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11-07-2013 Tips for Avoiding Culture Shock

Read about your destination.

Before you go, researching the culture of your destination is the best way to prepare yourself. Many guides and websites are available to teach travelers how to behave while visiting including dining etiquette, what clothing is acceptable to wear, social rules, basic language, and any other aspects of everyday life.

Be friendly, and aware.

Once you have arrived at your destination it is a good idea to try and befriend the people you meet along the way such as hotel staff members and tour guides so that you can go to them for any questions you may have while you are visiting. Also be sure to take notice of how other people are interacting with each other, which can help you mirror the type of social interaction that is accepted and practiced.

Take care of yourself.

When it comes down to it, traveling is stressful and experiencing culture shock is its own type of stress. It can put a strain on you both mentally and physically. If you experience any feelings of sadness, confusion, or loneliness, it could be that you are just taking a longer amount of time to adjust to such drastic changes. If you are feeling too stressed, make sure to talk with your travel companion, and if you don’t have one try calling a family member or friend back home to talk with! Be patient – some people take more time than others to get acclimated!

Establish routines.

Traveling can often put a damper on some of our normal routines. We often find ourselves eating and drinking more, not exercising, and getting less sleep than we are used to. When our everyday habits change, it can lead to not feeling our best and adding to any anxiety that may already be experienced from traveling. All of these routines that we set while we are home are important to continue while in another country. The more you stick to what your body is used to, the better you will feel and the faster you will get the hang of things in a new environment.

With thanks to Erin Weiland of TravelInsured

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