10 things NOT to do on holiday

Let’s face it, travelling can cost a hefty amount of money and you want to put your time abroad to good use. You don’t want to be worrying about what you should and shouldn’t do during your time away, which is why we’ve put together this handy list of 10 things NOT to do on holiday. So, no matter where you’re travelling to, you’ll know how to avoid the obvious and treacherous tourist clichés.

1.       Abuse local customs

It might be an obvious one, but before you travel anywhere: learn about the local customs. Granted, it may well be acceptable to go streaking where you live, but more often than not many other places will not appreciate that sort of crassness. So brush up on the local customs! For instance, if you’re travelling to Dubai remember to dress conservatively.

Niqab

Or, if you find yourself in Beijing, do not cry offence when you see people spitting in the street – many Chinese people consider it hygienic.

2.      Contract tropical diseases from local animals

Whilst kittens and puppies are abundantly adorable, the last thing you want to contract on your holiday is rabies, or some other tropical disease. Many animals you will encounter abroad are wild and unkempt, meaning they could be potentially ridden with disease. Resist their cute, fluffy ways and you’ll be much better off for it.

3.      Don’t keep your clothes on

Although you might enjoy seeing yourself naked, not everyone else will feel the same way. You don’t want to strip down in Abu Dhabi, where men and women dress and behave conservatively, nor do you want to go parading in your birthday suit around many parts of Indonesia, where nudity is illegal. So embrace the tan lines and keep your kit on.

Naked

4.      Drink the tap water

Drinking foreign tap water can lead to some serious illnesses, including violent stomach bugs and dysentery, so it’s probably not worth risking. Many countries do not process their water, meaning all sorts of nasty bacteria and fungi can infect those who drink it. The locals have had years to acclimatise to their water – you haven’t. Stick to bottled!

5.      Don’t prepare

Although in some instances ‘winging it’ is advised, you should still account for potential problems during your travels. There are various ways you can safeguard yourself on holiday, such as ensuring you have suitable travel insurance and gluing your passport onto your person so you never lose it. These things may seem obvious, but it’s the obvious things that you end up leaving behind on your bedside cabinet.

6.      Fall for tourist traps

Wanting to sightsee is all well and good, but don’t fall for the tourist traps which lurk behind every souvenir shop. From the Pyramids to the Taj Mahal, you will be bombarded by dozens of people wanting you to buy this, and buy that. Resist the urge to buy a miniature version of whatever landmark you’ve just visited, and don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten track if it means avoiding the typical tourist traps.

Taj Mahal

7.       Destroy the local fauna and flora

What screams ‘appreciation’ more than touching, tampering and trampling the local plant and wildlife? Although a particular flower may look pretty, it doesn’t mean you should pick it; many foreign plants are endangered and mustn’t be meddled with. The same goes for the local lizards, snakes and spiders – but why would you want to touch those anyway?

8.      Travel heavily

Between you and me, we both know you’re not going to wear half of what’s in your suitcase on holiday – so don’t pack it. Just pack the essentials and leave plenty of space for the abundance of clothes, ornaments and other trinkets you’ll doubtlessly want to bring back when you go on holiday.

9.      Only eat in hotels

Nearly every hotelier will tell you the same thing when you arrive: don’t eat in any of the local restaurants. Just eat in your hotel, where you’ll be charged an extortionate amount of money for sub-standard food and drink. Be brave and eat where the locals eat; live how the locals live, and you’ll truly be able to say you experienced the heart and soul of your destination.

10.   Don’t bother to learn the local language

If you want to get along with the locals, you’re going to have to learn a few new phrases. Don’t just limit yourself to ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘chips’. Learn how to say ‘how are you today?’, ‘where do you like to go?’ and ‘where’s good to eat?’

Language

Not only will the locals nearly faint from shock, but they’ll reward you with local secrets that you’d probably have never uncovered otherwise.

Matthew Coe is Online Marketing Manager for Wanderforth.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Chinmoy Lad says:

    Good guide.

    Would like to point out though regarding #9.

    I’ve used the concierge at many a hotel for food recommendations (asking for the most “local” place to eat at).

    You’re right – some concierges do try to trap you within the hotel itself, or send you to ‘partner’ restaurants. But the top notch places that value their patrons actually do try to help you.

    Found out a lovely off the beaten path restaurant in Bangkok thanks to the concierge at The Peninsula.

  2. Some great advice and reminders.
    Our worst, almost disaster was the whole family getting in a women only carriage on the metro in Egypt!
    My husband and sons changed carriage at the next stop and we got away with just a few giggles from the other passengers!!

  3. Jack Haliday says:

    Should point 3 not read “KEEP your clothes on”?

    Some good tips and advice here though. I’d agree with the learn the language tip, I was in Sardinia earlier this year and the locals did not speak very much English, at times communicating was very hard!

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    No, Jack… the list is things NOT to do on holiday, so there’s a double negative going on here. “Don’t NOT keep your clothes on” >> “Do keep your clothes on”

  5. Tyler Muse says:

    I agree, lots of vacation travelers find it too much trouble to try and learn more than a couple phrases in the local language. Learning just a few more can really transform your trip and make you feel more connected with the things around you. Nice article

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