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I have this pet peeve: Looking like a tourist. There’s something about being so obviously not-from-here that bugs me to no end. I like to look like a local, or at least some impression of a local. And I’m not perfect, believe me, but I do try.
There are some times when being a tourist can put you in serious danger, such as with pickpockets and scam artists. Other times it gives locals a chance to pick you apart in public. And other times, the teenage girl in your group is just embarrassed. Being an obvious tourist is just not an option in this day and age. And that’s why I’ve put together this handy step-by-step guide on how to not look like a tourist for your next getaway.
How to Not Look Like a Tourist, According to Morgan
1. Be familiar with the dialect
Did you know that in Belgium, the two different sides speak different languages and if you speak the wrong one it is highly offensive? I didn’t either until I read it in my guide book and saved myself from looking like an idiot like some members of my group who didn’t do their research. It is important to know what language/dialect people are speaking in order to communicate and not offend. This is a huge way of not putting a “I’m a Tourist” sign on you head.
2. Keep up with the clothing
There are exceptions to this one, such as extreme or rare weather conditions, but it’s a pretty solid rule. Just because you’re going to San Francisco doesn’t mean that you dress in San Francisco as you do in Southern California. It’s cold in SF and if you’re wearing shorts, it’s obvious you’re a tourist. Before you pack do some research and see how the locals dress. This will help you pack as much as keep you from being a tourist looker.
3. Know what to eat
This one is super important. When you’re reading a guidebook they’re going to lead you to all the fancy tourist restaurants, which is great, but you won’t get local cuisine and you’ll spend twice as much money. You’re better off asking your hotel concierge where they recommend for a simple dinner (they’ll give you a more local perspective, and cheaper) or take a walk and see where people are eating. You’re going to see a lot more variety and won’t be packed in with a million tourists.
4. Don’t point to things
I’m pretty good at spotting tourists, but when you point to things it makes my job a million times easier. You stand out so much more when you’re pointing to buildings and reading out of your guidebook. It’s fine to take a walk and read your guidebook, but subtlety is key and pointing is not subtle.
5. For the love of God, do not take a picture with everything
I love pictures. I love taking pictures. I will even take your picture. But if you’re taking a photo with every landmark (unless it’s on a tour or something similar) I will know you’re a tourist and I will laugh at how ridiculous you look. It’s fine to hand your friend your camera to take a photo at the Jefferson memorial, but if you do it every three minutes you’re just wasting battery life and probably annoying everyone around you who can hear, “OMG take my photo with this 333rd memorial!!!”
I’m expecting to see no more tourists now, you hear?
Who’s ready for Whatever Wednesday tomorrow? Only here on The Enthusiast’s Everyday Enthusiasm!
Stay classy, Internet,
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