Essential Travel Etiquette for Tourists

Harold Lehon
3 min readMar 23, 2022


Travel can be an exciting and gratifying experience. It gives people the opportunity to take a much-needed break from their tedious routine, discover new exciting locations and cultures around the world or within their countries, and expand their horizons. However, for a tourist to have a memorable and smooth trip, it is crucial to be knowledgeable about the fundamental rules of travel etiquette.

The most basic of these rules is to learn as much as possible about the place they are traveling to. Different areas worldwide have their laws, customs, history, and language. The more information tourists can gather on these factors, the higher their chances of maximizing their time and experience during the trip. Tourists must remember that breaking another country’s law is entirely different. Most times, it doesn’t end quickly and may ruin the trip. Learning about the ways of life of other places can also be fun as people can learn many interesting things.

Before tourists can set out on a trip, especially abroad, they must be familiar with the rules of clothing etiquette because it is one of the most controversial and crucial rules of travel. In many places around the world, there are different sets of costume rules that men and women must conform to, and they are also extended to tourists. Therefore, while in a foreign land, it is essential to avoid clothes that are considered inappropriate.

Another essential rule of etiquette is being mindful of religious sites and memorials. Tourists must always be on their best behavior when visiting holy places like churches, mosques, synagogues, mandirs, or shrines. These places are usually considered sacred and require visitors to ensure they are adequately covered and well behaved. In addition, they should avoid making phone calls, speaking, and laughing aloud, especially if a religious ceremony is taking place.

While taking pictures in memorials, such as cemeteries and concentration camps, it is essential to respect and provide privacy to grieving people by ensuring they don’t appear in the picture. Travel experts recommend that tourists try as much as possible to suppress their urge to take pictures when they are in concentration camps and cemeteries.

It is also essential to research the cuisine of travel locations as every country bans some food items for consumption. Therefore, it would be helpful to know the prohibited food items to avoid ordering for them. For example, beef is highly prohibited in most parts of India as it is the meat obtained from cattle, an animal considered sacred in the country.

Lastly, tourists should learn the basic verbal expressions of their tourist’s locations, as learning the language as a whole might be impossible over a short period. They should understand basic greetings and compliments such as hello, goodbye, please, and thank you.

Additionally, every place has different rules of greeting etiquette. Therefore, tourists must ensure they are conversant with them. For example, most Muslim countries prohibit kissing women on the cheek. Also, Turks consider it rude to give someone a thumbs up.



Harold Lehon

Harold Lehon — Business Leader with over a Decade of Experience