How to not look like a tourist while traveling
We all know that when it comes to tourism business, tourist are the first to get scammed and squandered. Foreigners are easy to spot and they neither know a lot about the country they are visiting nor the cultural norms, thus it's easy for them to land on "tourist trap".
All this can be avoided if we take some precaution and observe the culture in the country and with some tips, you can avoid looking like a lost tourist.
1. Dress Code
Knowing the local dress code can help you to disguise yourself as a local. Some Muslim country find it unacceptable for women to expose themselves too much or dressing up in the wrong way can give out hints that you are a rich tourist. This allows you to be expose in certain risk like overpaying for a item or service.
2. Spend time observing
Sit down in a cafe or Starbucks, have a nice coffee and observe how the local interact with each other. Pay attention to what they do and what they avoid. If you are in Japan, you will notice that bowing is very important there as it's a form of respect.
3. Learn the public transportation
It's always tempting to take a taxi everywhere in a foreign country as it is fast and easy. But by taking a taxi, you are spending more money on transportation and in worst case scenario, you might be brought to a different place or taken a longer route to your destination.
Therefore it's good to plan beforehand on the public transportation as you can become a less of a target. Useful local travel app can also aid in the country you are traveling in.
4. Learn some common phrases in the native language
When you use some common native phrases like thank you or hello, it will makes you look more approachable and you will gain respect from the locals. Who knows, it might save you from being targeted.
5. Know the local shopping spot
Tourists are known to shop at specific places as it is promoted by their own tourism board. Usually these places are known as "tourist trap" with overpriced food and services. Thus it is good to research on where the locals do their shopping and their usual hangout places. Best will be consulting a friend who is a local there and you can avoid those "tourist trap".
Being able to shop and eat at the local places also allow you to see the true culture of that country instead of what the country wants you to "see".
6. Talk to people, make friends
Don't be afraid to make more new friends around the world. Chat up with a random strangers in the airport while waiting for your flight, ask him about his destination or even his home town. Share travel experience with each other so you can learn from mistakes.
“A smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man learns from others.”
Although there are still genuinely kind-hearted people, we should still be careful of who we are dealing with. Tourists are easy target since they do not know much about the country they are in and are very prone to being scammed. With these tips, we can lower the risk of being spotted as one and I hope you enjoyed your holidays!
Check out our other post on common scams around the world.