Booking a trip, especially to a new country, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The excitement of experiencing a new culture is an exciting prospect for many. However, even though many travelers may think they are respecting a culture by visiting tourist attractions and taking photos, many of these efforts are often overlooked because of their approach.
Respecting local cultures while traveling is one of the most important things you can do as a tourist, but it is sadly something that is rarely done properly. Read below for some helpful tips that you can use on your next trip abroad.
Learn About Their History and Culture
One of the most important things you can do before a trip is to learn about the country’s history and culture. By doing this, you will be able to prepare yourself for cultural differences and avoid possible misunderstandings or offenses to the locals. It is natural to enter a new country with your own cultural background and expect the locals to cater to you. This might be the norm if you’re staying at some sort of all-inclusive, but if you’re touring around the local establishments, then you cannot expect others to cater to you or even speak your language. In order to be a respectful tourist, you should put some effort into learning about the country’s history and culture.
Eat At and Purchase From Local Businesses
While you might think you’re supporting the local economy by eating from a restaurant like the Hard Rock Café or even a McDonald’s, these multinational chains do not support the local economy as much as you might think. When visiting new countries, especially those that rely on tourism to keep their economy thriving, eating at and purchasing from local restaurants and businesses is the best choice you can make. Not only will it support local businesses, but it will also give you a more authentic experience of the location.
Be Respectful When Taking Photos
Many individuals look forward to taking countless photos on their trips to show their friends and family upon returning home. While there’s nothing wrong with taking your photography skills abroad, you must also be respectful of how you go about getting your footage. Especially if you are visiting a developing country, there are some ethical issues involved with taking photos of children or those in poverty. For the most part, locals will be happy to see you appreciating their culture on your trip, but be careful about who you are taking photos of and whether they gave you permission to do so or not.