Don’t do That! What you shouldn’t do when visiting abroad

Save yourself the embarrassment! Here are some common gestures and customs around the world that may actually mean something entirely different from country to country!

If it is your first-time visiting an international country, I recommend getting to know a few phrases in the native language and learning a little bit about the culture, including the unusual customs.

Below, I have listed 25 countries and gestures or customs that are unacceptable or illegal that every traveler should be aware of! Look for the country of your interest below (listed in alphabetical order):

Bulgaria
Do not nod your head side to side if it means “no”- nodding your head in this fashion means “yes” in this country

Chile
Do not eat with your hands, use your cutlery!

China
Do not give an umbrella or a clock as a present

Egypt
Tipping is expected on pretty much any service, including the restroom janitor. Do not walk away from tipping the restroom lady, she will follow you

France
Do not ask or discuss about money

Germany
Do not congratulate on birthday before the big day

Hungary
Do not clink glasses when toasting

India
Do not touch the opposite sex in public

Iran
Do not use the “thumbs-up” gesture it literally means “sit on this”!

Ireland
Do not imitate the Irish’s distinct accent

Italy
Do not order cappuccino at restaurants

Japan
Do not leave tips

Kenya
Do not call people by name first

Mexico
Do not take it personal- Do not get offended at people’s jokes

New Zealand
Honking your car horn implies that you’re a jerk who insults people

Norway
Do not ask about going to church

Russia
Do not sip your vodka- take one single gulp!

Singapore
Do not eat in public transportation. Scarf that sandwich before boarding the bus!

Thailand
Do not bear your shoe sole- especially when you are seated resting your foot on your knee- its an insult!

Turkey
The “okay” hand gesture is a big no-no

Ukraine
Do not give a bouquet of an even number of flowers

United Kingdom
Do not ask people how much they earn

United States
Do not forget the tips!

United Arab Emirates
Do not openly kiss or demonstrate other displays of affection. One couple made love on the beach in Dubai and both faced imprisonment for six months!

Know of any uncommon gestures or customs in other countries? Leave your comment and let me know!