The 10 Commandments of Traveling

1. Thou Shalt Remember That Thou Art A Guest In Another’s Home

So be respectful, acknowledge and try to understand a country’s customs and culture, and be polite to everyone you meet.

2. Thou Shalt Respect The Earth

Don’t litter, recycle whenever possible, conserve water, and leave only footprints. Go for eco-friendly hotels and tours whenever possible and don’t buy products made from endangered flora and fauna.

3. Thou Shalt Remain Flexible

Stuff happens. Take it easy and don’t stress out about sticking to a schedule. Instead go with the flow and find the beauty in each and every moment.

4. Thou Shalt Try To Learn At Least A Few Phrases In The Local Language

“Please” and “thank you” said with sincerity in the local language will be much appreciated. And don’t expect everyone to speak English.

5. Thou Shalt Be Polite And Appreciative Of All Who Work In Hospitality

Generally, people who work in tourism and hospitality genuinely want you to have a good time and will want to help you, but sometimes things get lost in translation and often things are handled differently from culture to culture. Don’t lose your cool and yell at the wait staff, the concierge, or the cleaning staff.

6. Thou Shalt Keep Thy Spawn In Check

Don’t let your kids ruin everyone else’s holiday. Make sure they’re well behaved, or better yet, check into a hotel that offers a kids club and babysitting services.

7. Thou Shalt Trust Thy Intuition

Often you’ll be forced to make a choice on very little information. Go with your gut instinct. Whether it’s a off-license cabbie or mystery street meat, trust your years of experience and judgement to make the best decision.

8. Thou Shalt Always Carry Cash

Many destinations will only accept credit cards above a certain point and a lot of vendors won’t even take card. This is true for smaller shops, street vendors, market places, and less developed countries. To keep it simple for everyone involved, just use cash whenever possible. And remember to exchange for local currency.

9. Thou Shalt Not Be A Judgmental Prick

You’re a stranger in a foreign land. Of course things will be different from what you’re accustomed to. Instead of resorting to an attitude of “us versus them”, try to see it from an alternate perspective and understand that your “normal” is not a global standard.

10. Thou Shalt Be Grateful

Gratitude is the number one thing that’ll keep you cool in times of stress, happy when it pours, and hopeful when things seem bleak. Gratitude will also make your experience shine brighter and the memories last longer.

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Image up to courtesy of Anantara Hoi An Resort.

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