You've booked and paid for your holiday, packed and then repacked the right clothes for your destination. You've downloaded your travel apps, purchased your travel guides and have prepared your travel bag and are ready to explore a new country, but have you taken the time to learn about customs and manners when stepping onto foreign soil? Having an understanding of such rules can enhance your travel experience so we've compiled a list to help you when travelling abroad.
I've spoken to other travellers and here is a list of travel etiquette and tips you may or may not have heard of when visiting a new country.
1. When travelling to Singapore, leave the chewing gum at home. It is a punishable offence to chew gum, sell gum or litter in Singapore.
2. In Japan, the Japanese are strict on punctuality, you will never be fashionably late just considered rude.
3. In Thailand, Thais do not shake hands, the wai is the usual greeting. The wai is when a person puts their hands together close to their body at chest level and gives a slight bow. The higher the hands are placed, the more respectful. It can mean "Hello", "I'm sorry", or "Good-bye."
4. In France, avoid talking about money at the dinner table. Also never split the bill as it is considered the height of unsophistication.
5. In Bali, avoid touching people on the head. It is regarded by people of Hindu and Muslim faith sacred, never touch them there.
6. In Indonesia, the left hand is considered unclean by locals, when greeting people and shaking hands, always use your right hand.
7. In Italy, wear appropriate attire when attending churches. It is considered disrespectful if you wear singlet or short skirts or shorts. You will be refused entry.
8. In Islamic and Muslim countries dress appropriately and cover your arms and legs with loose clothing. It is considered polite for women including foreign visitors, to also cover head and hair with a scarf.
9. Avoid standing around on street corners looking at maps, keep a copy of your passport including entry stamp with you, so if the authorities ask to see it you don't surrender your original one.
10. Backpackers tip lock your bags with secure padlock and give spare key to travel companion in-case either lose them.
Each society, each country has his own taboos, and obviously this list doesn't cover everything so we want to hear about your experience, do you have great etiquette advice for travellers? Please post and share your thoughts by commenting below in our blog.
If you're interested in travelling to any of the countries we've mentioned or need more information phone 0800 38 44 38 or contact one of our Flight Centre travel experts – 135 stores nationwide.