The Rusty American’s Guide For Getting Back to Being an Entitled Traveler
If there’s one thing you probably can’t wait to get back to in the post-coronavirus era, it’s traveling. You’ve been stuck inside, staring at the same four walls for months and you’re likely going stir-crazy. As soon as quarantine restrictions lift, you’ll be online, making plane and hotel reservations to get the hell out of town. But before you embark on your next great adventure, you need to jog your memory regarding how to behave when you’re abroad. That’s why we created the Rusty American’s Guide for getting back to being an entitled airport traveler. Have a look below, and then bon voyage!
Cover Photo: Westend61
Be proud to be an American.
There's no reason you should have to hide your American pride abroad. The U.S. is the greatest country in the world, after all, so feel free to don those American flag-themed clothes, brag about your hometown, and educate others about our ways. Be the patriot you want to see in the world.
Compare everything to home.
Sure, the whole point of traveling is to get away from home, but we won't blame you if you use home as the yardstick to measure how successful your vacation destination pick was. From the food to the weather to the friendliness of the locals, it's only human to judge and rate your travel experience based on the place where you've spent the most time.
Ignore your destination’s dress code.
A wife beater, cargo shorts, and mandals are totally appropriate traveling attire no matter where in the world you go. Besides, dress codes are just suggestions, and applicable to locals only.
Speak only English.
English is the most commonly spoken language in the world, right? (If it's not, it should be.) Don't stoop to anyone else's level by speaking in their native tongue. You're the tourist; they should accommodate you.
Haggle over every purchase.
Someone once told you that haggling is expected of tourists and to fail to do so is a sign of disrespect, so now you haggle over every purchase on your travels. The sticker price is just the starting point for negotiations, especially if you're in a street market situation.
Use hand gestures freely.
You've seen enough movies to know that hand gestures are one of the ways people communicate when traveling abroad. Body language is universal, so use those hand gestures with confidence. Worst case scenario, you'll piss someone off and you'll have to talk it out through your fists.
Reject the unknown.
Before embarking on this trip, you decided you wouldn't eat anything weird or do anything uncomfortable. Listen to your gut, and if something seems too exotic, go ahead and reject it out of hand, regardless of your hosts' reaction. You have to look out for No. 1.
When in doubt, imitate.
You like to think you can pick up cultural tics pretty quick, so why bother researching your destination's cultural etiquette ahead of time? If you don't know what to do or how to act, you'll just mimic what everyone else is doing.
Cultures are ripe for the picking. See a wardrobe staple you like? Hear a clever turn of phrase? Find a new musical artist from another country? Take it and make it your own. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Pack your schedule and insist you stick to it.
A vacation with too much leisure time is a wasted vacation. Make sure your itinerary is packed from beginning to end with no wiggle room. If anyone tries to do anything impulsive or off the beaten trail, leave them in the dust. You're on a mission, not a meandering journey. You will get the most out of this trip.
Take 100 selfies at every landmark.
Who knows when you'll be here again, or if this monument will still exist a year from now. That's why you must take a slew of selfies. Don't let those memorable moments slip away! (Plus, you have to make your social media followers jealous.)