Summer is approaching, which means it’s almost time for the nightmare known as the “song of the summer.” (“Blurred Lines” again?) It’s also almost time for travel season!
Whether you’re shuttling your family across the country, whisking a romantic partner around the world, or bro-ing down by visiting all the sites Vince and the Entourage gang got into d-baggy shenanigans (new business idea!), you’ll come across new, unfamiliar surroundings. And with said newness comes the realization that you have to abide by a new set of customs and display tolerance for people different from you.
But CAN YOU, AMERICAN TOURIST? (I’m assuming you’re an American, because xenophobia.) To help you to assimilate to your new destination and get out of there alive, here are 5 handy tips for not making a bigger ass of yourself than you probably do daily on Facebook. Enjoy!
1. Money Over Everything
The most important thing when traveling is to have money. You can use paper currency or ring up those credit cards to the point of bankruptcy, but DAMN IT, you’ll need that green (or whatever colored money foreigners use). Plan out where you’ll be going during your trip (I’m assuming you know the general place you’ll be visiting) and have a general sense for how much you’ll need.
If you’ll be in a foreign country, MR./MS. MONEYBAGS, find someplace to convert your currency to that of your destination. Most countries won’t be impressed when you shove your cocaine-and-germ-covered dollars in a shopkeeper’s face. Plan ahead and exchange that lapdance money into something a foreign stripper will actually want.
2. Venture off the Beaten Path (But Not Too Far!)
I get the fact that most places other than home are scary and probably filled with colored people. I get that. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time!
Sure, you most likely have a few sights in mind to visit (Disney World, the Eiffel Tower, strip clubs for that exotic lapdance), but do a little digging and learn a bit more about your home away from home. Consult websites like Fodor’s and Time Out for places to frequent that line up with your interests (shopping, eating, objectifying) and take a chance! You never know what you’ll find.
The world is your oyster; you’ve gotta shuck it! (That is not code for fucking a stripper, you pervs.)
3. Talk to the Locals
If you’re in a region where you can converse in the native language–be it English or whatever floats your boat–and don’t mind being social, you may pick up tips on great places to visit, things to try, and classy haunts for a great lapdance. They may have suggestions on sights and eats that aren’t on your itinerary, opening you up to new experiences. Be one with the world and converse with it!
4. Learn Some of Their Language
If you’re jetting off to another country, CONGRATULATIONS MR./MS. ROCKEFELLER. Also, be prepared to be immersed by locals speaking a different dialect.
While their scary talk may frighten and confuse you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t accomplish your goals of spreading your germs in a new part of the world. Think about the words you use on a daily basis (like “hi” and “how much for the lapdance”) and use an internet translation page (Google Translate is easy and free) to not only see your words in funny text but also hear the fancy expressions! Technology: wave of the future!
5. Yelling in English Won’t Work
Let’s say that you ignored the previous tip and thought “I’m an American, and everyone should know English!” That probably means that you forgot that more than 4 billion people don’t speak English. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t raise the volume of the voice to jar that presumptive English-recognition circuit into sync, right?
See the confusion (and possible anger) on their face(s)? If you have any empathy (the ability to understand what someone might feel), you’ll realize that yelling in someone’s face is the behavior of a maniac–and a great way to get screen time on a reality show. Now feeling more humbled, it’s best to try a new tactic: point at the item of conversation, be it a souvenir, menu item, or a sex worker to administer a lapdance.
By trying out these handy guides, you might have a great vacation and not embarrass yourself or your country in the process. Now don’t create an international incident!