Did You Know:

    Never to touch the head of a Thai or pass an object over the head because is considered sacred in Thailand?

    Using triangular shapes in Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan is a no no, because a triangle is considered a negative shape?

    The number 7 is considered bad luck in Kenya and good luck in the CzechRepublic, and it has magical connotations in Benin?

    Did you know the number 10 is bad luck in Korea, and 4 means death in Japan?

    Red is a positive color in Denmark, but it represents witchcraft and death in many African countries?

    A nod of the head means no to a Bulgarian, and shaking the head from side to side means yes.

    The "okay" sign commonly used in the United States (thumb and index finger forming a circle and the other fingers raised) means zero in France and is a symbol for money in Japan, and carries a vulgar connotation in Brazil?

    The use of a palm-up hand and moving index finger signals "come here" in the United States and in some other countries, but it is considered vulgar in others.

    In Ethiopia, repeatedly opening and closing the palm-down hand means "come here?"

Did You Also Know:

    In several countries it is considered rude to give or accept something with the left hand?

    Asking your host about his spouse is frowned upon in some countries and cultures?

    Talking to an elderly person with your hand(s) in your pocket or with your legs crossed is considered rude in some countries and cultures?

Headline News:

    Couple jailed for kissing in public.

    Woman assaulted for wearing trousers.

    Man arrested for dressing like a female.

    Businessman gets in trouble for tipping.

    Couple detained for taking pictures at the airport.

    Happy going tourist crosses the line! flirts with law enforcement official and is accused of spying.

Do these Headlines Sound Familiar to You?

    They should, because some of these incidents may well be happening in some part of the world as you read this report.

    They should because you could be the victim. Yes, they could happen to you and other uninformed international travelers.

Should You Be Concerned?

    Yes, you should. Leaving your country for another country can be nervous wrecking and full of surprises. Having to find yourself in difficulty or in trouble with law enforcement, the culture or the people in a foreign country can be a nightmare. It could cost you money and even your life. It could also ruin your trip and land you in a foreign prison. And worst of it all, you may get little or no help from your home government.

Can You Do Something About it?

    Yes, you can!

    Yes, you can drastically reduce the chances of falling victim.

    Yes, you can make your overseas trip safe, enjoyable and incident-free.

    Yes, you can make your trip embarrassment-free.

This is How!

    Learn as much as possible, the social and cultural do's and taboos (don'ts) about the country you intend visiting. The majority of the problems travelers encounter in foreign countries often result from their lack of knowledge of dos' and don'ts in those countries.

    Learn everything you can about the country you plan visiting. No amount of information about any foreign country you plan visiting is too much for an international traveler.

    Learn more about the country BEFORE YOU GO! and not when you are already in the country. It may be too late. Finally, GET A COPY of Do's and Don'ts: A Country Guide to Cultural and Social Taboos and Etiquette.

    If you are an American, also consider getting a copy of the bestseller, Americans Traveling Abroad: What You Should Know Before You Go. or Practical Tips For Americans Traveling Abroad: Ignore Them At Your Own risk