How to Avoid Being a Terrible Tourist

New year comes with new resolutions. For travelers, one on their list is to travel farther and frequently. If you have plans on taking your itchy feet on international roads, research beforehand about their destinations to see, foods to try, and most importantly, their customs and traditions so as not to be that type of traveler or tourist.

Experience more than just the places, immerse yourself deep in your chosen destination’s roots and people. Put your camera down and see what’s in front of you untouched, without digital filters. Be polite and grounded when meeting the people there and be mindful of what to say and how you act.

Steer clear of mishaps and misadventures. Assuming you’re aware of the fiasco that is Logan Paul—his unawareness and complete ignorance of another nation’s culture is the epitome of an irresponsible and terrible traveler. We do not want to be that person.

Here are the common things to bear in mind when traveling internationally to avoid being seen as an annoying tourist; and be that respectful traveler.

Dress appropriately

Yes, dressing up is a freedom of expression. However, there are instances where it’s inappropriate to wear shorts and tank tops to certain places. Your freedom to wear what you want and dress however you please is not an excuse to disrespect other nation’s preserves.

You are a visitor. Hence, it’s you who has to adjust to the place and people you’re visiting: follow their rules, respect their customs and beliefs. There are places who observe proper dress code and you have to follow and respect aptly.  

Demonstrate respect

Following your destination’s dress code means you respect their culture. Other ways you can demonstrate your utmost respect to the country you’re visiting the people is thru learning about their cultural norms, basic etiquette, customs, and traditions. Research about all this before you fly to your destination.

In addition to that, do also take the time to learn basic words and phrases in their language such as “thank you” and other forms of greeting. If you have nothing nice to say, keep it to yourself don’t say anything at all especially when you’re around the locals. Respect their way of living.

Initiate questions and listen

Traveling is a way to let yourself loose and for self-improvement. You’ll find yourself often sparking conversations with a mix of different people. More likely than not, you’ll come across things you’re unaware of and have questions following it, don’t be afraid to ask, however, do have an open mind.

Immerse yourself in their culture and broaden your perspective. Actively listen and be mindful of how you’ll voice your thoughts. You’re a visitor in their home, it still boils down to showing respect.

Put your phone down on when taking pictures aren’t allowed

In this day and age where seeing a beautiful landscape initiates you to pull out your phone and see it through the lens and on your phone screen, you shouldn’t be too surprised when you enter solemn and intimate places where snapping pictures are prohibited such as temples and churches. If there is a large and clear-cut sign that prohibits it, respect the rules and abide. Even when you see other people ignoring it, still, don’t become that person.

Research. Research. Research.

Don’t stop on your research when you’re done booking a hotel accommodation or planning your itinerary. Instead, dig a little deeper and look for the “do’s and don’ts” when traveling to the place/s you plan to visit. It’s better to be prepared and know beforehand what you should and shouldn’t do and save yourself from embarrassing mishaps along the journey.

What’s the worst terrible display of tourism you’ve witnessed? Share it with us!


About the author: An adventurer at heart, Chie Suarez aims to finish her travel bucket list before she hits 40. For the meantime, she writes for Holiday Inn Parramatta Accommodation—stay and experience the historical part of Sydney whether for business or leisure.