Monday, December 9, 2013

Do you travel like a tourist?

When traveling to another country do you try to fit in with the locals? Are you interested in the culture and the way things are done there?

Do you ever see 'ugly Americans' and wish they would tone down their behavior a little?

Recently I read a great post on Budget Travel's site about dressing and acting like a tourist. I've included some of their ideas and added some of my own.

Just like money doesn't buy taste or love, having vacation savings to burn doesn't guarantee the royal treatment everywhere you go. There are two keys to not being an American jerk: "Being a little bit patient and not assuming that everybody here is here to clamor over your tourist dollars is important," says Anna Post, co-author of Emily Post's Etiquette 18th Edition. Back in 1922, Emily herself wrote a book chapter titled "Europe's Unflattering Opinion of Us." Unfortunately, very little has changed. "For years, we Americans have swarmed over the face of the world, taking it for granted that the earth's surface belongs to us because we can pay for it," she wrote. Try to buck those stereotypes. 

Are you that person who orders French fries from a McDonald's next to the Spanish Steps in Rome? . "The absolute worst thing you can do is to ignore the local food in favor of what's familiar to you: always seeking out the American-style burgers and pizza and Caesar salads on a menu or, worse, eating at fast-food or chain restaurants you know from home," says Laura Siciliano-Rosen, founder of Eat Your World, a website featuring local eats around the globe. Try sampling local or exotic foods. Enjoy that country's culture through their food. Worried about food poisoning? If you're concerned about cleanliness of the food, wash your hands a lot and be smart about the basic things—avoid tap water and ice and unpeeled fruits and vegetables—and you can eat plenty of local food," Siciliano-Rosen says

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