Tips to be a good Indian traveller

Photo of Tips to be a good Indian traveller 1/1 by Midhun Raveendran

When you travel abroad for work or on holidays you are representing your country. So every bad thing you do will be referred to in context of the whole country. So I list down 10 things every Indians should leave behind in their country and travel.

1. Please understand that everyone is the not your sabji wala.

Bargaining can be done on a street side shop or souvenir shop but not in every hotel or mall. I think we have grown so used to asking for discount that even if we know that it’s impossible to get, we still end up asking for a reduction.

2. Don’t think that if you demand more you get more.

We always have a feeling that if we throw a tantrum then we will be taken care of more nicely, especially in hotels. Please understand that the hospitality business is not the same everywhere like in India. If you be a problem guest you will be ignored or asked to leave.

3. Try and understand that we have different cultures and way of living.

So every time you see a person wearing a different costume you don’t have to stare as if they are committing a crime. So when Indians see a lady wearing a bikini on a beach, the guy will stare to admire her body and the lady will end up thinking how badly that person was brought up in his family but eventually we stare.

4. Don't ask everyone you meet personal questions.

If a person is unmarried you don’t have to know the reason behind it or how much is his monthly income. We are really good at checking such things, that we will do to a person whom we just met. So leave such questions and learn to give personal space to everyone.

5. When you go to country try the local cuisine.

I know that our cuisine is so awesome, but doesn’t mean the other cuisines are less appealing. You don’t have to carry loads of instant paranthas and ask for dal chawal at every restaurant you go to. And don't find excuses if you are a vegetarian. In every cuisine, you will get a few selected dishes for you.

6. You don’t have to collect the gifts for friends from the flight or the hotels you stay.

I am sure when we come back home, our luggage will be loaded with soaps, shampoos, towels and all that we have conveniently stolen from hotels. For us Indians we feel the value for money only when we do this.

7. Don’t mentally covert the currency every time you see a bill.

We all know that our rupee is getting weaker in terms of dollars and Euros. That’s doesn’t mean if we see a bill of 10 dollars you have to think that it means  600 bucks back home. Even if you think so please don’t express it in public saying how expensive things are. When you travel, be prepared to spend some money.

8. Keep up with the timings.

If you make appointments at a certain time, please show up 5 minutes prior to it not 30 minutes later. Because like in India nobody waits that long. Also if a restaurant closes at 10 don’t think you will get a great service if you turn up at 9:45. So, respect time.

9. Tip well.

Most of the countries have a compulsory tipping policy. So know them if you don’t want to offend people. If you spend thousands of dollars on your holiday, there is nothing wrong in giving a waiter or someone a few extra bucks. Tipping shows your courtesy.

10. Respect to gain it.

Finally something your mom taught you when you are a kid, but which you conveniently forgot when you grew up. Don’t treat everyone as your house servant. And nothing wrong in saying sorry and thank you often.