While tour guides receive special training for handling American tourists, there are a few ways that Americans can be “better guests,” when traveling abroad, says The New York Times.
“Generally, that means being open to new experiences and asking more questions about the culture you’re visiting rather than talking about your own. There are specific steps, too,” writes Julie Weed.
One way is to learn a few key words and phrases.
“Hello,” “excuse me,” “thank you” and “goodbye” are common courtesies that you should learn and use in the local language. Even if you mispronounce the words, it’s the gesture that counts,” says Weed.
Paying attention to body language can also help minimize any potentially offensive gestures.
“Do your homework ahead of time about such things before visiting a country or culturally distinct region for the first time,” Weed recommends.
Dressing appropriately is also important.
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“In many places, women would do well to carry a large scarf to cover the head or shoulders, if necessary — particularly in sites of religious significance,” says Weed.
Watch where you point the camera, too.
“Don’t monopolize the best vantage points, or cause the tour to fall behind schedule as you play Ansel Adams. And limit use of selfie sticks, which can be particularly annoying,” recommends Weed.
For more tips on how to be a better tourist, read on here.