Things To Know When Vacationing Overseas
Vacationing in a foreign country is a wonderful, exciting experience whether it’s your first or third overseas trip. What is important to remember is that every country is different, including having different laws and customs. Follow the tips below to enjoy a pleasant vacation.
Spend some time before you travel to learn phrases in the language of the country you are visiting. Some important things to learn are greetings, road signs, how to ask where the bathroom is located, how to ask for a police officer, and how to ask about medical facilities. You also want to learn how to read signs in buildings. If there is a fire alarm, you want the exit, not the bathroom! Since you are probably not fluent in the language of the country, take a translation tool with you. There are translation apps for smart phones and electronic translation devices. It doesn’t hurt to also take a dictionary, just in case your batteries are low.
Do some research to learn local customs. If spitting on the sidewalk is a crime where you are going, you should learn that before you get arrested in a foreign country. If burping in a restaurant is encouraged, you can take care to not embarrass yourself by staring or commenting negatively. One excellent example of culture clash is the arrest of a woman in the United States who left her infant in a stroller outside a store. In the woman’s home country this is not only accepted, but also common. She was eventually released, at which time she retrieved her child from social services and went back to her home country. Imagine if you were an American in her country, and had called the police to report babies unattended in carriages outside a shop. You would be embarrassed when you learned that you wasted the officer’s time.
Find out what the tipping practices are in the area where you plan to travel. In some areas it is customary to tip every service person you come in contact with, in others, tips are insulting. It is a good idea to learn how you should tip to avoid any misunderstandings. Also, learn how much it is customary to tip. If you are in Thailand and a 10 baht tip is normal, you do not want to tip 100 baht. Likewise, you don’t want to tip 1 baht in such an instance.
When you are vacationing overseas, remember that you are visiting someone’s home. The people who live where you are traveling are kind enough to allow you to visit and enjoy what the location has to offer. Grumbling because the locals do not speak your language is rude. Be polite and considerate. If you do not understand something, people are generally happy to help as long as you are being respectful.
Remember that traveling overseas may be a once in a lifetime experience. Learn all you can before taking off on your adventure. Enjoy your vacation, and make the most of every day overseas with the tips listed above.