You are getting ready to travel out of the country and are worried that you’re going to be labeled as a “typical American tourist.” Learning cultural norms will help you blend in and make you seem like a local.
Tip About Tipping
Do not stress about it. Europeans are not as strict about tipping as we are in America. If the tip is not already included in the price of the meal, you are only expected to tip 5-10 percent. Tipping any more than that is unnecessary and seen as culturally ignorant.
Gestures in Greece
If you are planning on traveling to Greece anytime soon, be sure to be aware of gestures that may not mean the same thing as they do back home. For instance, the “OK” sign does not mean “a-okay.” Instead, it is seen as an obscene gesture.
Not So Peaceful
If you are in the U.K., be sure to give the ‘peace’ sign with the palm facing out. When your palm is facing inward, it is considered equivalent to giving the middle finger here in America.
Learn the Language
That’s okay, just try to learn the basics before visiting any country. It is often seen as rude to begin a conversation in another language that is not native to the country you are visiting. So before you visit the country you are traveling to, learn how to say, “Excuse me” or “Do you speak English?” — the effort will go a long way.
No Cold Pizza Here
In Italy, it is considered extremely rude to ask for your food to-go. The food is served how it is supposed to be eaten, and scraps are meant for the garbage. For all the cold pizza lovers, you are going to have to find a different midnight snack instead of leftovers from dinner.
Story by Shelby Culli
Photo by Crystal French