The coming of every new year is always a great opportunity to book a flight for your next trip. When booked far enough from your intended flight date, you can score some pretty sweet deals on airfare.
Whether it’s to a neighboring city in Asia or a big trip halfway across the world, it helps to equip yourself with some basic travel etiquette. Here are the dos and don’ts to remember when flying to a foreign country!
1. Learn about the place you’re going.
While it should go without saying, it helps to do some research on your destination. Is it a big city or is it a rural countryside? Are there hostels and inns available, or are you expected to book a hotel? Do they have a lively street food culture or is their cuisine best experienced in restaurants? Is public transportation reliable? Knowing these basic tidbits best informs you about your trip and creates reasonable expectations so you aren’t left disappointed.
2. Be respectful with religious and cultural sites.
Although it’s easy to get blindsided by the ‘gram, remember that every foreign place is someone else’s home, and that certain sites are especially sacred. Read up on historical and religious sites you’re visiting to learn more about the ground rules. Do they allow pictures to be taken? It also helps to be sensitive about the places you’re visiting: a solemn historical venue such as Cambodia’s Tuol Sleng Museum or Germany’s Holocaust Memorial may not be ideal settings for a selfie.
3. Do try to pick up some key phrases.
Google them, pick up a book, or use a translator app. While tourist-heavy destinations are likely able to converse in basic English, it helps to learn the vernacular phrases for “hello,” “how much,” and “thank you”. Not only does it help you communicate better with other locals, they appreciate the effort to learn their language and they may warm up to you even better!
4. Don’t pack any inappropriate clothing.
Before packing your capsule wardrobe for some stylish travel OOTDs, read up on certain information in the region: What is the climate? How conservative is this place? Aside from the weather, there are places that may frown upon short and skimpy clothing. If you’re planning on hitting up temples and churches, check if these places have a dress code.
5. Learn acceptable gestures with locals.
Some cultures allow for touching even among strangers and acquaintances; others prefer a certain distance. There are even other cultures that consider it rude to touch people, so brush up on what’s acceptable and what’s not.
6. Study the geography of the area.
Here, Google Maps and other apps such as Naver are your friend. It helps to know the local geography in order to gain a better idea of your location, as well as finding your way around. An unexpected side trip could just be a possibility!
7. Always be polite.
Traveling to a foreign city can come with its own set of challenges. Even in the face of inconveniences, remember to always be polite and patient with the people around you, especially when there is a significant language barrier.
8. Have spare cash ready.
Be mindful of your budget when traveling, and always have spare cash ready. You'll never know when you might need it!