on a shooting spree, prohibited photography usually is fined. If you would like to click some locals, ask them if it’s okay before you take their picture.

– Read a bit about social customs locally. It helps if you’re going to be socialising or partying in the area – it isn’t okay to hug people publically in some countries etc.

Vacations are a great time to unwind; keeping some rules in place doesn’t just ensure a pleasant trip, it also ensures a safe and memorable one. Happy travels !

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