3. When dining out, you’ll want to eat with the locals, do not go to dinner at 5pm. Locals in Europe eat very late. Do wait to eat dinner until at least 8:30 pm.
4. Do not expect the locals to speak English. This is their turf. Do learn some polite phrases in the local language. You will be treated better.
5. Do learn some of the local customs with regard to hand gestures. Do not just assume that giving someone a thumbs up or the ok sign will be understood and welcomed in another culture. You may in fact be insulting someone.
6. Don’t be loud and obnoxious. Don’t have too much to drink, stumble into the streets yelling and screaming like a high-schooler at a college frat party. Do be respectful and use your inside voice. Common sense? Maybe, but you would be surprised how many rude, drunk Americans I encounter on vacation.
7. Do have an open mind. Remember you are in a foreign land and that nothing will be the same as in America. But, wasn’t that the point of traveling in the first place? Don’t bitch to the waiter, “In America, we don’t eat intestines!” Don’t complain to the hotel owner, “In America, all of our hotels have elevators!” Don’t complain to shop keepers, “In America, our stores don’t close for 3 hours in the middle of the day!” It gets old and it is just plain rude.
So, what are your secrets for blending in like a local?