10 Ways To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist Overseas

When visiting any foreign country its a good idea to not stand out from the crowd and potentially mark yourself as an easy target to predators looking to relieve you of your prized possessions. On top of that, who wants to live their traveling life as a stereotypical tourist anyway?

The-Griswalds-Stone-Henge Source/Credit: Warner Brothers Studio

1. Ditch The Bum Bag

The bum bag is one travel accessory that screams 'take from me'. No-one goes unnoticed when wearing a 'bum bag' for not only the comical value but for the easy pickings the wearer represents.


2. Don't Point And Stare

As exciting, new and interesting the scenery is all around you, its a dead give away if you are staring, with your jaw open looking like one of those games at the circus where you pop a ball into the mouth of a row of clowns as their head tilts from side to side. For the locals, the scenery is just same old, so by refraining from those 'deer in the headlights' moments, you are less likely to be noticed by the locals.


3. Put That Map Away

Theres no need to create a spectacle of yourself by opening that huge map and flapping it around while you find your bearings. Technology is here make use of it, install an off-line map app on your smart phone before you travel.


4. Don't Walk Around With A Huge Backpack

Unless you are backpacking through 100 countries, theres no conceivable reason to be lugging that massive backpack around with you. I'm guessing most of its contents can be left back at the hotel. If you must, carry a small messenger style bag or even a day pack to hold your necessities. Besides, your back with thank you for it.


5. Be Discreet With A Money Belt

In the 60's and 70's money belts were a discreet way to hide away your money from others when traveling. These days, everyone knows what they are, and what they contain - money. Besides, the mere sight of a tourist fumbling down the front of their trousers or shorts can tend to freak people out.


6. Don't Hang Your Camera Around Your Neck

So, you purchased at great Nikon camera at the duty free, now all you want to do is show it off to the world. Chances are with that attitude you may very well find it won't remain in your possession for too long. Put the camera away and only bring it out when needed.


7. Learn The Lingo (Language)

Contrary to what some tourists must think is the best way to communicate with the locals being, shouting the same phrase in English which becomes progressively louder, it does not make a person easier to understand. Take the time to learn a few words or phrases to help you somewhat assimilate with the locals.

8. Avoid Beer T-Shirts, Singlets And Football Shirts

The Bintang Beer singlet or Manchester United football shirt is a sure giveaway as to your tourist status. One could say its comparable with a shirt that has the word 'foreigner', or 'tourist' blazoned across the front.


9. Don't Buy A Tourist T-Shirt And Wear It In That City

When at home, do you wear an 'I love ????' (insert home town here) shirt when spending the day with the grandchildren or doing the shopping at the local supermarket? Chances are you don't, so why would the locals in the city or town in which you are visiting to it. Save wearing the tourist t-shirt until you arrive back home.

10. Avoid Stereotypical Nylon Cargo Pants And Travel Shirts

Unless you are trekking or white river rafting, avoid wearing clothes that scream 'tourist,' such attire includes those horrendous, yet practical pants that zip off at the knee and convert to shorts. They may dry quickly and offer appealing functionality, but you will be noticed for all the wrong reasons. It is possible to obtain clothing that offers the technical advantages of quick dry nylon in styles that are unobtrusive and offer the form and function of regular clothing.

Sandra Hawkins

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