How to Not Look Like an American Tourist while Traveling Abroad

February 11, 2013 By

One thing that you should do as you travel in another country is to blend in with other tourists. As much as possible, you shouldn’t stand out if you don’t want people staring at you everywhere you go. Here are some tips that will help you look like an average tourist.

The Way You Act

1.) Don’t be too polite. Locals would immediately know that you’re not from their place.

2.) Know when and when not to shake hands with a local. Simply get to know more about the culture of your destination country.

3.) Appreciate their culture for you to gain the respect of the locals. Try to know a word or two of their language. Common greetings would do

4.) Put your camera inside your bag. Yes, you would like to take pictures of everything that you see but displaying your camera around your neck will immediately give you the label of a tourist.

5.) Avoid chewing gum candies. In some countries, a person who chews gum all the time doesn’t have proper etiquette. Thus, refrain from doing so as you roam around the streets.

6.) Don’t act as if you own the place. Remember you’re just visiting that country so don’t spread your arms and legs in a public transportation vehicle.

7.) Don’t voice out your appreciation for their souvenirs all the time. You’re acting as a tourist so stop doing that. Nevertheless, you can still buy all the souvenirs that you want.

8.) Don’t be too boastful. Stop showing off all of your purchases to your loved ones and colleagues. You’re giving them the impression that you have endless cash inside your pocket.

9.) Don’t be too noisy. Speak softly when you’re in public. You may not be used to that but you would have to learn to do so for the mean time.

10.) Know a little about the politics and history of your destination country. This will prevent you from looking like an ignorant tourist.

11.) Don’t bring a map as you travel a certain place. Be familiar with the routes while you’re still inside your hotel bedroom. If you really need to consult your map, then go inside a comfort room and look at it.

The Foods That You Eat

1.) Purchase a bottle of mineral water. Never inquire for tap water.

2.) When you dine inside a restaurant, look for a menu which is written in the local language of the country where you are in. Deal with an English menu if they don’t have one.

3.) Don’t eat and walk down the street at the same time. That’s just an improper thing to do in most countries. Observe good manners.

4.) Don’t smoke in a “non-smoking” area. Learn to live by the rules of the country that you are visiting. Failure to do so would certainly put you into trouble. You may even end up in jail so be careful.

5.) Never ask for decaf in a café if they don’t have one. Don’t be such a brat in a foreign country.

6.) Ask for local foods. Never be afraid to try out new things and get out of your comfort zone. Do these things if you want to draw less attention.

7.) Learn the accustomed table manners in that country. Not all nations dine the same way so you would really need to do some research before you go and travel.

8.) Don’t dine in Pizza Hut and McDonald's all the time. Americans in other countries often eat in these places so don’t follow their habit. Try eating in a local fast food chain.

9.) Refrain from asking ice for your drinks. Just be contented with what the restaurant is willing to offer you if you don’t want to be seen as an American.

10.) Don’t be too picky with the condiments as well. Refrain yourself from asking pepper, salt or ketchup when it’s not on your table. The key is to be contented with everything.

The Clothes That You Wear

1.) When attending pool parties, wear local swimming garments. This will certainly help you blend in the crowd.

2.) Refrain from wearing travel shirt and cargo pants made of nylon. Only wear them when you’re out in the forest or while you’re rafting and trekking. Locals just don’t wear those kinds of garment

3.) Know how the locals wear their socks and follow them. This will prevent you from looking stupid in front of many people.

4.) Don’t bring water bottles, fanny pack, backpack and baseball hats all the time. Those things are simply all American. Try to observe the people around you. Follow the way they dress.

5.) Be careful with colors of your shirts as well. Opt for hues that are not too bright. They should be able to compliment your skin too.

6.) Dress according to the weather and don’t overdo it. In third world countries, wearing a fur coat on a rainy day is simply bizarre so don’t do that. Buy your clothes from local shops.

7.) Try to wear casual clothes. Bring less of your personal garments with you and shop for your everyday clothes in your destination country. Just look decent for you not to be the center of attention.

8.) Don’t buy US branded clothes. Always remember that your goal is hide your identity as much as possible so purchasing these things is out of the question.

9.) Purchase local accessories. Imitate the overall fashion sense of the people around you. However, make sure that those earrings, bracelets and necklaces look good on you as well.

10.) Don’t wear clothes which have names or symbols that have great significance to your country. You would have to forget about your Motherland for a while. Come up with a new identity. You can consider dying your hair black if you’re going to visit an Asian country.

11.) Don’t wear white athletic shoes. Those items greatly show that you’re an American. Just come up with a new wardrobe as much as you can.

 


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