Have you ever heard the term “Touron?” It’s a not-so-nice mash-up of the terms “tourist” and “moron” and service industry personnel use it all over the world.
After multiple diving trips, you know how to behave with grace and etiquette on the dive boat. You learned how not to be the person everyone wants to throw overboard!
But what about before and after your full-day dive trip, when you’re relaxing and your usually pristine social awareness may be a little off? Take a look at these tips!
The tourist industry fuels the economy for many of these remote regions. Service industry personnel greet visitors with smiles and graciousness throughout their stay.
At the same time, there’s that very small percentage of people who, when vacationing in a new place, turn into an unabashed touron. These are the people hotels, vacation rental owners and restaurants remember and may not welcome back for subsequent vacations in the years to come.
The good news is that avoiding the dreaded T-label is just as easy as being a good passenger on a dive trip, and it simply requires a big dose of common sense. Chances are if you’ve already traveled on some dive trips, and are used to the customs and actions of other countries or areas; you’re in the clear.
A vacation rental company in North Carolina once asked their front desk staff what their most unusual requests from guests were, and the results were positively head shaking. They included such questions as “Is there any way to get less light into the windows in the morning?” and “There’s seaweed at the beach in front of our home can someone clean that up?”
It’s fine to ask for extra towels, a wake-up call or even room service, but watch out for requests that are unmanageable. If you’re not sure how the service industry personnel can accomplish your feat, chances are, it’s beyond the scope of what your service personnel can provide.
Talking without thinking is a crime that everyone is guilty of. But you’ll set yourself up for ridicule if you let your tongue loose and ask questions that have an apparently obvious answer.
Here’s a case in point, “Is that the only place to buy beer” when there are three or four bars in site of where you’re standing. Granted, this faux pas won’t cause any harm in the long term, but it will save you from a little embarrassment at the time.
Brush up on the local customs well before you arrive at a new destination. Research if tipping is common and if some gestures or actions are frowned on.
By understanding what’s respected, accepted and considered good form, you’ll avoid an opportunity to commit any unexpected faux pas. Also, be sure you sample the local cuisine.
One of the biggest complaints among service industry personnel around the world is that some visitors reject the local food without trying it. They instead head to the nearest fast food restaurant! Immerse yourself in your surroundings and live as the locals do.
Respect goes a long way when traveling to new destinations and different countries. Whether it’s respect for the employees, the culture or the destination in general.
Act as you would if you were at your home. Tidy your room, treat people with courtesy and leave a good impression wherever you go.
In other words, don’t trash the hotel rooms, the beaches or anywhere in between. By following the golden rule of “Treat others the way you would want to be treated,” you’ll quickly be welcomed back to your favorite scuba diving destinations with open arms.
Any other travel tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments!
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