Wearing a “I heart (name of place)” t-shirt. Sporting a sunburn. Wait, is that a fanny pack around your waist? Yeah, you look like a tourist, mate. When you’re travelling overseas, it’s a good idea to be incognito.
But why bother? Well, being able to blend in is beneficial. From avoiding pickpockets to getting acquainted with locals, it’s the best way to get the best travel experience ever. So what gives you away? What is it exactly that makes it evident that you’re a tourist?
There are glaring signs that scream, “Hey, we have a tourist here!” You may or may not be aware of them but how you act and how you behave are what gives you away.
So, what should you do? If you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, just follow the things listed below and you should blend right in.
Learn some local phrases
You don’t have to be fluent but learning a few key phrases will help you out. You’ll earn a bit of respect as it shows you’ve taken some time and effort to learn the local language and shows that you also respect their culture.
When you’re out and about, it’s handy when you can greet people, say thank you, buying food, or know how to ask directions when you’re lost in the native tongue.
Technology is great, and it has made life so convenient. However, if you want to immerse yourself in your environment, take a nice long walk. Check out the sights and sounds, experience the neighbourhood, the residents, even the strange smells. Just make sure you are in a safe location, of course.
Pulling out maps
Nothing sucks than getting lost around town. But if you want to look like a local, you have to appear as if you know exactly where you’re going. There’s a way you can get around pulling out a map when you get lost. Before you go out, learn the directions or use a maps app on your smartphone to be a little more discreet.
Always displaying your camera
This one’s pretty obvious. Don’t have your camera continually dangling around your neck or in your hands. Nothing gives you away to locals than having your expensive camera and equipment on full display.
Also, the same goes with your selfie stick. It’s the ultimate sign that you’re a tourist. Don’t add on to those hordes of tourists who just can’t stop taking selfies constantly.
Visit the local markets
Dining out is fantastic, but spend some time wandering around and see what the nearby local market has to offer. It’s also a good place to watch the locals. If something catches your eye, ask about it. Don’t worry too much about the language barrier. Just go online and translate the word whatever you’re checking out in English.
Wear suitable clothes
Dressing correctly for the local weather will help you blend in. You can quickly check out the weather forecast. While you’re at it, ditch the fanny pack, please. Also, the typical t-shirts that tourists shop for, you know what I’m referring to, those “I heart this place” shirts.
Thanks for reading. If you want to know how you can keep in constant contact with your friends and family when you’re travelling abroad, here’s a blog post you should check out, How to Keep in Touch When You are Overseas.