local laws and customs

Local Knowledge About Travel Insurance

20 February 2009 by Anna Staford

Travel Information

You don't need to become a native overnight, slaving over research about a country when you want to be having fun. But a bit of local knowledge can go a long way to enhance your travel experience and earn you respect in the country you're visiting. Before you head off on your gap year, make sure you familiarise yourself with your destination and its local laws and customs. It's also a good idea to learn some key phrases and words of the local language. This can make a huge difference to your trip and the reception you get.

Local culture

Reading up on local laws and customs and finding out a bit about the local culture can also prevent you from offending people or breaking local laws, however unwittingly! For example, in some countries it may be illegal to wear short sleeved tops or sunbathe topless, even though you may be in a hot climate. If you find out about this before you go you'll avoid getting into trouble and will have a far more enjoyable experience. Try also to blend in to the local community - be conscious of any religious dress codes and dress accordingly. It's important to be respectful when you are visiting someone else's country. And don't forget your travel insurance!

Read also: Local Laws And Customs In the UAE

Did you know?

Don't chew gum, drop litter, spit or fail to flush the loo in Singapore as it is illegal.

Don't blow your nose in public when you're in Japan as this is offensive.

Japan laws

Here are some handy tips on how to find out about your destination:

  • Before you head off get a good guide book and read up on your destination. Make sure you know about local laws and customs, especially those relating to alcohol and drugs. Your guide book may also have the layout of the town or city you are visiting which can prove very useful!
  • Take a phrase book - you may enjoy learning a few words, and it can be invaluable in case of emergencies.
  • Book your first night's accommodation in advance. You're at your most vulnerable when you first arrive in a foreign country and are likely to be tired and uncertain of your surroundings.
  • Respect local customs and dress codes. Think about what you wear and how you fit in. Ask your tour rep or local guide or accommodation provider if you are unsure.
  • Photographs - Certain sites within a country can be sensitive, e.g. military bases, government buildings etc. Be mindful of what you are photographing. It's worth asking before you snap so as not to run into trouble or cause offence.

Source: www.gogapyear.com

Read also: Why Spending Time with Locals Should be in Your Travel To-Do List

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