When you’re traveling around the world, it’s a little hard to avoid standing out from the locals. By following these hints and tips, you can avoid looking like a tourist enough to prevent you from feeling as though you’re being treated differently.
If you stay in a hotel, you’re more or less guaranteeing that you’ll be comfortable, but you’re also guaranteeing you’ll be surrounded by tourists. To help immerse yourself into the local community, why not use an AirBnB or rent an apartment? This way, you’ll be using more of the local markets while also staying off the beaten path as much as possible.
When staying in these communities away from the busy centers, you can find some of the real authentic local food that people strive for. Eating locally is also going to save you so much money as tourists often get charged a premium for eating in busy spots.
Use the bus
The metro systems are great for getting around, but you might find that the majority of passengers are tourists. Instead, to help you blend in you should take the bus. Sure it can be a little more complicated to work out the routes, but generally it’s much cheaper, and often it can actually be quicker.
Look with your eyes, not the lens
There is no bigger giveaway that you’re a tourist than taking a whole bunch of pictures. We don’t need to carry cameras around our necks any longer to take great pictures, but that doesn’t mean people won’t tell you’re a tourist pretty quickly. If you spend more time taking pictures of your surroundings rather than just looking and appreciating them, people are going to know you’re a tourist.
Go out of season
One way to avoid looking like a tourist is to travel to your destination out of the busy season. Millions of people will go flocking to the biggest cities all over the world during peak travel times, so why not go there in the fall or spring?
Going at an off-peak time of year means you’ll actually get more chances to enjoy the landmarks and you won’t be elbowing people out of the way. It’s cheaper, and because people won’t be so much on the lookout for tourists, you’ll be able to blend in much easier.
There’s no need to follow any maps or get too engrossed in following the mapping system on your phone. The best way to fit in is to actually get lost in the place you’re visiting. Just enjoy wandering around and discovering many of the things by chance. If you learn a little bit of the language, you can get by without coming across as an ignorant tourist. Just follow your nose and see where it leads you, it could be the best part of your entire trip.
No, we don’t mean walking around in a lab coat or donning a pair of glasses, we mean don’t dress so casually. People like to be comfortable on their travels, but you’ll find when walking through the streets of the city you’re visiting that only the tourists look so casual. Pretty much everyone local will be wearing smarter clothes because they are working or busy.
It’s also a real obvious giveaway if you’re wearing money belts of vests with a ton of pockets. In some places, dressing casual is going to be more acceptable, like in the States, but in places like Europe, smarter clothing is the way to go.
Avoiding looking like a tourist is pretty easy when you know how. Follow these simple rules, and you might even have tourists coming up to you asking for directions because they mistake you for locals.