Victory signs, “OK signs” or sitting in the back of a cab to relax after travelling to your holiday destination; believe it or not doing any of these things can catch you out depending on where you go.

Australian taxi drivers think it’s rude if you don’t sit next to them when you get in their cab and the British victory sign can get you into hot water in some places – so it might be best to order your two beers with a thumb and forefinger if you’re in doubt. Here are some other customs that we probably all use a lot, but might not go down so well while you are enjoying your cheap holiday deals.



The okay sign, made with the thumb and forefinger is definitely universal… but it doesn’t necessarily mean the same across the world. In fact it can really cause a lot of offence, especially in countries where it refers to a part of the body not mentioned in polite company! Be careful to remember this if you’re heading off on cheap Turkey holidays or going to Greece.


Being Open

Some gestures seem new, like holding out an open palm so someone can ‘talk to the hand’ but in Greece this is a really traditional way of insulting someone! The Greeks have a whole different meaning to the gesture. It goes back to ancient times when criminals were taken through the streets with their faces smeared with dirt using open palms.

Don’t Get Crossed

Imagine the scenario; you’re sitting in a coffee house after a hard day’s graft sailing up the Nile or snorkelling in the Red Sea, like any sensible person would do on their cheap Egypt holidays, when you start noticing locals looking offended. If you’re sitting crossed-legged, this could be the reason why. Showing the soles of the feet in some Muslim traditions is a big no-no as it suggests you think someone is dirt, also useful to bear in mind when it comes to booking cheap holidays to Tunisia.


Take the Bull by the Horns

Surfers do it, so do rockers – it’s the bull horns; where you hold up your index finger and your little finger, giving it a bit of a wave. But Italians do it when they want to show a man’s wife is being unfaithful, so best keep this little gesture to yourself if you’re off on an Italy break anytime soon and don’t want to cause offence!


One Way You Can’t go Wrong

The good news is that wherever you go – a grin can go a long way. Everyone recognises it as a universal sign of friendliness and happiness, so remember to smile, although that shouldn’t be too difficult to manage on holiday!

Let us know your holiday stories; Have any gesture ever landed you in hot water? Or has an innocent hand movement caused unexpected friction?

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