6 Things You Should Never Do When Visiting Europe



No one wants to look like the stereotypical tourist when visiting Europe, and most people know to leave the Hawaiian shirts, khaki pants and silly hats at home, but small differences in cultures could leave you looking more than a little foolish if you don’t do your research and plan ahead. At worst, looking too much like a tourist will leave you vulnerable to scams and theft, and at best, you risk embarrassment and public ridicule. From dining out to using the public toilets, there are a few things you should know before you travel abroad. Below are the six most common mistakes Americans make when visiting Europe.

6. Over Pack



When in Europe, keep in mind that less is more. While you may be tempted to pack every possible outfit combination you can think of, along with every hair care product you own and a stack of books “just in case,” you’ll stick out like a sore thumb trying to edge your way through crowded public transportation with your over-sized and over-stuffed luggage. If you’re planning on an extended stay, consider doing your laundry abroad instead of packing a different outfit for every day you’ll be there. In most cases, you’ll be fine with just the essentials. Unless you’re planning to move to Europe, there’s really no need to bring half of your belongings along with you on your trip.

5. Dress Too Casually



While wearing sneakers when traveling abroad is no longer frowned upon, dressing too casually is definitely still strongly discouraged. Traditional tourist attire, like baseball caps and fanny packs have no place in Europe, and should be left at home. Not only will the locals not find your clothing choices appropriate, you’re likely to be seen as tacky and uncouth. Not everyone in Europe has your best interests in mind, and tourists are prime targets for crimes and scams, so you’ll be much better off if you don’t draw attention to yourself as a tourist. You don’t need to dress up in skirts and pearls every time you step outside, but steer clear of the overly-casual attire and opt for a tasteful business-casual look, instead.

4. Tip Too Much



In the United States, tipping 15 to 20 percent is customary, and even expected, but in Europe, things aren’t so clear-cut. Tipping etiquette in Europe varies based on location, but as a general rule, there’s no need to tip as much as you would here in the States. In many cases, the tip is already included on your bill, and even if your bill doesn’t include the tip, there’s no need to give your wait staff an extra 20 percent. Do a little research before heading off to your destination, and pay attention to tipping etiquette in the location you plan to visit. Over-tipping won’t necessarily make you look bad, but that money may be put to better use elsewhere.

As a freelance writer, Kyle enjoys writing and editing diverse content for several businesses across the United States. Find Kyle on LinkedIn!

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