5 Culture tips for travelling senior citizens

Culture shock

Culture shock can hit when you arrive at your destination. Understand that it is normal and that you will take some time to adjust. Look at the changes as being exciting and make an effort to learn about your new surrounds to ease your anxiety.


Try learning a few basic words in your destination’s native language. Words like ‘hello’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘help’, ‘goodbye’, ‘sorry’ and ‘excuse me’ will go a long way to fitting in. Locals will really appreciate your efforts even if they are not perfect!

No flash photography

Ask permission before you take a photo of someone. If they say no, respect their decision. It can be illegal to take photos of police or military personnel or property. Check for warning signs or ask an official first. If in doubt, don’t take the photo.

Places of worship

If you are visiting places of worship such as churches, temples and mosques; be conscious of the dress standards. Footwear may need to be removed and women may be required to cover their head with a scarf. Consider wearing shoes that are easy to take off on days you will be visiting places of worship.

Actions louder than words

Be mindful that gestures such as pointing, waving or clapping may have different meanings to other cultures. Avoid being considered rude by finding out what they mean to the locals.