* Learn a few phrases before you travel.
* Take a phrase book and dictionary.
* Take a map of the town / city / country that you will be visiting. You may not be able to buy a good, cheap map in the destination. Even if you can find a map, it may not be in English!
* Take other countries' religions and customs as seriously as they do. Always take clothes that you can wear to cover exposed limbs and check with RDLC about local customs at churches, temples and shrines.
* Take your sea legs (anti-motion sickness tablets) if you are going to travel anywhere by sea.
* Remember to take your medication with you, as well as any documentation that accompanies it. Make sure that your medication is legal in the country you are travelling to. For example, certain inhalers and nasal sprays that are common in the UK are actually illegal in Japan!
* Find out about what constitutes acceptable behaviour at your destination. For example, direct eye contact can be seen as aggressive in some cultures, whereas certain hand gestures can have very different meanings in other countries. Do your research and err on the side of caution and you won't go too far wrong.
* Don't try to make jokes unless you are sure that the other person will understand your intentions. Humour very rarely translates!
* Don't forget your suncream and sunblock!
* Don't drink tap water or have ice in your drinks unless you are sure that the water in your destination is safe.
* Don't sunbathe topless or in the nude unless you know that this is permitted: some countries are very strict about this and you could end up with a fine and a criminal record!
* Don't eat with your left hand in moslem countries: the left hand is seen as unclean. Always use your right hand and offer food, etc, to other people with your right hand as well.
For advice on local customs and law, you could visit: www.travelcare.co.uk
| | | | | | | | | | | | | |