When working as a Holiday Rep overseas, what may be acceptable in the UK, might be totally taboo in the country you are working in. As a Holiday Rep you will be living within resort for a minimum of 6 months, so it’s essential that you fit in and show that you have respect for the local customs.
To help you avoid any faux pas when working as a Holiday Rep, we have put together some helpful tips to avoid any embarrassment.
Don’t eat with your fingers, always use your knife and fork.
Don’t take a bite from a whole piece of bread. Tear off bite-sized amounts before eating.
Don’t start eating straight away. Wait until your host has invited you to begin eating or until they have started themselves.
Do keep your arms above the table, rather than putting your arms on your lap.
Wine is very important when dining out for the French, so you must expect a glass of wine with your meal.
Bars and restaruants are legally required to include a service fee in their bills. However, it’s customary to either round up the bill or pay a small 5% tip as well. Unless the service was very bad.
It’s customary to tip taxi drivers 10% and bus drivers 1.50 Euros after a trip.
Hotel cleaners are normally tipped 1.50 Euros when you stay in a hotel for more than 3 nights.
Do address people for the first time with the titles ‘Monsieur’ (Mr), ‘Madame’ (Mrs) and Mademoiselle when greeting a young, unmarried woman or girl. Older unmarried woman should still be referred to as Madame.
Men should always wear a top when leaving a pool area or beach.
Punctuality is treated very casually in France, so don’t be offended if people you are meeting with are not on time.
Understand that the eldest or guest of honor will often be served first.
Do finish everything on your plate.
Don’t begin eating until your host does.
Don’t pass dishes with your left hand, only use your right.
Do you compliment your hosts home when visiting them.
If giving flowers, don’t give Lillies as they are for funerals only
if you receive a gift, don’t open it straight away, unless asked to do so. It’s customary to do it later.
Do ask for seconds as it’s a real compliment to the chef
Don’t use your left hand to eat.
Don’t put salt on your food, this may be considered insulting to the chef.
Do tip at restaurants, there is usually a 10-12% tip included in the bill. However, it’s common for people to leave an additional 5% on top.
Do dress modestly. Women should wear trousers or skirts that fall below the knee, unless they’re in a beach resort or by the pool. They should also cover their shoulders.
Don’t give flowers as a gift. Flowers are for weddings, funerals and the ill.
Don’t open a gift straight away unless asked to do so.
Don’t sit with your legs crossed, showing the soles of your feet is considered rude.
Don’t show the number 5 with your hand with the palm facing out. Also don’t put the palm of you hand in someones face. A palm indicates warding off evil and therefore these gestures can be offensive.
Don’t engage in any displays of affection in public.
Don’t take photos of military buildings.
Do keep your wine glass half full when you no longer want anymore wine. It will get refilled if your glass is looking empty.
Do give a toast if you are the host of the guest of honor.
Do finish everything on your plate.
Do check the final bill to see if a service charge has been included. If not then it is normal for 15% to be left.
Don’t make the OK sign with your hand as this is deemed as a vulgar hand gesture in Greece.
Do keep insisting that you don’t want more food when your full. If your not insistent, your plate will be filled again.
Try to keep your wine glass fairly full when you have had enough. Otherwise it will keep being topped up. Never refuse a when your offered a top up.
Most restaurants include a cover charge (coperto) in the final bill. However, this is a small amount and most people will tip extra if the service was good.
Tipping porters and taxi drivers is also appreciated.
Don’t gift wrap any presents in black or gold as these are colours reserved for funerals.
Don’t point with your index finger and little finger together. This is considered a very vulgar and rude hand gesture.
Don’t be offended and pull away if an Italian embraces you on your first meeting.
Don’t decline an invitation to go to dinner as this is considered rude.
Do remember that dinner is normally eaten in Spain around 9pm – 10pm. So if your invited out, expect it to be a late evening.
Tips are never normally included in the final bill. Most people tip between 5-10% if they are happy with the service.
Do expect a kiss on both cheeks starting with the left, when being introduced to new people.
Eat everything on your plate. Some Turkish hosts might be offended if you don’t.
Do pay for the entire bill if you initiated the invitation. Splitting the bill is not traditionally done in Turkey.
Do reciprocate if someone invited you for a meal, invite them for a meal in return.
Don’t use your left hand when dining as this hand is deemed unclean.
Do leave a tip of around 10-15%
Do round the taxi fare up to the nearest lira, rather than tipping them.
Don’t point at people.
Don’t make the OK sign with your hand as this is a rude hand gesture.
Don’t put your thumb between your index and middle finger as this is also a vulgar hand gesture.
Do keep the soles of your feet on the ground as showing them is considered insulting.