10 Tips: How to Not Look Like a Tourist (With Gifs)
If you’re a frequent traveler or visiting somewhere new, you might want to skip the tourist traps. To gain an authentic experience with the locals, you need to learn how to blend in. You can avoid looking like a tourist by following these ten simple steps:
1. Know Where You’re Going
Stop clogging the sidewalk traffic by consulting your city map every few blocks.
Only tourists need a map to navigate the city. Before heading out, make sure you have an idea of where you’re going. Alternatively, you can download the areas you’re exploring so you can navigate while offline. Just click where you need to go and slip your device in your pocket. When you check the map to make sure you’re staying on course, others will only assume you’re reading a text.
2. Tuck Away the Camera
Let’s pretend selfie sticks don’t exist.
Face it: no one cradles a Canon around their neck when strolling the streets of their hometown. Sporting a camera and stopping every three steps to snap a picture is a sure-fire trait of a tourist. Only take photos at the essential opts. Otherwise, keep it tucked away.
3. Can the Fanny Pack
Or, as the British would say: Ban the Bum Bag.
No one wears a fanny pack as a fashion statement. Well, at least not an enviable one. If you snap on a fanny pack during vacation, it’s a dead giveaway. There are other means to carry your essentials around town. Please, for the love of everything right in the world, do not wear a fanny pack unless you want to stick out as a tourist.
4. Ditch the Sneakers
No one outside America really wears sneakers in public–unless they’re training for a 10K.
Instead, you should try a trendy alternative like Allbirds. Comfortable walking shoes are vital for any trip, but that doesn’t mean you need to look like a Nike representative, either.
5. Wear Neutral Colors
Most people outside the United States dress better than the average Walmart shopper.
If you want to avoid looking like a tourist on your trip, you should keep the Hawaiian shirts and graphic T’s at home. Instead, mix and match neutral colors. Not only will you fit in better with the local fashion, but you can pack less and still have outfits for days.
6. Pay With Local Currency
International counters don’t always accept USD.
To avoid an embarrassing turn away, you should exchange your cash for the local currency. If you don’t want to bother swapping money, you can always stick with plastic.
7. Learn Some Key Phrases
Not everyone speaks English. Don’t assume you’ll receive special accommodations just because you do.
If you want to shake off the tourist vibe, you should learn a few common phrases in the other language. Be bold. Try actually using them in conversation. Even if you’re visiting, the locals will respect you more for trying to assimilate–even if you completely botch it.
8. Don’t Compare & Complain
We get it. Things are different here. You’re not in Kansas anymore.
You don’t need to point out every little difference you come across. Just enjoy where you’re at and make the most of it!
9. Stop Yelling
“I really loved how she yelled at me. It really made me feel appreciated!” said no one ever. No one likes getting yelled at–especially in a language they don’t understand.
If you’re talking to a local and the language barrier is evident, repeating yourself at a higher volume will not help anyone understand you better. Let me rephrase that:
10. Carry a Local Paper
Cliche detectives really know how to blend in.
A sure way to avoid looking like a tourist–read the local paper. Who other than a local would read that? It’s an instant disguise!
And there you have it! If you follow these ten simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to shedding your touristy skin and “doing as the Romans do,” or however the saying goes.