Travel etiquette

Have your tickets and your itinerary planned? Now you need to do the research. Travelling abroad one needs to take into consideration many factors - budget, safety, accommodation, visas etc. The last thing we tend to think about is one of the most important aspects of travelling - etiquette and cultural considerations.

Every country will have its own cultural ways and laws, doing some research on your destination's laws and culture will help prevent embarrassing moments on your trip. The cultural differences can range from food to religion and even simple everyday aspects such as sanitation.

Here are a few tips to help you find what to look for when doing your research as well as some simple travelling etiquette tips, as they say, "When in Rome".

• Make an effort to learn key words and sentences. Certain areas you might venture into won't be English friendly and you might struggle to understand and communicate.
• Get to know as much about the culture as possible. Prevent a culture shock by preparing yourself with as many facts as possible.
• Find local bloggers and read their take on the city, where to go and what not to do.
• Book your accommodation ahead of time and map out exactly where your hotel is situated.
• Renting a car? Find out all the traffic laws and regulations ahead of time. Confirm speed limits, licences, insurance and which side of the road to drive on.
• In many countries, when dining out, you can cause offence to locals if you do not adhere to mealtime etiquette. Research the eating culture and etiquette before you venture out.
• Each country has its own electrical regulations, ask the hotel information before you plug your phone or flat iron in - you could cause a major outage!
• Get your hotel to arrange your transport; they will know whom to call to prevent their guests from being ripped off.
• Stay calm, relax and enjoy your travels. Getting frustrated with locals is easy as there is a cultural and communication barrier between you. Try staying relaxed, as your number one job is not to offend locals or officials.
• Be open-minded to your surroundings; take in as much of the sights as you can. When exploring be respectful of your surroundings.

With these few tips in mind you will be a popular tourist and favoured by the locals in no time.