Australians are far from the world’s worst travellers, but there’s no denying the reputation of the stereotypical Aussie traveller: drunk, loud and surrounded by seven likeminded partygoers, all wearing the same local beer singlet (you know the one).
So what’s the difference between having fun and ruining it for everyone? Have look at these dos and don’ts to see which you’re guilty of.
Do: try new foods
Did you go all the way to Thailand to eat a hamburger? A few western meals during a trip are fine, but avoiding the local food completely is a massive missed opportunity. Local street food may look questionable, but with a strong stomach and a bit of courage you could find yourself in foreign food heaven.
Don’t: forget to tip
Yes, the minimum wage in the USA should be higher but until then, there is no excuse for not tipping. If you’re not sure what to tip, do a quick bit of research. In Canada and Mexico they follow the same tipping rules as the USA where taxi drivers, waiters and even hairdressers require a tip for their service. On the other side of the coin, leaving a tip is not customary in Japan and can even be seen as rude.
Do: try to learn things.
The museums and art galleries of the world’s great cities aren’t just for retirees and boring people. They are amazing resources full of amazing insights and information into the history and culture of the place you are visiting. Don’t be quick to pass them by, educational institutions a great place to begin exploring your destination.
Don’t: spend all your time partying.
Aussie are drawn overseas due to the vibrant night life and party scene certain destinations have to offer. Unfortunately, this leads many travellers to spend their trip in a perpetual state of intoxication. Before you start drinking, just ask yourself “Do I really need to be drunk at a night market?”
Do: get out of the capital
Central Bali is an awe inspiring green landscape with the ability to relax and cleanse the mind. You also hear zero Aussies talk about it. Don’t underestimate the power and perspective that can be gained from leaving the city centre and venturing out into the less travelled paths and places.
Don’t: forget to travel Australia
With overseas travel becoming more affordable many Aussies overlook the amazing destinations in their own backyard. Recently, Lonely the Great Barrier Reef ranked number 2 on Lonely Planet’s top 500, one of ten Australian sights to make the list. While waiting until retirement is always an option, it will make it a lot harder to snorkel to reef or trek Cradle Mountain.
Do: learn the language.
Learning the local language gives you a huge upper hand while travelling, gaining you much more respect from the locals. Before your trip, get a handle of the basic sayings you think you’ll be using and download some apps for practice. Unless you want to spend the whole trip talking to other English speakers who didn’t make the effort.