How Not to Offend Foreign Locals

After watching the last two episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City, I feel the need to vent about some of the women’s horrific behavior while on their trip to Morocco. I realize that this is a reality show and that ratings are of supreme importance to Bravo, but having traveled through three continents and seeing first hand how American tourists should and should not act, I can’t help but pity the people of Morocco who had to put up with these women. Here are a few tips on how not to offend foreign locals.

Do Your Research: Whether you are traveling to Europe, South America or Africa, it’s important to brush up on your foreign language skills and take the time to research the country’s culture. Most locals who live in tourist cities don’t expect you to speak their language, but it’s nice to at least attempt a few words. Most locals appreciate the effort rather than just assuming they should speak English. After all, you are a tourist in their country. Also learn about the history and culture of a country. This way you can get involved in local activities and better understand seasonal festivals. Don’t make silly mistakes like asking for an Irish Car Bomb at an Irish pub….do you know how the drink got it’s name?

Dress the Part: When Sonja and Ramona got off their flight to Morocco, they were not dressed appropriately for a Middle Eastern country.  Not only is Morocco more conservative than some other countries, but the weather is extremely hot. Wearing skinny jeans and a sweater is neither functional nor fashionable for the country. For Middle Eastern countries, blend personal style with appropriate day-wear. When I was in Egypt, I wore a lot of colorful and conservative tunics over-top jeans. Likewise, if you are traveling to Paris, expect a swarm of gypsies to target your purse if you are wearing UGG boots and a North Face jacket. These items scream American tourist.

Blend In: The best way to experience local life is to try to blend a bit. This doesn’t mean you need to hide who you are. You should be proud of your own country and heritage but this is one way to better understand how other countries operate. Many Americans who live abroad are frustrated by the stereotypical “Loud American” tourist that presents a poor representation for Americans who are respectful while traveling. Prove this stereotype wrong by acting polite and discreet.

Image via Greg Walters’ flickr stream

Hi! I’m Megan,

a Scorpio sun and Libra moon who left her job in the music industry to travel and write full-time. Since then, i´ve explored more than 60 countries in the hopes that you will, too.

The world is made of magic and so are you!


Here’s Why Vacation Ownership With Hilton Grand Vacations is the Travel Solution You Need

We’ve all stayed at a Hilton hotel at one point or another and, if you have not, you are at least familiar with the brand. The Hilton name has been around for more than 100 years and to date, there are more than 6,300 properties and resorts within the Hilton portfolio of brands.   One of these brands is Hilton Grand Vacations. Unlike a traditional fixed–week timeshare program, HGV

Read More »
top reasons to visit Kerala in 2020

Here’s Why I Want to Visit Kerala (and you should, too)!

Every so often, I write about a destination I haven’t been to. As much as I love recounting trips and sharing my experiences here on Bohemian Trails, I also love to dream; dream about people and places I’ve never crossed paths with. That’s the traveler in me, the explorer that believes in the magic of

Read More »

My Favorite Caribbean Islands to Escape to This Winter

Winter is in full swing, which means that there’s still time to plan that weekend getaway. An east-coaster from birth and having lived in New York for seven years, the Caribbean remains my go-to winter destination. In many cases, you’ll find direct flights (or nearly direct) and within a few hours, you are on a

Read More »

Reflections on the Lake: Join us in Guatemala this New Years!

Pack your bags, notepads and Yoga mats. We’re going to Guatemala! I am thrilled to announce that I’ll be co-leading another writing + wellness + wanderlust retreat over New Years! Mark your calendars for December 29-January 3. My co-leader, Heather Suzanne, is not only one of my favorite Yoga teachers I’ve had the pleasure of

Read More »

Want to Work Remote? These 5 Degrees Will Help

Back when I was starting college, I had very different ideas of what my life would become. For years, I planned on being a child psychologist and was pretty content with that. Then something happened; I studied abroad, landed a job in the fashion industry and everything changed. I started to realize that I wanted

Read More »

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. More information

Use of cookies

This website is using cookies for improving your experience as a user. If you keep on navigating you are giving your consent to the use of these cookies and our cookies policy. Click on the COOKIES POLICY, the link for more information. You can also check our PRIVACY POLICY.