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Don’t Be An “ugly American” Abroad

By Expert Author: www.cheapfares.com

Sometimes people are more conversant on how to find cheap travel options, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages, than they are aware of how they should behave when overseas.

The following are suggestions on acting like a good citizen of the world when traveling overseas, according to Budget Travel:

• Do not dress and act like a tourist. Instead try to fit in with a country’s style of dress and customs. Avoid wearing fanny packs, visors, dark socks with sandals, Hawaiian shirts, and using your outdoor voice when inside. A good rule of thumb is to remember than blending in is a form of flattery. Locals appreciate tourists who show interest in matters of importance to locals. Non-Americans tend to be more reserved.

• Flashing money around, showing the contents of your wallet, or taking large amounts of money out of foreign ATMs in full view of everyone can make you a target of pickpockets. Examine an ATM closely before using it. Criminals sometimes place “skimmers” on ATMs, especially in areas frequently by tourists, so that they can access personal pin information.

• Do not assume that everyone around you is there to wait on you. Showing a little patience can go a long way. Locals tend to hate Americans who believe that they are more important than others just because Americans can pay for things.

• Ordering American food abroad is a big mistake when delicious, safe, local food is available. Sampling exotic food will expose you to an area’s culture that will enrich your travel experience. Nevertheless, it is always smart to wash your hands frequently, and avoid tap water, ice, and unpeeled fruits and vegetables, if potable water is a concern at your destination.

• Even though English is widely spoken all over the world, you should make an effort to learn basic foreign phrases. If nothing else, learn a greeting in the local language and how to express thanks. Locals often find foreign tourists obnoxious when Americans assume that locals understand English.

• Beware of bringing back antique souvenirs. If you purchase a souvenir that authorities believe is a national treasure, you can be arrested. In countries (such as Egypt, Mexico, and Turkey) that have strict control of antiques, document your purchase as reproductions, if that is accurate.

• Make yourself familiar with a county’s customs before visiting. There are six areas you need to educate yourself before arriving at a new destination: greetings, gift giving, exchanges of money (such as whether to place money in someone’s hand or on the table), handshakes, body language, and food. In some places complementing food means that you want more.

• You should not count on using a credit card or offering American dollars when abroad.

• Foreign countries’ laws are often different from laws in the United States, including what may be carried in a suitcase. Some countries have strict laws concerning weapons and possessing something as small as a pocketknife or a single bullet can result in legal trouble. Clean out your suitcase before packing to go overseas.

• Remember you represent America when abroad. Try to make an extra effort and use every courtesy available to show appreciation.

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