How to Learn Native Customs and Etiquette Expectations Before Arriving in Unfamiliar Destinations
It's important to learn native customs and etiquette expectations before visiting unfamiliar destinations. After all, the cultural norms that govern an area's customs and etiquette expectations can be very different from one location to the next. While certain things may be considered perfectly acceptable in one area, the same things could be highly insulting or even illegal in another. To help ensure you don't commit a cultural blunder that could land you in hot water, use these six methods for learning about the native customs and etiquette expectations of your chosen destination.
1. Look online.
There's a great deal of information online about the native customs and etiquette expectations for many regions around the globe. By performing a simple Google search and visiting travel sites and forums, you can learn more about the social expectations of your chosen destination.
2. Download an international etiquette app.
If you want to have a handy guide to international etiquette right at your fingertips, then download an international etiquette app. International etiquette apps are great for travelers because they are filled with tips and tricks for preventing cultural slip ups.
3. Read a travel guide.
Most travel guides contain a brief section about native customs. Many also provide a handy list of etiquette expectations that should be followed once you arrive. If you'll already be buying a travel guide about your chosen destination anyway, then pick one up with customs and etiquette information and give it a quick read before you arrive.
4. Speak with a travel agent.
If you've booked your excursion though a travel agent, ask them about your chosen destination's native customs and etiquette rules. They may be able to give you a brief rundown on the subject and possibly even provide pamphlets or other documentation to better assist you.
5. Consult a local.
The most accurate source of information when it comes to a country's native customs and etiquette expectations is often the locals themselves. If you know someone who currently lives in or has recently moved away from your chosen destination, ask them about the area's native customs and etiquette expectations.
If you'll be getting a tour of the area once you arrive, remember that your tour guide likely has valuable insights to share with you about the native customs and etiquette expectations for any areas you'll be visiting. Don't be afraid to ask them for advice if you are unsure about what to do in certain situations.
Though trying to learn about an area's customs and etiquette expectations is certainly worth the effort, please note that in many cases, social customs and etiquette expectations differ by gender, age, and an event's level of formality. Always keep this in mind while using the preceding methods for learning about your destination's cultural expectations; otherwise, the advice you receive may not apply to your individual situation.
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