England Shirt? Sunburn? Bumbag? You look like a tourist!
When you visit a foreign country, it’s a good idea to be a little discreet. But there are certain classic giveaways that shout ‘tourist approaching: feel free to mug me’. Take heed of our 10 hints to stop you living up to the tourist stereotype and help you blend in with the crowd. Trust us, you’ll have a happier holiday if you can order a beer in the local language.
1. Put your map away
There’s nothing more frustrating than the inconsiderate tourist who thrusts their map in a local’s face while trying to navigate through busy narrow streets. Instead of making a spectacle of yourself while shouting: “Señoro, which way to le marketo?”, get a small pop-up map, look at a map on your phone or acquaint yourself with the route before leaving your accommodation.
3. Ditch the bumbag
It’s never been fashionable (even in the 80s) and unless you’re working on a market stall, you really don’t need all your cash within such easy reach. You might as well have a label on the front saying ‘here’s my passport and money – help yourself’.
4. Don’t stare and point
Even if someone is walking down the street in a Borat mankini, bear in mind, it might be normal in the town or country that you’re visiting, so don’t stare. A dead giveaway that you’re new in town is the way tourists point and gawp at everything they see. So play it cool.
5. Don’t walk around with a huge backpack on
Do you really need to walk around town with the massive backpack on that knocks over old ladies as you pass? Unless you’re on a hike, the chances are that most of the things you’re carrying can be left back at the hotel. Instead, go out with a smaller messenger bag and just pack your essentials.
6. Avoid location-branded tops and football shirts
You may love your Cambridge University hoodie or your Manchester United top, but wearing it in a foreign city is the same as wearing a t-shirt with the word FOREIGNER on it – definitely not a subtle move.
7. Be discreet with the money belt
You buy the money belt thinking it’s a way of giving yourself the superhero power of invisibility from thieves, but when it comes to accessing your money, you find yourself almost pulling your trousers down or your top up trying to discover where the ‘unnoticeable’ wallet has slipped to, much to the horror (or maybe delight?) of the shopkeeper.