There’s so many things to consider when preparing to travel, what do I pack? What do I wear? You need to make sure you’re fully equipped for the adventure that’s to come, but be careful not to overdo it. You could fall into a disastrous trap of being over prepared (yes there’s such a thing!) or ignorant about the do’s and don’ts of being a tourist which could result in thinking wearing socks with sandals is acceptable (just picture that for a second). If you’re hoping to do as the Roman’s do and blend in, then there’s a few things you might want to ditch/ avoid first. By all means be prepared, but don’t get lost in being a tourist and forget to enjoy the ride. Here’s a list of tourist faux pas that may not only cause you to stick out like a sore thumb, but may ruin your trip!
This may seem confusing, surely guidebooks are a good thing? Why yes, yes they are. If you need to research about the best places to see, where to eat, sleep and general trivia, then guidebooks are perfect. If you’re looking to walk the streets as though you were a native then walking with your nose buried into a guidebook is not the best idea- you will be identified as a tourist. Solution? Research at home and don’t take it out with you.
Ah the selfie stick, “the duck face’s” best friend. Why leave this at home? Well aside from the fact that you may look like a bit of an idiot waving a metal stick around just to take a picture of yourself, a lot of places don’t allow them (shock horror!) That’s right a lot of public places and tourist spots have banned them for being hazardous in crowds. So aside from looking silly, and actually not being allowed in some areas, what else could brand you a tourist more than a selfie stick?
…. the answer is a backpack. Nothing screams, “I’m a traveller” quite like a massive backpack or rucksack. Obviously if you’re going on a backpacking holiday it becomes your new best friend (I myself own one) traveller backpacks are a great way to carry all your necessities with you while on the move. But bear in mind they’re heavy and difficult to lug around; if you’re hoping to blend in then you might as well walk around naked. Try taking a smaller handbag or school sized backpack to carry your belongings with you during the day.
Ah the fanny pack (or bum bag as it is also known) one of the most famous products of the 80’s era… that should have stayed there. Worn by many festival goers and tourists on holiday nothing could be more obvious to locals that you’re not from their land than this faux pas. Yes it’s… practical? But not only is it an eye sore it’s also dangerous. Many people store their valuables such as, smartphones, credit cards and bank notes in them while on holiday even though it makes them an easy target. Thieves have been known to drive past on scooters and swipe them without their owners noticing. Save your belongings and fashion dignity; don’t wear one.
It’s only natural to want to take pictures while on holiday (how else will you make your friends and family jealous?) You can always identify a tourist by how big the DSLR hanging from their neck is and whether they have a matching case resting on their hip. By all means take a camera on holiday but maybe opt for a small pocket sized one, or risk looking like an amateur photographer and possibly your tech obsessed dad. Better yet why not enjoy the moment and forget about the “likes” or “retweets” you could have got on social media.
This may cause confusion as, unless you want to spend the night in jail, everyone wears clothes. Yet there are certain items of clothing that bring attention to your tourist status. Ditch the convertible trousers with secret compartments and the hiking boots that you deem acceptable to wear out to dinner…and why not look at what the locals are wearing instead? Aside from the risk of looking like a park ranger your wardrobe may be limited depending on where you’re visiting. Many eastern countries don’t approve of skimpy outfits and see covering up as a religious requirement or a sign of respect. So do your homework before you set off and maybe don’t pack that mankini.