While watching any movie where people travel abroad, you will most likely witness a travel faux paus being committed by a main character. Whether it’s acting like an obnoxious American or failing to show up in the right outfit, Hollywood has covered it all. But you might be surprised at how often tourists fall victim to these Hollywood cliches. No one really expects their vacation to be anything less than stellar, but the right outfit in the wrong city could do just that. Preparation is key, in life, and on vacation. Get to know the local customs before you go so you aren’t caught off guard when you get there. Just to get you started, here are a few key things you should be aware of in order to be the perfect travel companion.
…. and other conservative countries. Dress modestly, even when it’s 100 degrees and even at the beach. Recently, a few beaches have even started fining tourists for wearing bikinis on the beach. While you are on vacation, it’s important to not only be aware of the local traditions, but to also respect them. Because religion is directly tied to the law of the land, business hours are much different in Dubai than other locales. All businesses are closed on Fridays, the official day of rest, and hours are broken up throughout the day for a rest period. During the month of Ramadan, there are many restrictions on businesses. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and eating, drinking and smoking in public areas between certain time periods is strictly prohibited. Loud music and dancing are prohibited during this period, as well, meaning most of the entertainment during this month will occur after dark.
Did you know that the only way to get to Monte Carlo is via train, yacht or helicopter? There are no airports in Monaco, so you can either fly into the South of France and ride, fly or swim in. It’s one of the most beautiful, but also the most expensive places in the world to visit. In Monaco, the native language is French, but most people can also speak English and Italian. Many world-class sporting events take place in Monte Carlo, including the Monaco Grand Prix which takes place in the streets of Monte Carlo. If you’ve ever been to Vegas, think of Monte Carlo as its classy older sister, dripping with lush and nestled on the coast of the Mediterranean.
Rude customers are likely to be refused service in public restaurants, cafes or shops in general in Italy. Always acknowledge the people you encounter, whether you are being served in a cafe or looking through a shop. Italians get offended if you don’t acknowledge them, and may even mistrust you or become suspicious if you fail to do so. So shoot them a “Buongiorno” or “Buona sera” just to be safe. Also, don’t handle the merchandise. You touch it, you buy it. So be mindful and respectful of Italian property.
What are the biggest travel blunders you have committed?
Do you have any other advice for those traveling to one of these destinations?