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Travel Etiquette: 5 Basic Ethical Standards for Travelers

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Hi, I'm Mia. I love traveling. I’ve been into experiencing adventures and creating destination guides or any article related to traveling.


There is nothing more exciting than visiting new places and traveling to places you have never been to. Whether you are traveling just for fun or traveling for your job or whether it is an educational tour, there is still a lot to learn and to look forward to on your trip. Going to a different country or place can teach you a lot about the world in which we are living, and can help you gain a more genuine appreciation for other cultures and religions. Traveling also gives you a chance to get away from your comfort zone. It challenges your beliefs while expanding your knowledge of other people’s way of living.

While traveling around other places can be terrifying, the key to having a good time depends on your attitude and actions. Letting yourself be open-minded and willing to learn something allows you to have an enjoyable time as you experience cultures and traditions that differ from your own. Some people enjoy experiencing new things and some like to experience the same. Being insensitive to the people you encounter can easily land you in trouble and can ruin your trip, which is we don’t want to happen since we travel to enjoy and not to get into trouble. For this reason, it is advisable to be respectful of all the cultures and religions you encounter during your travels and also always be reminded that you are not in your home country so you must be a responsible tourist.


Here are some tips or basic ethical standards that you must learn and have when you visit other countries. These things will help you determine the things that are right and wrong as a tourist.

5 Basic Ethical Standards for Travelers:

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  1. Be a responsible tourist. Overcrowded tourist spots are not the only problem that we have experienced in the past, tourists who leave a lot of trashes are also a big problem. With travel becoming more mainstream, and over-tourism is on the rise, it’s very important to think about how you can be a responsible tourist and reduce the negative impact on the places that you are going to visit. We must leave no trace. Watching your waste is one thing, but it’s also important to note that travelers should also encourage others to do the same so we can preserve these attractions. Whether you’re exploring a rainforest, museum, wildlife attraction, or a city, the leave no trace mantra always applies. Always remember this quote "Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures and kill nothing but time." Enjoy traveling but always remember to be a responsible tourist.
  2. Plan activities should be done in harmony and should not contradict other's laws, practices, and customs. Always check your plan activities if these activities are not illegal to the country that you are going to visit. Also, always be mindful that these activities must not disrespect the residents' customs and must not bother other people in the place. Consider the place where you are going to conduct the activity, always check if this place is appropriate for a certain activity and will not harm and distract other people.
  3. Always ask permission. If you are going to take a picture or video, always ask permission especially when you are going to include the face of other people you don’t know. Additionally, ask permission when you are going to take a picture or video when the tour is ongoing, the tour guide or the host might be annoyed and they might feel disrespected when you keep on doing things instead of paying attention so better ask permission to avoid conflicts. On the other hand, if you take picture of someone else and upload it on social media, if that person sees that, he or she has the right to take down your post and sue you since it is their right to protect their identity. So better to ask for permission to avoid these things to happen.
  4. Be respectful of the customs, beliefs, and practices of other cultures. When you travel, it is very important to research the place or country that you are going or visit so you can avoid doing such things that are not acceptable to their country. Let this knowledge allow you to guide your behavior. Moreover, respect should be the guiding source behind all of our actions. Even if you don’t agree with their beliefs, always know your place and remember your role as a visitor in someone else’s home country. Even if you don’t understand or agree with any of it, it is not your place to judge or criticize. Remember that it is their country that you are visiting and not yours, you must respect the place and the people.
  5. Avoid using insensitive words. In going to other places, you must be conscious not only of your actions but also of your words or language. Avoid talking about stereotypes or unproven assumptions about a place, people, or culture. Avoid terms that might be offensive. If you are unsure f something, it is better to keep your mouth closed. Always be sensitive to your words and actions since you are not in your home country and others might be insulted. Additionally, try to learn their language, only some of their words so it will be easy for you to communicate with them. Only a few words such as “hello”, “thank you” or “please.”

Manners cost nothing but mean everything.

— Rubyanne


Kimberly Avecilla on November 23, 2020:

Very nice.

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