Pre & Post-Travel Etiquette

Pre & Post-Travel Etiquette

"Oh yes! That's a gorgeous country! I've been there!"


So I get it, you like to travel. We get it, you want everybody to know you've been to the world. Traveling is a very good way to enjoy life, especially at a young age. But here's the deal, you don't really need to "narrate" the whole context of your travel adventures that it instead gets too annoying rather than entertaining to listen. Ever!

It's nice when you get to talk to people of other cultural heritage and exchange views about traditions. Or how about eating something you haven't thought is edible but will soon find out it's really that good? Traveling is surely one of the best things life could offer. Not all people could afford it but there surely are a lot out there who could do it AND could do it more extravagantly and way better than you do. Just a piece of advice; traveler, especially "experienced" travelers could always smell the difference between a haughty beginner and a humble experienced traveler based on the way they choose their foods or the way they dress when going out to enjoy an excursion.

So here are the few travel etiquettes I've learned being a traveler myself after realizing that I've almost crossed the arrogant-traveler attitude:


1. Be humble.

I know we the same feeling that it's so good to tell the world that we could afford to travel and that everyone should also do it! "Hey girl! Look at this picture of me and Jason in Norway! It's so gorgeous and he's so hot! I met him there!" Okay stop there. Not everyone is willing to hear you out.

2. Don't validate your travel experience through social media.

You travel because you want to be free. You travel because you just can. Remember that you don't need certain validation through a double tap or through a 140 character explaining how awesome you are. If you want fame, social media is not just the best way to do it. Why don't you try signing up for travel agencies so you could have your pictures printed on a travel mag? That way, you don't just get fame you also earn.

3. Go cheap. Learn how to save.

As a traveler, this is one of the best lesson I've learned during the whole course of my adventure. There really is no need to go to expensive restaurants or to flashy hotels and bars. Why? Even though you have enough savings on your account, remember that you are there to travel and experience new things. So why not try that local street vendor serving a kebab that people go crazy about? Or that beach where you see a lot of foreign people partying? Word of caution though: Be safe.

4. Talk to local people.

One way of enjoying an adventure is talking to the locals. Locals have a lot of stories to tell you and most of them knows the common "know-hows" of the place. I've been to Samoa, sure, people have skin darker complexion and because of that, my not so common color stood out. People were curious about what my Asian ethnic background was so they were trying to figure it out by guessing it. So I told them about my nationality and where I came from. Being the big talker I am, I made friends with them until they offered me local stuff which I could surely enjoy! They brought me to this beach and this naturally preserved lake --for free. That trip they gave me was supposed to cost me a $500 deal package but because I knew how to go through their hearts, I managed to save and at the same time enjoy the place, all because I talked with locals.

5. Bring your own stuff.

Pack everything you need. Medicine, hygiene kit and the basic things you could really use. Sometimes, your favorite toothpaste may not be available in an island like Madagascar and why would you want to borrow somebody else's comb if you're not don't really know each other?

6. Smile.

Be friendly. Smile and show that teeth. If people get comfortable with you, chances are good things happen in whatever you do and wherever you are. Take my experience looking like a lost kid in Wellington, New Zealand; I thought that I wouldn't make it to where I was staying and frustration took the hell out of me. Until I saw these two burly guys and with a smile, I asked for a lift. Needles to say I was able to make it to the hotel. There's always a power to every smile.

7. Take photos as souvenirs, not key chains.

When I was a bit naive, I used to collect key chains on every country I've been to. Fake key chains marked with the embossed "Made in China". I then realized that I didn't want a key chain validate my travel experience, I want stories. So off I went to tourist attractions and places that locals strongly recommended me to see.

Most of us really just want to put something on our fridge for the world to see that we've been to different countries. Well, I had to cut out that habit. Aside from it being expensive and adding to my expenses list, it's also time consuming and as a traveler with a limited time, I'd rather do something worth experiencing and a story to put on my travel journal.

8. Don't be afraid to eat local food.

We all fear getting food poisoned especially if you are somebody like me who has sensitive stomach. There's always the fear of me ending up in some other country's hospital so I really have to be careful in what I eat. Of course, being the adventurous guy I am, I tried everything that came into my way that looked well "sanitized" enough to pass on my hygiene standards. Food is actually a part of a country's pride and a trademark that tells you, "the flavor of this Paella tells me that I am in its home, Spain."

9. Don't just use the map, use your common sense and ask.

Although GPS might be one of earth's greatest invention, don't rely too much on using maps if you think you're lost in a place. Like what happened to me in New Zealand. Glad I asked the locals out there to give me a lift back to the mainland. Now, I don't really rely too much on maps and I've learned my lesson the hard way.

Have fun and enjoy traveling! 

Published by Renato Tan

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