May 17, 2012 | By Ali Moffitt
To tip, or not to tip? To bow or not to bow? Should we shake hands or hug? Air kisses, perhaps? Am I being accidentally offensive with my gestures? Sometimes traveling internationally can be stressful, when you’re not familiar with the culture and you don’t want to make the wrong move.
Of course many travel guide books can help with this, or I recently found a website that provides an easy etiquette snapshot by location. This travel etiquette site explains all the local customs and traditions.
For example, did you know that while dining in Paraguay, it is more than likely that you will be offered second helpings of food. It is considered good manners to graciously accept another helping. You should also be aware that it is polite to leave a little food on your plate once you have finished. This shows the host or hostess that you have been sufficiently fed and have not been left hungry.
Or, in India, people do not shake hands as in the West, but as a symbol of humility, when meeting, clasp their own hands together, and nod or bow to the person they are greeting.
So many fascinating details to think about. In many cases your travel advisor can share her experience on travel etiquette in your destination as well.