It can be hard to tell what to say or how you should act when interacting with people from different backgrounds or cultures, especially when traveling. Some people find it challenging to adapt to new surroundings. To help ease the transition, here are a few suggestions for respecting other cultures when traveling.

Educate Yourself

Before you leave home, research the places you’re visiting and try to open your mind to new experiences. Ask local guides or staff members for help and speak with others from the area to learn more about the culture. While visiting a specific worship site, be aware of the practices and body language of the locals. It can be hard to understand other cultures’ nuances, especially regarding the small details of their customs. Nevertheless, respecting the people in another country can go a long way.

Environmentally Conscious

We want to make a difference in the world and often sacrifice our comfort to do so. Before you leave, ask yourself whether or not the destination can be in better shape than when you arrived. You can help the environment by avoiding litter and using a reusable water bottle. Also, turn off the lights and use a shopping bag to avoid using unnecessary energy.

Self-Awareness and Sensibility

When taking photos at specific cultural sites, such as art galleries, be mindful of the rules when using flash. Also, ensure that your pictures or videos are appropriate and won’t cause offense. If you’re planning on taking a photo of someone, ask them if they’re willing to let you take the picture.

Support Local Businesses

You can support local businesses by shopping at restaurants and small shops instead of international chains. You can also buy local products from street vendors and artisans. If you’re unsure where to find the best local businesses, ask a local. If you plan on traveling over the weekend, consider staying in a local hotel. To boost the reputation of the establishments you’re visiting, leave kind reviews on social media so that other travelers can find them.

Be Mindful

When interacting with the locals, be aware of how they feel. If you’re studying in a country where English isn’t the main language, you should practice speaking it before you travel. Also, introduce yourself to the locals in their own language. When you’re in a local area, try to be active in the traditions of the place. Also, be kind to the locals and ask questions whenever you encounter them.


Brian Ghannam |