By Jorge Araguez
There are a number of ways to be a good tourist; to visit a new place and demonstrate your respect for the culture, and also to make the most of your trip.
Here I will share with you a few ways to be a good tourist and enjoy your vacations to the fullest.
- Make sure to read something about the place you are visiting. Whether you do a little bit of internet research, check out TripAdvisor® or pick up a Lonely Planet guide it will help you create a ‘potential’ schedule. You’ll have a clearer vision of the places you want to visit and the time it takes to get from one place to another.
- Respect the people that live there. Sometimes we don’t pay attention to some of the manners we have as tourists. It’s important to recognize that not all the locals work in the hospitality industry.
- If you are visiting a country where a different language is spoken, learn a few basic phrases. It will help you to blend in better with the community. Plus it just feels good to be able to at least greet people in the country’s language. Buy a guidebook- at the end of the book they tend to add common phrases.
- Support local businesses whenever you can, so that the community can benefit from your visit directly; this will also give you the chance to enjoy closer contact with the city or destination. Avoid going to chain restaurants and try some of the typical foods of the region you are visiting.
- Get out of the tourist sites. Visit some interesting places that don’t come up in the guidebooks; explore more and let your adventurous side rule your trip. This is where asking the locals for their recommendations really comes in handy.
- Always consider the traditions and culture of the place you are visiting. Find out about appropriate manners in that country –remember to behave properly and be considerate of the locals’ feelings and cultural norms.
- Most importantly, be spontaneous! Follow your heart and visit all the places you think will really make your trip memorable.
Planning a vacation is always thrilling. The feeling of getting out of your routine can really have a positive effect on your attitude, allowing you to come back refreshed, and learning as much as you can from the experience will make each trip that much better.