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luc van hecke

Every country has their own set of customs within their society that many tourists don’t take the time to look into and adapt to. If you’re traveling to another country you’ve never had the opportunity to visit before, make sure to know the locals’ point of view so you avoid upsetting the locals.



Eating on the go

In many western countries, people are rushing around from place to place, often doing two things at once, mainly eating and traveling. Catching the subway station in Manhattan with a bagel and coffee in tow may be commonplace in the United States, but it’s simply not the same in Japan.


The United States

Always tip

Unlike countries in Europe, the United States service industry professionals rely on gratuity as part of their salary. While the tip amount varies depending on the service, it’s a good rule of thumb to give these workers a twenty percent tip.



Inappropriate selfies

It seems like everyone is obsessed with taking selfies. While most times, these photos are all in good fun, they can be inappropriate when taken at somber locations. For Holocaust Memorial employees and citizens alike, these locations should be used as a place of reflection, not self-promotion. If you take a visit at one of these sites, leave your selfie stick in the car.


Italy and Spain

Order espresso after 11 AM

If you need an afternoon pick me up in the form of coffee, it’s best to order a plan espresso shot, rather than a latte that has milk in it. Most people believe that coffee and milk drinks should be reserved for early mornings only.



Avoid the salt

For those of us that crave salty foods, it can be tempting to add salt to the food you receive in restaurants. In Egypt, chefs that see their patrons adding salt to their dishes will be deeply offended.



Use utensils

Finger foods like french friends and sandwiches are typically eaten with your hands, rather than with a fork and knife. If you visit Norway though, it’s a good rule of thumb to utilize utensils so as not to offend the people around you.