10 Things You Should Consider When Travelling Abroad
As much as you don’t like it, travelling abroad is something that just isn’t simply buying tickets and hopping on planes. Safety ought to be your primary concern wherever you go and, as staying safe goes, dressing to blend in is paramount. Aside from avoiding the obvious t-shirts and baseball caps, you ought to take into consideration the local customs and their corresponding religious beliefs when you’re picking which clothes to wear. Before you get to pack those bags, here are 10 things you should consider in your trips abroad.
1. Religiously Immodest Clothing
It’s a wise move to dress in a conservative manner in any place that has deep religious beliefs, like the countries in the Middle East. Women, especially, should avoid wearing miniskirts, short-sleeved shirts and tank tops, among others. Revealing dresses as well as plunging necklines should also be on your “what not to wear” list. If you’re a guy, avoid shorts as well as sleeveless tops in a many places in the Middle East or whenever you’re going into churches or other holy places.
Wearing pants and/or long skirts are ok. Women should also carry shawls inside their bags or purses just to be sure. Travellers in general ought to cover their knees and their shoulders when they’re entering churches or holy places so as to prevent the locals from staring or denying you entry. Sticking to long sleeves can also do you a favour.
2. Sneakers and Open-Toed Shoes
Europe, in particular, sees sneakers as being used in sports only. In Spain and Italy, white tennis shoes aren’t very enticing at all. So, while you’re there, go for comfortable leather shoes while in the city. Additionally, keep them in good shape by polishing them. As for white tennis shoes, they’re a dead giveaway that a traveller is American.
As for the women, sticking with closed-toe shoes helps prevent cuts from gravelly surfaces and/or insect bites on your toes. You certainly don’t want to get any infections now.
Generally, Americans love to wear shorts. However, a lot of other cultures don’t have them on for daily walking, regardless of season or even if they’re in the tropics. Leave those khaki shorts for the beach, the park, the tennis club and the hiking trail. Dressing down in order to feel comfortable can prove strange to a lot of people abroad, unless they’re going to play outdoors sports such as soccer/football.
4. Loud Bling
Never have expensive, flashy jewelry while overseas, unless you’re looking to have your rings, necklaces and what-have-you’s be part of what’s being sold in the black market. You don’t have to impress anybody on your trip anyway, so why not leave your bling at home?
5. National Flags, Religious Imagery and/or Cuss Words
Avoid wearing clothes that have military symbols, national flags, religious symbols and/or cuss words in a tongue that you can’t speak, let alone translate. You wouldn’t want to get berated while you’re on vacation now, do you? Aside from that, leave your religious jewelry behind or, if you just can’t help it, wear them underneath your clothes so no one else would see.
6. Bright Colors
Loud colors, bold patterns and plaids aren’t that nice to look at. With that said, go for cool colors such as blues, grays and tans. Blend in because drawing unwanted attention can quickly make your trip several levels awkward. Travel need not be awkward.
7. Colors that are Out-of-Place
In the West, people might wear black to a wake and/or a funeral. However, in certain Asian locales, white is the color of funerals, which is good to remember because you might be mourning the passing of someone while you’re on vacation. While you’re in central Africa though, avoid wearing black or even blue since these are the favorite colors of the tsetse fly. These large flies bite, by the way.
If you’re visiting factories, rural areas or tourist spots where the locals have jeans on, then why not wear jeans as well, right? However, the pair you wear ought to fit well and be free of wrinkles. What’s even better is going for dark blue or black one.
If you’ve got plans to spend your summer backpacking through Europe then having a large backpack is a practical choice. It’s also possibly a better choice compared to that suitcase you’ll be lugging around as you travel. However, bring a second bag, such as a small tote bag for your daily tours around the cities. Any type of backpack, be it big or small, screams “tourist” all over.
Snap photos and put the camera away right after. Nothing advertises being a tourist like having a camera that’s constantly hanging from the neck. It makes you stand out, meaning you’re a potential target for thieves. To avoid getting robbed, carry a camera that you could fit into a small bag.
Katie Horgan is the Co-Founder and marketing-haven of Giving Assistant, a coupon and deals website that provides discounts to visitors from almost any industry.