What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you picture a tourist? Is it a bright Hawaiian shirt and a bulky camera around the neck? Funny as this image may be, you don’t want people to look at you and think: tourist…even if you are one. Thankfully, there are ways to blend in, even when you’re travelling. Here is how to do it:
Dress the Part
People dress differently in certain parts of the world. If you really want to avoid being labelled as a tourist, you’ll need to be observant. In London and Paris, for example, men and women tend to wear darker colours, like black and brown. In the Caribbean on the other hand, people wear brighter, more vibrant shades. Look around you and take note of what other people are wearing. You can adjust your wardrobe accordingly.
Avoid Tourist Trademarks
Know that adorable sweatshirt you bought…the one with the British flag on it? Don’t wear it on your vacation. It’s better to wear that after you’ve returned home. Why? Nothing says tourist more than wearing souvenir merchandise! While you’re at it, you should also avoid wearing a backpack or fanny pack. Those are some other obvious tourist trademarks.
Be Aware of Weather Conditions
To look like a local, you’ll need to be properly dressed for the weather. If you’re headed somewhere with a lot of sunshine, wear sandals and shorts. If there is a lot of rain in the area, bring along an umbrella or rain jacket. It’s all about being aware of your location – and dressing appropriately for it. This will keep you comfortable and help you avoid looking like a tourist.
Learn the Currency
Want to let people know you’re a tourist? Just spend five minutes counting out change when you’re paying for food. To avoid these awkward moments, take a little time before your trip to learn the currency. A quick search online will help you understand the basics – which will speed things up when you’re buying something.
Know the Language and Customs
Before you travel, it’s also a good idea to understand the language and customs. You don’t need to be able to speak the language fluently, but a basic understanding will make things much easier. Plus, by understanding the basic expected behaviours for that culture, you’ll be less likely to stick out as a tourist.
Eat Local Food
We all have foods that we prefer to eat. If you’re in a different country, though, don’t just stick to what you know! Not only will this let others know that you are a tourist, but it will really limit your overall experience. The solution? Try eating local foods instead. You never know – you may end up loving the local cuisine.
Always Keep Maps Out Of Sight
Pulling out a city map is the biggest rookie mistake you can make. That’s right – if you want to avoid looking like a tourist, don’t openly look at your map. You’ll set yourself up to be seen as a tourist and you may even make yourself a target for criminals. Be careful and always keep your map out of sight. Have it on your phone or look at your map in a quiet place, instead.
If you’re tired of being labelled as a tourist, think ahead. Always be careful, observant, and aware of your actions. You’ll be acting like a local in no time!