Travel Advice

7 Things To Avoid When Making Foreign Trips

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Last Updated: May 19, 2016

Are you planning to make a trip to a foreign country in the coming days, weeks or months? If yes, there are certain things you should avoid depending on your travel destinations and reasons behind your trip. It’s worth noting that every country observes its own customs and rules which you are expected for follow. You should therefore adapt yourself to the customs and cultures of the country you are planning to visit. Also learn to respect the rules of the country you are heading to. By getting to know what you should not do in a foreign country, you stand a better chance of avoiding controversies that can at times be disastrous. Let’s look at 7 things you should avoid when traveling abroad:

1. Do Not Dress Indecently

Do Not Dress Indecently
Your dress code should comply with what sounds decent for your travel country in every occasion. For instance, many European countries allow wearing a coat and a suit, but majority of Asian countries prefer a dress code that suits their cultures. On the same note, many countries don’t like the idea of wearing shorts and jeans, while others consider it normal. Simply put, your dress code should match with what the locals in your travel country are wearing. Bear in mind that their dress code could be seasonal.

2. Don’t Engage in Behaviors Considered Unclean or Unhealthy

Some people, especially those hailing from Northern states and others from Western states have uncouth habits of chewing betel leaves and tobacco. As a result, they have the constant urge to spit out remnants in public places. It’s worth refraining from such behaviors if you go to a foreign country. You may find yourself in collision with the local administration if you engage in some behaviors considered to be unhealthy or unclean.

3. Avoid Rude Sign Language

Display of the thumbs up sign is considered as appropriate in many countries. However, in countries such as Iran, Turkey and Bangladesh, the thumps up sign relates to something different. If you are traveling to a country like Malaysia, shun from pointing fingers other than your thumb. Indonesians consider the use of the left hand as disrespectful. Many countries consider patting someone’s head as a sign of appreciation, but you should avoid it if you are in countries where Buddhism is the main religion.

4. Do Not Drink Alcohol

Do Not Drink Alcohol
Majority of Islamic countries are very strict on alcohol use, which they consider as blasphemy if you offer a gift of alcohol bottle to a true Muslim. If you are traveling to the Middle East countries, avoid use of alcohol in public places other than while in resorts where alcoholism is allowed. Alternatively, drink your beers in confinement of your house. It’s also good to avoid displaying your alcoholic behaviors in such countries.

5. Avoid Condoning Culture

There is no country in this world that doesn’t have its own cultural and ritual practices. Never try to engage in an activity that may be considered disrespectful to cultural and ritual practices of a given country. For instance, always remove your shoes when entering a Buddhist temple. Also, cover your shoulders before getting inside a European church. Credit to fanatics, each religion should be given the respect it sternly ought to have. Condoning culture can sound like an insult and put your life at risk. On that note, get familiar with cultural practices of a foreign country you intend to travel.

6. Avoid Showing Affection Publicly

It’s normal to hug and kiss in public places in European and other developed countries. However, displaying affections in public in some Asian countries, particularly in the Middle East can put you in trouble with the administration.

7. Don’t Put Your Life at Risk

It’s common to use shortcuts while walking or driving in a foreign country but this can put your life at a risk. Walking alone after dark in some countries can be dangerous. Whenever you can, take a cab or ensure that you check the reviews of your hotel booking.

Read Also: How To Take Amazing Travel Photos: The Best Tips From A Pro


There are very many things you should not do if you are traveling abroad, but these are just seven that are considered to be important. To avoid facing the unknown when on a foreign trip, it is recommendable to conduct comprehensive research on the country you are planning to visit. A tour guide or a local residence can also be helpful in case you don’t have enough time to conduct your own research.

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