Travel Etiquette: Where Not to Take a Selfie

Travel Etiquette: Where Not to Take a Selfie

Don't get caught taking a picture of yourself at these travel locations or situations.

Don’t make these selfie mistakes while travelling. Photo courtesy of

It’s impossible to travel without capturing some of those unforgettable moments with a photo. And if you’re into sharing your adventures on social media taking a selfie comes as a natural travel must. But not all locations you visit should be captured in a selfie. Why? The reasons range from being disrespectful or culturally insensitive to downright dangerous. While some of these places it’s OK to take a photo, you should definitely refrain from taking a selfie.

A Memorial Honouring the Dead

Memorials such as the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NYC, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC or the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, are places where people have suffered or even lost their lives. These memorials have been created to honour the victims and is where people can go to pay their respects — some who may even have personal connections with the victims. Imagine you are there to honour a dead relative and see someone taking a picture of themselves smiling beside their etched name? Enough said. Unless stated, pictures are OK, just be respectful of what the memorial represents and avoid selfies.

With a Wild Animal

It can be really exciting to see wildlife when you travel — especially if you’re on safari in Africa or glamping in outback — when seeing animals is a big part of the trip. Chances are your tour guide will have already given you the heads up about the dangers or getting up-close-and-personal to a wild animal, but if you’re on your own and hoping to capture the moment — just don’t. Animals can be unpredictable and the last thing you want to happen is for them to get aggressive or frightened when you’re standing beside them.

On a Cliff or Ledge

Trekking up a mountain with a gorgeous view practically screams a selfie. But the potential danger of standing on the ledge of a mountain, building or cliff definitely outweighs the photo op. Plan to capture the view from afar or if you must be in it, make sure you’re not teetering on the edge.

Anywhere Photography Isn’t Allowed

This seems like a no-brainer, but if there is a sign up saying “No Photography” you must follow the rules. Places including inside the Taj Mahal and the Sistine Chapel don’t allow any photos to be taken, as well as many places of worship and museums often don’t allow photography. The consequences of taking a picture (even if it’s just your face taking up the entire frame) can range from a strict warning to removal from the premise or even a fine.

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