Traveling is one of the best ways we educate ourselves on life outside of what we’ve known our whole lives. It is also an enriching experience that helps us understand, empathize and open up to other cultures, traditions, religions, and lifestyles. When we travel, though, particularly as citizens who are financially stable enough to travel, we often forget that we are stepping into someone else’s home. Earlier this year, famous YouTuber Logan Paul posted a tasteless and insensitive video of a man who had committed suicide in Japan. This instantly stirred up a backlash against Paul for his disrespect. Additionally, the internet uncovered another video where Paul was seen shamelessly mocking the Japanese culture.
While this should be innate, some still struggle with proper tourist etiquette. Here are 4 tips we recommend you follow when traveling:
Do Your Homework
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It’s important that you arrive knowing what to expect from each place you visit. Be aware of their religious practices, sacred grounds and architectures, and wardrobe expectations. If you are in a tour group, there is more flexibility regarding what you can wear but out of respect for your surroundings and the people’s culture, we recommend studying what is acceptable and what is considered disrespectful. Brendan David, a tour guide with SF Excursions, recommends joining small, local tour groups when visiting another country with a different culture. He says “do your research, check online what tour groups will keep you safe while still educating you on the people’s cultures. Reputable tour groups are respected amongst locals because they help bring money in, so you will be safe while still learning about the culture and how to respectfully enjoy it.”