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Worst travel habits
  • Instead of playing it safe and going to a familiar chain restaurant, why not sample a few small, locally run establishments which use local produce, and where your money will directly benefit local people. Headphones off, smile and make eye contact and you could have some interesting conversations to boot...

  • Street markets can offer you an insight into the real heart and soul of a place.  However, it is important to exert caution and use some common sense when it comes to shopping at food markets. Stalls which are busy and popular with locals are unlikely to be serving inedible food, so pick a bustling spot and get stuck in. 

  • Stop “ticking off” travel to-dos, slow down and enjoy where you are. Spending more time getting under the skin of your destination will leave you feeling much more fulfilled, and much more relaxed.

  • Discovering and learning about a country, its landscape, people and culture never ends. There’s always more to explore and understand.

  • A hesitant “hello” or a faltering phrase or two. You may not be a confident linguist but making the effort to learn a few words of the local language opens doors and helps break down cultural barriers. With this in mind you might also want to avoid...

  • You wouldn’t expect to speak someone else’s language at home so don’t expect them to do the same. If you have a problem hindered by a language barrier just be patient and friendly. Most people will find a way to help you.

  • Take your headphones out, lie back, breathe in, and look, listen and smell your surroundings every so often – you never know you may find them more interesting than your book or beats.

  • Put the camera down once in a while and use your own eyes to take in that stunning sunset, breathtaking view or exciting event. Don't let your camera become a barrier between you and where you are.

  • Forsake the last-minute plastic fridge magnet and ‘Wish you were here’ t-shirt. Instead discover local artisans selling traditional crafts along the way.

  • Even in the most liberal of nations beachwear should stay on the beach, so cover up to stock up on an ice cream or more suncream. Be careful in more conservative countries; bikinis and shorts may be tolerated in tourist spots but in more local areas you will need to respect local dress codes.

  • Unless you are scaling Kilimanjaro, normal clothes appropriate to the temperature and culture of your destination will be fine. Not only will you not stand out like a tourist sore thumb, you also won’t be drowning your personality in a sea of khaki.

  • Seeing a town wake up and come to life is a great way to start the day. Watch fishermen land their catch and markets stall set-up, or grab some freshly baked breakfast. While other tourists wrestle each other for a sun lounger spot you’ll be banking some magical holiday memories.

  • It wouldn't be acceptable in the UK so why overseas? Read responsibletravel.com's guidelines on how to put child protection back at the heart of child-based volunteer projects. And if you are moved to help, instead search out local NGOs working to keep families together.

  • Take a step into the unknown and forgo spending all your time swimming, lounging and being entertained all within the confines of the resort. You’re in a new, exciting country, go out and explore it! 

  • Differences make the world an exciting place. Adopt the mindset of being a learner and guest and roll with it. After all, you’re on holiday!