10 Ways That You Could Look Like A Moron When Traveling Internationally

10 nations with unusual norms.

Nothing is worse than visiting another country and shaming yourself by breaking a social norm.

What's fine in your home country, might not be elsewhere. Every nation has its own unique etiquette rules and things that are considered taboo.

Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, here are 10 things you want to avoid doing internationally:


1. France: Don't ask for ice in water.

Even if you like drinking cold water, you'll get pretty weird looks if you ask for it in a French restaurant. Most drinks in France such as water, milk and juice are served at room temperature, so get your taste buds ready for that.

2. India: Don't touch someone of the opposite gender in public.

In many parts of India, touching someone of the opposite sex in public is considered off-limits. This includes shaking hands and displays of love between married couples. This takes the expression "get a room" to a whole new level.

3. Japan: Don't tip.

If you're used to ordering out and deciding if you should leave a 15 percent or 20 percent tip, you don't have to worry about that in Japan because it is considered extremely impolite to tip. This includes restaurants, cabs and more. Save your money in Japan.

4. Venezuela: Don't give the OK gesture.

It might be "OK" to make an OK gesture with your fingers in the U.S., but in Venezuela, this is an insult. In Venezuela, the OK hand gesture implies homosexuality. You could offend people in Venezuela if you do that, OK?

5. Russia: Don't mix or refuse vodka.

Don't even think about ordering a screwdriver or a Harvey Wallbanger in Russia. It seems that many Russians consider mixing anything with vodka to decrease the purity of their favorite alcoholic beverage. And when someone offers you a drink in Russia, please accept it because it is a sign of kindness.

6. Saudi Arabia: Don't blow your nose.

While it is not healthy to hold your sneezes in, you might want to think twice about blowing your nose to relieve yourself from sneezing when traveling abroad. In Saudi Arabia, it is taboo to blow your nose in public. It is especially bad if you use a handkerchief. You might want to learn how to hold your sneezes in.

7. Morocco: Don't use your left hand.

There are some countries, such as Morocco, where the left hand replaces toilet paper. Thus, you will be labeled a filthy creature if you use your left hand to greet people or consume food. Use the right hand for these public activities in Morocco. Sorry, left-handed people.

8. Italy: No cappuccino after 10 a.m.

Cappuccino might be considered an Italian delicacy, but don't think about ordering one in Italy after breakfast. Italians firmly believe that drinking cappuccino after 10 a.m. will result in digestive problems due to the whole milk in the drink. People will stare at you in Italy if you order one in the afternoon.

9. China: Don't greet someone by their first name.

When you addressing someone in China, it is rude to say their first name first. Calling someone with their last name first is the proper way to address someone in China because of the importance of family heritage.

10. Germany: No chewing gum while in conversation.

While it is fine to chew gum in Germany, be careful not to do so while in conversation. It is extremely rude to speak to someone in Germany while chewing gum or putting your hands in your pocket. Germans want your full, undivided attention.

Cover image via y Evgeny Karandaev / Shutterstock.

(H/T: DesignTaxi)


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