Being a tourist isn’t necessarily a bad thing. No matter how much you try to mask it, there are going to be many times that you’ll clearly have all the appearances of being a tourist. However, tourists often get a bad reputation. We’ve put together this list to help you enjoy your travels even more and be a better tourist.
Dress accordingly: This is something you can do much further in advance. If you’re looking for a cheap flight to San Francisco, for example, then don’t pack shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. Otherwise as soon as you step off the plane you’ll be buying an Alcatraz sweatshirt. Do your research and watch the weather as you’re preparing for your trip. Many destinations are going to make it necessary to dress in layers. Also, find out what most locals wear. This will help you blend in better, while also getting a feel of the culture.
Have a backpack: No, not a backpacker’s backpack, but just something you can throw over your shoulders. This will especially come in handy if you’re doing a lot of shopping and don’t want to be lugging around bags all day. This is also beneficial for carrying any of those extra items that you don’t want bulging from your pockets, like a camera or passport. Consider a lock if you’re concerned about someone reaching in and taking things out of your backpack.
Don’t over-accessorize: That’s right ladies, don’t over-accessorize. Sure, we want you to look good, but we want you to be an efficient traveler too. Leave that oversized glamorous purse at home. This also goes for carrying large wallets in your back pocket or having a large camera or camcorder around your neck. Keep these things safer and more private so they don’t get stolen.
Learn the local dialect: Even if it’s your home country and you already know the language, this is important when traveling to a new city. Learn some of the words to say, as well as phrases you shouldn’t say. Using the example above, don’t go to Northern California calling San Francisco “frisco.” You’ll get weird looks. Similarly, know a little something about pronunciations when visiting another country. In some countries, mispronouncing a word can be the difference between saying what you mean to say and saying something inappropriate.
Have a tour guide: This often screams “tourist,” but having a tour guide can often magnify your travel experiences. Consider having a personal tour guide or going on a group trip. This will save hassles like worrying about what to wear, sweating over maps, or having to learn the dialect. Sure, it’ll mean more money, but that’s often worth having a stress-free trip in which someone else has done all the work.