14 No No’s When Backpacking a Foreign Country

Every country has their own do’s and don’ts. Depending on religion and political affairs. Patting someone on the head in Cambodia is offensive, or doing the Thumbs up in Brazil is also seen as not polite. Whereas its rude to Burp in England but is an sign of appreciation in France. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned a few things about things that you just don’t do when travelling. It shows a lack of respect and appreciation to where you are, and also shows naivety as a traveller. Remember this isn’t your home country, adapt to where you are. We are human beings, we aren’t perfect, but travellers are in privileged positions, so trying the below would be the very least one should do.

No – Going shirtless in a City. It may be hot, humid and you are uncomfortable, but going shirtless in a City is a huge No when travelling. It isn’t a beach, and the locals are more offended than impressed. You are just a chav in a different country.


No – Haggling with a market seller for the sake of it. It may be new to you or a game, but its their life is dependent on what business they do. Don’t play with someone elses livelihood for your own amusement or interest.

No – Offending or joking to offend someone unless its in playful spirits or you know them. Class of cultures can turn this into more than a heated debate. Always try to adapt to the situation and leave out your own slang terms.

No – Complaining when you have no reason to. I seen a dumb middle aged American guy screaming at some Thai girls over the size of a Burger King Burger, claiming the price was too high. It’s an international company, just because that idiot has too much ego he thinks its right to scream and rant at innocent workers. Remember you buy what you pay for.


No – Imposing your way of life fully to other cultures. Just because that makes you comfortable, doesn’t mean it is for them. Compromise at least. Afterall you are in their country.


No – Being disrespectful when attending a local ceremony or presentation. Weddings for example are popular for locals to invite Foreigners or Gringos along, especially in parts of Asia. Going silly and getting wasted drunk isn’t what they want you there for. Or spraying too much confetti over the bride isn’t cool either.

No – Asking for something for free. Come on guys, you are travelling or away. If they offer of course, but never ask. Disrespectful and you can come across as greedy. Always pay your way.

No – Complaining at something that you know is just the way it is. It may be frustrating, but some countries just don’t have structured rules as you would like. I was with an ‘experienced’ traveller, or made to believe, and her moaning was child like at the fact she wasn’t allowed a seat she wanted. In a county which had hardly any tourism. Deal with it. Part of it is learning and coping with the experience when it’s minor like this example.

No – Not trying local food. This is one the best things travelling. Forget Pasta, English Breakfast, Parmas or Steaks, try something local! Get some Pad Thai, Doubles or fried Jalapenos. You ain’t at home now boy.


No – Assumptions. Things can change rapidly in foreign countries, maybe not to your welcoming or what you are use to. Always get facts when possible, re-question if necessary and be alert. This isn’t an easy ride to Disneyland.

No – Looking down on locals. I know alot do, because of current affairs, currency or even own ego. But looking down on someone gives off a ignorant smell. It reveals a lack of respect and a bad image can be created.

No – Acting carelessly with money in public. It shows you being flash and not caring about funds which so many maybe slogging their guts out for. Be respectful and take casre of your money as if it was your own body parts.

No – Judging. Everyone is from different walks of life. You don’t know what someone has been through that day. Each to their own remember.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s