With the recent election behind us and the uproar that has followed it with a country divided in political stances, many people are uneasy about being an American abroad. Since the United States of America fills headlines globally its presence is very known across the world and therefore many other countries are just as divided on their current political stances as well.
Fear not, however. There has always been and will always be conflicting opinions in the world and it is no reason to hold yourself back from exploring the world. It is important to experience other cultures and be open to new experiences. By depriving ourselves of this luxury as humans we can become shut off and ignorant to the world. Therefore, instead of not traveling at all, follow these simple tips for making sure you have the best experience possible.
Be Prepared Before You Go
Make sure that you are totally prepared for your trip by knowing exactly what the culture is like, having an outline of the places that you want to visit while there, and scheduling any doctor appointments you might need before departing for things such as vaccinations.
Make sure that if your trip involves a lot of moving around that you have appropriate luggage so that you aren’t suffering carrying around heavy baggage the entire time.
Keep Your Political And Religious Beliefs To Yourself
When you are traveling abroad it is best to keep your opinions to yourself in order to avoid being overheard by someone that may become heated or confrontational. Therefore, even if you might have a strong opinion, it is best to keep it inside.
Remember, it is highly unlikely to be convinced by someone else to change your mind on your political beliefs, so why should you believe that with enough convincing and insisting that you are going to change anyone else’s.
Instead, remain passive and polite even if you are dying to let out your feelings.
Respect The Culture Of Your Destination
Wherever you go, it is important to respect the customs and culture of the place you are in. Instead of wearing clothing that may be considered inappropriate or potentially offensive, make sure that you follow any rules expected of you.
You may feel uneasy about compromising your personal beliefs or cultures when you have nothing to be ashamed of in your own culture, but sometimes the age old saying “When In Rome” can save you a lot of hassle.
Always Smile and Be Friendly
Always try to put your best foot forward. Americans are known in many places as being very friendly and enthusiastic. Nice and friendly behavior can go a long way in your day to day life. Why should go on a trip abroad be any exception?
You can avoid conflict often by smiling back at anyone who is hostile and trying to remain friendly. Sometimes this can take a lot of self-control, but it can be worth avoiding problems on your vacation.
Don’t Go To Unsafe Places
It is important to know which locations are safe and which ones could be potentially problematic. Places which are common locations for theft and pickpocketing should be avoided if possible.
Instead, go to places which are tourist-friendly and have a very low likelihood of causing you problems. There are few things more disappointing on a trip which you’ve been looking forward to than being a victim of crime.
Usually, the best way to find out which areas are safe or not is by asking locals or checking online with local travel and information sites.