Tips on How to Be a Good Tourist with Generator

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Travel can be a glorious, mind-expanding experience, an opportunity to broaden your horizons and experience wildly different landscapes and cultures.
 
Travel is, without doubt, a good thing that will absolutely enhance your life.
 
But travel is also a great privilege that comes with great responsibilities. It is entirely possible to do it badly and ruin the whole thing for everyone – the locals, your travel companions and ultimately yourself. 
 
Most of what follows can be summarised by simply saying ‘don’t be disrespectful and try to make the most of your visit’.
 

Respect the local culture

The worst tourists seem to have absolutely no interest in wherever it is they’ve bowled up and proceed to disregard everything that distinguishes it from home, treating local people like irritating props and generally acting like entitled oafs.
 
Try to remember that, as a visitor, the onus is on you to adapt to your surroundings, because there’s absolutely no reason why your surroundings should adapt to you. If you encounter cultural differences try to keep in mind that you are the outsider, so strive to be understanding, open-minded and courteous. It’s really just good manners.
 
Take an interest in your surroundings. Travel is far most rewarding if you’re curious and receptive.
 
 

Learn some basic phrases

Travel is inevitably fraught with linguistic confusion and very often there’s no way to avoid a bit of awkward conversational toing and froing. Realistically, if you don’t already speak the language you’re going to have to muddle through with a few basic phrases and Google Translate.
 
But there’s no excuse for failing to make a bit of an effort. For instance, if you stay at Generator Paris, speaking even some French during your trip will take you a long way. Frankly, it’s rude to wander the streets of a foreign city armed only with loud, slowly enunciated English and locals will be more patient with you if you at least try to communicate in their language.
 
Ultimately, a garbled attempt at the local tongue when you’re desperately trying to locate the nearest toilet shows willingness, even if your efforts are so pitiful you immediately have to resort to crude hand gestures.
 
 

Try the food

Food can be an entry point into the local culture when you’re travelling and fussy, unadventurous eaters can miss out on exciting gastronomic discoveries and intriguing experiences if they only ever dine in the nearest McDonald’s.
 
Having said that, there are obviously limits – we’re not insisting that sworn vegans sample the local pig’s head dish in the interest of politeness and authenticity – but adopting an open-minded, adventurous approach to dining is a fun policy.
 
 

Gem up on local etiquette

Customs are different everywhere and it’s all too easy to put your foot in it by inadvertently failing to observe the nuances of local etiquette. Hopefully, you’ll find that locals will recognise the fact that you’re a tourist and let you off but making a modest effort not to offend the locals is never a bad idea.  All it takes is a quick bit of research before you arrive in a new destination.
 
Some examples of local etiquette that would be easy to transgress without a bit of research: never fill your own glass if you’re in Japan, avoid the thumbs-up gesture in Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Italy and Greece, where its likely to be interpreted as ‘up yours’ and don’t eat with your left hand in the Middle East and India, where it’s also considered bad manners to point the bottom of your feet at anyone. It’s also a good idea to find out about local tipping conventions. Failing to tip in America is liable to cause offence while you could upset the locals if you do tip in japan or South Korea.
 
 

Leave your phone in your pocket once in a while

We all have Instagram accounts to embellish and friends to make jealous, but sometimes it’s good to just live in the moment and glory in experience, without reaching for your camera phone. Try not to treat travel as a box-ticking exercise and embrace spontaneity - you’ll probably end up having a better time.
 
From Barcelona to Berlin; Madrid to Miami, you’re guaranteed a great time wherever you stay with Generator. And our foolproof tips for being a good tourist are sure to come in handy during your adventures.