Expert International Travel Tips

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You may have heard that American travelers come across as inconsiderate by our global neighbors? We’ve been described as loud, obnoxious and thoughtless! What better way to eradicate this unfortunate stereotype than familiarizing ourselves with the jetiquette that applies to countries we plan to visit.

Pamela Eyring, President of the Protocol School of Washington,  shares some tips to remember when traveling abroad.

When you visit Egypt, it’s considered very rude to decline coffee or tea if your host offers it to you. So even if you may not want a drink at the moment it’s suggested, it is more polite to accept it.

Be sure to watch your body language.  While perfectly acceptable in the US, Southern Europe, and some Latin American cultures, back pats or touching someone’s arm, elbow or shoulder is seen as inappropriate and lacking decorum in many other parts of the world including the Middle East.

Phil Shawe, Co-CEO of TransPerfect has a great Jetiquette tip for surviving intercontinental travel

Adjust to the local time zone before departing. Let’s say you are flying directly from New York to Hong Kong, your flight departs at 10:00 am and your flight time is 15 hours. Adjust to the time zone by pulling an all-nighter the night before the flight. Having not slept the night before, you will arrive at the flight exhausted and ready to sleep. When you arrive around 2:00 pm, you will be perfectly adjusted to your new local time.

Here are 3 tips from Preferred Hotels & Resorts President & CEO, Lindsey Ueberroth.

When traveling to Asia, never leave your chopsticks upright in a bowl of noodles. this actually denotes death in China and Japan and is definitely not appropriate!

When traveling to the Middle East, whether you are a man or a woman, do not initiate a handshake with a woman. let her initiate it, as it is a cultural show of respect.

When traveling to India, eat with your hands! Traditional Indian food such as vegetables, curries, rice, and Indian breads are consumed by hand at local restaurants and the use of cutlery is very limited.

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