Back to basics | How to be a great traveller
What they don’t teach you in school is how to be a great traveller. You might be taught about different cultures, languages and beliefs but what does that actually mean when it comes to travelling? This post will help you get back to basics on how to be a great traveller and something we should always consider, regardless of the number of countries you’ve visited in your lifetime.
Learn some basic local words
Fact check, not everyone in the world speaks English! Obviously, you aren’t going to be able to learn an entire language before your trip, but try to learn the basics such as hello, goodbye, thank you and that will go a long way with the locals. If you’re really stuck and struggling to get by, try to ensure you have Google Translate downloaded offline with the relevant language so you can get by. We had to do this on our trip to Sicily as nearly no restaurant staff spoke a word of English, nor was the menu in English!
Know the dress code before you arrive
There are a number of countries around the world where they abide by a strict dress code. Always be respectful of other countries beliefs and don’t disrespect them. An example of this is travelling to the Middle East. Particularly as a woman, dressing can be difficult. Click here for our guide on what to wear in the Middle East.
Respect the local history
It is important to remember that depending on the country you’re visiting, you may hear conflicting versions of the same part of history. Don’t be that person who stands up in the tour group questioning everything and saying it’s wrong. What one country believes may be different to the next country you visit. If you’re hearing versions of the story that you don’t understand or agree with, approach your guide at the end of a private conversation. These guides are doing their job at the end of the day and I am sure don’t appreciate being accused of providing false information. There are always three sides to every story, both sides and of course the truth.
Travelling with children?
More and more people are travelling with children these days which is amazing – it’s a wonderful way to learn about the world. However, you need to teach your kids the importance of respect. If you’re visiting temples, tell them not to run or yell as it’s disrespectful, don’t touch everything you walk past, especially in a museum or a shop and most importantly teach them the importance of different cultures and that some people dress differently to others and speak differently – and that’s ok.
Don’t be a stereotype
I can’t stress this enough! As a couple of Aussies, it is often hard travelling and people just assume that because we’re from Australia, we must be ‘Bogan’, ‘loud-mouthed’, ‘Kangaroo riding’ people who love to ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’. In most cases, that is not who we are as Aussies! We either hear one extreme or the other about Aussie travellers, that we are friendly, kind, helpful and relaxed or you hear the polar opposite, and that is that we are loud, abrupt and absolute bogans. Leave a good impression on our fellow countries so when we leave they think us Aussies are the best kind of travellers!
Do you have any other tips you would add to this list?
“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery