Culture Smart Guides

Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG) – Cultural GatG, Eco GatG

Culture Smart has just re-launched 22 of its bestselling titles. They've been totally re-designed and contain 32 additional pages of invaluable information to help people get the best out of their time abroad. As well as including a new section on relevant apps for each country and the country's covid response and what we can learn from each country's response to the pandemic.

One of the best things about travel is being able to immerse yourself within new cultures and learn about the world. Culture Smart guides offer essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in different countries so that you can get prepared before you travel. They provide valuable information on the traditions and culture of countries around the world so that you are completely prepared for your destination before you arrive.

Their aim is to give their readers a level of cultural fluency, so that no matter what your reason for travelling, you are well equipped to approach each situation with confidence and sensitivity.

Culture Guides

The guides are thorough, and designed so that you can look up whichever chapter you need for quick reference whenever you need it. Or you can read it all in one go for a complete overview.

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 behaviour that will be reciprocated with goodwill and hospitality.

Customs and Traditions Around The World

Countries such as Jordan or India can be challenging if you’re not aware of the cultural norms. India is steeped in tradition, the local people are friendly and will respond to you with warmth but the country is full of extremes. The Culture Smart guide to India helps make you aware of the basic values so that you can connect more with the local people and navigate cultural differences. Instead of feeling frustrated when something isn’t what you are used to, you’ll be able to understand the behaviour norms with these insights. 

Maybe you are travelling to Iran, and want to know what the real Iran is like in the twenty-first century as opposed to the stereotype. With the country offering a romanticism, it is still feeling the effect of the Islamic Revolution that took place in 1979. As a modern society with a traditional culture, it is experiencing great change.

* N.b. Girl about the Globe has secured a discount of 10% on your Culture Guide book. Just click on the link below and enter the code “GIRLSOLOCS” to obtain the discount. Save 10% on Your Culture Guide

Culture Smart Guides: Understanding Customs and Traditions Around the World

Culture Smart Guides: Understanding Customs and Traditions Around the World

Planning on Moving Abroad

If you are planning on moving abroad, their book ‘Preparing For Your Move Abroad’ is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you prepare for your big move. It’ll help to reduce the stress and eliminate the fears associated with the transition. Learn about the psychological aspects, as well as the practical and even cultural so that your move is as seamless as it can be.

There are more than 100 worldwide country guides to choose from. Discover the customs and culture in Rwanda in Africa, Laos in Asia, or Nicaragua in Latin America. If you are seeking essential guides to customs and culture, these guides offer the perfect insight into the human element of travel.

Culture Smart Guides Reviews

“This is a great small book, packed with lots of interesting information. I'm very glad I purchased it! I selected one on China and one on India. If you enjoy reading about different cultures – this is for you!” – Peaches.

“The culture smart series is consistently a fantastic source of overview information. I always buy one of these culture smart books for wherever I may be traveling next. I highly recommend them. They will give you tips and tricks to follow that you won’t find elsewhere.” – Alexandra Hall

* N.b. Click on the link below and enter the code “GIRLSOLOCS” to receive 10% discount on your guide. Save 10% on Your Culture Guide

Japan Culture Guide Review

Planning a trip to Japan? Culture Smart Guides teach you about the tradition and culture in Japan before you go. Here's our review of their Japan culture guide.

With a new sleek and eye-catching design, Culture Smart Guides have quickly piled up onto my ‘To Be Read' book pile. These guides are not your average travel guide. Instead of telling you what to see and do, they educate! As someone who strives to be an ethical and sustainable traveller, knowing about the country, customs, and etiquette, is the first step when planning to travel to any country.

What They Include

The Culture Smart Guide “Japan: The Essential Guide on Customs and Culture” by Paul Norbury offers a lot of information in one place. Starting off with a comprehensive chapter on Japan’s history the reader gets transported back in time and learns about the different cultural influences that have impacted the country, as well as its very own religion called Shintoism.

The charts give the reader a good overview of historical periods, historic moments, and the different reigns. Chapters such as Gift Giving and Food and Drink give a well-rounded account of how to behave while visiting the country and what to watch out for when conversing with the Japanese.

Even sections that I would usually not be too intrigued by such as the business world or the economy, became suddenly fascinating when connected to the bigger picture on how Japan works as a country. Readers will especially enjoy the little snippets of real-life situations people could find themselves in and how to act appropriately.

* Find out more about Culture Smart Guides here 

Culture Smart Guide: Tradition and Culture in Japan


One of the most striking aspects of this customs and culture guide is that the author does not rely on Orientalism or Exoticism to make Japan attractive to travellers. The language used is matter-of-fact and neutral, fleshing out history and traditions without making them seem lost in another time and place.

Even though there is an occasional lack of gender-neutral terms and the use of certain words such as “schizophrenic,” it is rather minor compared to other travel guides who heavily depend on outdated language and stereotypes. What is certainly not outdated in this guide is the mention of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the government has handled it.

Culture Smart Guide: Tradition and Culture in Japan

Future Improvements

The book does cover how the Japanese act towards foreigners, women, and LGBT+ members, and also touches upon unwanted attention for female travellers wanting to visit the country. It says that if the woman in question swiftly objects, this should ideally lead to an apology.  A dedicated chapter on the laws and ways to reach out for help would definitely be an advantage. 

Culture Smart Guide: Tradition and Culture in Japan

Who Are They For?

This guide, as it says on the cover, is an essential toolkit for all travellers, tourists, and business people who want to land on Japanese ground running instead of drowning. For the traveller who prefers a fixed schedule and itinerary of what to do and see, the guide will leave you grasping for just that. It is meant to guide rather than instruct.

Culture Smart Guide: Tradition and Culture in Japan


Reading the Culture Smart Guide has made me a more confident traveller and they will definitely be my go-to when wanting to learn more about a certain country. I am beyond excited for borders to open again and will make certain to always pack my very own copy of the Culture Smart Guides with me on my travels.

This review for “Japan: The Essential Guide to Customs and Culture” by Paul Norbury was written by Sara Catherine Schmidt. The Japan guide is just one of their newly updated guides.