Language: hello, thank you and goodbye
Learning a few words of the local language is a great way to break barriers. Try greeting shopkeepers, waiters, drivers and other local people. Show respect by learning to say 'thank you' and 'goodbye'.
Religious customs and local traditions vary enormously around the world and often play a large part in the local way of life. You should familiarise yourself with dress codes and thought patterns, and recognise them. The local concept of time is also likely to be less hurried than your own. Remember - you are the visitor, and by showing respect you will be respected and appreciated yourself.
Keep your packaging down to a minimum and avoid disposable goods as these often can't be recycled overseas. Eco-friendly soap gets our thumbs-up.
You may make special friendships and experience generous hospitality when abroad. Gifts that are evocative of your home country such as postcards and photographs make ideal presents. Alternatively, speak to your tour leader once you’re on tour about what gifts to give – that way, you can buy something locally, further benefitting the local community.
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