Here are more things that you can do to avoid being labeled with the “Ugly American” tag.
Be sensitive to the differences between cultures
Just because you are used to one thing and you observe differences in the country of your destination does not mean that the differences are wrong. When you plan to visit another country, ready your mindset so that you will be more open to new things. This is especially true if you are visiting countries in the East. Put yourself in the shoes of a different person. From religious beliefs to eating practices – you should be ready to deal with these and not make a big deal out of them.
Do your share of research before you leave
Ample research about your destination can save you tons of embarrassment and problems when you are on your trip. Don’t assume anything about the local culture but try to find out what is acceptable and what is not. For example, if you plan to visit temples in Thailand, you need to know that they do not let in men in shorts. Or perhaps if you plan to go to Japan, you should know that tipping is not really a practice there.
Another thing on language…
…just because people look different and do not speak English does not mean that they do not understand what you are saying in English. There is never an excuse for rude comments or making fun of other people. You never know if they can understand what you are saying anyway.