At ITKT, we are passionate about bringing the best in authentic travel experience to our readers. We are also just as passionate and dedicated to encouraging others to see the world for themselves.

With this idea in mind, I am proud to present the 7 do’s (The don’ts will be along soon) to be an In The Know Traveler and killing the term “Ugly American” forever!

Do
1. Be spontaneous. Always leave room for flexibility. I have gotten into the habit of saying “yes” to offers, while always trusting my instinct in case I feel the need to change my mind—it has not happened yet.

2. Try curious local foods. I never go to fast food restaurants while out of the country. I also like to splurge, at least once, to sample the finer local cuisine.

3. Learn to say hello and thank you in the local language. Many countries speak fluent English, but I always bring a phrase book for countries that do not. My efforts impress my hosts and start great conversations or laughter at my butchery of their local tongue.

4. Realize that people throughout the world understand that traveling Americans do not necessarily create, enforce, or agree with U.S. Foreign Policy.

5. Walk rather than ride whenever possible. Some of my fondest traveling memories include experiencing the hustle and bustle of unfamiliar streets.

6. Visit festivals and cultural events whenever possible. This is my favorite way to learn about the people of the country I am visiting, and frequently seeing them at their best.

7. Take photographs. I will usually ask if I am zeroing in on a particular interesting local. I will usually raise my camera in hand slowly with a sheepish grin. It translates in any language. I am rarely refused and always considered polite.

Honorable Mention: send post cards and keep a journal.

Okay, so there lots more than seven rules to good travel. Let’s hear yours.

Written by Devin Galaudet