4 Common Faux Pas Americans Make Abroad
Before you travel to a country, make sure you learn a bit about the culture. Remember, what’s normal for one culture, may be rude or even illegal in another. Avoid being the stupid American during your vacation by avoiding these common faux pas.
Not Learning a Few Common Phrases
Although English is the most widely spoken language in the world, by not making even the slightest effort to learn the language will automatically make everyone hate you. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to learn the entire language. However, try to learn at least the basics like: hello, good bye, please, and thank you.
Not Dressing Accordingly
Never broadcast your tourist status. It’s better to blend in than stand out when visiting another country, especially in the Middle East. Make sure to dress conservatively and follow religious customs while visiting these areas. Otherwise you could receive unwanted stares or even risk being denied entry into the establishment.
Not Knowing Your Signals
Hand gestures are often used all over the world. Unfortunately, not all hand gestures mean the same thing. For instance, the thumbs up sign in the United States, or various European countries, means everything is good. However, in other countries, such as Iran, the gesture is an insult.
Not Doing Things Correctly
Toasts are an important part of many cultures. However, make sure to do them correctly. For instance, always accept a shot from the Chinese, or it will be interpreted as an insult. In Russia, make sure to drink your vodka in one single gulp. Different cultures take even the smallest things seriously. You can avoid this by knowing your customs.