How NOT to be a Jerk While Traveling


obnoxious and annoying.

Originally uploaded by justbadpot.

This article from Budget Travel is a good one on how to avoid being an “ugly American” while traveling. But though my countrymen may be a bit wider and less-traveled than others, they don’t have a monopoly on bad behavior. Anyone who has been around the world knows that there are plenty of traveling jerks from almost anywhere. (Except the Japanese perhaps–either they get an A in manners or they just don’t want to make mistakes using their English.) As Rolf Potts says in his recent column on The Worst Tourists in the World, “The worst travelers in the world are, after all, the rude, small-minded ones — and rude, small-minded travelers can hail from any nation.”

Nevertheless, it’s a good article with a worthwhile list of things to watch out for. Combine these ten tips with the five from Rolf’s article and you’ll be more culturally sensitive than 95% of the tourists out there. The real key is to turn off the computer and read your guidebook. Localized dos and don’t are pretty standard in most guides–you just have to read them and actually follow through.

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