+ Playlists

10 Ways To Avoid Being THAT Tourist

After many years of traveling the world, I have come to know THAT tourist very very well. I've sat next to him on a plane, I’ve drank with him, I’ve muttered evil things about him under my breath and yes, I’ve even been him.
 
There is no shame in being THAT tourist, the important thing is to understand and own the fact that you have become him. Just don't commit any/or all of the below acts and pretend you're not the jerk. So let's go through the list and figure out how many of these we're guilty of, don't forget to post your score in the comments! Overseas drinking game anyone?
 
1) Making sure everyone with ears can tell you have an accent.
I'm all for accents. Not only are they sexy, but also depending on the origin of the accent they can make a person infinitely more trustworthy and believable. However this does not give you the go ahead to walk around foreign lands projecting your "exotic" voice in hopes that someone notices and/or comments on your lovely and strange way of speaking. Much like you in your own place of residence, 90% of people couldn't care less about you or your foreign tongue. The exception to this rule is the service industry; show off to your hearts delight, as they will most definitely compliment your accent in hopes of gaining a larger tip.
 
2) Disparaging other tourists for being tourists.
Very little is more irritating than a pot calling the kettle black. I know different nations are apparently known as 'notorious" for their d-bag touristy ways but unless you are 100% positive you have not committed any sins on this list try not to letting the phrase "f-ing tourists" pass your lips when you've most likely been called the very same thing throughout the duration of your vacation.
 
3) Taking inappropriate selfies and/or group shots.

As illustrated in the header for this article, pretending to climb over a friend to get over the Berlin Wall is a prime example of this sin... and the person committing this sin is yours truly. I also am sad to admit that whilst tremendously hung-over (Berlin doesn't have a last call) I unknowingly sat down on the Holocaust memorial and dropped my head between my knees. Despite the fact that these monuments and or landmarks are big tourists draws, many of them have a phenomenal amount of significance to the people affected and the world in general. Photos are inevitable, but try to avoid the duck lips.
 
4) Pretending to be Canadian.
I am convinced that Canadians are no more or less liked than any other first world country in foreign lands, so please stop pretending to be Canadians if you are not... it's kind of sad. The only people you will hear make the comparison are, again service workers who are trying to get a larger tip... or trying to sleep with you. You have to hand it to service workers; they know how to play us. "I knew you were Canadian! You're too nice to be American" gets me every time.
 
5) Parroting accents.
This is a sin that is very hard to disparage people for because many people, myself included, don't realize they are doing it. I think I am just so impressed by accents that after being immersed in them for a few hours, I begin to (poorly) mimic them. Whether intentional or not, this is extremely patronizing! Especially when you are bad at it. Take it from someone who has a penchant to slide into Pirate while trying to parrot most accents.
 
6) Complaining.
The next person who I hear complaining about how different a destination is gets a slap in the hoolies. Isn't that the point? To gain new experiences and temporarily live a different life? And remember that these places are not setup to make you comfortable; things are the way they are to make the people that live there comfortable. And while I’m on the subject, you don't need to tell every single person you meet how things are different where you come from. You don't need to go all "Phoebe" from the "Magic School Bus" on us, not even Ms. Frizzle liked her. "At my old school..."
 
7) Meeting locals "Halfway".
This mostly applies to language. And once again I am very very guilty of this myself. Just because you speak a language other than English, doesn't mean every other language understands that language better than English. An example of this would be speaking French to Germans because you (drunkenly) feel guilty for being so ignorant. This is slightly more acceptable when the languages are even remotely comparable, but being that German is actually more closely linked to English than the Latin-based French, you will probably just end up sounding more ignorant in the end.
 
8) Speaking in Colloquialisms.
On the topic of language, although most of the (tourism) world speaks or understands a bit of English, that doesn't mean they are familiar with how the youths of Canada say "cool". Before you set out on your travels pick up a dictionary and find out the root words for all of your slang, because if you speak proper English you will be much more understandable to people who speak English as a second language.
 
9) Wearing souvenirs while still on Vacation.Souvenirs are great! I adore dropping a ton of cashish on knick-knacks are poorly made clothing to let everyone who sets eyes on me know how worldly I am. But please save it for when you get home. Nothing says "Rob me! I'm a tourist" like sporting a baseball cap with "Scotland" splayed across the brim.
 
10) Tourist braids.
This has been a no-no from the get go, I really don't know how it has survived for so many years. This mostly applies to those of us who enjoy a vacation filled with sun and sand, these people are very talented hair braiders and it certainly lets everyone know you just had an affordable vacation down south but there has to be another option!
 
There are many other sins left unnamed and if I have forgotten any of your sins, or pet peeves let me know in the comments section. 
Happy travels!