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Avoid making cultural faux pas with World Customs

Renting a car and taking a motoring holiday is one of the most exciting ways to see the world.
Avoid making cultural faux pas with World Customs


Mar 02, 2012

Renting a car and taking a motoring holiday is one of the most exciting ways to see the world. Nothing lets travellers get to know a place better than hitting the open road and exploring. However, some tourists may be intimidated by the customs and national idiosyncrasies of their destination. Now, visitors taking a car hire in Italy and other countries can travel with confidence, thanks to the World Customs and Cultures app.

Available for Apple devices using iOS 3.2 or later, the software provides travellers with a world of information on more than 160 countries. Users can scroll through a list of destinations, accessing specific country data by tapping its flag icon or by searching alphabetically.

Tourists taking a car hire in Pisa can browse through local laws and regulations before they arrive, avoiding any potentially sticky situations with the authorities. Information on speed limits, alcohol restrictions and other legal requirements are all available at the touch of the screen, so tourists can ensure they don't fall foul of the law while taking a motoring holiday.

Other information available to visitors includes details on country-specific greetings, and the proper ways in which to address someone. For instance, although many people are familiar with the Japanese practice of bowing when meeting new people, some travellers do not know that the depth of the bow should be different depending on the seniority of the individual whom they are greeting. Similarly, customs such as the removal of shoes before entering homes and restaurants are also explained, so visitors can avoid embarrassing and potentially offensive cultural misunderstandings.

Although many holidaymakers may not give it a second thought, customs regarding personal space and physical contact can vary widely depending on the country in question. Helpful hints are provided on these cultural differences, offering tourists information on acceptable boundaries. For example, shaking hands, although a popular custom in the West, is frowned upon in some Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

Another important consideration for travellers to bear in mind is that of gender issues. World Customs and Cultures may help tourists avoid inadvertently making a serious cultural mistake when dealing with members of the opposite sex while on holiday. Information on local gestures is also provided, such as the customary Italian greeting of kissing each cheek.

Even things such as eye contact are covered, providing travellers with a wealth of information on even the most subtle cultural nuances. Tone of voice, social cues and other customs are also outlined, meaning that even if tourists do not speak the language, they can explore their destination with confidence and courtesy.

The section on cultural taboos is one of the most useful aspects of the application. For example, in many Middle Eastern countries, drinking alcohol is strictly forbidden for religious reasons. Likewise, socialising between men and women is governed according to rigid social customs that may seem strange to Western tourists, so this information may prove especially useful to some travellers.

For tourists taking a car hire in Italy, the app also provides a function that enables visitors to learn facts about their destinations at random, which could be a great way to have fun while discovering the customs of a country. The app features GPS functionality, a must for any serious travel application.

Travellers who want to make the most of their motoring holiday should consider downloading World Customs and Cultures before booking their car hire in Pisa.

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