For my first post giving my advice for traveling, I wanted to think of the best travel tip that I would give any experienced or first-time traveler.
My biggest note to help any traveler that I wanted to write about is to be respectful and cool while keeping your common sense.
When you travel internationally, you are on someone else’s turf and need to follow the rules of the destination. A part of being in another country, on another society’s turf is showing the appropriate respect.
- Learn the expected ethics and behaviors that might be different than where you come from. One example would be when to bow in South Korea and Japan.
- If you are going to a religious country, there can sometimes be rules and courtesies that don’t exist in secular countries. This can in some cases not just be a matter of respect but have legal ramifications.
- Learn any laws that might differ from your country.
When traveling internationally, try to be really cool to the locals. Always try, even more than at home, to not be unnecessarily mean. Trying to be cool to locals is not just morally a good thing, but it can be advantageous to you. Being nice to locals can often get them to return the favor. This can lead to some awesome experiences.
Try to be a good representative of your home country. Give locals in a different country a good impression of where you come from.
The most important part of travel, even when you are trying to be respectful and cool, is to keep common sense. There are certain necessary things that you should always protect.
- You need certain things anywhere. Always make sure to keep a roof over your head, protection from the elements, access to food, etc.
- Unless they are verifiable officials like customs officers, never hand over your passport or other ID.
- Try to not put yourself in harm’s way.
This is an extremely important caveat. While it is great to be respectful and cool, never lose common sense so you stay out of trouble.