When you travel overseas, you may have experienced the feeling of being stared at by locals.
While it could simply be the fact that you’re an American and stand out (like if you’re visiting a place that doesn’t get many American tourists) – other times it could be because you’re being obnoxious – without even realizing it.
So before you book your next trip – be mindful and avoid these major faux pas when traveling overseas.
STOP TALKING SO LOUD!
We Americans are loud – without even realizing it.
But while we may laugh loudly and engage in vibrant conversation at a swanky cafe…
… it’s likely others are just drinking their coffee – and minding their own business.
It’s true – other countries (especially in Europe) aren’t as outwardly friendly as Americans.
In many cultures, people keep to themselves – and save the loud talk for when they’re in the
privacy of their own homes.
Be mindful if you’re out to try and keep your voice down – you’ll avoid the death stares from the locals – and not further contribute to the reputation that all Americans are loud and obnoxious.
Taking Pictures (And Posting) Of Those In Need
It can be shocking to visit an impoverished country and see the dire need of thousands of people living in mud-huts or crumbling shacks.
While we struggle with homelessness in most U.S. cities – nothing compares to visiting a third world country.
Some tourists are quick to snap photos – or even (yes, really) take selfies with the less fortunate they see on the streets and thenpost it on social media.
Not only is it incredibly rude and in poor taste – but it totally robs that person of their dignity.
How would you feel if you were down in life and some ritzy tourist came by and threw you a few bucks and then took a picture of you and posted it on social media?
Not too good I bet.
Feel free to buy food for those in need or purchase some of the goods they’re selling to help them earn a living – but don’t take pictures and post about it.
Expecting Everything For Free
If you’ve been to Europe and ordered a soda – you might be shocked to learn things like “free refills” don’t exist.
And in some countries – you might even be charged to use the restroom!
When I was in El Salvador – not only did I have to pay to use the restroom…
… but a person was actually standing at the door with a roll of toilet paper charging PER square!
Other countries already think Americans are entitled and expect everything for free.
Be prepared to pay for things you wouldn’t normally consider while traveling overseas.
Here in the States, many people run to the grocery store in sweatpants and a t-shirt – but in other countries locals take a bit more pride in their public appearance.
In fact – other countries often mock Americans for our traditional “tourist” outfit (complete with tennis shoes or flip-flops).
And if you show up in another country dressed like that – it will make it OBVIOUS you’re an American – and could even make you more vulnerable to getting mugged.
You don’t have to dress up – just wear something clean and simple.
Don’t be paranoid about upsetting other cultures – just be respectful.
You can still take pictures of the beautiful scenery and indulge in the local cuisine – and hopefully you’ll get a lot less angry stares if you follow our tips!
And be sure to check out our past article on things foreign tourists should never do in America to see things from our perspective!
Which of these faux pas are you guilty of?
Were you surprised by some of the items that made our list?
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(h/t Proud American Traveler)