The Culture Smart! guides are written for people who want more than just the nuts and bolts of where to stay, what to see, and how to travel. Short, sharp and humorous, they deal with the richly rewarding human dimension of foreign travel by telling you about the beliefs and attitudes of the people you will meet and about situations you may encounter. They help you to understand what makes people tick, the values they live by, and the kind of behavior that will be reciprocated with goodwill and hospitality.
Each guide includes concise chapters on the local customs, traditions and values of the country's inhabitants, and crucially, the key historical and cultural events that have shaped them. There are sections on social and business etiquette, tips on communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and advice on how to be a good guest.
For us, the idea of travelling overseas and operating in a foreign culture without an understanding of its idiosyncrasies, quirks and taboos is a bit like watching a movie in black and white: a little bit of insider knowledge and cultural know-how won't just help to make sense of what you are seeing, it will enrich the experience to full color.
Our aim is to arm readers with a level of cultural fluency, so that whatever your reason for travelling, each situation may be approached with both confidence and sensitivity.
Brief and thorough, our guides are designed so that they can be dipped into for quick reference as and when needed, or comfortably completed in a few sittings, affording you a comprehensive overview of what you're getting yourself into before you have even taken off!
Written by long-term expats, journalists, professors and diplomats, Culture Smart! guides have been helping travellers be more than just tourists for over 20 years. With over 100 country guides to date, there are new titles and editions published every year.
Marcel Proust once said,
The true voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. We hope that Culture Smart! will help you arrive at your destination with your eyes open.
"Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers." - Sunday Times Travel
"...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries." - Global Travel
"...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas." - Observer
"...as useful as they are entertaining." - Easy Jet Magazine
"...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world." - New York Times