Whether you’re jet-setting off to teach English abroad, checking a trip to one of the world’s most-pinned places off of your bucket list or taking an international mini-moon, we bet you’ve done your research about what to buy, taste and do. Though experiencing the most popular places and things are definitely a *must*, looking (and acting) like a total tourist can have an impact on how locals see and treat you. To get a better idea of how to be uber-respectful and blend in abroad, we chatted with Christine Amorose, adored Instagrammer and writer behind popular travel blog Cest Christine. Scroll on to read and save her tips for your next trip.
Follow the rules for tipping
America can be pretty crazy when it comes to the rules for tipping — do you double the tax, use percentages or pull out an app? Christine agrees and tells us that tipping is almost always SO much easier in other parts of the world. She says, “Read your bill carefully: In general, service is often included and you only need to tip for exceptional service. Don’t feel guilty about not tipping!” Of course, there are places where tipping is still customary — so study up before you go and you’ll be set.
Always respect the culture
According to Christine, dressing appropriately can be especially important if you’re traveling in the Middle East, Asia or other conservative countries with strong local customs. In that case, she says, “be sure to keep your shoulders and thighs covered, and keep an extra scarf in your bag to cover your head while visiting any mosques.”
Live like a local — even temporarily
There are plenty of things that you can do when you’re traveling that will help you blend in with the local scene. Instead of booking a hotel in a wildly popular area, try an Airbnb rental in a residential part of town. And to get around? Christine tells us, “Taking public transportation is 100 percent my favorite way to look and feel like a local. It’s amazing for people-watching, and it’s generally pretty affordable.” Depending on where you are, walking and biking can be great options too. Think twice about using Uber abroad, hailing a cab or booking tour-specific transit. It’s okay to stray from the tourist pack!
Know a few key phrases
Though learning the language for every place you visit definitely isn’t feasible, and apps like Duolingo can’t teach you everything you want to know before a spontaneous trip, knowing a few phrases in the local language is often enough to avoid looking like an unaware visitor. Christine agrees and tells us, “’Hello’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘where is the bathroom?’ are the ones that I swear by!” Study up on the plane or train and use your iPhone for more discreet deciphering. What a cinch!
How do you avoid looking like a tourist when you travel? Tweet us the deets @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)