Seven things you should never wear when you travel

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Flashy jewellery
We’re all cautious of pickpockets when travelling. But wearing flashy or expensive jewellery when you travel is like hanging a sign around you neck saying, “I have expensive things that are worth stealing”. Your favourite collection may not make it back home with you.

Who likes short shorts? Not the locals. Some people, especially in Southeast Asia, look down on shorts that reveal too much leg. Even if it’s warm, consider wearing a longer skirt or pair of shorts made from a light fabric, so you can still stay cool.

woman wearing shorts in asia

Swear words, flags and religious imagery
Wearing clothing that has national flags, swear words, or military or religious symbols on it may not go down well with the locals. Your holiday doesn’t need to be a field for emotive debates, and it’s generally nor worth hurting or offending someone without noticing it.

Your camera 
I know, I know, aspiring photographers everywhere are in protest. But the truth is that the camera on most phones are just as good as your average camera these days. Unless photography is a particular passion of yours, you may find that using your phone is more convenient, just as effective, saves space and reduces your risk of being pickpocketed.

woman flashing her camera while travelling

Stand-out clothing
Bright colours and extravagant patterns make you easy to identify and may increase the odds that you will be targeted by coordinated pickpocket attack. Try to stick with neutral or dark tones where possible so that you best blend in with the locals.

Immodest clothing
If you’re travelling to a place with deeply religious or conservative beliefs, you will want to dress in a way that doesn’t draw attention. If you see that most people wear long sleeves, high necks or have their legs fully covered, you may want to follow suit. This way you won’t risk offending anyone, will be allowed to enter religious or otherwise significant sites and be more relaxed knowing that no-one is paying you extra attention on the streets. You should do some research on the countries you’ll be visiting beforehand, so that you know what to expect. If you’re in doubt, carry a shawl or sarong in your bag, this way you can quickly cover your legs or shoulders.

woman wearing backless sun dress

As popular as jeans may be, they also scream ‘casual’, especially if they’re wrinkled, and may be seen as disrespectful when worn into a religious or sacred site. They’re also rarely weather appropriate, especially if you’re going to a hot, humid or rainy climate. If you do opt to bring a pair of jeans, bring a black or navy pair.

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Written by livga


Total Comments: 3
  1. 0

    Totally agree with all these tips.

    I’ve never been one for jewellery, so all I wear are sleepers and a family ring on my right hand. Nothing else. I gave up on necklaces when my son was born as he used to grab them and in some cases nearly broke them, so they went.

    As for cameras, I’d much rather use my small Nikon than my phone, as I don’t have much storage room on my phone.

    I don’t wear jeans or standout clothing, so I won’t have any trouble there.

  2. 0

    Agree up to a point. However, even with these pointers, access to religious sites may include coveralls that are provided on site even if your legs are covered. And I don’t agree with not wearing colour. It’s the amount of skin or body outline revealed that may cause problems not the colour of the fabric.

  3. 0

    I disagree with the shorts and the camera.
    On the many trips I’ve been to in Asia (China, India, Sri Lanka, Malasia, Sabah, Bali, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam) almost everyone in the group wore shorts when we cycled, trekked or for general travel, as it was very hot and humid. I have zip-on trousers when entering temples.
    When I travelled to Antarctica and South America, I was able to take some magnificent shots with my DSLR with a powerful telephoto lens and filters that you could never do with a phone.



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