New app helps travellers avoid cross-cultural blunders

The days of cheap airfares are probably over so when you go away, you want to make the most of the time. For many of us, this means a last-minute Google cram-plan, or a swift visit to traveller community sites like Netglobers or Lonely Planet. But what about the all-important matter of etiquette overseas?

Gestures, expressions or actions considered the cultural norm in many countries could offend in others. Did you know in Turkey it is rude to show someone the sole of your shoe? Or in Germany twisting a finger on the side of your head while driving is a powerful insult and an arrestable offence?

Fortunately those planning holidays this year can avoid cross-cultural blunders with the Europ Assistance Dos & Don’ts iPhone/iPad App, available free from iTunes or

Fast to load and easy to use, Dos & Don’ts contains handy hints, 35 video clips, and language programmes for 20 European countries. It helps you enjoy the cultural richness of your destination while still being sensitive to the local norms.

Ahead of a bumper Royal Wedding year for tourism to the UK, Dos & Don’ts also has advice about us, reassuring foreigners about our habits such as buying drinks in rounds here, so that visitors needn’t be afraid of being out of pocket when they visit a traditional British pub.

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