When you plan in a road trip there is a good chance that you will be travelling to a different country to the one that you live in. This means that you will be faced with a different approach to everyday life. A different set of traditions and of course a completely different culture.One concern for many road trippers is how to deal with this change in culture. To help you handle cultural differences, we have put together our guide with some handy hints and tips that you can use during your road trip.

Learn the basics

There are so many different cultures around the world that it is impossible to learn the ins and outs of them all. Instead try to find out what the basics are and you should get along fine.Being aware of these basic cultural differences can help stop a variety of embarrassing situations. Such as being early in a culture where everything is laid back or perhaps wearing a colour that is usually seen on a special occasion.A simple Google search is the ideal way to discover the basics of the culture. However, if you are stuck then you could always ask a local.

Avoid taking pictures that could be offensive

We all love capturing everything that happens during a road trip, but you should be aware how your pictures could be offensive to those who call the place their home. Whilst you may think it is funny to strike a risqué pose outside of a landmark, the locals may not see this as quite as funny. You may even end up in trouble in some places.By all means take a snapshot of these amazing moments, but try to be aware how these images could be perceived and abide by the rules (such as no flash photography).

Remember that you are representing your country

When you are travelling to a different country you are essentially acting as a representative of your own home country. Remembering this will go a long way to ensuring that you respect their culture.It can be tricky to ditch some of the phrases, habits or things that you do whilst you are home. Whilst phrases such as “first world problems” are well-used and humorous in your country, the same phrase could be offensive elsewhere.

Know about the local religion and respect it!

It isn’t expected for you to observe the religion of a country that you are visiting. But you should still make sure that you respect it. When visiting holy sites, make sure that you follow any rules set out, such as covering your head and shoulders or removing shoes. Not only this but try to refrain from any disrespectful behaviour.

These are just a few things that you can do to respect the culture of a country that you are road tripping in. No-one expects you to be an expert, but they do expect you to at least try to not be offensive. Just do your best and enjoy your time there, you will soon fall into the habits of this particular culture.

 

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Niels is the founder of the The Road Trip Guy and together with Lazy Louie they are traveling all over Europe this summer. Join him on the trip of a lifetime of 25.000 km through 41 countries in 3 months all whilst supporting 12 charities.

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