Travel Advice

Travel Tips – How to Not Offend the Locals

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Last Updated: Aug 24, 2016

A ticket, a place to stay, and travel allowance to your dream destination are not the only things you should be mindful of when you visit a foreign country. As a travel etiquette, you have the responsibility to be informed about what offends and what pleases the locals. This guide will also help you from embarrassing yourself too. You may say I didn’t mean it but if you want to truly enjoy your trip, you must blend it like you’re one of the locals.

1. A flick on the chin is offensive in Belgium, France, Northern Italy, and Tunisia. You may only want to scratch your annoying itch with a flick of your hands but be careful where you do it because for these countries it means “get lost”. 

2. The rock and roll index and pinky fingers gesture. This is very offensive in the Baltics, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Colombia, and Spain as this means your wife is unfaithful. 

3. The I-smell-bad-fish hand gestures is offensive in Southern Italy. If you accidentally raised your fingers to cover your nose for the bad smell, it could be translated you find whoever you’re talking to untrustworthy. 

4. Dress sensibly. In Saudi Arabia, women should wear abayas and loose clothing to cover their arms and legs. Same thing in Egypt. In Trinidad and Tobago, you shouldn’t wear camouflage shirts or pants as it is banned to imitate the military and other officials.

5. Know when and when not to tip. Here is an infographic of countries regarding tipping.

6. Know how to conduct yourself when eating. Here is an infographic of what you should and should not do while eating in specific countries. 

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