Know Your Dinner Cultures
One of the great things about travel is the exposure it offers to different customs and perspectives. Of course, it can take some time to get used to new ways of doing things in a new place, which is why it can be helpful to do research ahead of time—research on, for example, when the locals eat dinner.
Allianz Global Assistance recently put out a short list of travel tips, on which they say, “Before making dinner reservations you may want to research the times that restaurants open and when people traditionally go to dinner. In Spain, most do not begin to eat until at least 10 pm. If you decide to go to a 7:30 pm dinner you may find yourself being the only person in the restaurant, or even that most restaurants are closed. Italy and France also follow this custom, as do many South American and Middle Eastern countries.”
They also add: “When it comes to visiting a highly religious country, it is even more imperative that you research the customs and traditions that they follow. The way you dress, your hand gestures, and the amount of personal space you give someone can all mean completely different things in another country. If you are traveling to a predominantly Muslim country, here is a great resource on etiquette and interactions.”
Bottom line: Make sure you do your research before you travel. And check out this guide for more.
Disclaimer: I work as an ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and receive financial compensation.
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