Locals Share The Rules In Their Country That Tourists Have No Clue About

Locals Share The Rules In Their Country That Tourists Have No Clue About

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Have you ever traveled outside of your city or state only to find that some other places in the world (even if they’re just a short drive away) are wildly different? In California, they don’t allow grocery shoppers to use plastic bags. Shoppers are supposed to bring reusable bags or are forced to pay a ten-cent fee per plastic bag. How would you know that if you’ve never been there before? When you travel to a new place, sometimes there are unspoken “rules” that you only find out after it’s too late….

Photo: creativecommons.org/cboyle112

If things can be that different from state to state, imagine how different things will be when you travel abroad! From certain ways of eating to being completely unable to use your credit or debit card, lots of tourists and travelers have been taken by surprise by a country or city’s unspoken rules. Thankfully, the people of the internet joined forces to share the obscure but important rules of their country so that visitors can have a leg up.

Things to Know in Australia 

Tourists in Australia make three mistakes. They overestimate their knowledge of and capacity to swim in the ocean. They ignore crocodile warning signs. They drive off into the outback without telling anyone where they’re going without a reliable 4×4, recovery gear, spares, or even rudimentary bush skills. They don’t carry a 2-way radio, satellite phone, extra fuel or water….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Ciamillo Hydrotours

All of these things result in death many times each year, often of entire families, and it’s nearly always tourists that perish. After simply swimming in the ocean, it’s this inability to fully grasp the heat and distances that cause most accidental tourist-related fatalities in Australia. Make sure that you’re fully prepared so that you eliminate any chance of danger. Reddit User: Reese Mac

Not Just Men in Silly Hats

People think the Royal Guard in London is just men in silly hats who aren’t allowed to move. They’re the Coldstream Guards, Blues and Royals, and the Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards. They’re battle-hardened soldiers. Guarding the queen in their formal uniform is a huge honor. And the SA80s are loaded. Just be aware of this when visiting the palace in the UK…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Neuwieser

Be respectful of these guards who are honored to be serving their queen and guarding her and her family. Take your pictures, of course; it’s a lot of fun, and they probably appreciate it. But don’t touch their uniform or try to mock them. Making them laugh is great fun, and they probably have so many stories to tell their families because of your stupidity. Reddit User: LeahUK

The Taxi Drivers of Greece 

The silliest thing about tourists who come to visit is the fact that they trust the taxi drivers. This is your first mistake right here. Never trust one if you’re in Greece; you’re just asking to be overcharged. Stick to renting a car, or at the very least, ask some locals for typical prices beforehand. They’re not going to rob you, but they’ll technically commit daylight robbery…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Kai Hendry

It’s not just the over-charging when it comes to taxi drivers, it’s the complete lack of professionalism. Especially those in the islands are completely shameless, and they even try to rip off Greeks if they aren’t locals. Do your research before going to Greece and make sure that you have a car pre-booked or reliable taxi service that you trust the pricing of. Don’t make that mistake. Reddit User: I_hate_traveling

Hiking in Norway 

This is for those visiting Norway. Tourists arriving by cruise ships bus to where the paths to popular mountain treks begin, and then they start out in sandals or high heels wearing shorts and t-shirts. Most make it part of the way, and then local volunteer rescue services have to help them back down, as they’re cold and exhausted. Some make it all the way up, and by then, it’s dark, and they get lost, and again we’ll have to send out a volunteer rescue crew or a rescue helicopter….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Bobbie

There are signs where the buses drop them off warning them to be dressed properly, and there are volunteers stationed there during high season actually telling them that they shouldn’t be doing the hike because of weather or because of what they’re wearing. They also tend not to be able to speak English or Norwegian, so communication with rescue services is extremely difficult. Reddit User: roffvald

Avoiding New Zealand Road Rage  

New Zealanders have a unanimous hatred for people renting juicy campers and doing 20km under the speed limit. We get tourists that have never driven before or have super limited experience who are legitimately dangerous. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you decide to make a trip like that in a camper van, please. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/humbert15

We know that it’s an affordable way to travel around New Zealand, but you’ll just end up making a lot of people experience road rage if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you don’t have experience in this kind of vehicle, rather rent one that you know how to drive and book some hotels or accommodation along the route; there are affordable options. Reddit User: StaffroomFruit

A Change of Dates in the Netherlands

Here’s the back story: It was a thing in the Netherlands that on the 30th of April, we celebrated our Queen Beatrix’s birthday. It’s printed in all tour guides in other countries. Her actual birthday is in January, but they put it in April because that was the birthday of our late Queen Juliana (Beatrix’s mother). And also because the weather is better in April. A few years ago, Beatrix abdicated the crown, and now we have a king…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/rokhodej

His actual birthday is on the 27th of April, so now our ‘Kingsday’ is actually on the 27th. This has not been amended yet in tour guides across the border. So every year on the 30th of April, we see tourists dressed in orange, which is the color of our royal house. They’re super hammered in the streets looking for the parties, while those were all 3 days prior. And because most tourists only stay for a day or two, there’s no way for them to know. Reddit User: Hefaistros

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say 

I’m from Mexico. We get this a lot with spring breakers; more people in Mexico speak English than most tourists realize. When you go on your Fox News/CNN spiel about the state of affairs in our country, make comments or jokes about the narcs, getting abducted, mugged, or poke fun at Mexican stereotypes, more people than you think can understand you, and it makes you look like a jerk…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Carl Campbell

So just don’t, okay? We’re opening up our beautiful country to you, and we want you to really enjoy it. However, we don’t enjoy your visits when you’re making fun of us. We’re welcoming you into our home and don’t appreciate it when you’re rude. There’s so much to see and explore in Mexico; spend your spring break enjoying that rather than putting people down. Reddit User: angryavocadotree

Pack Your Jackets for Norway  

This is for Norway, everyone. The tourists, especially American tourists, think that the midnight sun is a completely different sun from what we see during the day. Not so much a mistake as it is stupidity. Oh, and yes, northern Norway is cold. It’s cold during the summer, and it’s cold during the winter. No, you shouldn’t pack just light clothes when visiting Norway…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/oskay

Packing a jacket should be mandatory. Check out weather reports before your trip to Norway and plan your many outfits around that. Visit your local camping store and invest in a down jacket to see you through your trip. You’ll be miserable if you come and visit and don’t want to go outside and explore because you’re actually too cold and too stupid. Reddit User: [redacted]

You Don’t Have to Bring Us Down  

America is a very diverse country, with a diverse culture and people’s political mindsets. I would really warn people not from America from just launching into politics and our problems as a country as an open discussion, especially if you don’t know the person. Sure, some Americans might love to talk about it, but for many, including me, it’s just not polite conversation to talk about Trump, Clinton, and weapons….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Gage Skidmore

Many of us know our country has flaws, and we really do know that we aren’t perfect, but it’s quite rude to point this out without provocation and with lots of pontification about your home country. Sure, there are exceptions to this, and yes, some love to talk politics, but I think the silent majority in America really doesn’t care about it, and having an outsider bringing it up can come off as rude and negative towards them. Reddit User: palbuddy1234

The Rules of Dining With Friends  

In Brazil, if you’re going to eat, it’s considered very impolite if you don’t offer some of your food to the person you’re talking to. If you go to a restaurant, everybody at the table asks if people want a bite before they start eating. Even if you just have one piece of chewing gum and it’s the first time you met that person, you must offer it unless you want to come off as rude….

Photo: creativecommons.org/fabola

To be fair, everyone understands that this is a social nicety, so most people just say “no thanks” because the other person may not want to really split their food. But sometimes people may see you as impolite if you don’t accept the food. It’s complicated because sometimes you don’t know if you should accept or decline. It’s very common to eat a whole meal while you’re not hungry just to please your hosts. Reddit User: popularproblems

Close Your Car Door Softly  

Hello from Costa Rica. Do not, I repeat, do not slam people’s car doors, especially the doors of the taxis. Try to be gentle when getting in and out. I wouldn’t call it extremely offensive, but people will definitely give you the stink eye for that. Some rude taxi drivers could even give you a hard time. It’s a very simple rule to be aware of and one that could save you a lot of problems. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/kennethkonica

Think about it; if you were driving around and someone got out and slammed your door, you probably wouldn’t be very happy with them either. It’s all about respecting other people’s property and also the service that they’re providing you. Be gracious, say thank you, and close their door gently…but not too gently so that you have to try and close it again and again. Reddit User: david_creek

Don’t Blow Your Nose in Iceland  

There’s something that people visiting Iceland should know about. In our country, not much is considered extremely offensive, but blowing your nose will get you some side-eye. Be like the locals and just hork it back down to where it came from. This may sound gross, but if you’re just here for a short vacation, get with the locals and do as they do. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Urthstripe

When you’re in the private space of your hotel room or accommodation, you can do whatever you want and blow your nose as much as you want to. When you’re in public, try and adopt the local culture, and you’ll be welcomed. Also, bring your vitamins so that you don’t get sick, which could cause you to want to blow your nose a lot; solution for the problem right there. Reddit User: count_olaf_lucafont

They Aren’t Called Eskimos 

I’m from Canada, and I have a message for those who want to come and visit. Calling the Inuit or Inuvialuit (or any of the other far north aboriginal nations) Eskimos is seen as pretty ignorant and offensive, if not downright racist. It means “eater of raw meat” and was a name given to them by non-Inuit people. Just don’t do it. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/realholdencaulfield

Respect their culture and their heritage. They’re an amazing group of people, and they deserve to be treated well by everyone, and that goes for ignorant tourists as well. It’s all about getting to know the ways of the country you’re visiting so that you don’t make a mistake like that that could really hurt someone’s feelings and offend them. Reddit User: Ondaii

We’ll Pray for You in France 

In France, saying “I’ll pray for you” after hearing about someone having trouble is pretty much like saying, “I won’t move a finger to help you in any way, but it would be rude to say it like that.” We mostly are not a very religious people; the clergy were seen as the accomplices of tyranny during the revolution and kept this image afterwards, and most people think that praying is a convenient way to not be helpful while pretending you do something.

Photo: creativecommons.org/Johnragai-Moment Catcher

We know that for you, this might have some proper meaning behind it when you say that, but also respect the background of the country you’ve traveled to. If you do say this to someone, make sure they understand your background too so that they know that these words are actually coming from a very genuine place. Good luck, we’ll pray for you. Reddit User: SalatKartoffel

Hong Kong Versus China

I’m a Hong Konger here. Many of us really hate people treating Hong Kong as China. Some of us even loathe being addressed as a Chinese. Though Hong Kong is being ruled by China, we have a different lifestyle, local culture, language, and political and legal system than the rest of China. And for the foreigners who speak or are learning Mandarin, while we appreciate the effort…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Limburg

You try to talk to us in one of the spoken Chinese languages; Cantonese is the mother tongue for most of us. Though many of us understand Mandarin, I’d say you’re better off speaking in English instead. Just to clarify a bit, most of us do not reject being considered “Chinese” in a cultural sense, and I personally am proud to be Chinese. Reddit User: diepig2000

Don’t Have the Last Bite 

Dutch here. One of our big no-no’s is taking the last cookie or snack from the plate. It’s all about social etiquette, and this is an important one to know before you decide to pay us a visit. So imagine this. You’re at a typical Dutch birthday party, and the host has brought a bowl or plate full of delicious snacks. Go ahead and eat away, because that’s the only way we enjoy the party…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Charleston’s TheDigitel

But beware: if there’s only one snack left, god forbid anyone takes it. Because that would be impolite for the potential other person that would like to have it. If you’re dying for more snacks, then you should go and buy some more for yourself to eat after the party. I’m not sure why this is a thing; it’s a thing, and you should be aware of it. Reddit User: NyteMyre

Middle Eastern Ways 

My family is Middle Eastern, but I see this as a trait in Mediterranean people in general as well. Eat the food we offer you. All of it. Eat the seconds the matriarch of the house is putting on your plate. Eat the fruit they give you, drink the tea, and eat more. Eat it all. If you refuse more food, the matriarch will assume you’re lying because you hate the food…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Infrogmation

Or they’ll think you’re lying because you’re shy. And if you annoy the matriarch of the household, everyone in the family is obligated to take her side, even if they don’t really care. So if you’re ever visiting an Arab, Italian, or Greek family, come as hungry as possible. Plus, the food is really delicious and worth a try. Your taste buds will thank you for it later. Reddit User: [redacted]

The Elderly in the USA 

USA here. Couple things: unless you’re at a flea market, garage sale, car dealership, or coupon matching, we don’t haggle with prices. What you see is what you get. Indians and people from certain Middle Eastern countries don’t get this and will try and haggle over a purse in Target. It makes the sales associate uncomfortable, and no, the manager cannot haggle either….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Bengt Nyman

South Koreans: while we respect our grandparents, they cannot elbow their way to the front of the line, insult our youth, or demand our seat on the bus or in a restaurant. Please tell your grandparents that it’s not acceptable to be a bully, even in old age. Yes, we Americans respect and love our elderly, but we don’t appreciate it when they’re like that. Reddit User: veronyca73

Respect the Canadian Wildlife

This is from the Canadians. People who come to visit Canada seem to have absolutely no respect for the incredible wildlife that we’re so fortunate to have in our country. Tourists, please take note that this behavior is not acceptable, and you should not do it. Parking in the middle of the road on a blind corner to take photos of wildlife is unsafe for both animals and cars…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/iwona_kellie

The next thing is that it’s a really bad idea to be standing five feet away from two grizzly bear cubs to snap a few photos with the mother nowhere in sight. Don’t go about pitching a tent in the middle of tidal flats on low tide. And lastly, stopping in the middle of a one-lane car/train tunnel to take photos and holding up all other traffic is bad. Reddit User: [redacted]

The Rules of the Pub 

At a pub in the U.K., there’s a precise queue. It might not look like it, but the barman or lady knows exactly what order to serve people in based upon when they arrived at the bar. You will not be served quicker by trying to catch their attention or fluttering money; that will actually move you to the back of the unknown queue….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Grayskullduggery

However, they may serve a local before you. That’s their prerogative, and you shouldn’t kick up a fuss. Maybe old Derek has seen some stuff in his time, or maybe he once saved the bar from robbery. Either way, it’s their choice. Note that this rule doesn’t apply so much in bars and certainly not in clubs where the traditional ‘girls with cleavage’ rule applies. Reddit User: BaBaFiCo

The Currency of Canada

Canadian here. It’s not really considered to be offensive, but it’s very annoying when people raise a fuss about not being able to pay in U.S. currency, or if stores you are at do accept it, they accept it at par. Stores are not banks, and you’re in another country. You have no idea how often I had to deal with this when I worked at a gas station near a campground like 200 miles north of the border….

Photo: creativecommons.org/austinevan

You need to consider yourself just like any other tourist who is coming to Canada. Make sure that you have our currency so that it’s easier for both you and for us. These days it’s so easy to create an account that functions globally with minimal bank charges. It will cost you a lot more in effort if you don’t make an effort to use our currency in Canada. Reddit User: [redacted]

Know What to Expect from Norway 

The rules and know-how of Norway are as follows: it’s a tie between expecting to see the midnight sun and the northern lights on the same trip. This is physically impossible unless you’re staying for literal months or not bringing enough money. Actually mostly not bringing enough money. Thinking the country is about the size of maybe Belgium is another thing…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/sanderovski

Norway is long and narrow. Like taking a slice of the eastern seaboard of the U.S., except with more mountains and fewer roads. Enjoy the country for what it is, and don’t expect it to be something that it isn’t. We’re so lucky to live in Norway, and you’re so lucky to be able to travel here; make sure you’re prepared and know what to expect. Reddit User: flodnak

Pack Your Sunscreen for New Zealand 

Wear sunscreen when you’re visiting New Zealand. I’ve lived in New Zealand my whole life, and the sun is strong. I burn so easily if I don’t wear sunscreen. A family friend of mine who’s from Australia came over here for a holiday once. We were all getting prepped for a beach day, and my mum tells us to put on sunscreen…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/mmmm-cakes

My family friend, who is very tan, says, “I don’t burn, I’m good.” My mum then questions him, telling him the New Zealand sun is different from the Australian sun. He says, “It’s actually hotter in Australia, so yeah, nah, I’ll be fine.” Fast forward to the end of the day and my family friend is burnt to an absolute crisp. Like he couldn’t move. The worst sunburn I’ve ever seen. Reddit User: wontedveil5254

Where Did You Park Your Car? 

I’m from Boston, MA, USA. People always ask me to say, “I paaaaked my caaa attt thaaa Havvvvvvaaaddd yaaaaaaaaddd” (I parked my car at the Harvard yard). You can’t park your car in the Harvard yard unless you’re a freshman moving in or you’re at a memorial service and you’re disabled. So forget those who ask people from Boston to say that….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Ken Lund

We get that you think our accent is funny or something, but really, it’s not necessary to constantly ask us to say that. Or actually get us to say something that makes sense and not the above phrase. We don’t go around asking you to say silly things in your silly accent, do we? All that being said, come and visit Boston, we’d love to have you here; just don’t ask us to say that. Reddit User: STEVEMERCURIOISKING

The Tips in Sweden 

Here in Sweden, tips are automatically included in the bill you pay and as a percentage of the total price; I can’t remember the exact number. I think this is kind of funny. It assumes you, as a customer, are pleased. This makes us Swedes really awkward at the whole ritual, and plus, our culture doesn’t really promote a “reward” system…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Christopher Elison

If the waiter or the food stinks, you suffer in silence and talk about it in the car ride home. Other countries have far better systems where a tip is your incentive to provide good service and experience when you are out at a restaurant. Here, you get what you get, and that’s about it. It really discourages people from working hard in the service industry. Reddit User: Negevspaden

Keeping Up With New York City 

Tourists in New York City have an awful habit of stopping everywhere for pictures and being obnoxious about it. It wouldn’t be that bad, but they’re doing it in the middle of the sidewalk. And if you’ve ever been to New York, you should be aware of the aggressive walkers during rush hour and also during lunch hours in the city….

Photo: creativecommons.org/ncole458

New York City is fast-paced, and nobody is going to slow down for you, even if you’re an unsuspecting tourist. Keep up with the pace and you’ll do fine. Also, be considerate when you’re taking pictures. We think it’s great that you’re so excited to be here, but remember that other people might not be on holiday, and you’re just getting in their way. Reddit User: MusicEnthusiast007

Cherry Blossoms Instead 

The biggest mistake a tourist can make is probably assuming all of Japan is a magical safe place. You still need to keep your wits about you and be aware of where you are and who’s around you. Not everyone is smiles and Hello Kitty stickers and toys. Also, going to host clubs is another one. Host clubs and those other places.… 

Photo: creativecommons.org/JoshBerglund19

Loophole legal places are really dangerous and are usually affiliated with criminal elements. This is probably when you get too immersed in the culture of Japan and you should stick to the lighter side of life. Why not go and enjoy the cherry blossom trees instead? The only thing they can do to you is give you bad allergies on your trip. Reddit User: [redacted]

The Hectic Heat of Arizona

For those of you who are planning a trip to Arizona. Do not come in the summer. “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat….” So is sticking your head in a pizza oven. Of course, there’s severe dehydration, then heatstroke. People don’t drink enough water, ever. Plan your trip around our seasons and come at a time of year when the heat is manageable, and you can explore outside and not just sit in an air-conditioned room…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Sheba_Also 43,000 photos

Another thing, please don’t jerk around the edge of the Grand Canyon. Dumb people fall in or off hiking trails monthly. We know that it really is the ultimate spot to take selfies and do photography, but is that selfie really worth your life at the end of the day? Take your photos, but just be safe and not stupid when you’re doing that. Reddit User: FirebirdTA

Live a Little in South Florida

This is specific to South Florida, but this applies to most places. It’s annoying when tourists come to a place and then actively avoid anything that makes the local place interesting. Especially with the food, people will go to downtown Fort Lauderdale and eat at the Cheesecake Factory when for a solid mile, there are a ton of fantastic restaurants in the same price range….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

Why would you wait an hour to eat at a place that’s identical to the place by where you live? Live a little when you go on trips. There’s no point in traveling if you’re going to do the exact same thing that you would if you were at home. Eat the food, talk to the people, and just enjoy your visit to South Florida; eat from the Cheesecake Factory when you go home. Reddit User: RobDem5

It’s Time for a Siesta 

You see, every tourist that comes to Spain thinks we are a lazy bunch because everything is closed from 14:00 to 17:00. Yes, for several hours right in the middle of the day. Then they go to Sevilla in summer and just collapse from heatstroke. Every year, more tourists than locals fall victim, like 1/100. Seriously, don’t go sightseeing between those hours. That’s what “siesta” was created for…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Magic Robot

Take a bit of time to chill outside of the heat and refresh yourself for a night of fun and margaritas. You’ll thank us later when you aren’t feeling so wrecked from the day that you’re unable to enjoy the rest of your trip to beautiful Spain. Also, learn a few words in Spanish; it will help you to enjoy your holiday even more. Reddit User: MaxiEsp

In the Grand Canyon 

In the U.S., I see a lot of East Asian and Indian tourists at national parks. They tend to be dressed in really bad clothes for hiking and not well prepared compared to the regular American hikers. I see girls in high heels and guys in flip flops trying not to slip. The worst one was this Indian guy in the Grand Canyon….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Vicente Mas

He only had one bottle of water, and he was on his way back up. The guy was incoherent, stumbling next to a thousand-foot cliff, and refused our help. I hope he made it out alive. You don’t realize how the elements can affect you until you’re actually in that situation. Be prepared and you’ll have a great time; come unprepared and face them at your peril. Reddit User: of_skies_and_seas

Don’t Cram Everything into One Weekend 

People who think they can get by on public transportation and do everything in a day or so in big US cities. It’s definitely possible to use buses and trains, but it’ll take more than a day to see all the big attractions. It’s nearly impossible to get to parts of the Westside by bus, and the buses often run late. It’s not like New York or San Francisco….

Photo: creativecommons.org/allynfolksjr

Then the people who think they can see Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Sequoia, San Francisco, San Diego, and L.A. all in a weekend. California is a huge state that can take weeks or even months to explore completely. I’ve lived here for fifteen years of my life, and I’ve only scraped the surface of things to do here. I found it much better to just dedicate your trip to one region/city and just come back a few times. Reddit User: [redacted]

The Welsh Rugby Games  

At a Welsh rugby game, the bigger the crowd, the better. You’ll get to hear a true Welsh choir. They all sing slightly off-key, and it melts into something really emotional. This should be on every tourist’s must-do list if they decide to come for a visit. It’s something that you’ll never forget and an experience that will really add to your trip….

Photo: creativecommons.org/lorenkerns

Also, go and see a pantomime. The season usually runs from December to January. Childish humor (oh no, it isn’t!) with innuendo and double entendres that the kids laugh at only because the adults are laughing. The Welsh have a lot of fun culture to enjoy, and you’ll have a great time. This is why it’s so important to get involved with the locals when you’re on a trip. Reddit User: jm51

The Cops and the Kangaroos 

This tourist rule comes from the land down under and is for Australia. First: cops and speed cameras are everywhere. I just drove 2,000+ miles in the U.S. and saw three cops checking people’s speed. On the 100+ mile drive home from the airport this morning, I saw two cops and passed eight fixed speed cameras. Fines start at around $350 and go up from there….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Percita

Most cops will give you 5km/h leeway, and fixed cameras range from 1-7km/h. Second: wildlife at night. A kangaroo will jump through your windscreen, kick your skull in, and then bounce away. Just stop and stay the night in a hotel. Look after yourself and also be considerate of the wildlife; this was their home first, and you’re just visiting. Reddit User: blackterritory

Meet the Real People of the Country  

For almost every country, it’s the same. People come and visit the big cities, the big landmarks, and the same old beaten path. When I go to these places, it doesn’t feel like “my country,” it feels like a tourist trap. Meet the real people, eat the real food, and stay in a hotel that doesn’t charge you $300+ a night instead…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/veni markovski

But for some, seeing the big buildings, eating the “traditional” foods, and buying the “I (heart) ____” t-shirt is “experiencing” the culture. It’s not. You just got sold over-priced food, over-priced souvenirs, and over-priced tours. If you actually went to a local store, you could buy some real souvenirs. Well, you know what they say: to each his own, I suppose. Reddit User: bsbbtnh

A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way  

Coming from a service industry worker in Orlando, I hate it when tourists aren’t being polite to people. Really, a little kindness can go a long way; that is, tipping or leaving a note for your maid, or even just being half tidy. Giving things you don’t want to an employee when leaving the fitting room or the store; you don’t even have to put it on the hanger…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Sheba_Also 43,000 photos

Not giving cast members a hard time for simply doing their job or enforcing a policy or complaining about said policies to lower-level workers; we may agree, but we have no say in it. Every country has its own way of doing things, and the two cents that you’re adding isn’t welcomed, and you should keep it to yourself. Reddit User: kaymt2

Avoid Hand Gestures in Turkey 

Well, in Turkey, my suggestion is that tourists should avoid hand gestures in general. Especially the one where you steal somebody’s nose like you sometimes would do with little kids. That very same gesture means something offensive in Turkey, and people will not understand or try to listen to your explanation. Also, asking if we’re Arabs or if we ride camels, etc. will offend a lot of people…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/☺ Lee J Haywood

And it’s not the best way to communicate if you require some sort of help or advice from them. There are very big cultural differences, and we want to be respected and respectful to everyone. We have so many amazing adventures you can take part in, but riding camels is not one of them. Hot air balloon ride? We’ve got you sorted for that. Reddit User: vaffanculoporcodio

The King of Thailand 

I live in Thailand. Don’t touch people on their heads. It’s the highest point of the body, so therefore it’s the most respected part. Also, never point your feet at a Buddha statue, it’s considered very rude. This happens so often, by accident probably, with all the tourists who go explore Thailand and don’t know that they shouldn’t be doing this….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Al Pavangkanan

Also, if you step on money, you’ll be thrown in jail because it has the king’s face on it. Disrespecting the monarchy in any way, like stepping on his image or saying you hate him, will get you a one-way ticket to a not very nice prison. In any country, you should be respectful of the ruler, as there are people who treasure their rulers very much. Reddit User: KakatteKoi

An Irish Car Bomb 

In Ireland, if you’re in a pub or at a bar, never order a ‘Black and Tan’ or an ‘Irish Car Bomb.’ The former was the common name for the Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve during the Irish War of independence. They’re infamous for their violent and extreme treatment towards the Irish people. You should order a ‘half and half’ instead….

Photo: creativecommons.org/Magic Robot

The latter is because we don’t want to be associated with criminal elements, and people tend to make a mess drinking them. There are a few places where it’s okay to order these, but they’re more of an exception rather than the rule. If you’re a tourist, you might pass, but try to be on the safe side so you don’t end up offending anyone. Reddit User: MisterDeclan

The Right Arm Raise in Germany 

So, German here: doing the famous greeting, saying ‘Heil Hitler,’ and showing the swastika are illegal here. It’s obviously very inappropriate to visit Germany and pose with your right arm raised for photos, especially when visiting a historically or culturally important place, and yet tourists keep getting into trouble because of this. We don’t censor books, movies, or similar…. 

Photo: creativecommons.org/Krowten

We are, in fact, very open with our history. It is, though, prohibited to worship the old political party. Germany has free speech, but we draw the line when it comes to hate speech. Our first and most important basic right roughly translates as: “A person’s dignity mustn’t be violated.” This is more important to us than complete free speech, and considering our history, that makes a lot of sense. Reddit User: KairyuSmartie